Sunday, April 28, 2013

Good Day Sunshine

Today was a beautiful day in El Malpais (the badlands). Sunny, not too windy, not too hot. We had to stay at the campsite because my electric assist bike had to be charged and I needed to do some cooking.
The solar panels really got a workout, but come the end of the day my bike, my computer, my tablet, my MiFi, my phone (and extra battery), my rechargeable light, my bluetooth transmitter were all fully charged. In addition they powered my refrigerator and I made coffee, a half dozen mugs of tea, and a batch of vegetable curry stew that would feed six.

I love my solar panels. They keep life simple and inexpensive. Most people on the road use propane to run their refrigerator and cook. Propane refrigerators are picky about being level and open flames can start fires. I need something simple and safe so I use a DC refrigerator designed for solar applications and an electric induction cooktop. Not only is this simpler and safer, but people who use propane to cook with are incredibly jealous of how fast I can boil water and cook on the induction cooktop. Even at low settings it’s much faster than propane.Another thing the panels allow me to avoid is having a generator and having to deal with gasoline for the generator.

Unlike many people on the road, I don't plug into an electrical hookup at campsites, I run an electric cord from my vehicle out to the campsite (see pics).

For more pictures of our campsite at El Malpais, see:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cliff Dwellers Hike

Maeve and Joanne in one of the Cliff Dweller's caves

Maeve with Cliff Dweller caves in the background

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What Has Six Legs, Two Wheels, and is Really Green?

No, it’s not a grasshopper on a dogcart . . . .

It’s a girl and her service dog biking to a hike! (the girl is taking the picture)

The new addition to the Maevemobile is an electric-assist bike. This allows me to move fast enough to satisfy Maeve and cuts down on the number of times we start the Maevemobile when we're parked. At Gila Cliff Dwellings, we biked a couple of miles round trip to the visitor's center and back, took a rest and then biked 2 miles to the trailhead leading to the cliff dwellers site, hiked up to the site, and biked back to our campsite.

We'll write about our encounter with the rattlesnake in another post. Yikes!!!!

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Soaking in a Hot Lithium Spa with a Gila Monster

We’re back on the road again after a longer-than-expected holiday hiatus. New Mexico is where I expected to be by now, but a kind gentleman at our first night’s stop in Arizona’s Coronado National Forest near Safford told me about this spot outside the same town.  I figured I’d spend a night, but I’ve been here for two and expect to stay for at least another two nights.

This place looks like the dunes at Cape Cod (if you squint a little so you don’t see that at the top of the dunes are desert plants or that a gila monster is walking through them and if you don’t look at the mountain to the northwest). The wind and heat here also make me think of summer at the beach. The only thing missing is the ocean.