Can’t hardly survive without a paper towel holder.





Gotta let people know I’ve paid for a site, but have driven off to fish or something.




Cabinet door latch replacement.  Not lucky enough for it to be a pull and replace.  The upper screw hole is right at a frame butt joint.  Darn it.  Maybe I’ll try some of that super tape.

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Neither of us set an alarm and we overslept.  Perhaps because it was so quiet.  There’s no vehicles rumbling past at all hours, no hordes of barking dogs, no fire alarm sirens going off.  It’s just leaves rustling and birds singing.

Returned to the pea gravel beach with our fishing gear, but our hearts weren’t in it.  Instead we stripped to our swimsuits and tried to get in.  Somehow that young girl bravado of throwing oneself in in one big dive just isn’t in us anymore.  But we do sit.  I am driven back to the shore in butt hops by the saber-toothed minnows.  I swear it took me longer to slather on the sunblock than I sat in the water.  I was real happy to wash that stuff off.  Er, the manager at Sumner Lake hasn’t turned the shower water temperatures down.  A bit on the much-too-hot side.


I left early for the cove where I tried to fly fish.  The jumpers were little but not inclined to take what I offered.  So I switched to spinners.  Nothing there either.

We took a drive.  Water is being released so the two campgrounds below the dam are looking nicely green.  Only a couple of people there.

Across the lake from our campsite is the Eastside Campgrounds.  More primitive.  No playground.  No showers.  No flush toilets.  No visitor’s center.  No paved roads.  No dump station.  No boat ramp.  What it does have is quick, easy access to the water.  Here is one of the few pull through full hookup sites.  It has a good view.

Margo called me over to an empty shelter to enjoy the baby swallows hanging their heads over the nests.  Afterwards I approached a campsite of a fellow we see every time we are there.  He drives a white van with a small boat sticking out the back doors.  From him I could find out where the fishing are biting.

John is quite the resourceful guy and he generously gave me a camp tour.  Three tables in addition to the camp table where he had a full kitchen laid out.  He could grill, boil, or bake.  He made covers for the shelter openings instead of securing a tarp all the way around.

As we talked, he put two bars with hooks on the ends and slid the small boat out of the back of the van.   There’s a rack on top where he can put it if he doesn’t want to carry it inside.

He ran an extension cord to the van.  Between the front seats was a portable air conditioner with the exhaust flexible hose going out a wooden jig fit through the passenger window opening.  There was a small freezer for freezing ice and his catch.  Under that was a decent sized dorm refrigerator.  Since he lives in Roswell stuff won’t thaw by the time he gets home.

Altogether, he had all the comforts of home.

Speaking of the comforts of home… tomorrow we head back to them.

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I think we’ve had a whole month of above 100 temperatures.  It was driving us snarky so we thought to get away from the heat.  We packed up the 5th wheel on Monday and headed toward Sumner Lake, maybe 4-5 hours away.

Around Vaughn, where the pastures go on and on, it was so weird to have the temperature fall from 101 to 76.  We rolled down the windows.  Within an hour it began going back up.  Just some little cold front that breezed through and was slowly being gobbled up by the heat.

We got our usual site and were set up within 15 minutes of arrival.   The site needed some TLC.  I had to scrub the table and shelter floor to get rid of spilled something and a pile of poop from a nesting swallow.  The fire ring was wrapped in caution tape which reminds us the wood and charcoal fire ban in still in effect.

Our neighbors were few and far between.  The non-electric campground was deserted.   There are a couple of boats on the water, one small group boondocking, and a family swimming off a point.  It’s probably the closest to being empty that we have ever seen.

We took a walk along the water’s edge in a nearby cove.  HappyDog threw herself in and immediately started swimming.  Even SpotDog got in past her belly.  Boy, they must be thinking of all those hot days back at home.  We took off our shoes and waded in on a tiny pea gravel beach.  Boy, it was cold and the little minnows bit like piranhas before breakfast.

As we sat under the shelter we were treated to a nice view of a thunderstorm to the north.  We’ve been in monsoon season for ten days and typically don’t see any moisture until mid July.   Maybe this little cold front signals the beginning of the end to this tremendous heat.  The pressure was bringing the swallows close to the ground.  Our shelter’s lady swallow didn’t like us being close to her nest and she sailed around our head.

That nice evening dissolved the snarkiness right out of us.  It was a cool end to a hot day.

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What was I thinking?  Margo informed me that shooting off fireworks in the county is legal.  In the city, anything aerial is not allowed.

There has to be some sort of irony in a county that lets fireworks be sold, but they can’t legally be set off in the city, in Lincoln National Forest or White Sands National Monument.  Sure drive thirty feet to the county.  One place is just as dry as the other.  Just shove the fire potential one block over.  It’s not like people care over there.  And fires respect city/county lines, don’t they?

Give firefighters and fire budgets a break.

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I an old lady with a small bladder and a schizophrenic travel gut.  Over the last thirty years, Margo has had to pull over in the darndest places so I can do what my intestines screamed at me to do.  I’ve never been caught with my pants down, but it was close a couple of times.  Eventually the odds will catch up with me.

So when I looked under a blue cover in the van and found a travel toilet sitting on a base custom-made for the toilet base and the van interior I practically broke out in song.  Why, with this I don’t have to fear any occupied camping areas.

I took it out and cleaned it as much as I was willing to do.

When I put the travel toilet back in, I studied the traffic pattern inside the van.  The user walks down the aisle to the very back, turns, slides a little narrow curtain across, slides the paper bind up, uncovers the toilet, flips up the lid and squats.  This means the isle must be left clear for feet all the way to the back door.  I don’t intend to exit through the back door unless there is an emergency.  If I put a hitch basket on back, I won’t be able to open the door anyhow.

Sure is a lot of good storage space above it.  Right now, the toilet is hiding under a sleeping bag, three blankets (cause I get cold easy), three pillows, a sweater and a jacket.

While reading in the van late at night I accidentally tipped my drink over onto the carpet.  I mused to myself, “I sure could use a bed table.”  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Went my brain.  I can move the toilet to the aisle and inside a cabinet which can also be used for a bed table.   I must take into consideration it will weigh 40 pounds when full of water.

Now the question becomes, should I make a cabinet that I lift off or should I make a cabinet that has a door so I can slide the toilet out, use it, then shove it back in.

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When I was dry fitting 3/4″ plywood under the file cabinet, I was taken aback that the addition of 3/4″ in height made the three-drawer organizer too tall to fit on top of the file cabinet.  I stared at the organizer for a while.  Grumbled considerably.

There’s seams?  I pulled and whadda ya know.  It separated.  Not broke.  Divided at a planned separation point.  I can reduce the organizer to a one-drawer and a two-drawer.

Later, when I threw out the plywood underneath design I added the third drawer back.

The drawers slide out like they are on greased skids.  I must find some way to keep them closed during travel or there will be silverware scattering at every turn.  Especially don’t want that for the knives.


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The van came with two lush, cloth curtains that pull from the sides  to the middle to sort of cover the front windshield.  When not needed, they tie out of the way next to the shoulder belt mechanism.  They weren’t good at keeping all the light out because of the gaps between curtain and dash.  The driver side one didn’t have the tie and somehow encroached on my head while driving.

A long, skinny curtain angled across the back for toidy privacy.  More on toidies later.

What do I need them for when I’ve got reflectix for every window?  Took all of them down.  That saves me a tub of space.

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