Saturday, September 24, 2016

4th Down and Punt...or go for a 1st Down

Last I posted it was 21 Sept…going to yet an undefined location…Not so fast There Horst…You seem to bounce back too quickly from these challenges…so lets try this one for size….It appears my converter bit the dust….I did all the testing to see if it’s a battery, bad wires or the converter…from my limited knowledge but using the schematics that the Casita Forum has laid out there, it looks like the converter…Plus its one of the  two “suspect” years…2009/10…mine is 09 and held out this long….In addition I have a new battery and it tested just fine……
Mountain Top Sunrise with some Fog(c)2016Horst Kelly Photography


So I sit in the middle of no where on top of a mountain thinking through all the options available to me…First priority, have a Moose Drool…it clears the cobwebs. At the end of the day I would need a new convertor, whether I went dragging…I mean my tail …I mean Casita, on home, feeling sorry for myself or tried to get it fixed on the road…I did realize that with my solar and a little sun I could kick the can till I got home. plus I have a inverter generator…I also knew that my technical knowledge on me changing it out was at best “wishful thinking” especially having to lay on my bad back for a couple hours..So I called around to see if anyone would do it…Yikes, it appears they wanted me to supplement their retirement fund.
I never tire of Rainbows...Mt Top CG(c)2016HorstKellyphotography

Then I remembered  Larry Gamble((Little House Customs) had partnered with a fella in Arizona…Konrad, I placed a call and he was available and agreed that it appeared my converter had stopped working…He was extremely helpful..another example of the terrific folks that are the Casita Family!…I thanked him and had decided maybe I would “abort” and head back home. I was looking at a map and appeared Konrad was not that far away..2 or so days…and I will be confident that the job is done right! I called Konrad again and long story long, I will be there on the 27th.
I left my Mountain top paradise and headed towards Deming NM…by noon it was decision time, City of the Rocks or Rockhound…since I was at the City of the Rocks last year I opted for Rockhound..I will stay here till Sunday and then start slowly meandering my way North to Konrad’s Little House Customs-West!



I’ll try to get this posted  somewhere tomorrow(24 Sept)…Until the next Installment of the “Misadventures Of Horst”…and remember, “life is like s box of chocolates”…Horst sends

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Off the Beaten Path…But Great History

When I last wrote I was spending the weekend in Ft Stockton until I could see someone about my wheel bearings…I was there first light…Owner was very professional and straight forward…The kinda person you think about being a Texas Cow Hand(a straight shooter)…sorta like George Strait.  Bottom line there was a problem, that was going about to turn uglier in short order” …An hour half later and a couple “bucks” lighter I was on my way to New Mexico…
  
(c)2016HorstKelly Photographer  Mural…Alpine Tx
 
(c)2016HorstKellyPhotographer



Headed north on US  285….not much in the way of scenery…Five years ago you couldn’t even find a “Road Kill” on that stretch of Highway…Now that Road has turned into Black Gold and made many “dirt poor” ranchers millionaires or close to it…and it continues to the south end of Carlsbad. The real problem is all the 18 wheelers carrying water/dirt and are trying to make as many loads as possible in a day…speed limit be damned…



(c)2016HorstkellyPhotography
When I got to the area it was still early so I decided not to go to Cloudcroft…instead I headed north to Roswell and then West on US 70…Just before Capitan I went South a few miles( Rt 220) to the Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area/Ft Stanton.  There is a BLM campground…has 5 electric sites 5 water only and another handful of dispersed sites…with a Golden Pass electric site is $2.50 per day…being lazy I took it instead of taking out and setting up the solar…It is primary  used as an Equestrian facility….but there wasn’t a sole there besides a “Host”..I guessing the weekend it fills up fast.



This area has two diamonds in the rough..and a special touch of “wonder”…I’ll try to keep it short…and let you Goggle the details..First is Lincoln(town)..It’s made Famous due to Billy the Kid hanging out here…most of the TV movies where of this time period…This is where he and a bunch of his Friends(gang) where made Regulators….and he was in the middle of the “Lincoln County War” , I think the town has done a good job of retaining a lot of the original important structures, it also has a museum, etc…you can walk the length of the town without much physical effort(even for an old man like me) …and it hasn’t become a Disney Land side show like Tombstone.
        
                                                          .
(c)2016HorstKelly Photographer
 
(c)2016HorstKelly Photographer
 
(c)2016HorstKelly Photographer


                                   The next attraction was a couple miles down the road called Fort Stanton….What a spectacular  history it has…with an assortment of different Missions throughout the years. It was established in 1855 as part of the campaign against the Mescalero Apaches. By 1896 troops where no longer required and it closed its doors. A lot of history between those two date.  One interesting footnote is that “Black Jack” Pershing began his Military Career there.
     
Parade Grounds (c)2016HorstKelly Photographer
Officers Quarters (c)2016HorstkellyPhotographer

n 1899 Pres. McKinley opened it as a tuberculosis Hospital …It was also used as a CCC Camp  for 200 Young Men. Part of it became an Internment Camp housing German Seaman(Mar 1941-Aug 1945)(331 sailors).

Catholic Church Ft. Stanton NM
In 1952 The Fort because owned by the State an opened as a facility for the care of the mentally challenged.that ceased operation in 1996. It was then used(until 1999) as a Women's State Corrections Facility…From 2000-2009 it operated as a drug rehabilitation Center.  In 2007 the Governor designated the Fort as a New Mexico State Monument and is now a Historic Site.


I spend about 90 minutes there and truly enjoyed myself.

Last my by no means least…is Smokey Bear…it was in these there Hills that the bear cub was found clinging to a burnet out tree….the year was 1950. He was rescued and the rest is History…He lived another 23 years….One note of interest..His name is Smokey Bear, not Smokey THE Bear as some have been known to call him.
  
(c)2016HorstKellyPhotographer



All in all it was a great two days and now I’m off on a new, yet undecided destination..need to find a place to post this..no WIFI nor and 4 or even 3 G on my  phone..though I do have cell coverage to place calls..Until next time…Happy Trails…Horst sends

The Gap in the Mnts is where he was found hanging onto a tree
(c)2016HorstkellyPhotographer

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Day One is History....

Was  up at about 0530 this morning getting the last few chores accomplished before pulling out of the driveway...By 0800 had finished all the checking and rechecking..meds..yup, tire pressure...yup, food in the frig ..yup, walk around...and then relaxing with my Bride until 0840...and then it was "Hi Ho Silver Away".....well close enough...I am heading west, one of the few times I have been on the Interstate the entire day.....going 55-60 mph in a 80 mph speed zone..  :))
Campground Ft Stockton, Tx(c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer

After Junction, Tx things are few and far between..today the plan was somewhere between Ft Stockton, Tx....and Van Horn....but then I had a hiccup! l-10 went down to one lane going west...they had posted warnings, I slowed down to 40 and all of a sudden hit a dip(without any highway warning signs)..  :((    I believe it sent the camper airborne...ok maybe not, but it did bounce the rear of it plus the tires...I could only imagine what the inside looked like...first time I could pull over was about 50 miles down the road...checked the tongue...all ok, went inside...
no worse for the wear...I do tape up the cabinet doors with painters tape and that cuts down on the messes...checked the tires...oops...curbside wheel is showing "bearing grease splatter"...not a lot but enough...other wheel is ok...crawl underneath and there doesn't seem to be any splatter on the backside...good sign...However!

Soooo, the next town was Ft Stockton, and Van Horn just bit the dust...I am staying at the Ft Stockton RV Park......nice enough, all the amenities you could ever want or need...but it isn't dispersed camping...I will  stay till Monday and have a Trailer place in town check it out...I did break one of my rules.."Never travel on the weekend" with the Casita....things will be closed and you are stuck!.
Ft. Stockton CG (c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer

The good news is there are worse places to bed down..Ft Stockton has history, I'll unhitch when it cools down and play tourist....though I have been here on several occasions...maybe a trip to Wally World is in the making...there is currently a severe weather warning until 10pm ...
Ft Stockton CG sunset (c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer

Cloudcroft will have to wait until at least Monday.... I do have to keep telling myself that I am not on a schedule!

Miles driven:387
Dinner: a Rice cucumber pea salad(best there is...eat it cold) and ham and cheese sandwich...until next time Horst sends

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I'm Ready for a Campfire and a Flat Iron Steak...and Maybe a Moose Drool

Yippie-ki-ya...or something like that....The final countdown has began, T-36...close enough.  I plan on launching Saturday morning at first light..heading due West....hopefully the storms will have "fizzled" by that time. First night Ft Stockton area....next night somewhere in the Cloudcroft NM area...depending on what Mother Nature is dishing out at the time...Then North to the Abiquiu Reservoir (CoE) CG...from there it depends on weather...would like to head to Bryce and all the great places in between...or maybe head north from Deming up the Million Dollar Highway....and of course spend time in Utah, New Mexico and Arizona...It will be fun to see how this trip unfolds...
Canyonlands (c)2014Horst Kelly Photographer  

I didn't accomplish  all that I had planned for the camper....I wanted to place the new generator on the tongue, reconfigure my battery bank to two 6 volt golf-cart batteries and place on the rear basket(where the Boliy Generator) was... just didn't have the time.....I tested the new Smarter Tools 2000iq invertor generator and it does run the AC. .. The solar panels are working great, that was a good investment...imho. Washed and waxed the camper..though I need to strip it to be bone. and make it look new again...maybe Springtime. All systems seem to be in order and I am ready for a new adventure(s).

If anyone has any suggestions on places to stop or things to do, photo ops, etc....I'm all "ears"....I'll keep this short...still have some packing to do and the usual last minute stuff....next post Launch Day, or there abouts...Horst sends
Kansas City Thanksgiving (c)Horst Kelly Photographer

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Final Countdown...no more Piddling

Its been a while....Appears "piddling" got out of hand.   I had planned to leave for this years Autumn adventure NLT 6 Sept.....but I still have stuff around here that needs attention..My Daughter from Charleston just left after a super visit,plus a couple more Doctors to probe and prod. I have done some stuff with the Xterra and the Casita...
Glacier NP...(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

On the Xterra I decided to build a simple platform to double the space available for taking stuff...Its not that I will take more, but rather to keep it organized and not looking like a dump...with getting my solar panels and putting my spare Casita tire back there, its gotten somewhat unruly....So I got a piece of plywood had it ripped ....One board will be on the bottom with some sliders and a handle so I can pull it forward to reach whatever I need. The second piece of plywood is elevated 13 inches, screw in wooden legs used, for easy disassembling. ...The down side is when I go to hitch up I can't see the hitch and tongue of the camper any longer.... I didn't want to invest in a $100+ backup camera that I would only use for my trips...
Mesa Verde area...(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

As I was pondering that dilemma, I found a cheap way to use a tablet/smartphone as a remote device for my camera...several apps have come on the market that allows for you to change the settings remotely, as well as work the shutter...I tried several out and found one to my liking(Android app)  and it works pretty darn well. It beats paying 300 dollars for the "CamRanger" system of remote solutions and does about the same thing....at least at my amateur level of photography and is a 8 dollar app. If your camera doesn't have "in camera" WiFi capability you need to get a "on the go" USB cable...runs about 3-5 bucks.  that cable can be used for a multitude of different applications....and as I pondered I thought of my back up camera problem .


Montana(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

So I was thinking about this "on the go" cable and thought maybe it could work with a cheap old webcam ...I knew there were apps for a smartphone or tablet available ....long story short, I had a extra "stand alone" webcam that was still in the box, placed it on my bumper, attached a 8 foot long male/female USB cord to my "on the go" USB and attached that to my smart phone, opened the app, no other wires, cables or hookups...Bingo, it worked....I am not naive or vain enough to think I "invented " this...I am sure a million other folks thought of it before I did, I guess I need to check that out....but it sure works and my engineer friend keeps shaking his head in disbelief..  :)) A bonus about this setup is unlike "real ones", when you get out of reverse it turns off...this of  course doesn't...so if you want to check it every now and then to make sure all is secure back there, you can do that while driving down the road.
KC Zoo(c)HorstKelly Photographer

I also sold my Boily 3600 inverter generator. Since I have gotten a smaller air conditioner I didn't need that 80 lb genny...it served me well, never had a problem and ran any load I put on it.  I was about to get a Honda 2000 when I saw a Smarter Tools 2000IQ inverter for 599 at Costco..It came with good reviews and with Costco's generous "return policy" I figured I couldn't go wrong...So far so good, The noise level is advertised as 51Db at econ. setting, I'm Running the "break in" period....when that's completed I'll test the AC....keeping my fingers crossed..if it sputters, I'll return it and get the Honda.

Schulenburg, Tx Church(c)Horst Kelly Photographer
Schulenburg, Tx(c)Horst Kelly Photography

Schulenburg, Tx(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

I'm getting things organized in the Casita...I now have high hopes of a 13/14 Sept Launch.....heading towards New Mexico, then north to Colorado. I'm looking forward to this trip...will try to again have the mindset I had last year...its a camping and relaxing  trip with photo ops as a lesser priority.  I've not set any specific locations and will let "Mother Nature" dictate where I go. ...and maybe I'll run into some of you. That would be a treat..

I'll close for now...Wishing each of you a Relaxing Labor Day ... and hoping all you folks on the South and East Coast are doing fine(Hurricane)...next update will be just prior to Lift Off... Horst sends

2013 Tetons....My Pot of Gold(c)Horst Kelly Photographer


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Tornadoes, Floods, now Drought...and Have a Awesome Independence Day.....

Seasons, Birthdays, Graduations, Anniversaries, have come and gone since my last post...and that just about sums it up for me. :))

We have been taking trips to Kansas City to help with stuff up there.  It appears that the list of Medical Specialties that I frequent keeps getting longer as well as the medications they prescribe......my pharmacy keeps calling me to pick them up...so I change pharmacies..  :))


When last I wrote I was out chasing Bluebonnets and Wineries in the Hill Country....as usual rain came with vengeance and cut my trip short..it was another awesome adventure and took me to parts of the State I had not stopped to take time to enjoy on previous outings....As short as the Spring Trips are, I truly enjoy them! There is something special about finding "treasures" in your own Back Yard!



Other than the trips to KC, I have excelled at "piddling"...doing some preventive maintenance around the House...one of the central  A/C units has been leaking Freon for a couple years, so we bit the bullet and replaced it...its the larger of the two units and the "workhorse"....since we where now in a buying/upgrading mood, we purchased a new dishwasher, microwave and stove/oven unit...and this fall or early spring will get the outside of the house painted....though most is stone, it still needs the trim, etc., painted....now we're talking about new carpets and/or tile....oh well its like us...things need to be "mended" now and again...


I have done some minor modifications on the "Albino Armadillo"....enhanced the solar wiring, changed some stuff in the bathroom and closet and redid the table(desk) in the rear...when I first purchased the camper, the bride said "its your gig", so I decided to sleep on the side(small dinette) area and use the back as my work area...place to put computer, printer, camera stuff, etc...I took the original table out, and made a birch plywood table that extended out and over the other bench seat...It was large, heavy, and caused some stress problems in the "well" where the tube legs went...Soooo, I decided to redo the table...since my back was hurting from sitting on the bench seat, and it was too heavy/large, and had become a "Sanford and Son  junk haven.... I cut it in half.  I still have it covering the other bench..however the new configuration allowed me to put in a comfortable, leather office chair between the two benches(photo) below...plus I used a different leg placement setup...it now gives an "allusion" of more defined areas...I think I'm going to enjoy it a lot more...for a one person arrangement and my needs, I think its pretty close to perfect...:)


g   cc 


When my  Casita A/C went on the blink,  I purchased a smaller unit and now don't require a large generator, I want to sell my Boliy inverter generator.....can now use a small 2000 watt honda or generac ...plus I am just about ready to replace my 12 volt battery and get two 6 volt golf cart batteries....I'm still looking at the best battery placement..since I have the rack on back, I may put them back there...we'll see....and while I'm at it upgrade my converter....

One of my least favorite things to do is download, sort, organize, delete, edit and place photo's on my website....well I think I got a start on it...I still need to add and subtract from what I posted...also Smugmug has revamped their  choices in creating sites, etc.... I am still wading through all the differences and need to come up with a better configuration or change from Smugmug to another keeper of the "Gold"...another thing I've just noticed is the difference in colors between my Apple and PC monitors..I mostly do any editing on my apple and when I bring photo's up on my PC it doesn't look as rich and the color is off....if anyone knows how to solve that, I'm all "ears".

If you are bored. below is the link to the 2016 galleries its the second link or if you want to see the entire site its right below.....enjoy...or not

Texas Reflections Photography website

2016 Gallery website






 I guessing I have rambled enough....Have a GREAT Independence Day and remember our Troops! ...... Horst sends

                                                          Image result for 4th of july clipart


(c)2016 Horst Kelly Photographer...all rights reserved.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Just Piddling....according to Jerry C. of EggRolling

I suppose another post is due....I decided to travel north somewhat and venture up to Cherokee again, then head northeast on FM 501 to Bend Texas, and while meandering around that area, checked out Colorado Bend State Park...the drive there was interesting and presented itself with some photos of Bluebonnets..to include some Llamas....The park is rather unique....it bends around and parallel with the Colorado River....to get from the main entrance to the CG is about 6 miles...Pretty dense, its isolated and is primarly a hiking, fishing and boating park......pretty rustic..has a dozen or so primative back-in "RV" sites.... and a bunch of tent sites...I just drove around a bit and put it in my memory bank for some future adventure....
I thought I was in England or somewhere in the NW...but Texas?  What a Great place!

From The Park, I headed north a bit, to Bend, Tx...Got on FM 580 and drove to Lampasas, Tx and headed south back to Camp. It was a fun outing...not many photos, but some neat viewing along the way...weather was overcast with periods of heavy drizzle...
A full field of Bluebonnets...I'm smiling

By the time I arrived back at the camp site is was getting close to dinner time...since it was still misting I decided to forego grilling and made a ham sandwich and sides of cole slaw, cowboy beans and some chips.....after that I spent some time doing "this and that" with no real objective in mind....oh well tomorrow is another day....
(c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer...The sign says it all!

I'm guessing you could summarize today...as Jerry of EggRolling Blog fame explained in his post.....I was "Just Piddling" today.....Thanks Jerry for the reminder..  :))....Happy Trails to All.....Till next time....Soon....I Hope...Horst sends



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

.....and More of the Same

Its now Sunday evening(early) as I seat and bang out this post….I’m also in the middle of grilling some mushrooms, with onions, peppers, garlic and other good stuff…along with a pork steak…will add some Texas Cowboy beans, salad and hard roll…
(c)2016Horst Kelly Photography.. liked the Country Road

Let me back up and go to this morning….I was up early at the Hofbrau RV CG…not on my “Top 100 Hit Parade”…and we’ll just leave it at that.
Around 1000 hours I rolled out heading South to the Falls…it took me an hour…..arrived way early…checkout isn’t till 2pm…I got a site with the provision I could change it for one that I like better if and when it became vacant……it did and I got a very nice shaded, ok, a wooded site that kinda backs up to the River..though to reach it is about 1/2 mile hike, with a dead drop of 200 or more feet.. it’s a great site..and by mid afternoon not one person was around…though this evening I did get a neighbor or 3…it has rained a bit on and off most of the day, so for the most part not much activity on my part….a short hike…more like a walk to a couple of places…drove to the Falls area early after arriving and the parking lot was filled up…tomorrow is another day!
(c)2016Horst Kelly Photography... spoke to me.  :)
Its now 845pm…needless to say, I’ve eaten dinner…..and its wasn’t bad ….if I do say so….I spoke to my bride and now I thought I would finish writing to post…its being accomplished in Live Writer and I will try to send it on its “air wave” way tomorrow.
With the weather and moving again today, I didn’t get to do any photography…so I’ll try and include some from this past week..
I appreciate all that have stopped by and those that left the positive comments..Thanks!!  Happy Trails…Horst sends
(c)2016Horst Kelly Photography.... that old Barn could talk...the Memories


Sometimes the plan doesn’t come together…this(Monday) a.m. it was drizzling so I didn’t go to the top of the hill to send this post…its now Monday p.m. and time for some shut eye…..hopefully will be able to launch tomorrow morning…Horst sends again

(c)2016Horst Kelly Photography... are just starting to Bloom
                 

(c)2016Horst Kelly Photography.... old Homestead...and History


(c)2016Horst Kelly Photography...Why Not
(c)2016Horst Kelly Photography....the way it was

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Bluebonnets and More...or Less

Field of Dreams...Texas Style.....

Its now Saturday and it seems I have been chasing Bluebonnets for a month...I've been on every rural road in a 100 mile radius to try and find the unusual photo shot....and I'm still searching...buts its been a fun "hunt"....though I think I'm running out of steam and time...from today on...until next Thursday there's a good chance of rain...in fact its spitting a little as I write...
View from my camper....lst sunrise.....I never tire of them
This is Texas!

Today is moving day...so I head a little south...will stay at a RV Park(The Hofbrau) until Sunday and then head to Pedernales Falls State Park for a few days...of course if it ends up with miserable weather, I will head on home....Instead of boring you with details as to what County Road I was getting lost at, I'll just leave you with some photo's...isn't that why I'm here?..  :)) until next time...Horst sends
I can't stop!




Lillie's of the Field.....


 



It Looked Nice....



.

I couldn't resist...click to enlarge

Something Different....

Another Sunrise....Campground, Llano River......Thats all Folks!!!