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!!

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!!!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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

The Adventure

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” If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet” – Rachel Wolchon

Today marks 1 year since we moved into our 5th wheel.

July 22,2017 we officially moved out of our house.

It was time to start the final demo on the last 2 rooms in the house.

We are pretty luck, we have 2 amazing and talented kids. They stepped up and helped Myron finish the renovations.

The master bedroom and bathroom were completely gutted and redone.

Our son Randy installed all our flooring, and he did an amazing job!

The only thing left in the kitchen was the completion of the backsplash. Our daughter Courtney picked out the tiles and our son Randy did all the installation.

Now with the inside done, the outside needed a facelift. Again our kids, son in-law Glenn and our friend Gwen stepped up. Without their help we wouldn’t have completed by the deadline as we were both still working full-time. For that we are thankful!!

Renovation now completed and it was finally time to purge our stuff.

We sold, gave away and donated whatever we didn’t want to keep.

With the house emptied, now it came time for Myron’s shop. This was a challenge to say the least. He still planned on doing upholstery when we are back in Canada, so that meant he still needed to keep a lot of his supplies.

Anyone that knows Myron knows if you need it, he will have it!

It took about a week and a half and it was finally done.

And on October 31, we said our final goodbye to the house that we raised our children in and locked the front door for the last time, as the next chapter of our story began.

Cocopah Casino

We decided that Yuma,AZ would be our next stop as there is so much to see and do in the area. We decided instead of staying out in the desert that we would blacktop camp at Cocopah Casino just south of Yuma. The casino will allow you to stay in their RV parking lot for $6.00/night or $35.00/ week. This is just blacktop camping with no hookups. They do have level sites, security that drives around, and daily garbage pick up.

A view from the RV parking lot looking at the casino.

The RV sites are wide enough to have your slides out and be able to park beside your rig.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to cross as much off our list as we had planned, we did however spent quite a bit of time at the Foothills Animal Hospital in Yuma. Our little Miss Bella ended up with stuvite bladder stones that required emergency surgery.

The surgery went great, Miss Bella is doing fantastic and has healed quite nicely.

We did manage to take in some Yuma history which I will post in another blog.

We are hoping to make it back to Yuma later this winter to cross more off our list.