rainbow trout rr 2017 sept 11

I don’t think I ever showed you a Red River trout on my recent visit.

This one — just like all the others was quickly returned to the water to last until a hungrier fisher came along.

This one is a stocker which for New Mexico means it was born and spent the first 10 inches of it’s life living in a hatchery.   It probably can’t reproduce.  It and it’s kin were delivered to various water points throughout the state.  These fish are responsible for a lot of the spring, summer and fall tourist dollars coming in to New Mexico.  They are healthy and in great shape.  They fight like a champ.  Catching them is such a blast.

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hummingbird 2017 oct 05.jpgI’ve got so many hummingbirds around the house that I have refilled my feeders, even though the old saying is to take the feeders down on October first. The little jerks, the rufous’ left about two weeks ago.  Odd how they are the last to arrive and the first to depart.

Experts say the hummingbirds won’t hang around just because there is food.  There are a half dozen here.  I do know that before I refilled the feeders I had two dead ruby-throated hummingbirds on my porch in two days.  This photo shows a ruby-throated hummingbird to the right of the feeder.  Can’t see it.  Find the water line and move right.  Its wings are a blur.

I’ve decided to fill them full of energy so the stragglers can get a bellyful on their way to Mexico.  Hasta la vista, babies.  See ya next spring.

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santa rosa tomatoes 2017 sept 18

Gone for six days to return to this.  Are they not gorgeous.  No cracks.  No bug or bird holes.  The entire crop all season long has been on the small side, but still taste like nirvana.  These need a couple of days in the house to get really, really red.

These hardy plants have survived the heat and long spells between waterings.  Several times when we arrived home they looked so poor that I started deep watering before opening the gates to the backyard.

Gardens and cooler temperatures are good things.  Here’s hoping we can keep these tomato plants producing until the first hard freeze.  It would be awesome if I could keep them alive all winter.  People in earthships can, so why can’t I.  Our trips haven’t killed the garden because we are lucky enough to have a friend come over about mid trip and water.  Her reward was to pick the garden which probably was a bushel basket of onions, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.

I think Margo has been picking crops since May which is pretty good for being in the high desert.  She is teaching me about summer gardening in the high desert.   Her best lesson so far…the rows and furrows are just the opposite of where we were in Texas.  Margo plants deep in the furrows and fills them to the brim when watering.

Now if we can just teach the gophers to stay away.

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Two years ago, I bought a 15 watt solar charger and a battery bank.  I use them to charge a phone, mp3 player, tiny speakers, kindle and tablet.  What I haven’t been able to do is solar recharge my AA and AAA batteries so I’ve been re-charging rechargeable batteries through 120V or buying regular batteries.  In five years probably gathered a peanut butter jar’s worth to recycle.

A quart jar full may not seem like much to folks with kids, but I’d still like to reduce putting batteries in the landfill.  I also don’t want to have to depend on the electric grid in an emergency like when we had the blizzard two winters ago.  Consistent eighty mph winds that downed many trees, temperatures in the teens without the wind chill, and a foot of snow which was picked up again and again and slammed into stuff until there were three foot drifts.  I learned that’s why our front porch walls look so dirty even though I painted the year before.

solar lantern orangeIt was our first blizzard, and and I was downright scared.  I wasn’t surprised when the electricity went off.  Sitting in the dark just made it scarier.  Being able to place solar lights around the living room was priceless.  This orange one is technically called a solar task light.  I like it because not only does it stand on it’s own, I can hang it from a string.

solar lantern greenI like this lantern too, but it doesn’t shine from below so doesn’t light well if you hang it above a blistering game of dominoes at the picnic table.

As possible mobile dwellers, we are at the mercy of other’s electric grid in places where the population density is low.  That puts those places last for getting electrons flowing again.  It’s not just the grid.  We got a good look at the foot deep sand cliff at the low water crossing at Cottonwood Campground.  Nobody’s leaving that place during a good rain until the county comes and digs out the road.

battery charger usb top 2017 sept 8

I bought this USB recharger which I think I can run with my 15 watt portable solar panel.


battery charger usb inside 2017 sept 08.jpg

The inside.  It charges AA and AAA.

Now I have to make room in the travel trailer for it.

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It pays off.  Ya never know what people accidentally leave.

tent stakes found san juan 2017 aug 24.jpg

Found these two sturdy tent/canopy/tarp stakes in tall grass at an empty campground site.  These can take quite a beating.  One can never have too many tent/canopy/tarp stakes.  Don’t need them?  It’s certainly good karma to pass them on to others in need.

tent stakes bent 2017 sept 08I can say without a doubt the number one thing left at campsites – besides trash – is those little stakes which come with cheap tents — especially if the area is rocky.  Fort Sumner and Conchas Lake eat those cheap stakes for brunch.  Here’s some I found throughout our travels.  For some reason I toss them into my stake bag.

Of the three, the bottom one is a bigger gauge aluminum.  You see that rocks eat that type too.

tent stakes compare 2017 sept 08.jpgIf you have a tent, get yourself some sturdier stakes.  Like the big nails above or big plastic yellow ones.  This yellow one was found at a site.  Someone had sanded the end even sharper than what is put on at the factory.

I carry all three styles and a hammer in the travel trailer tool bag.  If I can’t pitch a tent/canopy/tarp with one type of these I probably need to find another place.

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I like my pillow so much that I take it when traveling, but when I go camping I dislike carrying a big pillow.  The replacement…




Blow in here.  Has a check valve so air doesn’t come back out.



Pull the second part and it released the air immediately.

I blew it up and left it for two weeks.  Not sure it lost any air.  I carry it in my camp sleeping bag along with a pillowcase to slip over.  It works well.

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I only eat, at the most, two hot dogs at a meal.  Whatever shall I do with this third hot dog?

hot dog what to do 2017 sept 24.jpg

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