|Sunset at Off grid campsite ..(c) 2020 Horst Kelly Photographer|
Having hitched up Sunday...when the sun popped over the horizon I was pulling out of the driveway...smiling from ear to ear.....all of a sudden I hear a very loud grinding sound...can't determine if it is coming from the truck or the casita. I decide to drive on a bit...the faster I go the louder it gets. I decide to return home, backed in and check the Casita...don't see anything suspicious, looked under the truck and see what appears to be fresh shiny rubs on my drive shaft. there is a plate above it and it has bolts that may be rubbing...Can't figure out what the plate is and thought maybe with the extra weight it lowered it enough to rub against the driveshaft. Took it to the local mechanic in town got it on a rack and sure enough the bolts were loose and are making contact with the drive shaft...tighten the bolts and I was on my way, BTW, the mechanic had no clue what the plate was for. By the time I got home it was too late to get to my first destination..so like a shuttle launch we are now starting at T -20.
|Sunrise at off grid campsite..(c)2020HorstKelly Photographer|
Tuesday at first light I am again pulling out of the driveway...purring right along, no noise. 10 minutes or so into my trip I glance down at the steering wheel and notice my left hand has a large deep gash...looks ugly. I pull over , clean it, pour some alcohol on it and find a bandage large enough to accommodate the cut. Looks like it could use a couple stiches...but that would become an all day ordeal. I'll just keep watching it. I have no idea how that happened. I drove to Lamesa, Texas, free city park, early to bed and was on the road before day break on Wednesday.
Got to the Lincoln National Forest early afternoon...I had done some research and knew of at least five different locations...turned on my GAIA app and found the first one no sweat. Off road drive wasn't bad, not one other soul in the area..sitting high on a bluff, Mesa, hill. mainly bushes...so solar panel should have no trouble finding "sunrays"....unhitched, leveled out, set up chair and set back and watched the World without: noise, covid-19, TV, people, and other assorted distractions.....though there was a good amount of smoke from the Northwest fires. Got out my cast iron pan and fried a Flatiron steak, onions, mushrooms. Coleslaw and tomatoes, French bread toasted with garlic butter on the pan and eine dunkel bier.....took an evening hike while the sun was setting and called it a day....I am smiling
Woke up before daybreak, made some strong coffee and went outside to watch Mother Nature wake up... and for the next 10 days I went to 3 different dispersed locations in the area. Hiking, reading(which I rarely do), cooking and a few photo's...it was like "summer vacation" in grade school....only better!
|Coleman CoE campsite(c)2020HorstKellyPhotographer|
I then decided to leave New Mexico and go to Coleman Texas and spend some time at the CoE campground there...six days if my memory is correct...I was the only person in my section of the campground except for Saturday and part of Sunday ...had a site on the lake ...pure Heaven....woke up one morning and decided it was time to head home.
|Off grid campsite|
It was a wonderful trip..exceeded all my expectations...I still had food and whiskey left(from previous post), my wound on my hand is healing nicely, the camper with my new shocks did make a difference, my new solar setup and the two 6 volt batteries did great. I never went below 12.6 when I was off grid. didn't run around looking for photo ops-took very few photo's
Until next time, Happy camping and safe travels... Dennis, thanks again and I hope you had a great time at South Fork!