Friday, November 30, 2007

7AM - November showers.
A few moments ago, rain began to fall on the desert. We on the TiogaRV Team love the rain which may in a few months bring the flowers that will cover the desert floor with gold, yellow and blue.

7:30 - Deep cycle battery info.
When Mr. Sunny bought his deep cycle batteries in April, 2003, we on The Team knew very little about batteries. We bought six batteries. They are Exide's Stowaway model and are 6 volt deep cycle. Our batteries will be five years old soon, and have served well. They are giving signs of needing replacement.

Our Exide Stowaway batteries were purchased from Sam's Club for $47.50 each. A very good price at that time. Now we are shopping for batteries again, and are in need of information to make our decision on what to buy.

We have been told that the Trojan model T105 is the best 6 volt deep cycle battery available. A Trojan T105 battery costs around $100. Sam's Club now sells an Exide Champion model deep cycle battery and it sells for $62. We have not been able to get a price on an Exide Stowaway model.

Doing research, we located an Exide factory distributor in Poway, California, about 66 miles from our Camp in Borrego Springs. We will be heading out for Poway this morning looking to collect valuable info in order to make comparisons of the best deep cycle battery for our Mr. Sunny.

1PM - Where's the Exide Company?
When we arrived in the City of Poway, we phoned Exide. Nobody answered the phone! We looked for Exide in the phone book. Couldn't find anything! Wow!

We did find a company in the phone book named American Battery Company, located in the nearby City of Escondido, and decided to go visit them.

2PM - American Battery Company.
American Battery is a large distributor of industrial batteries. American sells Trojan batteries, but recommends batteries from Crown Battery Manufacturing Company.

Some technical stuff:
Crown's Model CR-225 is rated at a Reserve Capacity [RC] of 115 minutes @ 75 amps.
Our present battery is the Exide Model E3600, and has an RC of 110 minutes @ 75 amps. In comparison, the Trojan T105 has RC of 115 minutes @ 75 amps, the same as the Crown.

American Battery gave us a price of $92.95/each for the Crown CR-225. Sam's Club in San Diego sells an Exide Champion deep cycle battery for $62/each.

Tomorrow we will go visit Sam's Club in order to determine the specification of their deep cycle battery. Wow! A lot of running around to buy Mr. Sunny's new batteries!

6PM - Escondidido Nite Camp.
We've made our Nite Camp in a quiet section of the City of Escondido. MsTioga's Camp is in back of a car dealer, and there are two other RVs camped on this street too.



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Thursday, November 29, 2007

7AM - Invited for pancakes this morning!
Yesterday afternoon there were two people walking high on the hill behind our Peg Leg Camp. As they descended, I walked over to meet them. They are Tony & Dicky, who came from Holland many years ago to live here in the USA.

Tony and Dicky are very interesting people who have been RVing for a long time. In their younger years they ocean kayaked on the Pacific coast off California and Baja California.

Tony came over see what I was doing this morning as I tilted Mr. Sunny's solar panels. Then he invited me for a pancake breakfast. Isn't that the greatest thing?
Dicky and Tony.


1PM - Reader Chris.
A big 5th wheel and diesel truck pulled up and parked near MsTioga. Soon a smiling fellow came walking up and introduced himself as Chris, who has been reading our blog for a long time.

Chris comes from the State of Washington where it is cold winter now. Chris loves to boondock and dry camp the same as we do on the TiogaRV Team!
Chris from Washington State.


3PM - Washing MsTioga.
We have gotten just a bit behind in washing MsTioga. This afternoon we washed MsTioga's front end all the way back to her doors!
George washes MsTioga.




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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

8:30AM - Going out for breakfast!
Our new friend Jim that we met yesterday, has emailed an invitation for breakfast. Man-O-Man! We drove in Jim's pickup truck to a place with an "eat" sign in front. Jim said, "This is where the locals go for breakfast."

We talked about a zillion things during breakfast. Then Jim drove around Borrego Springs, telling about the stuff going on in town. Jim has stayed here for a few months in each of the past several years.
George, Jim and MsTioga after breakfast.


2PM - Peg Leg.
There is a place where RVs may make their Camp called Peg Leg. Dune buggies and ATVs may not go into Peg Leg, but are allowed in a great deal of the rest of the Anza-Borrego Park.

MsTioga and The Team have come to Peg Leg and made our Camp here. Our new friend Jim is camping next to us.
Monument to Peg Leg.


View of RVs camping in Peg Leg from the hill.



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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

7AM - Birthday Boy is 70 today!
Hi everybody! Today is the beginning of my 71st year. And everything is working great! I have no aches or pains. I am soooooooo lucky!

I'm able to go out on hikes with my pal, Little Mavicito. Sometimes we walk real far too! Climbing up on MsTioga's roof is no problem. I've got a lot to be thankful for on this my 70th birthday!
Birthday Boy putting up Mr. Sunny's panels.


1PM - A day of contemplation.
Each year on my birthday [and in some years, several days after my birthday], I've written down my goal for the following year. I'm still contemplating this year's goal.

My annual goals are listed in the last webpage of my values.


Contemplating in the desert.


2PM - Jim Wroten comes to call.
Up drove a small white pickup truck. Jim was wondering about our Mr. Datastorm's antenna. And then he recognized MsTioga and George. Wow! [We love to be recognized! ]

Jim and I have a lot in common. We are both solo vagabonds and have a lot of other stuff in common too.
Jim Wroten visits in MsTioga.


4:45PM - Staying for a 2nd Nite Camp.
Just past sundown, Little Mavicito saw the red sky, and rushed out to capture MsTioga in the fading lite.

It seems as though we are staying at this same spot for a 2nd Nite Camp! Chicken enchilada and refried beans for supper!
MsTioga at sundown.




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Monday, November 26, 2007

8AM - Changing satellite day.
This morning we phoned Motosat [our internet service provider] to ask for our satellite to be changed. We need a satellite that covers Mexico.

Mr. Datastorm is always a bit nervous when changing satellites.
Tioga, George and Mr. Datastorm changing satellites.


8:30AM - Randy and Diana.
MsTioga heard a knock on her door. Readers Randy and Diana had dropped by to say, "Hi!"

We have a lot in common with Randy and Diana. We all love to make our Camps away from RV campgrounds!

Randy and Diana.


10AM - Mr. Datastorm is on SatMex5!
We got a phone call from Motosat, and they told us that Mr. Datastorm has been transferred to SatMex5, our new satellite.

Mr. Datastorm and Ms. GQ went thru the commissioning procedure together. Commissioning is done online. Our commission went thru sooooooo easily!

With our new satellite, we will be able to travel all over Southern California and into Mexico without worries about satellite coverage!


11:30AM - Anza-Borrego.
MsTioga and The Team first visited Anza-Borrego in March, 2005. Would you like to take a peek about that visit?


3PM - Blown away by desert beauty.
Little Mavicito took a pano pic of the gorgeous desert of Anza-Borrego, and says that he is "blown away" by this gorgeous place!

We have made our Nite Camp near the distant hills seen at the right side of this pic.

Anza-Borrego in the afternoon.




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Sunday, November 25, 2007

7AM - Mr. Datastorm not online again.
For the past two days Mr. Datastorm has been able to be online in the evening. However, in the morning the satellite does not let us online! It is frustrating.

This morning, Mr. Sunny tilted his panels and Little Mavicito went outside to take a pic of George and Tioga in the sunshine. Afterwards, we found out that the satellite was not operating right! Wow!

We would have to move to a more northerly location and try again.
George and Tioga at our Nite Camp site.


9AM - American Legion Camp.
We traveled down from the mountain of our Nite Camp. There is a beautiful range of mountains to the north. We came to an American Legion post with a sign which read, "RV Camping for Veterans." So, we pulled in to this campsite and Mr. Datastorm tried again to go online.

This try Mr. Datastorm was able to find his satellite, but the signal was too weak to lock on. Man-O-Man! We are going north a little more and try again.

10:30AM - Borrego Springs.
We are in the small Town of Borrego Springs in a lot near a launderette. Mr. Datastorm went up and found his satellite, but had trouble locking on. Finally, after about 30 minutes of knocking on the satellite trying to get permission to go online, we finally made it! Lord!

Our plan is to remain in the desert until we are able to change over to SatMex5, a satellite that has a good footprint for where we are now. Tomorrow morning, we will be able to phone Motosat [our internet service provider] to request this change over.

2PM - Circle Suds.
The name of the launderette near our Camp is "Circle Suds." The 'circle' comes from the traffic circle of the nearby intersection. We did our laundry at Circle Suds, and it only cost $3.25 for a wash and dry.

A lady customer who only spoke Spanish was doing her wash, and we had a nice conversation with her. First time using Spanish since we left Mexico last April.

4:30PM - Borrego Springs Nite Camp.
MsTioga and The Team did not feel that we should make our Nite Camp in what appears to be the center of town. So, we headed northeast and found a quiet place alongside a road. Actually, nearly everywhere out here is a quiet place.




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Saturday, November 24, 2007

8AM - Mr. Datastorm is lost.
This morning we wanted to go online and work on the "Yesterday/Tomorrow" project. When Mr. Datastorm put up his dish, he could not even find his own satellite! Wow!

We decided to head northeast figuring that this direction would take us farther under the satellite footprint for Horizon One [our satellite].

9AM - Sycamore Canyon.
MsTioga was climbing into the mountains when we came to the Sycamore Canyon turnoff. A dirt road took us to a nice high view where we could see for a zillion miles.

Mr. Datastorm went up, and could not find his satellite again. This is how it is when we are near the edge of our satellite footprint. Mr. Datastorm has a lot of experiences in this situation. Just to check himself, Mr. Datastorm went up to find SatMex5 [the satellite that we use when in Mexico] and had no problem locking on SatMex5.

We made breakfast of pancakes, egg, bacon and sausage. Then continued on traveling northeast.
MsTioga and The Team in Sycamore Canyon.

11:30AM - The Town of Ramona.
We came to Ramona, and filled up with propane and fresh water. Then we went grocery shopping. While we were in the grocery, Mr. Datastorm tried once more to find his satellite. This time Mr.Datastorm found Horizon One. However, the signal was too weak to lock on and be online.

1PM - Camped in Santa Ysabel.
We made a Day Camp in the Town of Santa Ysabel. There is a bakery here, and George wants to take a peek!

Mr. Datastorm found his satellite here in Santa Ysabel, and we are online now. Man-O-Man!

For much of the morning, MsTioga has been traveling thru the area of the gigantic fire of a couple of weeks ago. This fire scorched a zillion miles. We saw burned out homes, cars and trucks. So many trees were destroyed, you would not believe!


3:30PM - Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
We have made our Nite Camp inside the Anza-Borrego Desert. It is a gorgeous day with blue sky and not one single cloud.

Mr. Datastorm found his satellite and locked on with no trouble!


George and Tioga in Anza-Borrego.


Supper Tonite!
Thanks to Mimi and John's wonderful care packages of food, we are eating a fabulous Thanksgiving Supper tonite. Turkey, potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, special green beans, stuffing and pumpkin pie! Wow! We are soooooooo thankful!




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