February 2010
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View entire year's route With Google Earth 588K
View year's Camps With Google Earth 106K
Route  38K     Galleries
Monday, February 1 Todays route using Google Earth
Sam's Town RV Park   Las Vegas, NV Locate this campground with Google Earth $34.16 per night
We left Ely this morning in several feet of snow with frozen water pipes. We are now in Las Vegas at 60 degrees and no snow anywhere except on the tops of a few mountains. But now we have the air pollution back with hazy skies and Frank's nose plugging up, and eyes gummy. We made an appointment to get propane delivered and the trailer washed tomorrow. It really needs it along with the truck. Along our route we passed the same beautiful scenery as last week. We saw 4 military jets doing synchronized practice maneuvers near Nellis Air Force Base. The power company is upgrading a high tension power line along the route.  

Tuesday, February 2
Today we got a lot accomplished. The trailer was washed here in the campground by a mobile wash service. They charge $2 a linear foot. The the mobile propane guy came and filled our propane tank. We took the truck to a car wash and now it looks better. Plus all the laundry is done including bed linen, so have had a successful cleaning day.

Wednesday, February 3
Today we continued working around the trailer. Frank took everything out of the basement and reorganized and cleaned items. Tom helped with the cleaning of cables etc. It is nice to be organized again.

Thursday, February 4
Today we went shopping at Camping World where we bought a hose and a new power inlet port for the trailer. Then on to Fry's Electronics and Whole Foods. We also stopped by ACE hardware to get an electrical plug replacement. Frank installed the new power inlet port on the side of the trailer and it works well. The electrical plug replacement does not fix and will be returned tomorrow. This evening we went to see the Cirque du Soleil show about the Beetles, "Love". Very loud and interesting. Frank felt that the staging and special effects were so overwhelming that it overpowered the dancers and they all seemed to be tiny. We are glad we went but would not go again. This theatre had seats on all 360 degrees of the stage.

Friday, February 5
Today we completed odds and ends before leaving Las Vegas. Tom went to the bank and then on to ACE hardware where Frank exchanged the electrical plug for one that fits. Later as Frank worked on shelfing, Tom went to get grocieries and diesel fuel for our trip tomorrow.

Saturday, February 6 Todays route using Google Earth
Blake Ranch RV Park and Horse Motel   Kingman AZ Locate this campground with Google Earth $23.80 per night
We've left Las Vegas today and headed south and east through the desert, through the fog and rain. Did I say desert? It's snowing back home in Virginia with about 24 inches on the ground as of this evening.
Sunday, February 7 Todays route using Google Earth
Rancho Sedona RV Park   Sedona, AZ Locate this campground with Google Earth $63.41 per night
Beautiful area but raining. We are surrounded by towering cliffs like in many of the southwestern parks we have visited. We hit some snow around Flagstaff and south. The Arizona Department of Highways website said the road south from Flagstaff that goes to Sedona had ice and snow, and a lane closure due to a cave-in, so we went further down I-17 and came into town from the south. Here are some webcam photos of the snow around Flagstaff.   Tom wanted to watch the Super Bowl but the cable went out about half way through. Eventually it came back on but he missed about a half hour of the best plays.

Monday, February 8
It rained a lot last night. Today we had a visit from Harley and Lee who live here in Sedona. We had a nice 2 hour conversation and they suggested that Tom and Frank go to the Cowboy Club restaurant for dinner. The food was great but we both ate too much. At Lee's suggestion, we drove up to a spot near the town airport and were awed by the views.  

Tuesday, February 9
This morning Frank worked on web pages and Tom went to the store. In the afternoon we drove to Harley and Lee's home for a visit and afterwards went to a local bar for dinner. Good friends and good food.

Wednesday, February 10 Todays route using Google Earth
Mesa Sprit RV Resort   Mesa, AZ Locate this campground with Google Earth $50.41 per night
We have moved south to Phoenix for this weekend's rodeo. We will stay here for the next 8 days. Frank found a 12 volt light fixture to use as a porch light on the trailer. If it works out will post a photo when it is installed.

Thursday, February 11
The sky's are clearing and the weather is warming up. We did more shopping and cleaning today. We have 2 cellular modems and neither of them are working properly. Frank thinks the cell phone company has made some fundmental changes in their system and there appears to no longer be any support from the manufacturer of our modems. We are looking for a replacement.

Friday, February 12
We spent a good part of the morning researching new cellular routers, a difficult process because there isn't enough information published about the products. In the afternoon Frank went on a horse ride on the Gila River Indian reservation. On the ride was a descendent of Wyatt Earp who portrays his ancestor.   The ride was sponsored by IGRA and most of the riders were members. In the evening we had dinner at Country Buffet.

Saturday, February 13
RODEO, need I say more. Check out the gallery. The day ran long and we didn't get back to the trailer until after 8:00 pm. They had 133 contestants. This is the first rodeo of the season and it is always a big one.

Sunday, February 14
Rodeo again today. We got back to the trailer by 6:30 as the rodeo went faster today, partly because there were fewer contestants. A number of people had injuries yesterday so decided not to run today, as there were fewer pauses. Our rules state that if the ambulance crew is tied up taking care of an injury then the rodeo has to pause and wait for them to be available in case of an emergency. That usually causes a delay in the events. The lower number of injuries today also made the rodeo run quicker. We went to dinner at Country Buffet again tonight. Frank's foot is swollen from gout again. He ended up having to wear sneakers all weekend rather than his cowboy boots.

Monday, February 15
Frank finished a lighting project this morning which should make the outside of the trailer more light pollution friendly. Not as disturbing to the neighbors as the overly bright wasteful fixtures that came with the trailer.     Then we went to Fry's and bought a new cellular modem and router for Internet connectivity. Finally got it setup and running about 6:30PM in the evening. Much better system than what we had before. Frank's gout problem is almost gone. Now if he can only keep away from red meat maybe it won't come back.

Tuesday, February 16
Some more shopping and getting the truck washed. We picked up a length of plastic gutter downspout and Frank made a case to hold various strips of building stuff we carry around with us.   Frank also rebuilt a cowboy hat rack he made a few weeks ago, this time with longer spines. The first one was too short and the hats kept falling off.   Frank is enjoying getting back into projects. We went to Camping World this afternoon and bought a folding ladder to help get to projects on the outside of the trailer. For dinner we returned to Old Country Buffet again.

Wednesday, February 17
We waited patently for our mail which showed up around 7 pm. Turns out the forwarding service didn't put the site number on the package so it was delivered to the campground office yesterday. We went one last time to Old County Buffet for dinner.

Thursday, February 18 Todays route using Google Earth
Justin's Diamond J RV Park   Tucson, AZ Locate this campground with Google Earth $27.00 per night
We left Phoenix this morning and headed south east to Tucson. When we got here the campground was full, but there was a reservation that hadn't showed up so after waiting a couple of hours they gave us the site. Frank ordered a GPS tracking device which should make daily log routing easier. We also scheduled an RV wash for tomorrow. The weather here is beautiful and warm, but there is some snow on some of the nearby mountains.

Friday, February 19
Frank complains a lot about a lot of things, especially about light pollution. Last night he came to realize just how much he should complain about this horrible problem. We are camped only about 10 miles from the heart of downtown Tucson, and last night Frank was able to see the Milky Way very clearly. Tucson was one of the first cities to start doing something about light pollution, mostly because of the nearby Kitt Peak observatory. Light pollution is a major waist of electrical power. Most city generated light pollution comes from installing the wrong kind of street lighting which sends a large portion of the fixture's light up into the sky instead of toward the ground where it is intended. The power companies and governments are always telling us we need to turn off unused lights and devices to save energy. Then they install lighting that wastes 20% to 30% of the electricity creating light pollution. Here is a good resource about quality lighting, or the website of the International Dark-Sky Association. Today we got the truck serviced, oil change, air filter, radiator flush to the tune of $300. Trucks are expensive to maintain. We had the trailer washed again. Frank spent time manipulating the webcam pointed out the front to make it less obtrusive and to solve some problems with it falling off the window due to heat. Added new photos of the inside of the trailer to the travel index page.   It's about time, the other photos were 3 years old and the inside looks much different now than when we first got the trailer.

Saturday, February 20
RAIN! Our rain gauge is messed up and as of 9:00 pm says we got 42 inches today. I could believe 1 inch cause it rained fairly heavily several times during the day and into the night. This afternoon we drove north to visit Biosphere 2, a huge greenhouse experiment funded by Mr. Bass of Bass oil and built between 1987 and 1991. It was designed as a completely isolated system with only sunlight and power coming from outside. Much more reading is available on Wikipedia, W  

Sunday, February 21
Today we spent at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Locate with Google Earth west of Tucson. This was our second visit to this marvelous facility with stunning views of the area, thousands of plants and many animals.  

Monday, February 22 Todays route using Google Earth
Butterfield RV Resort   Benson, AZ Locate this campground with Google Earth $32.89 per night
We moved east to Benson today through rain storms. Later in the afternoon we had heavy rains for short periods. In the evening it sleeted. Frank spent several hours developing a new feature on our travelogue where you can see all the campgrounds we stayed at during each year. (see top of page)

Tuesday, February 23
Last night we had sleet and the temp got down to 32. During the day today we came across many places with ice on the sidewalks. We drove south about 25 miles to Tombstone Arizona Locate with Google Earth. A rather touristy town and the site of the famous gunfight at the OK corral. W We saw a show of trick roping and some trained animals who were all rescue animals.   It was fun and would be a great treat for anyone with kids.

Wednesday, February 24 Todays route using Google Earth
Lordsburg KOA   Lordsburg, NM Locate this campground with Google Earth $35.40 per night
We are in a small burg as a daily stopover. Keeping the daily trailer tow to under a couple of hundred miles makes the trip easer and we dont't get as tired. The last time we were here, April 1, 2009, there was a wind storm going on and Frank had to rebuild the pantry. Wind is calm this time around.
Thursday, February 25 Todays route using Google Earth
Siesta RV Park   Las Cruces, NM Locate this campground with Google Earth $34.00 per night
We continue to move east. Very windy today but it was from the west and behind us, so wasn't much of a problem. Frank had ordered a GPS data logger which we had delivered to this campground a couple of days ago. He spent several hours working with it and did a test run while we did some errands. We will give it a first run on our next daily drive. As we were returning from the store the check engine light came on in the truck. The last time that happened we spent a weekend in Phoenix while the truck had its glow plug module replaced and checked. Tom called a local Ford dealer and set up an appointment for tomorrow morning. We installed a cable pass through under the bedroom closet to get a heater cord out of the way and eliminate the cord from going through the closet door.

Friday, February 26
We had to get up early which was a problem for Frank since he got a dose of artificial coloring at Village Inn restaurant last night and only slept about 3 hours. We took the truck to the dealer and after about an hour and a half they had determined that Jiffy Lube hadn't refitted the air filter casing correctly last week and air was getting around the filter and causing a sensor to indicate a problem. Jiffy Lube also put too much antifreeze in the radiator. That one cost us $145. Frank spent time rewiring the truck webcam computer cleaning up the wiring.   We also played with the new GPS data logger and it looks like it will do what we want which will make creating the daily trip route much easier. This campground has Comcast cable for their Internet provider and it is one of the best connections we have had.

Saturday, February 27 Todays route using Google Earth
White's City Resort   White's City, NM Locate this campground with Google Earth $30.04 per night
We moved into Texas for a bit then north to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The new GPS data logger worked perfectly (see today's route). Extracting the data from the logger and inserting it into our log was very easy. Not counting the time Frank spent designing the format, the route process took about 2 mintues. Previously Frank had to spend as much as a half hour laboriously drawing our route on Google Earth using his mouse which tended to cause trouble with his fingers and hands. The route today took us near San Antonio but we bypassed the main part of the city.   Most of our route today was over desert terrain and it appears they have had little of the rain that has hit so many of the desert areas we have been traveling through. It is very dry here. Tomorrow we will tour the caverns.

Sunday, February 28
We spent about 3 hours today walking the Great Room tour in Carlsbad Caverns. Locate with Google Earth   We rented 2 recorded tour wands which were great. They gave us a lot of interesting details, history and geology data which we would not have gotten any other way, and they were only $3. I highly recommend you rent one if you can visit this wondrous cave.   Later in the day we had strong winds, some light rain, and some spectular cloud formations.  The weather service says this storm is going to bring strong weather to the East coast in about 4 days.