Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Memorial Day weekend progress

Continued doing some test fitting over Memorial Day weekend and beyond.

(Monday set up Ed's computer and went to Nick & Thin's party)

This is the camping quilt in it's "storage bag" it should be in when not on trips...

And this is it compacted up. First time getting it in the bag was sort of like wrestling a greased pig :D Very slippery, probably to help get it stuffed in small; future I think the key will be to use cinch straps (sort of didn't realize it came with one) to help wrangler it smaller before feeding the bag.

Saturday kept plugging away on small things on the Jeep -- neatend up some the USB wires and such taping them down and hiding them better along the top of the dash.

The new "hook" for the microphone is just a Nite Ize heavy-duty reusable twist tie that I cut the end off and made into a hook. It wraps around the mount for the ham radio head and is taped down. Has been working perfect!

Yeah, things could look better but I figure with the Jeep neatness counts more than beauty.

Bought an umbrella that clamps on to my chair for some portable shade in the desert, etc.

My main camping box that has my stove, cookware, dishes, fire tending stuff, etc.

Woobie, quilt, and camping pillow fit in a grocery bag. Ordered a fleece sleeping bag liner I'll use for a sheet since it seems to pack up smaller than my regular fleece sheets. Between these and being able to wear sweat pants and a long sleeve tee shirt or sweat shirt that should give me a lot of options through the temperature ranges well down into the 40s.

Bought a sticker with my ham radio call sign, and another saying I'm listening on one of the national ham radio calling frequencies.

Then mounted them on magnetic backing so I can take them on and off -- fit in the bumper perfect where you could put optional lights...

Except I also ratchet-strapped my recovery boards to the spare -- and they perfectly cover them :/

I've never had a need for them. What I know of my 4x4 with front and rear lockers I am hard pressed to imagine what I would need them for...but I own them and somehow I'll end up taking a big trip without them and needing them...

I guess they'll do on the lower drivers side of the bumper...

Ok, I'll probably still keep playing with the organization a bit...but this is most of what I need.

Need another grocery bag of actual groceries, and put my chair in.

The red gas can on the bottom I have a strap-mount on order that will let me put it on the tire; but I'll probably carry it out west and back inside to minimize the risk of theft. These "RotoPax" gas cans and accessories are really cool and high quality but expensive as fuck.

Got the National Park stickers on. Basic standard is they're in the order I passed through an entrance gate. Don't recall one for Capitol Reef. Didn't do Canyonlands because we might have been in bits and pieces but never through the gate.

Next trip we'll pickup Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion in Utah and maybe the north rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona and/or Black Canyon in Colorado.

Time to move some trailers around...no messing around :D

Tuesday...camera filters a lot out but if you look in the distance you can see the brownish haze; it is smoke from a forest fire in Nova Scotia that is getting blown out to sea and sucked clockwise by a high pressure system and pumped into New England from the southeast!

Smelled "plastic fire" sort of; wonder if it was essentially picking up pollutants so you smell stuff you normally don't.

And with the chair inside.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Well, I had a half a productive day...

Got going early on Saturday ahead of a heavy rain storm that was predicted (3-4", think we ended up with 1.5" here but the Taylor Swift concert in Foxboro got absolutely drenched).

Couple trips to Harbor Freight in Willimantic, because they had both size ammo cans in stock unlike Dayville was showing online. Once I knew the 50 cal size was the right one went back for more; and then took the Fusion to Putnam for an oil change and tire rotate.

So two things came together here.

First, after the tire change last weekend realized I wanted to pull the trigger on some [Safe Jack](https://safejacks.com/) accessories for my jacks to make them...safer. And also more verstaile.

Second, while I had the jacks in an electrician's bag and another kept my miscellaneous oils and parts and stuff...I would like a way to store them that they could be outside in the dew / rain when camping to make more room inside the Jeep.

Packed the main kit so the 6 ton jack is mostly upright -- I think that should keep it from leaking, or at least not leaking any worse than standing up (not that it currently leaks).

Boxes re-organized. Still have some more stuff to put in them, but it was about 1pm at this point and I was getting hungry -- I had skipped breakfast in addition to the shower!

LOL...of course since hte seats lean backwards you can't stack the boxes up square :D

I figure these can also act as "sand bags" if I'm somewhere with a tent (or the pop-up outhouse/shower) that I can't peg it down.

So the down side of heading out early on Saturday, I'm thinking I didn't take a shower -- which usually means I didn't take my morning pills, which means this time of year I probably didn't take my Claritin. Which would explain why I desperately wanted a nap by Saturday afternoon and still felt out of sorts on Sunday even after a shower and pills :(

So didn't get much else done, but then as I'm typing this up with one of my usual YouTube channels on TV I look up and I'm like, "I've stayed at that hotel!" (I knew they had to be near Richfield from the route they were on, then they mentioned the city name as I was thinking the hotel looked familiar!)

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Wheeling at the Farm 2023

More photos to follow...but first verified my Spot still works for tracking :)

At least Search & Rescue will have a last 10 minute location if I go missing while it's on. Going to try a new way to mount it to the A-pillar in the Jeep and see if I still get good coverage.

(And videos! But I don't feel like processing them tonight :) )

Owned the Jeep for 3-1/2 years, finally realized the GPS has a memory when I wasn't looking forward to entering the address of The Farm again...**sigh** bottom one should be the destination :)

Heading out on the Green run. Small group this year, several who signed up had to back out for various reasons. Sean in the lead, me tailgunning.

Jeeping the old fashion way...you know with GPS, Ham Radio, iPad, GMRS radios, cameras, etc.

After lunch Raj left. Sean, Me, and Jerry headed down one of the long green trails to map it better and see how much work it would be to turn a short blue section green in order to make a complete loop that is (a) Green and (b) Stock Friendly for future years. The main green isn't bad, but once it goes blue it got rough. But my guess is there is only a couple stones that look like they may be challenges to work around -- a lot of the rest is maybe trimming turns wider, pulling a few smaller diff grabbing stones that should winch out, and half a dozen stumps that could be cut down so you could roll a tire over them.

I don't mind talking people over obstacles, I don't want to body damage something like a stock Sahara.

*sigh*...the mechanic who does most of the work on my Jeep is an idiot. I'm the mechanic who does most of the work. After 3 years finally had the right combination to hit a sway bar bolt I put in backwards and destroyed a tire. I was hugging a stump and it pushed everything just right.

So got through that section and to a "rough" Green that required a lot of manuevering around large stumps. God as my witness, I thought I was completely clear and had a decent head of steam up when I saw my front fender go flying. I knock it loose once or twice a year, this stripped right off. I think it got "squeezed" where by tire was clearing a stump just fine, but it didn't.


Analyzing the situation the next morning, it was clear that top bolt was the culprit :/

So Sunday afternoon a new tool arrived -- playing with a magnet mount, solar-rechargeable, wireless backup camera but using it on the front bumper as a cheap trail cam:

Playing with it on the rock slider:

Time to build a better/easier holder for my Spot X than rubber bands. Also, the iPhone sure got confused by the LEDs indicating the backup camera (just sitting on my dash for reasons) was charging...that's definitely not the normal LED blue color they have.

Had some really dense cardboard they use for wrapping metal corners and stuff in shipping boxes.

Some of it was structural electrical, but then I put a decorative layer around it so it would be all black. Realized later I should've also wrapped the very top edge.

Piece of velcro to hold in place aroudn the tweeter on the dash.