Monday, August 3, 2015

Sleepy Homey Doldrums and Some Info from our trip to Alaska

As soon as we arrive home we have to leave to the hardware store. We grab the keys to our Caravan, now anchored with spider webs to the carport, to buy a water pump for our evaporative cooler. Our home, made of fired adobe, while good insulation holds the predominant temperature. Since we were gone and El Paso was hot, guess what?
Our house was hot. The water pump, fully functional when we left, is now, well, not. So we're off to the nearest hardware store. The phone rings on our way out. It's a dear, old friend calling to welcome us home! Nice! She asks us to join them at the Carlsbad KOA in a couple of weeks to celebrate her birthday with her husband, two boys, and her father. Sure! We'll get to take Tara, our Casita trailer, out again. I put the date in my calendar and off to the store we go.

It takes three days for the house to fully cool down. But upon arriving home from our 2-1/2 month excursion to Alaska we fall into, what we have succumbed to before, what I call the sleepy homey doldrums. Home, really how sweet it is. No wheels, no maps, no planning directions or stays, it's stable. The cats greet us, never forgetting us. The dogs, roll on the ground in ecstasy. The parrots, cockatiel, and parakeets squawk loudly in recognition. Home. Tomato plants grow from last year's frozen green tomatoes. I live in a desert in the sand hills just above the lush Rio Grande valley. The desert is green. Lots of evening showers accompanied with lightning and thunder. All these to-do plans gone undone. Just basking in the familiar walls. Home. The sleepy, homey, doldrums overtake us.

The calendar date awakes us. It's time to move Tara! With bearings greased and newly packed we're off again. Dogs jump in the truck with unmatched enthusiasm (I mean really, who can match the enthusiasm of a happy dog?). While driving down the road, it dawns on me, tonight will be our 300th night to sleep in our Casita and on a blue moon to celebrate my friend's birthday. There just has to be luck strung in that set of coincidences somewhere. Smiles abound at our arrival.

Casita sighting! Just down the row from where we park comes another Casita. They're not there at first but, of course, like all Casitaians' they come over to meet us. We begin to talk the familiar Casita language and both exclaim that the shocks are our next mod! They're relocating to Carlsbad and are going to stay in their Casita while house hunting!

Ah, the Casita. Home, really how sweet it is. Wheels, maps, antcipatory planning directions or stays, it's movable. Home, really how sweet it is.

Alaska and Canada tidbits:

Invaluable tools used during the trip

#1 Our Rand McNally RVND 7720 LM RV GPS with Lifetime Maps and Wi-Fi now sold as Rand McNally RVND 7730 LM RV GPS with Lifetime Maps and Wi-Fi
was wonderful. Rand McNally not only updates the maps but also the software. So our GPS is better than it was the day we first purchased it.

#2 Traveler's Guide to Alaskan Camping: Alaska and Yukon Camping With RV or Tent
 by Mike and Terri Church. This book proved better than the famous Milepost for camping purposes. If the campground was not listed in my GPS, I plugged in the handy gps coordinates provided in the book and we arrived on point! Their descriptions of campgrounds and prices are accurate. In fact, we loved this book so much and it was so well used that we are building a frame for it to hang on our wall at home. Our friends bought Milepost. I bought the other so we both would have a wider range of resources. The Traveler's Guide to Alaskan Camping
showed more information and was more accurate than the Milepost for camping purposes. For example, here is a snippet of a comparison (remember all pictures are clickable to see a larger version):

#3 The Milepost

 This book turned out to be handy for tourist information and road oddities.

#4 Mudflaps! We were really glad, in hindsight, that we made the mudflaps. After the washing the hard soil from Tara, we found very few chips in the gel coat. We really liked the shield a Casitain made who we mentioned in a previous post.

Other info:
Gas in Canada was EXPENSIVE. On average it was around $4.00 per gallon. That's after the money conversion and liter to gallon calculation. The last day we left, gas had gone up to $4.30 per gallon. Ouch! Good news, you can make up some of the US/Can gas difference with finding reasonable campsites.

I'm really glad that we scheduled the trip when we did. We arrived in Canada the the beginning of the last week of May and left the very end of June. What's best about that? The lack of mosquitos and other biting varmints. It was also like having the whole place to ourselves. We could see on our way out that the tourists were beginning to pour into the area.

Mileage turned out to be more than anticipated.

We got our first check from Amazon! Thank you so much for shopping on Amazon through the links on our blog. Every little bit helps and it doesn't cost you a thing. Some of the things purchased through our site are: 

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