Random Access Memories

May 3, 2022

Vanlife, step #27

by @ 3:16 pm. Filed under Vanlife

So I am lounging in Payson Arizona right now. Waiting for the camping rug I ordered to arrive. The sawzall got here already, along with the new water bag and the non-lead sinkers.

I’m not going to head back to the rim without the camp rug. Tracking dirt into the van drives me crazy. And are constantly have to put my shoes on when I leave the van to do much of anything with the little welcome mat I have. Unfortunately I had to send it from Amazon via UPS to a post office box. So it has to be sorted by the post office into the box. Which might happen sometime in the next 7 hours. *Sigh* Thankfully I don’t have anywhere I need to be.

The sawzall was pretty expensive, and I got half a dozen carbide blades for it. But if I’m going to start doing more wood carving it seemed a no-brainer. I’m just not in good enough shape for the handsaw s on larger trees. Thankfully I already have multiple Milwaukee batteries.

The tin fishing sinkers weren’t required, but it’s always bugged me handling raw lead all the time. Hey look okay, unfortunately they’re not removable. I’m going to need to track down some that are.

I was really annoyed about the Sawyer water bag that sprang a leak. It’s only about 6 months old, but the company said there is no warranty on those water bags. Which really sucks considering I spent $30 for the damn thing. The new one I got from Amazon it’s cheaper and more highly reviewed.

I also went ahead and restocked some food while I was at it. I also bought some cornmeal and oats to start my own little mealworm farm. We will see if I can get them to breed more mealworms before I use them all for fishing.

Unfortunately nobody in Payson has the handscrew wood clamp that I need for woodworking. I guess unfortunately I’ll just have to order one. I didn’t even figure that it would be something that no business here in town would have. Home Depot doesn’t even carry one. If the harbor freight they are building here was open they would probably have one. Unfortunately I’m a couple months too early for that.

I also snagged a cheap mat to put under the star link when I’m putting it on top of the trailer or the van. No point in having it rub the paint off if I can avoid it for $6. I looked into a smaller container for the starlink, but it was three times the price of the one I’m using now. And I just couldn’t justify the cost.

May 1, 2022

Time lapse of the clouds at Chevelon Lake

by @ 9:26 am. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

April 29, 2022

Current campsite – Chevelon Lake

by @ 8:33 pm. Filed under Vanlife

Vanlife, step #26

by @ 8:30 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife, Woodworking

I finished a wooden spoon today.

I coated it in walnut oil. It doesn’t seem to still be oily, but we shall see.

I think it’s spruce, not certain of that. I’m going back to where I cut the wood for this so I’ll have to figure out what kind of tree it was.

I’m going to pick up some lumber in Payson when I visit this week, hopefully I can get a small workbench made that I can disassemble and travel with.

Itching to get someplace nearer to water. I will probably head out Monday or Tuesday and do a little kayaking at one of the lakes that is easier to get to.

Things are alright here, just kind of boring.

April 28, 2022

Vanlife, step #25

by @ 7:37 am. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

Starlink has been working well so far. So long as it has a clear view of the northern sky. Which is kind of funny since the solar needs a clear view of the southern sky. I guess the perfect place to camp out is in the middle of Kansas. LOL

April 27, 2022

Vanlife, step #24

by @ 12:24 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

Decided to stay at Chevelon Canyon Lake for another week. Then I’ll head back to Payson and pick up a few things before going to Bear Canyon Lake.

Still recovering from the nasty trip down to Chevelon and back. It’s really quiet here, the place is still totally empty.

April 25, 2022

Vanlife, step #23

by @ 10:17 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

The road from Chevelon Lake campground down to the actual lake isn’t a road at all. It’s a moonscape of broken rock.

I made the horrible mistake of trying to take an inflatable kayak down to the lake and back in a wagon. It was grueling. Not a single bite all day either.

That was yesterday, today has been spent trying to recover. Tomorrow will probably be worse, then I’ll start feeling better.

April 21, 2022

Vanlife, step #22

by @ 9:34 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

Well, it’s been a long day. Started the morning up near the Tonto Creek hatchery. Went into Payson and did some laundry. Then got all my shopping done, picked up my mail, and drove all the way out to Chevelong Canyon Lake.

I have a total of four additional fishing poles now. One I got at Goodwill for $5, but I need to print a part to fix it.

The road to the lake was horrific. At one point I seriously wondered if I would be able to make it, but it turned out okay. I ain’t going back for two weeks unless some disaster comes up.

One of my Sawyer water bags sprang a leak, so I have to dry out my rug. Not thrilled about that. Need to order a better bag. Perhaps I can fix the existing one for now with the patch kit for my inflatable kayak.

Need to dig out my Otzi grill and try it out tomorrow. Along with getting the kayak to the lake for the first time.

Time to get some sleep.

Vanlife, step #21

by @ 9:28 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

Well, ordering more fishing poles. I broke two poles in two days. Not exactly terrific, lol.

April 15, 2022

Vanlife, step #20

by @ 9:59 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

The Rim Road is open! Finally, I can head futher north away from the heat. Not that it’s been hot so far, but i’m no longer limited in where I can go vs where I want to. I’m debating if I should wait or go up towads Chevelon Canyon Lake now. Decisions, decisions. I’ve got a decent spot here for internet, but it’s not really a campsite. I’ll have to ponder this more tomorrow, time for sleep right now.

April 12, 2022

Vanlife, step #19

by @ 6:00 am. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

I got a new container for my starlink today. The cardboard box that came in was getting pretty beat up.

So I headed towards Bear Flats today and found a nice little pulloff spot. Not near any water, but level and quiet. Plus it’s lower in elevation so the coming cold should be milder.

Shortly after I arrived a truck with an older couple pulled in past me, and got out to pickup trash. They stayed about ten minutes and then drove back out. As they were going past me they stopped and the woman got out.

She walked right up to me and said, “Beautiful isn’t it. You’re going to clean up after yourself, right?” Now i’m not a litterbug and I didn’t have a mess there. She wasn’t working for the forest service, and her tone seemed shockingly condescending. You know, like a mother talking to a child. I replied, “Hello to you too. No, I figured I would leave the place a disaster and try to burn down the forest.” She answered, “You say that, but you won’t, right?” Yeah, I was feeling confronted here, without cause. I replied, “I really don’t appreciate the guilt trip. It sounds like you have an axe you’re grinding, so even if I say I will clean up after myself you probably won’t believe me anyway. Please leave.” She thought a second then turned around and went back to the truck. When she got in I heard her say to her partner, “He just wants to be an asshole.” **sigh**

April 9, 2022

Vanlife, step #18

by @ 8:39 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

Slow day today. Cleaning up the van and trying to figure out what more to get rid of.

The rim road is still closed, and it’s supposed to get cold by midweek. I’ve got two packages waiting in Payson so I’ll head back when it gets colder.

April 8, 2022

Vanlife, Step #17

by @ 11:14 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

I’ve been fighting my Starlink today. When I swap it over to my custom hardware it barely works at all. I can’t for the life of me figure out why. People online keep shoving me back to stupid things that I know are not the problem.

I guess for now I’m stuck using the original hardware that came with the starlink. Oh well, I guess things could be worse. I headed up past the Christian camp and got a much better view of the sky to the north than I had back down by the upper campground. I’m not near the stream here, but I can walk, heh.

I caught and ate two trout today. I’m not sure if they’ve stocked Tonto Creek yet this week, probably not.

April 6, 2022

Vanlife, Step #16

by @ 11:51 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

I got the POE adapter today. Which is required to power my Starlink dish directly from 12v. I also got the waterproof Ethernet couplers. The rest of the parts came in up in Payson, i’ll be picking them up tomorrow.

Can’t say i’m going to miss Phoenix. It was 95f here today, 11f above normal. I’ve had enough heat for multiple lifetimes. Time to go north and find cooler places.

April 1, 2022

Vanlife, Step #15

by @ 4:44 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

So the part I ordered to convert Starlink to run on DC POE power should have been here Today. Instead UPS lost it and it will be here Wednesday. **facepalm** Sigh…

I guess it could be worse, at least I have internet. 😀

March 31, 2022

Vanlife, Step #14

by @ 10:51 am. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

My Starlink dish arrived today. I’m thrilled with it. Setup was so simple. Plug it in, connect, and that’s it.

Now i’m waiting on some parts to convert the dish to work better in my van. Which is a tad scary, but should work just fine.

March 30, 2022

Vanlife, Step #13

by @ 9:03 am. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

I realized today I’ve had a drone for over a year and never flown it. I keep waiting for, “the right time”, which really translates to, “never”. I will charge it’s batteries today and update the software, hopefully that will get me more willing to use it.

March 29, 2022

Vanlife, Step #12

by @ 2:40 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

Fighting with Renogy support today to get them to fix their damn app.

It’s been pouring today in Payson so I’m just hanging out and handling some tech crap I’ve been putting off.

I bought a dozen eating spoons from the local thrift store today. I’m going to get out the grinder when it warms up and make fishing spoons out of them. Need to look into what flashy paints I can apply to bare metal.

I just found out my Starlink will ship today! I should have it by March 31st. So happy! 😀

March 28, 2022

Vanlife, Step #11

by @ 3:18 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

Updating electronics and charging things. Shopping day too I guess. Apples, bananas, and oranges, oh my!

Trying to find the emotional excess to work on my novel again. :S

March 27, 2022

Vanlife, Step #10

by @ 6:37 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

People just can’t find Horton Creek. In the 14 days or so I have been here off and on I have helped over 10 different groups of people find where the Horton Creek trail was. Some of which were even in the Horton Creek trail parking lot.

For some odd reason the forest service does not want to mark where the trail is. Which makes it difficult because the trail is actually across a bridge and across the road from its own parking lot. There are no signs pointing you the way from the parking lot. Only a top down sign that shows the general area.

The reason the parking lot is not closer is because it used to be a picnic area, but they have apparently torn out the barbecues and tables associated with it. When Horton Creek became popular in the ’90s as a hiking trail and fishing destination they repurposed the parking lot.

Part of me is sad about all of this, before the 90s when the pace and paper published the story about Horton Creek there was almost nobody up there. There were hikers in abundance after that. I had pretty much free run of the stream before that point. Then somewhere around 2014 game and fish made the stream catch and release only, and artificial lure and fly only. Which I suppose is a good thing because there are a few populations of wild trout in Arizona, but I say that grudgingly. I fondly recall the days of being able to eat some very delicious wild trout from that stream.

I guess partly I don’t like sport fishing. Sport fishing to me feels too much like a cat playing with its food instead of eating it. If I’m not going to eat it, I don’t usually fish for it. The exception would be when you’re engaging in population control, or removing invasive species. For example someone illegally stocked bass, sunfish, and catfish on the rim lakes in Arizona. Before that they only had trout in them. At this point game and fish has set no limit on those species because they want to get rid of them. And Washington State they also had a price on the head of Northern Pike, which are another illegally stocked invasive species. Money is a great way to get people to do something.

I’ve often wondered who did the illegal stocking of the Arizona Rim lakes. Because whoever it is they’ve done it over quite some time now. Back in the 90s I remember the first instance of this where they were bass in Willow springs Lake, it was inevitable that those bass would flow down stream to Chevelon Canyon Lake. However the illegal stockings were also later done in Woods Canyon Lake, Knoll Lake, and Bear Canyon Lake. Which do not share any breedable waterways with Willow springs Lake.

It seems at this point it would be a good idea to do a total fish kill on these lakes and restore only Gila trout and Apache trout to them, which are the two native species in the area. Especially to Bear Canyon Lake, This lake is rather remote by comparison to the others, and it’s water shed is much more secluded.

I did head back into Payson. Hanging out at Walmart. I will go check my mailbox in the morning and decide the next step from there.

Side note, wordpress does not like emojis, lol

March 26, 2022

Vanlife, Step #9

by @ 6:17 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

Went down to the streams this morning. Moved one more trout to the top of the little creek, caught another one worth keeping from Tonto. Debating walking down again this afternoon.

Feeding a squirrel by the van, he looks delicious.

Debating when to go back into town. Not having internet sucks. So many basic pieces of information online that we rely on now. Weather, road closures, basic communication, etc.

Went back down to Tonto, not a damn thing.

March 25, 2022

Vanlife, Step #8

by @ 6:34 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

Caught one fish this morning. A brown trout that I moved to the top hole of the little stream. Nothing else so far. I didn’t see the other two I moved up there. Hopefully they are still there and didn’t die.

I found out that my spare phone still has an old version of the Renogy app. This older version will allow me to check the solar batteries and charger without logging in on the internet. I’m not thrilled that I have to use it, but it’s better than nothing by far.

I still fucking ache today. Not sure if I’m just beating up my body worse or actually getting in shape.

I have some fishing line coming in tomorrow. Several of my reels need a refresh, and no place nearby was selling good braided line. I tried some flourocarbon line, but it has horrific line memory. Never gotten such bad backlash on a spinning reel. Good for casting heavy lures, but shit for my usual ultralight fishing.

I’m thinking I might take some of the old existing line I have and splice 100′ of the new lighter line on top of it. The new stuff has a tiny diameter, and it seems a waste to load an entire spool with it.

March 24, 2022

Vanlife, Step #7

by @ 6:14 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

Stayed in town and downloaded some media with the intent of going back off-network up Tonto Creek.

Had some annoying trouble with my Renogy solar app. It requires that I log in to do anything. Which is far less than helpful if you don’t have internet access. They just want to sell more shit to you, which should be a secondary use of the app which tells you everything about your solar array. Complained, but I don’t think it’s going to do any good.

Got up to the creek in the afternoon. And found a big mess of garbage in the camping area that the families were using last week. I didn’t want it we believe it was the people that I gave the radios and fishing tips too. But as I was cleaning up the trash I found one of the radios. Can’t say I’m thrilled, they seemed a lot nicer than that. Eventually I cleaned up about 30 lb of trash they’d left behind.

I got to work on the leveling boards I wanted to make for the van. I had a short 2×8 from my father that I had cut in half already, and I bought an 8-ft 2×8 to complete them. I started with a nice angled cut through both boards at the same time, only to find that I had gone far as you and my cutting. I had to recut all four slopes.

Eventually I got them put together and some waterproofing on them. They are enough to raise my rig up 3 in. I need to cut the additional pieces I have a little smaller and then I’ll be able to get the rig up four and a half inches. Combine with a small shovel that should be able to level me just about anywhere.

The refrigerator can work normally up to 5° off level. At the moment I’m off 1 and 1/2° front to back and point 3° side to side. I think that’s good enough.

I’m getting tired of this beat up body. I feel like crap. I don’t know if it’s just getting old, just being horribly out of shape, or both.

It’s only supposed to get down to 37 degrees at Kohl’s ranch tonight. With the new electric heating blanket and can easily handle that. Supposed to be warmer than that the rest of the week. Thankfully the daytime highs aren’t supposed to get above 70f.

March 23, 2022

Vanlife, Step #6

by @ 6:13 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

Pretty uneventful day. I picked up Mink Oil, a couple more organizing buckets, and a new 12v heating blanket. Trying to refrain from buying more fishing gear.

I think I will head back to Tonto Creek tomorrow after one of my packages arrives.

March 22, 2022

Vanlife, Step #5

by @ 6:11 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

I ordered Starlink. Hopefully it should give me internet and their most remote places. The geofence on the device was recently removed and roaming has been enabled. It’s not global yet, but it should give me access everywhere in the United States. I am already looking at how to hack the device to make it run off of low voltage only.

March 21, 2022

Vanlife, Step #4

by @ 6:06 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

Strangely difficult to find a butterfly net these days.

March 20, 2022

Vanlife, Step #3

by @ 6:06 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

Went to check the temperature my radiator could handle, and found that my radiator was a whole gallon low on fluid. Thankfully nothing blew up.

March 19, 2022

Vanlife, Step #2

by @ 6:03 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

I biked to Kohl’s Ranch and back. Boy do my legs hate me.

I got online there and ordered a new heating blanket since my old one died, along with thermal underwear and mink oil. It’s kind of silly, the blanket and mink oil could not be delivered to an Amazon locker, and the thermal underwear could not be delivered to my PO box.

Tried to catch more fish and didn’t get anything at all.

Tomorrow rain is predicted, and Sunday night it’s supposed to get below freezing. I might just head into Payson early. Bound to be warmer there.

Glad I didn’t head onto the rim yet. I saw some snow lingering on the south face of the rim a week ago and it gave me pause.

Just spent an hour cleaning up my new fridge. Found out that some of the meat had leaked blood, and that some of the carrots froze. Thankfully the drain plug didn’t leak blood. That would have been a much greater pain to clean up. This probably means I can’t handle temps much below the 20s or the fridge will probably freeze.

March 18, 2022

Vanlife, Step #1

by @ 5:57 pm. Filed under Personal, Vanlife

So this will just be the ongoing ramblings of my time living in a van. I didn’t start at the beginning, been living that way for six months now. Thanks.

Still at Tonto creek with no cell reception. Which is the primary reason I’m recording my thoughts.

The water is so cold that I have been dealing with ice on my rod guides in the morning.

Last night I snuck into the campground which is still closed for two more weeks and stole some drinking water. There was a ziptie on the faucet, but a tiny screwdriver got me past that. I filled two gallons and put the ziptie back on.

The big shock came this morning, when I realized the ziptie was cautionary. The water had been highly chlorinated, and I didn’t realize this until I had taken three gulps. Bleah! Or bleach rather. There was a slight burning sensation in my mouth, but that quickly went away. Curse my horrible sense of smell, anyone else would have immediately smelled chlorine.

So I drank a gallon of good water I had laying around to cut the bleach in my stomach, and headed off to a little creek to get more good water. You can reach the spring at the top, so it’s about as clean as it gets

My stomach feels fine at this point thankfully. The worst was that my mouth tasted like bleach for a few hours. Bullet dodged.

I guess this is now a personal goal. It’s not like I’m stocking fish someplace they shouldn’t be. The upper pools of this short creek have a 6-ft waterfall below them, so fish can’t move that far upstream. There’s only about 50 ft of creek above that waterfall, but one of the two pools is about the size of a home swimming pool and it seems a shame not to have fish in it.

I wish I had something better to transport them in. Putting the ziploc in a collapsible bucket would at least make my life easier carrying them up the creek.

The creek is a wild trout stream that most people don’t know about at all. Kind of like Horton Creek was in the ’90s, but much shorter and shallower. It should probably be protected, I’ll have to look into what to file with game and fish.

I’m not sure how many fish I should move, I want to make sure I get one male and one female. The top of the two holes is smaller, four fish is probably plenty there. The larger hole below it can easily support dozens.

A family just started camping next to me today. They seem nice. I gave them three extra gmrs radios I had, and their kids are taking great fun using them to call each other “queer”.

Note to self: taking a swig of Drambuie after eating Sriracha is not a good thing.

Sorted decades of fishing gear today, and a bunch I got from my father and aunt. Took hours, but it is so much easier to find what I need now. Also seems that I have enough hooks, sinkers, and swivels for several lifetimes.

I realized today that my father, my aunt, and my cousin all seem to live their lives around saving money. I guess it works for them, but I’m really glad I don’t worry so much about that. As an example, my aunt would give coupons in Christmas cards.

For some odd reason I am reminded of working for Skidata at Deaconess hospital. At the time I was dating one of their valets. The other employees didn’t know. One day I pull up to valet parking and the woman I was dating was there, along with a rather serious ex-military valet. I tossed her the keys and jokingly said, “Park it bitch.” She smirked and rushed right out to the van, leaving her rather serious associate in a state of shock at both of us.

So far so good with my solar and battery bank. I’m running 400 Watts of panels on the roof of my van, and 200 amp hours of batteries. Even with the heavy trees here I still don’t drop below 98%. It probably helps that it’s cold enough the cooler isn’t running very much, and it’s been very sunny lately. Worst case I have a 20 amp DC charger connected to the alternator in the van.

Tomorrow I will probably take my bicycle up to Kohl’s Ranch and get on the internet for a bit. Drives me nuts being this far off grid.

I suppose I will try the external antenna on my hotspot as well. I have to admit I haven’t been impressed with it at all so far.

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