Here’s a fresh and perky start to your day . . .
Try showering and washing your hair in a shower house with no heat when it’s about 30 degrees outside. I’m stepping lively in the shower stall trying to thaw my shampoo and conditioner, which I very unwisely left overnight in my tote bag in the PTV. The conditioner refuses to thaw. I’m outta here!
It’s 10-clock sharp as the crew and I pull out of Caballo Lake State Park, NM, and turn south on Interstate 25. Taking the shortcut to Deming on Highway 26, we quickly arrive in the little town of Hatch. No stopping at The Pepper Pot this morning! I pull over at the post office for a few minutes and then we continue to Interstate 10 and turn west.
It’s a beautiful day for travel . .. cool, clear and sunny, and the traffic is light.
The mountain slopes are covered in snow. We’re almost to Lordsburg before the ground is clear. Bridget and Spike are excellent travelers now that they’ve got a few miles under their harnesses. Immediately they settle down and I don’t hear anything from them for three hours of easy driving over mostly flat landscape with mountains on all sides. I see some vineyards and groves of pecan and walnut trees near Bowie, Arizona.
At one o’clock I wake up the crew so we can take a break at a rest stop. There’s a nice, dog exercise area and both Bridget and Spike make the necessary deposits.
Back on the interstate, it’s only another two hours until we reach out destination. We go through Texas Canyon with its strange rock formations and piles of boulders that look like they will crash down onto the road at any moment!
What is our destination, one might ask?
Why it’s Love’s Truck Stop in Benson, Arizona. The place to be . . . when you’re on your way to somewhere else. It’s like a small village with a huge gas and diesel island, of course, and a Subway (no surprise there!), a pizza joint, and lots and lots of trucks! We cruise around the huge parking area (I think I read online that there are 72 places to park.) And I think all seventy-two places are on a slope.
The crew knows we’re quitting for the day, so they start The Canine Chorus. I stop just anywhere, drop them out of the PTV, and walk them around on the pavement. Once they have a chance to sniff around, they go back in the PTV and let me concentrate on finding a level spot.
Alas! Here it is! Our first camp since going solar!
The solar panel makes no noise at all on the highway!
Some of you have expressed an interest in knowing how the numbers look on the remote meter. I wish I could show it to you in a chart, but this will have to do. . .
3:27 pm . . . Solar panel 25.62v . . . Batteries 12.79v and 48.20Ah (Television on for 2 minutes, nothing but a Spanish station, so I turn it off.)
3:37 pm . . . Solar panel 25.78v . . . Batteries 12.72v and 48.80 Ah
3:47 pm . . . Solar panel 24.80v . . . Batteries 12.38v and 49.30 Ah
4:10 pm . . . Solar panel 25.09v . . . Batteries 12.21v and 50 Ah
4:40 pm . . . Solar panel 24.16v . . . Batteries 12.33v and 50.70 Ah (Turned laptop on.)
5:10 pm . . . Solar panel 19.48v . . . Batteries12.23v and 50.80 Ah (Laptop still on.)
Tomorrow the crew and I will continue west on I-10 and then follow a secondary road through Sells and Why in order to reach Ajo, the area in which Al and Kelly and their canines of http://thebayfieldbunch.com are boondocking.
Now I’m going to turn off this laptop, lie down for a while with the crew, and listen to the horns blowing, sirens screeching, engines revving, and truck brakes farting. Not as good as listening to ocean waves or sandhill cranes, but, hey . . . it’s FREE!