Saturday, October 25, 2014

MEETUP

Sometimes Nomadic life can cranky, though it is usually pretty sweet. A recent example for us is meeting up with family members that are still in the work a day world. Angela and David have driven for Sierra Trucking for a little over seventeen years. They stay busy. They have a dedicated route to the Pacific North West, and usually one can tell by the day of the week, just where they are at.

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Here is Angela in front of their Truck “Big Red” while at the Freightliner dealership in LaGrange Oregon. Photo by David.

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As we were on our way North to the sugar beet harvest, our paths crossed about forty hours apart and we were both on schedules of arrival. However on the way back to Arkansas, we had the convenience of no schedule to keep, so we would go to one of the fuel stops on their route and await their arrival. Simple, right ? He, he, not ! They broke down ! So, unload their stuff from the truck, go to motel, cab ride to get rental truck from LaGrange to Portland then back with rental, deliver load, pick up new load, back to pick up their truck, return rental, shuffle their stuff again. Oh yeah it was complicated ! Then all the com-check stuff to pay the repair bill, and finally they are on their way ! Woo Hoo ! The saga CONTINUES !

Meanwhile we have satellite TV, internet and cell service, with several good restaurants right near. Yup, we a’ coastin’ and they are hustlin’ !

Friday, October 17, 2014

RECORD

The shortest Sugar Beet Harvest on record is in the history books !

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The weather was absolutely great for the Harvest season, and , when we got started, we didn’t quit until it was over !

This was our sixth harvest season in a row up in the Red River Valley of the North.

Our time with old friends was just way too short.

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Then suddenly it was all over and we slept in before going to our traditional after harvest breakfast with co workers.

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We had a blowout just a few hours out of North Dakota to add a bit of spice to our adventure.

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Then a few hours more, down the road, we stopped to let Poco out for a break and I discovered a snap pin missing on the tow bar.

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A redneck tarp strap repair and we were on our way again.

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We are now “staged” at the Sapp Brothers Truck stop near Percival Iowa, waiting for Angela and David to pass through with a load of Apples from the Pacific North West, en route to their delivery in the S/E. After that, more road South !

Saturday, September 27, 2014

CONSTRUCTION

During the process of doubling up in size, the Hillsboro Campground is under construction during our stay for the Sugar Beet Harvest. Though things are different this year, they are pretty much the same. Some of us are doubling up, two to a campsite, during the campground’s growing pains. Most of the campground is the same though, here is a look.

Sugar Beet Harvest 2014

Here is a look at the construction side of the campground, just outside  our window.

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However it is pretty much business as usual and this Saturday night, there is a performer from NewZeland  around the campfire. Here is his flyer.

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Today is going to be a twelve on a scale of one to ten ! The Razorbacks play this afternoon, then there is pickin’ and grinnin’ around the campfire tonight !

Saturday, September 20, 2014

REBUTTAL

Back in 2009, Betty and I worked at Amazon’s Coffeyville Fulfillment Center in Kansas. It was there that we met Chris and Cherie, we were camped near each other, we both worked the night shift and we were both full timing in 17’ Oliver Legacy Elite travel trailer’s. They had been full time RVing since 2006. As they work from out on the road, traveling extensively, they have a good feel for how work Campers feel about the Harper’s article that drew some highly flawed conclusion’s.

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Here is a quote from the Technomadia’s article:

“Rather than a story portraying RVing and workamping as a great alternative to the traditional path, the press seems interested in showing it as the absolute last resort of the most down-and-out – forced out onto the road, their retirement dreams in tatters.”

Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard, are collectively, THE TECHNOMADIA’S .

Here is a link to their blog , where they rebut the Harper’s poorly researched piece.

http://www.technomadia.com/

It is almost Sugar Beet Harvest time again and we are on the road to North Dakota, here is a look,

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EnRoute to the Harvest we weathered out a hail storm in a old abandoned service station. It was called to my attention by a friend that it looked like a post apocalypse movie scene. In the quick video scan around, it looks like that for sure. Here is a look.

Sheltering from a hail storm I-49 Carthage, Mo

Seems like no time before we were back on the road, Rockin’ on da’ REZ with the Voice of the Mighty Sioux Nation, at 89.9 FM. Here is a look.

Rockin’ to the voice of the mighty Sioux Nation 89.9 FM

Saturday, September 13, 2014

WHY

It puzzles some folks, and I can see that quizzical look come across their face, just before they say, WHY ? My initial response is usually, “Well, because we can ! “ But in reality it is much deeper than that. The conversation is about Work Camping, and why we do it as we approach our mid 70’s.

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Here is a look at our route to the harvest.

One of the jobs that we work is the Sugar Beet Harvest and we’ll be leaving out to go to it, in the next few days. Here is where you can learn more about the harvest. www.sugarbeetharvest.com

Now, like any type of work, it isn’t for everyone, however, even at 70 plus years, it suits us just fine. The harvest is a 24/7 operation until completed and that means being outside in all kinds of weather conditions. If you have a love of everything out of doors, then it might suit you as well as it does us. So, why does a couple of 70 something’s do this ?

Simply put, we feel good about ourselves when we are productive. Being raised by the world’s greatest Generation, the World War II Veteran’s,  we are imbued with a pretty serious work ethic. We are just not going to sit on the front porch rocking and waiting to meet our maker. We will be out there on the road somewhere going to meet him !

So, as the sunrises and we are at the end of a 12 hour shift, nearing the end of the harvest season, we are tired, a bit sore, sometimes more than just a little dirty, how do we feel ? Happy and satisfied that we have been a part of the world’s largest harvest, while working side by side, and keeping up with 20 something’s. Oh, yeah, then there is that other thing, getting paid well for your effort. The job pay’s straight time, time and one half and double time.

It is pretty cool to be retired, knowing that we can spend five months out of the year, basking in and totally immersing ourselves in, our particular intermountain culture ! Yet even then, we spent yesterday volunteering as part of a painting crew working on a local community building that was constructed circa 1909. So, WHY ?

Hey, remember, we have the need to remain productive ! See you out there on the road somewhere !

Saturday, September 6, 2014

SIXTYSIX

The Mother Road, Route 66, runs from Illinois to California. Any time we get near it, a involuntary, reflexive action happens. We escape. Off route. Abandon all plans. Drop off the face of the earth and get lost. Sometimes we wander aimlessly. Sometimes we search out specific places. But one thing for sure, we always have fun ! 

In this photo we are in front of the Phillips 66 Service Station that is in the music video link below.

Here is a look at a book that we pour over on a regular basis because it is such a in depth study of the Mother Road.

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This video misses what we think are some of the coolest places, yet it is ever so good !

Enjoy the video and a good look at all of the cool stuff out there on the old Route 66.

ROUTE 66 MUSIC VIDEO

This strange phenomenon, the connection between our escape and Route 66, is hard to describe, but, Depeche Mode does it quite well in the above video .

Sometimes escaping is good for the soul !

Saturday, August 23, 2014

LEAKER

When the replacement speakers arrived for the broken external speakers on our fifth wheeler, we had already cleaned all of the old caulking away and were ready for the install. After removing the tape that I had applied to keep the rain out, the next step was to clean the surfaces with alcohol to insure that the caulking sealed well.

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Since the factory installer had put the speakers in upside down the first time, I made sure that they were placed as they were engineered to be. The above photo is the correct way. Here, below, is a look at how the installer had them placed.

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Note that should the speaker cone break, water can easily enter the trailer.

So, have you got a potential “speaker leaker” ? It might be worth the time to take a look. If your external speakers are covered like the one below, it’s a easy check.

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Loosen a screw or two and take a quick peek. It’s a investment in peace of mind !