A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Stocking Up For the Apocalypse

We will be leaving Sisters in a couple of weeks.  I am trying to get most of what I need for awhile thus preventing having to go to a Walmart along the way.  I walked out of Rays Grocery with three small plastic bags totaling $76.  Either items cost more here or it is like this everywhere in the county now.  I’m clueless.

This was my third attempt of trying to buy some Dr. Pepper in mini cans.  I was down to only two cans left back in the RV.  I was getting nervous.  In Dollar General seeing the shelf was empty again (there was Coca Cola, Pepsi, Mountain Dew and others but no Dr. Pepper except for big cans and plastic bottles)  I had to ask.  He said it could be due to the aluminum shortage.  Well I had seen that news item but didn’t read it thinking beer.  He didn't know when or if the mini cans were going to show.  Okay, now I am no longer nervous.  Panic began to set in.  I knew how people must have felt during the toilet paper shortage.  My last resort was the Bi Mart store.  They had them!  Only four six packs left.  I bought them all.  Okay, now I am officially one of them shopping hoarders.

I am feeling pretty good with food and supplies on hand now.  I will need to get Beans some more kibble but am unable to get the brand I want here.  That will have to be done in Bend when we leave.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Nice Skull Find

On a little hike the other day I found this skull.  First I just noticed the lower jaw bone, looked around and there was the skull.  This is very uncommon to find together so I was quite happy.
It hadn’t been there all that long for there were still small shreds of meat left plus it stunk.
I took it home to clean and preserve.

 I let it soak in water all night then removed the last bits of meat.  I then soaked it another night with some Dawn dishwashing soap in the water.  This cleaned it more and removed most of the stink.  Then I let it set out in the sun all day.

Some of the teeth fell out during the process which was fun trying to replace back in their proper place.  I first had it set up with the jaws closed then changed my mind and set it with them open.  Which do you like best?

This is a small bobcat.  Too big for a domestic cat.  The coyote skulls have a long snout.  I have another bobcat skull but not in as good condition and it is missing the lower jaw bone.  This one will make a nice addition to my collection up on the dash.  

Yes, Beans checked it out.
This creeps me out Dad!

Friday, August 28, 2020

Beans Scores!

It has been a long dry spell for Beans on her morning hunts.  Usually she gets only a lizard now and then.  Finally she got one of those pesky chipmunks.  She was a hundred yards away from camp when she caught it and immediately headed for home with it.

She played with it for a long time then grew bored.  I thought the chipmunk was done for laying there not moving.  I picked it up and took it over to a tree stump and left it there.  
Mr. Lucky got up and scampered off.  

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Cleaning the Roof

Pine needles from the Ponderosa Pine trees we are under collect on the roof and under the solar panels.  You might think they would blow off as we drive down the road but such is not the case.  There is barely any airflow close to the roof.  I have already cleaned the pine needles off once several weeks ago.  You can see an arrow I found long ago next to the cloth rag.  I use it to get the pine needles out from under the solar panels.

I removed the two gray trim pieces in order to get debris out from under them also.  I will have to go get propane this week and will stop by the car wash and try to clean the roof the best I can.  I am looking forward to getting back to the desert where I don't have this problem on the roof.

I discovered one of the mounting brackets to the trim pieces loose.
Good thing I removed them.

JB Weld epoxy setting up.

I think I will just sit here and stare into the corner.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The New Litter Problem of 2020

I am seeing these things discarded everywhere.  Parking lots, along the road, in street gutters, the grass lawn of the city park.  Think about where they’ve been before becoming litter.
Would they be classified as a biohazard?

this is the best I could do on that chisel I found.

The edge still has one nasty nick in it but the rest I was able to remove.
It will be useful for various jobs not necessarily for what it was intended for.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Gypsy Wagon

Late one afternoon this guy drove by and didn't like the looks of the road ahead and is now backing into our driveway in order to turn around. 

I imagine inside it must look pretty sharp.

He is now heading back to the road from where he came in.

These pictures were taken with my iPhone from inside zoomed in all the way looking through the front windshield.  Amazing what those little phone cameras can do.  

Monday, August 24, 2020

A Good Day

Well they all are good days but this one started out even gooder in that there was no rat in the trap from the evening before.  I’m up to nine rats now.  I am getting tired of relocating them.
To celebrate my good fortune I took a bicycle ride out to my country located Little Free Library.
Found a book there that might be interesting.
Always a good day getting a new free book.

I then stopped off to check out the progress on a fence being built at one of the local ranches.
They’ve been at it for several weeks now and appear to be finished.
I am impressed as to how straight they were able to make the fence.

Accidental shadow shot.

Way off in the distance is the fence making people and their truck.  They were putting the finishing touches on a gate down there.  Then the fence turns right and goes up along the road just as far as in the other photo.  That is a lot of fencing.  I wondered what a fence like this cost.

Back home I made a nice cold pasta salad.

Yes, I know gooder isn't a word.  I just like using it. 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Abandoned Car Number Two

I ride by this car every time I go into town on my motor bike.

Finally it got tagged.

New Jersey.  The body rot (rust) left no doubt where this car was from.
Notice the DIY luggage carrier on the trunk lid.

Think Kevin is coming back?

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Expiration Dates Are For The Weak

I went grocery shopping and the produce guy was stocking the salad bar.
Cool, fresh out of the box.

Then I saw this.  I had to ask.
He said they have to throw out bags that are past their “sell by” date.  They are not allowed to give them away, liability reasons  (imagine that in this day and age) 
and he added “We cannot even give them away to farmers for their livestock.”  
This just bothered me all day long.

I have eaten a lot of food items that were past their “best by” date.  Never had a problem.
Granted salads can get a bit slimey but a day or two past they are still just fine.
Such a waste when so many are going hungry everyday.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Clean and Paint

The next morning would be cleaning up and painting the battery tray.  
These are the hold down clamps which I didn't put back in at the auto parts store.
I forgot to photograph them clean and then painted darn it.  
They looked so nice.

The battery tray before.

Now cleaned, scraped, wire brushed, and baking soda treatment 
which neutralized and removed the battery acid corrosion. 


Then a spray coating of a rubberized spray for added proctection.

And finally wrestling the new battery back into it's home.  I've never heard of this brand Deka before and was afreaid I was getting some Made in China battery but was pleased to see it is USA made.

Yep, we were both tuckered out for the rest of the day.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Dead Battery

The next morning I got to work on trying to figure out why the slide-out switch wasn't working.  Remember, electrics isn't my strong point.  
First thing was to see if any juice was getting to the switch.

I finally was able to get the switch pulled out and put my test light on it.  It was a very faint glow.  Well that's odd; there's power but very weak.  I thought the slide-out operated from the coach batteries.  I knew they were fine.  I checked the battery in the engine compartment for the truck.  DEAD.  Well there's your problem.  I called the only auto parts store in town Baxter Auto Parts and told them what I needed.  We can have one in at 11 AM  from Bend.  It was just past nine when I called.  That's good.  My plan was to ride Gracie into town to get the battery but the battery is almost two inches longer than the carrier on the motorbike.  That's not going to work.  I would have to drive the RV into town which meant breaking camp and all.  Oh well, what else to I have to do until 11?  In case you are wondering, I can start the RV using the coach batteries by flipping a switch up on the dash, a very nice feature with the Sprinter.  I did this and let the engine run for a half an hour which charged up the battery while I ate breakfast and secured things.

I arrived at the parts store a quarter past 11.  The new battery was waiting for me.  The kid offered me a dolly to carry it out with but I said "I think I can manage.  But I may need you to help me heft the old battery out.  You are younger and stronger than I am."  I got the new battery out to where I parked alongside the store okay.  I wouldn't of wanted to carry it much further than that though.

Now to see if I can get this beast out of here.  I surprised myself.  The old man still has it in him.
I got it out and put the new one in place (not secured) then took the old battery back in the store for my core deposit refund of all $18.  In case you're wondering, the battery cost $195.99.  Yeah I was stunned.  I'm still living in the 70's when it comes to buying things.

I drove back to camp and planned to clean up and repaint the battery tray the next day.  It needed it and is something I have always done with my vehicles when replacing batteries.  In the end I was thankful for that big rain storm as it revealed to me I had a dead battery.  I wouldn't have wanted to deal with that on the day we were planning to leave Sisters. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Big Storm

We were caught by surprise at the intensity of a storm that passed through.

It rained hard giving the Little House on the Highway a much needed bath.

The front of Gracie got unintentionally washed when the wind blew the tarp away.

Such a nice sweet smell after a good rain.

Look at all those lightening strikes in town!  
We are off to the lower rightt and had no strikes near us.

When the rain got going real hard I decided it best to roll in the slide-out as sometimes the wind will force water in along the side.  I pushed the button to retract it...nothing.  
Well that's just great.  Something I will have to try and fix tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020


Inside the trap is a huge rat.  He was nearly as big as the trap.  I don't know how the door was able to shut on him.  And wouldn't you know, this is the one time I didn't take my phone with me when I rode off down to the relocation site on my bicycle.  I dumped him out and was faced with Ratzilla.  The darn thing just sat there at my feet, not running off.  It would have been a great picture.  The score now stands at 25 mice, 17 chipmunks and two rats, one being Ratzilla.  There hasn't been a mouse in ten days so maybe that's the end of them.  Now it's just rats.

Well the next night I caught another.  This time I had my phone with me on the relocation ride.  Ratzilla was half again bigger than this one.  And like Ratzilla this one just hung around the bicycle and me not running off.  That is my bicycle tire on the left edge of the photo.

A friend asked me what does Beans think about them.  I was tempted to let the next one out at camp so Beans could play with it.  A couple years ago she got into a tussle with a rat in Minnesota or somewheres in that area.  I think the rat nipped her on the face.  I dont want to chance her getting bit so I am not going to let her play with the rats.

Monday, August 17, 2020

1963 Volvo

At the grocery store in town this lady pulled in just as I did.  I had to talk with her.  I shared with her how back when I was in high school I like this style of Volvo and always wanted one.

She told me they bought it new in 1963.
Wow!  Original owner.

It was stolen one time.  It was found three weeks later in San Diego.  The kids did time.

Then it was rear ended in an accident.  The entire left rear was caved in.  Smashed.  The insurance company said it was too old and wouldn't fix it.  The owners fixed it on their own dime.  
I hope they have a better insurance company now.

Very nice, well cared for and truly loved.