Friday, October 31, 2008

Readers write about hard times.
Over the past few weeks I've received email from readers who are going thru hard times. Some have seen their savings invested in stocks reduced in value, sometimes by half or even more. Some readers write to me about not being able to afford to live in their homes, and considering living in an RV as I do. They want to know how they can do that. But the main thing that comes thru in these emails, is worry and fear.

If a few readers write about things like this, there must be many others worrying too. I wondered what I could do to help. And I came up with this idea.

Note: If the video does not start, click on the "arrow" triangle.

8AM - High view of La Laguna Santa Maria.
As MsTioga climbed out of the crater which forms the bowl for La Laguna Santa Maria, Little Mavicito kept hopping out to take pics of the the gorgeous lake. Finally, at the last place to take a lake pic, he captured the view below!
La Laguna de Santa Maria.

12 Noon - Burger crazy.
You may know my friend and reader Terry Taylor who is the author of Camping Journal. Terry also publishes a blog and has been driving me crazy lately by visiting burger joints and publishing pics of the burgers she buys. Then Terry writes me email so that I will look at those burger pics.

Below is a pic of a burger that Terry ate recently at In-N-Out Burger.
In-N-Out: Double-Double, animal style.

So, when MsTioga and The Team entered the City of Tepic today and happened on a Burger King, of course my heart leaped with joy! A Whopper at Burger King does not compare to an In-N-Out burger. However, my Whopper was heaven for me!
My Burger King Whopper.

Readers Richard & Donna wrote email asking to see my Burger King Whopper. Richard & Donna, this one's for you!


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Thursday, October 30, 2008

What happened to George today?
Reader Walt posted a question in ShoutBox. "Hey I wonder what happened to George today? Think he is enjoying the Lake and fell in?" Maybe this is what happens when I stay in a place that is soooooooo tranquil. I forget to make a post!

This morning I was messing around with the virtual reality Nikon camera that my friend and reader Mike Fousie gifted to me. I had not used this camera for quite awhile, and lost the software when my computer was stolen. I took some pics with it, and have asked Mike to send me the software.

During the afternoon, I went to the Viejo Aztlan restaurant for fish fillet. That is their best food.

Mañana MsTioga and The Team will definitely pullout from this lovely lakeside camp and head to Tepic. We want to arrange for some work to be done on MsTioga. Repair or replace the dash heater, change transmission fluid. Stuff like that. Nothing serious. Just maintenance.

Are you thinking about staying at Viejo Aztlan?

If you are here are some hints:
  • Arrive on a weekday. There are only two level places for RVs. On weekends other visitors may be occupying these two places.
  • I had no big problem going thru the gate with MsTioga, who is 27 feet long. If you are much longer than that, may be a problem. Truck and trailer combos may be a problem.
  • The road down to the lake is narrow but doable. I saw a tour bus on this road.
  • I was paying 50 pesos per nite [less than $5US].


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We are staying at the lake!
This morning an email was received from Reader Nell who told of her experience with a propane gage similar to MsTioga's. Nell told us that when her gage was also at the 9 O'clock position, that 3-4 gallons of propane remained in the tank. Only when the gage was in the 7 O'clock position was the tank seriously low.

So, we talked it over at our Team Meeting this morning. We are staying at the lake!

Oscar works for Viejo Aztlan where we are Camped. Oscar told us of a little grocery store just down the road where we could buy bread, vegetables and fruit. So, we walked down there and went shopping.
Grocery at the lake.

7PM - What do you do all day?
We received two emails from readers who asked what there was to do all day here at our Santa Maria Laguna Camp?

Well, this afternoon was spent chatting with Oscar who is the gardener here and his friend who drives a taxi. Maybe for three hours we talked with these two guys. Oscar's kids were there too playing "Tasos", a game using the tokens that come with potato chips.

Now it is the evening, and I've just returned to MsTioga. Time for preparing supper. Fried chicken tonite!


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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Is it odd to live solo?
As I am traveling here in Mexico, I meet tons of people. There is one question that EVERYBODY asks me.

"Are you alone?"

In order to avoid the odd looks and further wondering questions, I've made up a story which goes:

"My wife doesn't like to travel in Mexico. She is afraid of living here in an RV. So we live separate, and I live in Mexico."

Sometimes I follow up my fictional wife story with,

"But I do have a good friend traveling with me. He is a bird, a parakeet. His name is Boid. Would you like to meet him?"

This fictional wife answer seems to satisfy everybody. However, what is odd and suspicious about a person traveling alone? For me, traveling solo is a wonderful thing. When I want to remain someplace, I remain. When I want to leave, I leave. There is no other opinion with which to deal. Just a very, very happy thing!

Sometimes I do not do the dishes right after eating. Sometimes the carpet remains to be swept. And sometimes MsTioga's outside is not washed. There is no discussion, debate, concern. Whatever I do is OK, because I most always approve of what I do.

Just for fun I did a Google search for; "Living solo." Wow! Incredible! Hmmmm? There seems to be a big interest in "Living solo."

3PM - The great propane mystery!
We are low on propane. There is no propane leak, or anything like that. I just did not fill MsTioga's propane tank. We passed several propane stations too.

Team Members when asked why Jorge did not fill the propane tank when he had the chance replied; "I don't know. It's a mystery!"

We would like to stay longer at Santa Maria Lake. But as you may see in the pic below of the propane gage, we are really low. MsTioga has never had a lower gage reading than this. So, we will leave this lovely place in the morning.
Do you see the red indicator on the left?


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Monday, October 27, 2008

Laguna Santa Maria is quiet at nite!
At nite there is hardly a car that passes our Camp. One of the things that I look for most of all in my nite camps is that they are quiet. This lakeside camp is one of the most quiet of all.

And it is so dark here too. At about 4am I stuck my head out MsTioga's door and was able to see the constellation Orion pointing at the Big Dipper.

Do you love to look at the stars? In September, 2004, reader Scott Squires sent me a gift. "NightWatch - A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe." This is a wonderful book which I use a lot. Being that I am living so close to nature, I feel very connected to the nite sky and the Universe. Maybe that is what brings forth in me the interest in planets, stars and the constellations.

10AM - Benito and the lake.
Little Mavicito and I went down to the edge of the lake to take some pics. Nearby, a man was reading his newspaper and he walked over to talk. His name is Benito, and he wanted to know about the MsTioga's mine mural.

As we talked, it came out that he is the owner of the park and restaurant property where we are camped. His name is Benito and he came to live here 30 years ago. At that time, there was only one home here. Now, the lake is ringed with homes.
Benito, pioneer lake front owner.

Lake Santa Maria on a gorgeous morning.


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Sunday, October 26, 2008

La Laguna de Santa Maria del Oro.
We have made a Camp next to the lake of Santa Maria del Oro. Our Camp in inside a camping area, the only place that we could find to park MsTioga. It is not known if this is a free campsite or not.

It is a lovely day. The water is only a few feet away from our Camp.
Our Camp at Santa Maria del Oro Lake.

4PM - Camping at the lake.

Some young guys camping near us told that it costs 30 pesos [$3US] per nite to stay here. We are going to stay in this park.
We like this place!

7:30PM - Beauty of the lake.
In the evening, the colors of the lake are beautiful. The sounds are beautiful too. Dancing music just across from our Campsite.

We wish that you were here!
Santa Maria lake in the evening.


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Saturday, October 25, 2008

RVing life!
There is nothing better for me than living in an RV. The day begins and only good things to do are on the agenda. There is no pressure. No hurrying. Playing with Little Boid. Listening to stuff on the XM radio. Searching the news on the internet.

Walking around the neighborhood of my Camp is a must do. Who knows what I may find on my walk? I love to meet people and strike up a conversation. People in Mexico seem to love to chat. In fact, I believe that chatting is the most favorite thing to do for the people of Mexico. Interestingly, I am really not a chatting kind of guy. But here in Mexico, I definitely am. And I do not know why!

Music is everywhere in Mexico. For some reason that I do not fully comprehend, people in Mexico love to play music and play it loud. Sharing music is the custom. That music flavors my life in Mexico, and somehow I feel that since I am not able to share that music with you, that you do not fully understand and feel what I feel. Sometimes I have used my camera [Little Mavicito] to record music and would like to play that recording for you while you read my post. Maybe someday I will figure out how to do that!

There is another thing that I hear a great deal in Mexico. It is laughter. Tons of laughter. I wish that my Spanish was better so that I could understand what the laughter was about. Nevertheless, I enjoy listening to that laughter sooooooo much!

Shakespeare in Love.
As I travel in Mexico, my eyes are open for DVDs for sale in WalMart, Bodega Auerrera or anyplace where legal copies of DVDS are sold. I bought "Shakespeare in Love", which is a play within a play; the inside play being "Romeo and Juliet." Oh! What a marvelous movie is "Shakespeare in Love!" And what great acting. Especially Gwyneth Paltrow.

This afternoon I watched this movie, and the ending got the tears to flow! At the ending, Viola is promised to another man and leaves forever for her new life in America. Her heartbroken Will [Shakespeare] begins to pen "The Twelfth Night" imagining that Viola is shipwrecked and cast away on an island.
Shakespeare in Love


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Friday, October 24, 2008

Nothing to fear but fear itself.
When I took off on my vagabonding journey in June, 2003, there was only one thing that bothered me. Where would I make my Nite Camp? Everyday that same worry crept up into my mind and lurked there. This was not a good thing.

During the day I would be looking at maps and keeping my eyes open for a possible Camp. Even during the early morning I was concerned about where I would sleep. This concern about where I would sleep somewhat spoiled my daily trips. It was not until an entire year had gone by that I began to realize that every nite I found a place to sleep. And maybe I should stop worrying about finding my Nite Camp.

Of course there is another fear. That is the fear of criminals bothering me in some remote boondock site. I remember thinking about what a criminal would be doing way out in the forest? It would be a pretty sorry criminal trying to make a living where there are hardly any people. In fact, I have never during my six years of vagabonding ever been bothered by any criminal out in the forest, or anywhere else either.

One evening during my first few years of vagabonding, I was Camped along the Illinois River in southwest Oregon. Around 9pm a car drove up and parked close to MsTioga. I could see a man inside the car smoking a cigarette. After awhile, he walked over to MsTioga and knocked on the door. Opening the window [I was not about to open the door] I asked what he wanted, and he claimed to want to sell me gold that he had panned out of the river. I asked this guy if he thought that I was going to open my door and begin negotiating to buy his gold in the middle of the nite? He went away.

It is in cities where I have had some experiences which caused me to move. Once in San Diego, California I was Evening Camped in Mission Bay Park on a Friday evening. A bunch of young people began having a party near my Camp. It became a pretty loud party with music turned up to maximum. I decided to move Camp. That is one of the wonderful things about living in an RV. Wheels! Love those wheels.

As the years passed I developed the attitude about fear that I have today. I believe that fear spoils everything. I am prudent about where I go and where I Camp. I don't let fear mess with my sleep. If I am concerned for some reason, I go to my cabinet and bring out my machete and lay it on the table. It works for me!
No fear now!

12 Noon - Biking and breakfast.
Mr. Trek took us on a bike ride around our neighborhood. We found Ixtlán to be a very commercial city. Lots of welding shops for truck repair and welding. We passed a steel warehouse with a large crane for moving steel.

When we returned to MsTioga we found that somebody had moved a horse to graze in the field behind our Camp.
Grazing in a field of flowers.

Since it is the afternoon, it must be time for breakfast!


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