Saturday, December 17, 2022

Yeah, it's cold


This was the temperature just before sunrise this morning. Luckily, I’m plugged into shore power and have an electric heater warming the Rolling Steel Tent. I don’t do winter very well, but I’m adjusting.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Fresh ink

Although I have survived cancer (so far), I don’t think of myself as a Cancer Survivor. It’s something that happened to me, something I went through, but it’s not part of my identity. 

Nonetheless, I designed this tattoo—The Big C with an X over it—to honor the people who helped me through it. Doctors Kumar, Hu, Mendelsohn, Wong and Chin who fixed me up; LaVonne and Lou from Yucaipa (a.k.a. the other Lou) who shuttled me and my van to Los Angeles; and my former wife—but still dear friend—Ceebs for giving me a place to stay, for feeding me, for driving me to appointments and treatments, and for asking medical questions that never occurred to me.

The tattoo is also for my best friend Lou who is going through his own struggle with cancer—and other health issues. Down with cancer, man. 

And thank you Mando at Independent Ink in Silver City NM for your fine craftsmanship.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Frosting on the mountains

We had a little snow over Thanksgiving night. Only an occasional flake here in the valley. The wind makes it feel considerably colder than the 44° the thermometer claims it to be.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Gobble gobble

Thanksgiving with friends. Good people, good food, good gossip.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Tamales y Más

The tiny town of Santa Clara, New Mexico, just over the mountain from here, held its annual tamale festival yesterday. Music, dancers, custom cars and, of course, food. We loaded up on tamales and empanadas.

Thursday, November 17, 2022


The weather has shifted into Get Ready for Winter mode. Highs in the low 50s with nighttime temperatures in the 20s and, oh my, teens. According to my inside-outside thermometer it got down to 17°F last night. Oh brrrrrrrrrr. And it was 35°F inside the Rolling Steel Tent, thanks to not running any heat once I go to bed. Speaking of the bed, it was sufficiently warm even though the windows were completely frosted over.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Wednesday, November 9, 2022


Stopped by my friend Debra’s nomad gathering yesterday, down the road at City of Rocks state park. I hadn’t seen her since last year’s gathering. I don’t get around as much these days.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Short Wander, Day 5: Headed Home

I left Guadalupe Mountains National Park dashed to — and through — El Paso. My goal was the Dripping Springs dispersed camping area on the east side of Las Cruces. The Organ Mountains were cloud shrouded, so I expected it to be a wet night. I didn’t expect it to be as windy as it was. The van got shaken and knocked around all night.

Short Wander, Day 4: National Park Trifecta

Guadalupe Mountains National Park (featuring the highest point in Texas) is just down the highway from Carlsbad Caverns. I didn’t really expect much, especially compared to the caverns, but it was an enjoyable time.

I was feeling a little... blah that morning. It was a little chilly and overcast. It had rained during the night and probably would again during the day. Not the kind of weather I’d choose for hiking. Maybe I would just hit the visitor center for a sticker to add to my collection then take off for home. Nah, it would be cheating to say I’d been to Guadalupe Mountains if I didn’t at least stroll a little down a trail.

So I did. I set off without any gear other than my phone. No water, no jacket, no hat, no trail map... because I was just going a hundred yards or so. However, the trail and scenery were nice, so I kept on walking. And walking. I passed people with backpacks and hiking poles. I was the foolish old man heading into the wilderness totally unprepared.

After about a mile and a half the clouds closed up, the breeze increased, and the temperature dropped. Most likely rain was on its way. So I turned around. Just in time. I got to the Rolling Steel Tent and started on a fruit & cereal bar when the sky opened. I must be getting more savvy about this outdoors awareness stuff.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Short Wander, Day 3: New Place

Back in 2014 I had planned on visiting Carlsbad Caverns as I headed north from Big Bend. But a combination of things put me in a horrible mood and I didn’t stop. I figured it was time to come back. It’s actually the main purpose of this trip.

Also, in the meantime, the cameras on smartphones have become amazing. The NightSight mode on my Pixel 4a takes amazing photos in very low light situations. It practically sees in the dark. Here’s evidence.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Up early for the first stop on a National Park triple header

The last time I was at White Sands it was a National Monument. Now it’s a National Park. Also, it was sunny the previous visit. This morning it was overcast, making the sands look beige instead of blindingly white. Kind of a moody morning.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Short Wander, Day 1: Back to a favorite place

 I’m taking a few Me Days, traveling a bit, but sticking to southern New Mexico. First stop, Aguirre Springs campground, nestled against the base of the Organ Mountains, overlooking White Sands. I’ve stayed here a couple of times before and I’ve been too long coming back. Took a short hike from the campground.

I found the right trail

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Automotive joint replacement surgery

After 330,000 miles the Rolling Steel Tent’s front suspension was getting a little wonky. When I took it in for an alignment a few months ago they came back and said it would be pointless because my ball joints and hub bearings were too worn. I was not surprised. I had more important things to deal with, so I put off the repairs until yesterday. Now my home tracks straight and even steers a little easier. Onward!

Upper Ball Joint

Hub Bearing

Lower Ball Joint

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Post-storm treat

 A rain storm blew in this evening. Not only did it make me happy because it washed pollen from the air, it bid farewell with a double rainbow.