September 18, 2019 – Border Binder

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Autumn is one of my favourite seasons here in Saskatchewan.

Sitting with my morning coffee and watching the trees begin a new transformation in preparation for the upcoming winter. I find it so calming and therapeutic. The leaves magically begin changing colours, and then gracefully fall to the ground.




The morning air is so crisp and fresh, which usually sparks our conversations on our morning walks to include homemade soups, hearty stews and of course, plans for our winter snowbird trip south.

Several of our Canucks On Wheels followers have sent us messages and asked if we would share what makes up our border binder.

Since it is now less than 30 days till we head south, and we are in snowbird prep mode, now would be a good time to share.

A little background for those of you wondering how our border binder started.

Travelling with anxiety can be difficult at the best of time. Now, crossing the border sends me (Becky) into a tailspin of what-ifs!

What if I didn’t have a document that can be requested! What if I lost our credit card or even worse our passports!

This says it all!

Before our first snowbird trip back in 2014, I had all our documents stuffed in a big brown envelope. It held everything that I thought we needed, but I started to get anxious that I didn’t have everything or that I could lose something important. Hence, why we put together this border binder, it contains copies of all our pertinent documents that could be requested by border security officers at the border.

I decided a binder with a zipper would be the most logical, and bright pink would be easy to spot if misplaced.

Get a binder with a zipper

Plastic sheet protectors work great for keeping everything organized.

Plastic sheet dividers

Here is the list of the documents we have in our collection.

Continue reading

September 12, 2019

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Woke up to another wet and cool morning, we had light showers on and off last night. It appears the nights are getting colder and I would prefer not having to run our propane gulping furnace very often. These furnaces are definitely not energy efficient and use a ton of propane. On the plus side, Mother Nature has other options to help keep us warm….. I have been handed the ability to self combust, yup that’s right, these wicked hot flash and night sweat. Seriously does it ever end? I swear I have had these sucks for 10 years now!

Funny, I always wished for a smoking hot body, menopause was not what I was thinking!!!

Last month I started working for our local campground. Staff were heading back to university and were going to be short-staffed till close up. It appears that my temporary fill-in will now be turned into a seasonal position next May 1-Oct 1. Perfect for us RV snowbirds as we head south middle of October, and are back home middle of April.

One month in., and I am enjoying it. Meeting new people from all over the world, I met a couple from Switzerland and a gentleman from Bermuda today. I love listening to their travel stories and hearing about their families.

Today’s project, the factory mounted the spare tire on the rear trailer’s bumper.

When we boondock, there are usually quite a few dips and washes we need to maneuver through. Our trailer is 38 ft, and that darn spare tire has been skidded a few times because it hangs so low. Today Myron relocated it, so now it is mounted just behind our rear trailer axle out of the way.

Spare tire has a new home

Besides truck and trailer maintenance, Myron has been busy this summer with his upholstery work and as a relief semi driver. It’s funny how things work out. He gets a call one day asking if he is interested in doing some relief driving. Lots of businesses don’t want to hire anyone full time as they may not have enough work for a full-time Employee, so hiring on a relief driver works perfectly for their business and us as well.

🍷, have a great one!

Condensation

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We soon discovered being in our Rv for an extended amount of time, the one thing we needed to carefully watch for was condensation. It will cause havoc in a camper.

Our friends Tom and Lori had an issue with condensation, and they strongly recommend we invest in a dehumidifier.

Pro breeze dehumidifier

These things are amazing. We purchased a large unit for our main living and kitchen area that holds 1500 Ml of liquid and then later purchased 2 small ones ( one for our bedroom and one for the basement solar compartment that hold 500ml each.

This past summer the humidity has been 85-99% so these units have done amazing collecting the liquid.

So we did our research, and discovered there are a few other things we could do daily that will help prevent condensation, so we thought we would share them with you.

Eliminate the source of the condensation as fast as possible!

Since we do most of our cook in our Rv, we alway use lids on our pots and have our stove exhaust fan running. This helps reduce the moisture in the air. (Remember to open your flap on the outside of your trailer or your stove exhaust will not work properly, ask me how I know, lol)

Showering is another contributor to condensation. We always have our bathroom fan running as this pulls the moisture out of the air. Immediately after our showers we use a shammy cloth to wipe down all our shower walls and use a squeegee to remove any left over water on our shower floor.

Roof vent covers

These install directly over your roof lids and allow you to leave your lid open in various weather conditions. Unless the wind is coming directly into our vents they always stay open, even and inch or so.

Dollar tree disposable moisturizer eliminators.

We place these in our closets, and in our cupboards. They are cheap and work great!

Indoor thermometer with wireless humidity level indicator.

We placed the 3 wireless units strategically in our rig, one in the basement garage near our water pump, one in the solar compartment, and our bedroom. Now we can monitor multiple areas at once.

If you are able, run your AC as this will also help to reduce the humidity level inside.

Cheers!!

Titan Missile Museum

Last winter we toured the Titan Missile Museum

Location: Sahuarita, Arizona

Cost: Adults $10.50, Seniors $ 9.50

What do you get: 1 hour guided tour of the former Titan II Missile Silo

This is a quote from their website

The Titan Missile Museum is the only remaining Titan II site open to the public, allowing you to re-live a time when the threat of nuclear war between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union was a reality.

The Titan II was capable of launching from its underground silo in 58 seconds and could deliver a nine megaton thermonuclear warhead to its target more than 6,000 miles (approximately 10,000 km) away in less than thirty minutes. For more than two decades, 54 Titan II missile complexes across the United States stood “on alert” 24 hours a day, seven days a week, heightening the threat of nuclear war or preventing Armageddon, depending upon your point of view.”

Here are some photos from our tour

A very educational tour, we highly recommend checking out the Titan Missile Museum.

Lippert Error LF Jack

It’s amazing how RVs have changed over the years. Our old Prowler 5th wheel had a manual crank levelling system on it, that drove us nuts trying to get level. Each corner had to be done separately, and this took time and patience, and our fridge was very picky, it had to be completely level to work properly.

With our Cougar we have been spoiled with our Lippert 4 point automatic levelling jacks! Just hit the button and it does everything for you, no guess work involved, just to be on fairly level ground.

Amazing system, until you hear that dreaded beeping noise, and the screen shows ” error LF jack”. Grrr, we tried everything and still that awful beeping and error LF Jack kept appearing on the screen. Thankful we have a manual mode override so we could get back on the road.

We found an article that said we had to reset the computer to clear the error code.

To do this we need the trailer still hooked to our truck, extending all jacks at least 6 inches. Then press and held the retract button until the jacks begin retracting. All of the jacks fully retract and clear the error.

Issue fixed!

Here are a few pictures from boondocking by Chirciaco Summit, California

(33.6738272, -115.7968396)

We sometimes have to do some fancy driving to get our rig to our boondocking spot, yes all the while I usually sit with my eyes covered! 🙈 The best views are sometimes the most awkward getting into.

Tuscan Rodeo Museum

When doing my research for the Tuscan area I accidentally came across this little gem of history.

The Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum is located in the historic Tucson Rodeo Ground.

Cost: $12.00 Adults, $ 9.00 for Seniors

We had the most amazing tour guide by the name of Bob. Bob was a wealth of information that made this tour so great.

A few displays set up of the Tuscan History.

They have quite the collection of saddles.

We even got to tour their tac room.

This Museum has over 100 horse drawn vehicles on display. Even a few that appeared in the Antique Road Show!

Here are a few pictures

This is a working wagon, it spends it winters here at the museum and then on the trails for the summers.

A fully functional mini steam model locomotive track, along with everything you could think of what Tucson would have looked like after the train station arrived.

Here is a little did you know!!!

Palm Springs Air Museum

While I was back home in Saskatchewan in February for the birth of our twin granddaughters, Myron stayed south with Bella and Rider. The weather was a lot cooler, with a lot more rain, so when the sun finally came out, it was time to toured the Palm Springs Air Museum.

Cost: $17.50 adults – $ 15.50 for age 65+

Corvina Beach, Salton Sea California

Now that we are back in the land of fast internet, I thought It was time to play catch-up with some of our winter adventures.

Friends of ours, Mike & Geri recommended we camp at Corvina Beach in the Salton Sea State Park on our way to the Palm Springs area.

We have passed this place a few times on our travels west, but never stopped. As always, their recommendations were correct, very cool place to spend a few nights.

Since it’s a state park, we had to pay to camp……Still a great price for a great view.

Location: California Hwy 111

COST: $10/night or $8.00 for over age 62

Note: self registration, need cash

A little foggy, but we still enjoyed our morning coffee view!

You can park right along the sea

The beach of the Sea has increased with all the water loss over the years. From a distance, the beach just looks like ordinary sand, until you start getting closer to it.

This was not sand we were see, but a beach made barnacles and bones!

Barnacles and bits of bone

Part of a fish skeletons

I found it very neat to walk down to the water and investigate the beach, Myron on the other hand said ‘No way”!

Since we were on the North East shore, and it was still cool in January there was no smell of decay. I don’t think I would want to stay there when the temp were high!

If you don’t know the history of the Salton Sea you can click here.

We even got to watch a few of these pass by.

Since we were there for a few days, we decided to do a little tour and check out Dos Palmas Reserve not far from our camp.

Location: Dos Palmas Spring Rd, Mecca, CA 92254

A short hike in to see the Palms.

we are getting closer

This one was cut down, very neat trunk system.

The fruits these trees produce

No hike is complete without a selfie!

Things are changing

What I am about to tell you is going to be a real shocker to a lot of you!

Last night we sat down for a long talk, and after much discussion Myron made the decision we needed to be on the road by 8:30 tomorrow morning!

Well, of course Becky laughed, as everyone knows, we are not the fastest moving couple, we are lucky if we can leave by 10 am and that is pushing it!

Well, this morning we were on the road by 8:19am…… No really, I am not kidding, we really were on the the road that early!!!

Oh stop laughing…. I even took a screen shot of our departure time, just so we had actual proof we did it!

But all joking aside, even with today being a short driving day to Las Vegas

we had quite the climb gets out of Laughlin as starting elevation is 520ft.

Highest point of our climb was 2,929 ft.

That’s a 2,409 ft climb…. Old Red did great as usual pulling our condo on wheels.

It’s getting hotter!

We left Bluewater Casino in Parker, AZ on Wednesday April 3rd, and arrived at the Tropicana Casino here in Laughlin, NV a few hours later.

We prefer this particular casino over the other free ones on the strip as they have water, sewer dump station, security, and access to their pool and hot tub, for $7.00/night or $35.00 for the week!

The weather has been great since we arrived, sunny 28 C/ 82 F with little to no wind.

Yesterday we thought it would be a good idea to do some early morning shopping before the temp started rising. This way we can leave Bella and Rider in the rv and not have to worry about one of us staying with them in the truck.

This year we seem to have a long list of please bring me back………

Blue jello ✅

Enchiladas Sauce ✅

Diaper Rash Cream ✅

Hair conditioner ✅

Margarita freezies ✅

Now with all these wonderful grandchilden we have, we just cant stop ourselves, it seems we are always scouting for something cute or cool for them!

Ok, ok……. we can’t forget a few items are also for us! 🤪

Wine ✅

GF Vodka ✅

We sure do get some odd looks from fellow shoppers when our cart is plum full of alcohol……You can always tell the Americans from the Canadians. The Canadians just look at us with a huge smile and a nod as they push their cart to the till, full of alcohol!!!

Booze is so cheap here compared to back home. My wine is anywhere from $1.99 – $3.00 /litre USA 🇺🇸 / $ 2.66-$4.01/litre Canadian 🇨🇦

Back on the road for us tomorrow. It will be another short drive as we only have to travel 148 km/ 92 miles to Viva Las Vegas!

Time to change our view

This is the coldest winter, and the most rain we have seen since we became snowbirds.

It rained for about 1-1/2 days, and walking the dogs was quite the messy situation, thankfully our friend Amy gave us some Pawz Rubber Boots to try out.

It does take two of us to put them on, but I must say they are amazing and do not fall off, thanks again Amy!

Even with all the rain and wind, we still enjoyed our time near Ajo.

A day trip down to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, with a stop at Why. AZ!

Why you ask? Why not! 😝

Spent a morning in Ajo at their 6th Annual Food Festival and Flea Market. The black bean brownie with mesquite flour was a hit with Myron, and we even came away with a few bargains from a garage sale. 😜

We had a couple of great hikes, and welcomed our daily visits from a group of hummingbirds that always kept us entertained.

It wasn’t always cloudy and rainy, we only had to run our generator 1 day as most days we were pulling in some great solar and were fully charged by 10 Am.

Hey, we even had a few relatives come out for a visit!

A crazy family pic would not be complete without some crazy faces.

North Ajo Peak Hike

What a great day for a hike. We are getting our hiking legs back and today we did the North Ajo Peak Hike 9.2 km, and we even beat the forecasters call for rain!

Baby cactus

Myron is still loving his new binoculars.

Garry taking the led, I had to run to catch up with him to grab this photo!

Desert flower

Came across these jugs of water in the desert.

We took a slight detour and found two little caves.

Crazy selfie time

We made it back to camp just in time for wine time!

Spring has arrived!

This morning we woke up to a sky of clouds and decided it would be a perfect day for a drive down to Organ Pipe Cactus Monument to capture the desert flowers.

The desert is so beautiful this time of the year with all the flowers in bloom.

Poppy

Brittlebush

Owl’s Clover

Mallow

Heliotrope

Mallow

Desert Christmas Cactus

Owl’s Clover

Cholla

White Tackstem

Mohave Lupine

Fairy Duster

Apparently it was a busy day for these two, they are sharing a bed!

While searching for desert flowers, we came across these rocks. This one below appears to have a form of fluorescent moss growing on it.

March 6, 2019

Being back here in Ajo (pronounced Ah-ho) means hiking time now that the weather has warmed up. Today was a great day to hit the trails and get our legs back.

First hike 5.5 km

Sunny with a slight breeze

Saguaro cactus country

Selfie time

Can you spot our campsite? Hint, zoom in and look for the red Dodge!

Group selfie with our hiking partners Garry and Karen.

Ajo, Arizona

We are back at another one of our favourite places to boondock just outside of Ajo, Arizona, and of course it’s Free to stay here on BLM land for 14 days!

Here is our view for the next couple of weeks!

There is just something about nature and the sounds of the birds chirping that make us love this place.

We are looking forward to some hiking and site seeing!

I think we have these Canadians hooked on snowbirding! 😉

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!

It’s not always hot and sunny in Arizona

We don’t always bask in the sun when we are south, in fact it gets quite cool as soon as the sun goes down. Off goes the shorts, t-shirt’s and flip flops and on goes the long pants, bunny hugs, socks and shoes.

We have even been known to put on our winter jackets and a toque to watch the Super Bowl outside while we were in California a few years back.

This morning our phones were buzzing away, we have a weather freeze warning here in Yuma.

Guess today would be a good day for a pot of stew and fresh biscuits!

Even with these temps we can’t complain. Holy heck Batman, at least it’s not as cold as back home in Saskatchewan.

Stay warm our friends and family!

RV Mods – Solar

When we purchased our trailer, our intentions where to purchase a 5th wheel that we could head south where we could bask in the sun for the winter months. Staying in campgrounds or rv parks every-night was not on our priority list. We love to travel and see new places, some would say we get itchy feet!  So dry camping only made sense to us. In order to drycamp/boondock for extended period of time, we would need to invest in Solar.  We wanted to be self-sufficient and not rely on rv parks, campgrounds or a generator, so we invested in ourselves.

We did  a lot of research and called everyone we knew with any knowledge on the subject, and Myron and I came up with our present system of: 690 watts of solar and 440 amp hours of battery.

This allows us to use our Instant Pot, Induction cook top, bread maker, coffee pot, basically everything with the exception of our A/C and Microwave (we do not use the microwave, it’s become our bread storage compartment)

Solar Panels

12v 38.14 Amps 690 Watts wired in parallel.

2- 12v 9.37 Amp 170 Watts each

2- 12v 9.7 Amps 175 Watts each

Each panel is wired in parallel with #8 PV- Solar Wire (Sunlight and weather resistant), ran to a junction box.

(Prices have dropped lots since we purchased our first set of panels. You can now purchase high quality 200 watt panels, made in the USA, for $185.00 USD/ $240.00 CAD. So if you open your local weekly flyer and see solar panels from Canadian Tire or Harbour Freight don’t waste your money, they are a ripoff, more than 3x the price per watt and they do not compare.)

Installing roof junction box and drilling hole in our roof for the wire drop. This required precise measuring as we needed to make the drop directly into the wall between the kitchen and bathroom.

Myron had perfect alignment from the roof, directly in the wall, straight down to the electrical panel compartment.

# 4 Pv-Solar Wire was used to run from Junction box to Charge Controller. (Over kill? Maybe, but we didn’t want any voltage loss, and room for expansion)

This required team work, as this #4 PV (Solar) wire was heavy and very tricky to pull. Thanks for the help Tom!

Front storage compartment houses our 40 Amp Blue Sky MPPT charge controller with a 500 Amp Shunt that send a signal back to our Blue Sky IPN Pro-Remote.

Our battery bank is 440 AH, wired in series & parallel with 1/0 cable

4- 6v Golf Cart Batteries

2- Costco Interstate- 210 AH ea

2 – NAPA -230 AH ea

We installed a 1000 Watt pure Sine inverter with a remote and dedicated solar plugs.

I must say, I have one talented husband! Having solar has worked out great for us, as we invested in ourselves instead of the Rv parks and campgrounds!

We will have an update coming this winter, as we will are making a few changes to our system to make it more efficient.

Note:

This is not a how to, this is just how we did it!

Friends, Food, Wine & Laughter!

We hope everyone had a great Christmas, we sure did!

This year we were blessed to have been able to spend another Christmas with some friends down south!

Tom and Lori from Nevada

Mike and Geri from Armstrong BC

and new friends Kimberley and Dave from Florida.

We are so thankful for today’s technology as our Christmas morning started with Google Duo video calls with our kids to say Merry Christmas.

We were so excited to be able to watch Amelia and Elijah open their Christmas presents from Nana and Papa. It’s the next best thing to actual being there!

Since we started rving, Myron has taken over the duties of cooking us breakfast, and of course we have kept up with the tradition of Myron’s Christmas Canadian Pan Scrambler for brunch!

We have had beautiful weather since we arrived out here in the desert, slight breeze and sunny. Christmas Day the wind decided to join us and would not cooperate, so we all headed indoors to our Rv for our Christmas Potluck Feast.

As usually we had an abundance of amazing food, and lots of delicious Christmas baking!

Good friends, amazing food, lots of wine, which always ends with lots of laughter!!!!

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

After leaving Quartzite, we made our way south about 20 miles to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge to spend a few days taking in the view, and hiking to Palm Canyon.

Location – Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

Cost $- Free 14 days in a 12 month period.

GPS:

Notes: coming from the north (Quartzite) heading south on US 95, turn left just past Mile marker 86 onto Palm Canyon Road.

Our view from our patio

We heard about the California Palm that are growing in the Palm Canyon, so of course we had to hike in to check it out.

2 km/ 1.2 Miles in and out with a 90 meter/301 ft climb in elevation.

Some pictures from our hike.

A few signs posted at the beginning of the trails.

Borders hold rain water from last nights rain.

Hey, we have to do selfies!

You can see the Palms along the canyon wall.

Lots of climbing

Here are a few fun pictures.

It sure was a great day for a hike!

Boondocking- Quartzite, AZ November 27, 2018

On our way south to Yuma we always make a point of stopping to boondock/ dry camp for a few nights 6 miles North of Quartzite, AZ on Hwy 95.

Locations: BLM Land — Plomosa Road

Cost: $ Free — 14 days stay

GPS: 33.7489160, -114.2163560

Notes: stop at the camp host as soon as you turn onto Plomosa Road for a camping permit.

Even have a few visitors show up!

Now that Myron’s knee has healed up from his surgery this past September, we decided it was time to venture out on a short 4 km hike in the desert.

Here are a few pics from our hike today.

Mesquite- Laughlin, NV

October 27,2018 – Arrived in Mesquite, NV just before dark, and settled at the Eurika Casino for a night of Casino Camping!

Short driving day for us today, as we make our way to Laughlin, NV.

A few photos from the front window.

Hello Las Vegas……..

We arrived in Laughlin just in time to check out a Halloween car show at the Tropicana Casino.

(sorry forgot the new camera lenses back at the 5th wheel, and the sun was bright)

Quite a few cars had already left by the time we arrived, but there was still a good turn out considering the temperature was quite warm!

We will be hanging out here in Laughlin for a few weeks as we still have lots of places to see in this area!

2006 Dodge 3500 Cummins 5.9L

Not only does Red still look good, she averaged 15.8 US / 18.98 Imperial MPG towing….. Awesome

Day 2 of Snowbird 2018-2019

October 26 – We must be excited for warmer weather, since we got an early start this morning from Idaho Falls, by early I am talking 8 AM!

We have another long day of driving, as Mesquite, NV is our overnight stop!

Every year driving through Salt Lake City is a challenge. It is always interesting to see what obstacle course they have come up on the I15 as they seem to always be doing construction. This year they did swerve lanes……… multiple swerve lanes!

If you look up ahead you will see these swerve lanes, yes it’s exactly as if you had to swerve to miss something on the road.

Now I’m talking 5 lanes of traffic, all doing 100 +km/hr or 62 mph and there were several of these along the way! Congratulations Salt Lake City, you always make the trip through exciting for us!

We have a video we will upload later with our drive through the mountains from St. George to Mesquite, NV. (Once I figure out how to do it 😉)

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