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May 8, 2013 -

Not In the Mood to Drive

I just renewed for a third night here at Dakota Magic. If I really just wasn’t in the mood to drive, I would have gone anyway because I know that that’s just an excuse for not wanting to face the border crossing.

But I’m being really productive and making good use of my FHU, so I can justify another night. This morning, I defrosted the freezer and washed it and the fridge, then made an inventory of the food on board. I found bacon! It will be demolished shortly when I go make lunch. 🙂

It looks like it might rain, but if it doesn’t, the next project is the cab.

Besides that, I need to put away yesterday’s laundry (almost dry, YAY), wash out Neelix’s litter box, and then I’ll be good to go. There’s really nothing to do now to prepare for the border besides making sure I don’t have any illegal food on board, have a full alcohol inventory (one Texas beer that I am saving for the first crazy hot summer day), and that I know how much I need to declare.

I hope internet in Saskatchewan will be decent (although I will settle for existent). I get a very low signal in North Dakota, so I keep getting disconnected. I might not have found the connection in San Antonio to be so bad had I remembered my online experience in North Dakota last spring.

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Appliances, Campgrounds, Communications & Electronics, Fridge, Internet, North Dakota, Personal, Preparations for Departure, Technical, Travel, USA, Weather    No Comments
May 7, 2013 -

What a Sunny Morning!

There is just something about a sunny morning that is absolutely invigorating. It can be super hot or super cold out, doesn’t matter. I makes me bounce out of bed energized by the possibilities of the day.

Since this is my last chance to be on FHU for a bit, I have a long enough to-do list that I may end up staying a third night. The number one priority for today is laundry, and then getting the black tank emptied and rinsed. Tomorrow could then be a rest day since it’s another really full day to Minot.

My border and arrival plan keeps changing, but I think I finally have it down. The big thing is Canadian internet. I thought I was going to have to go to Medicine Hat to buy the only internet device with a decent bandwidth package, but… things keep improving.

Bell now has several devices with that ginormously generous, won’t hear me bitch about it, bandwidth package, at least one of which, a stick, doesn’t need 120V power the way the Turbo Hub does. Moreover, it’s ZERO down for a 2-year commitment AND I could buy it at a number of points along the Canadian route to my property, including in Estevan, Weyburn, and Assiniboia!

That changes everything as far as my reentry plans. Now that I don’t have to drop the RV and go to Alberta, I’m in no rush to land. So if I pulled out of Hankinson Thursday (three nights here total), I would get to Minot Thursday night and then Friday it would be about an hour and a half to the border at Portal and another 45 minutes or so to the Walmart in Estevan where is a The Source store within walking distance at which I could buy my internet device.

In Estevan, I could make sure both my computers can get online and also stock up on supplies (fresh goods that wouldn’t make it across the border; I’m also getting supplies in Minot). And then Saturday, I would have a leisurely three hourish drive to my property.

When I bought the property last year, there was cell coverage in Assiniboia but not my village. Coverage maps now show full coverage in southern Saskatchewan. So I am hopeful I will have internet at ‘home’ with a device bought in SK.

This route does mean that I will likely have to purchase fuel in Canada for the final leg of the trip. But I did more research on the Scobey/Coronach crossing and really don’t think it’s a good idea to cross there. For one thing, they close early, so I’d be racing the clock to arrive from Minot. For another, 22 cars a day in the height of summer is a big rush for them. So I’m worried that I would be providing them with a bit of ‘entertainment’ if you catch my drift. And I would be automatically suspicious for crossing there with my Alberta-plated vehicles as it is a crossing used mostly by locals. I’ll feel more comfortable using that crossing when I am plated in SK and can declare the village to be my home base.

There is a Saskatchewan snow melt map making the rounds of the internet and it is really impressive. Looks like there is almost no more snow in that province! AND the risk of flooding is just about gone! Woohoo! These warm temps should give my property just enough time to dry out enough to not be a festering marsh by the time I arrive.

Next thing to figure out: how I am going to deal with grass. Hopefully it will be a local teenager (I don’t mind mowing, but I’d rather not have to buy and maintain a mower). And I hope no one gives me flack for not taking care of the lawn last year. Ah, all shall be revealed in just a few days…

Finally, a bit of a semantics lesson. I’m having a hard time coming up with the right word to describe ‘my property.’ It is not and will likely never be ‘home.’ Home is MIRANDA. Full-timers get that, but most other folks don’t. Home is also wherever Miranda is parked. Ergo, while Miranda is parked on my property, my property will be ‘home.’ But I can’t say it enough, I am not ‘going home’ this week.

I have a name chosen for my property, but I won’t reveal it until I land and get a feel for the neighbours. Needless to say, it’s another Firefly reference. 🙂

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Boondocking/Dry camping, Campgrounds, Canada, Communications & Electronics, Countries, Internet, North Dakota, Personal, RV Pad, Saskatchewan, Technical, Travel, USA, Weather    8 Comments
May 4, 2013 -

Stromsburg to Columbus (both NE)

Ah, this is the kind of travel day that would be normal for me if I was an American and could just travel at a leisurely pace all the time.

After an incredibly lazy morning, I got packing just before noon, when the temps hit +5C and the wind had died down a little. It was chilly, but tolerable, for dumping and hooking up the toad.

I pulled out at about 12:05 and drove to Shelby, where I had identified through Google Maps a gas station that would be an easier in and out than the ones I’d pass before. I took on 47 gallons of gas, so I was definitely running on fumes! That put my MPG for the trip from Wichita at 5.8. OUCH!!!

My GPS is useless for finding campgrounds, so I just left it on map to show me upcoming roads, and I navigated with a Post-It that indicated my turns. I’m glad I only had an hour to drive because it was incredibly windy and I could only move at a snail’s pace. The only good thing about driving in such conditions is that my biceps get quite a workout.

I had absolutely no trouble finding the Loup Park campground. I haven’t quite figured out this place. It’s carved into a hill and power posts appear to be scattered willy nilly. I’m much too long for any of the obvious sites, so I parallel parked along a secondary loop. If it was summer and busy, I would have likely tried somewhere else as I feel a little in the way, even though the road is clear, but for two nights in early May, I am fine. Getting myself leveled was a bit of work, but I finally managed it. Oh, I just saw the sheriff go by and he ignored me, so I’m obviously not blocking anyone.

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I need to show off my latest MAJOR, life-changing improvement to my RV. TAH-DAH!

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The cubbies traveled that way, rather than turned to the wall to keep the drawers from moving. I can do that now because the drawers are finally secured! It was one of my neighbours at Hidden Valley who came up with the solution in mere seconds when everyone else had failed!

The answer was… Velcro!

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The beige blobs are dried Gorilla glue that I used to adhere the Velcro to the surfaces. I knew that the stuff really expands, so I put just a drop, but it was still too much. In other words, I had to pry my drawers open once everything was dry. Go easy on the Gorilla glue, folks!

I’m off to find the movie theatre. I just realised it’s Saturday afternoon, so I’d better arrive early. There is a 3D showing at 3:30 and a 2D one at 4:00, so I should be able to squeeze into one or the other. I can’t believe I saw Iron Man 2 in Dawson City!

And finally, OMG IT’S %%@#$%&@)( COLD HERE!

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Campgrounds, Homemaking, Nebraska, Organizing, Personal, Travel, USA, Weather    2 Comments
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