Tuesday, February 27, 2018

No Rodents or Elephants!

Over the past few years we have seen the increasing popularity of LED lights on RVs.  The lights on the underside of the main awning makes good sense to me.  The color lights, blinking light show, strobe lights never did.

Until I learned another reason for them. I have long said that you learn something everyday in this lifestyle.  There is more to the 'bling than meets the eye.  While engaged in conversation at an infrequent happy hour (for us) at Marj and George's. Rick and Cath talked about all the damage that he had on his truck due to rodents.

Some rascals crawled up under his truck and chewed on some wires and it was a mess.  Before it was all over, it caused several thousand dollars worth of damage.

The conversation moved to LED lights under the truck and how that would keep the rodents from climbing up into the harness and wiring and all.


I thought LED lights under the vehicles and rig were for cosmetic purposes primarily.

I was lamenting about our neighbors lights a few weeks ago while we were camped at Catalina State Park.  They were across from us with the majestic  Catalinas in the background.  I was prepared to enjoy the sunset bouncing off the spectacular Catalina Mountains when I noticed our neighbors had raised the hood on their car and hung a mechanics light.

And it was right in line with our sight of view of the mountains!

Ugh!  What was going on there?  So much for that idea!

Fast forward a couple of weeks later to our time here in Agave Gulch Campground (otherwise know as the Davis-Monthan AFB FamCamp, and we were at one of those infrequent but fun happy hours with friends.

Rick was talking about how badly some rodents had crawled up under his Ford F-150 and chewed us a wiring harness.  It was pretty bad.  As in $2500 bad.  It cost him that much to get it fixed at dealer.  Since then he and another friend we were with - George - have both used LED lights to ward off rodents.

I told my brother about it and he was a bit skeptical.  So much so that he said, "No rodents now and probably no elephants...?".   Right.  But then he wasn't paying to get the wiring redone on his F-150.

It got us to thinking and the light bulb went on.  After all these years, I thought the rope LED lights under RV's were just the latest bling on the market.  I didn't realize they served a useful purpose.

After coming to that realization we started talking about doing a rope LED perimeter for our coach to keep the buggers (and rodents away.  I started at Amazon and found a number of varieties.  Pam was a Costco and sent a picture of this to me.
We decided we'd get enough lengths to circle the Roadrunner and if we didn't like it, we'd return them.
I kept the boxes and the parts that came with it.  Each box had a bag of rope light holders to attach it to a surface like a fence or building or something of that nature.  I didn't need any of those to spread it out on the ground.
It also came with a controller and a remote.  I had a five foot extension cord to plug it into the pedestal and then connect the controller which was connected to the first rope light extension.  

Shortly before dark, we turned on the lights and set them to the strobe mode.  It looked pretty cool.  Pam looked out the window after about 30 minutes and notice the light beams bouncing off the side of our neighbors' RV's.  Not too sure how much they were appreciating that, so I quickly got the remote and set it to a constant light.
We were satisfied with the result and think we'll keep them.

Another consideration then became how to store them when we pack up and move.  We looked for some type of cord reel at Home Depot and came up with this:
I wound the entire connected length of almost 100 feet onto it and it fit.  It was a close fit, but one reel will work when it is time to pack up and move to another site.

Hopefully we will not see any rodents under the Roadrunner.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hiking the Nature Trail at Catalina Park

Catalina State Park has some great trails for hiking.  The one we chose is the Nature Trail.  It's a 3 mile wake from our camp site to the Natural Trail and back.  We picked a warm and sunny day.
It was only a few hundred yards on the trail before we stopped to snap a photo of the Catalina Mountains in the distance.
The desert was quiet except for the four or five birds that were chirping and cooing and making their regular morning greetings to each other.
The saguaro cactus is a monument to itself.  This old beauty is several hundred years old.
The trail began near our campsite and meandered through the wash to the trail head where we took the turn up the hill marked "Nature Trail."
There were a few signs telling of the indigenous animals including this display and info about the mountain lion.  Yikes!  We were ok without a personal appearance...
Years from now we will remember this selfie among the many we have taken over the years.  
The signs appeared to mostly be new and made of sturdy metal.  The information on them told the story of the of the creatures living in the area.
The mark of a well done display is enough information to explain things and hit the highlights.  These markers accomplished that.  I didn't care about the latin name of the desert dwellers or the biological history of the palo verde tree.  I just want the common name of the flora and fauna and maybe a few tidbits.
From the top of the Nature Trail, we could see the Catalina's in the distance and the rest of the beautiful scenery.
It was great day to go for hike.  Hopefully there will be more to follow.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Roadrunner Reflections: One Month of Roadrunner Travels Dec 2017-Jan 2018

Its feels like we have been on the road for at least six months.  Christmas with Kelly and Jon and the grandkids seems like ages ago.  Time with Adam and Melissa even seems longer.

But now, we are in the middle of our winter travels.  We look at the map and it seems as if we have been racing across the country.  But not really.  We wanted to see friends and family first before we settle in for a few weeks at a couple of different places.

When seeing friends and family, its not unlike other visits in that we don't want to overstay our time.  Most people are working and we are not.  At least not full time. A few days is usually enough time to catch up and check in with folks.

And we've had plenty of adventures and time for pondering the future and the past.  In three months we will have completed nine years on the road.  We have a ton of memories and recollections from a thousand corners of the country.  It's been quite a ride.  We have no idea how long we are going to be able to do this but the over-riding feeling from it all is:  thankfulness.

We are so thankful to be doing this.  A gentlemen echoed those thoughts a few years ago as when he said, "We are lucky to be doing this".  True words.  We are truly glad we navigated through all the uncertainty and took the risk to jump into this life style.

It has been rewarding and growing time for both of us and we have loved it.  If we were to step away from this life, we'd miss it for sure.  Gladly, there is no end in sight for us and we are happy to work through timing and our feelings of how much time to spend with family and friends.

We're off to a great start in our first month of traveling for the 2017-2018 season.

Thanks for joining us on our 2018 Roadrunner Travels!~