Monday, January 30, 2023

Smooth day.....

 7:04 am - Monday - January 30th - GNHS - 45° F, humidity 75%, wind 2 mph out of the east by northeast......cloudy today with rain in the forecast, and a high of 58° F.  On this date in 2019 TLE and I were having a late lunch at Beaver Street Brewery in Flagstaff, AZ.....↴

Overnight we received a second 2 hour booking for was for 12 pm, and the other for 1 easy Sunday.  We opened the office at 9 am, and I immediately got to work washing one of the RZRs (#5) from our Saturday rentals.  I had that one washed, and detailed before 10 am, fueled it up, and then took RZR #1 out for a drive to break in the new drive belt.  On my way back to the office I stopped by Kyle's trailer to pickup the two piece replacements for the clutch housing.  In addition to the two piece clutch housing Kyle was able to pickup the rest of the parts for KRX #8, and for the clutch rebuild on RZR #2, so they will be repaired, and back on the line later this week.

In order to install the inner portion of the clutch housing the primary and secondary clutches must be removed.  I don't have the 'puller' to remove the primary clutch, and why would I (Kyle does), so Kyle came by and removed both clutches, and then I began the process of removing the damaged inside clutch housing, installed the new one, then reinstalled the primary and secondary clutches, then, finally, the outer clutch housing piece.  You may recall that I didn't initially think the inside clutch housing was damaged, but it was......

Couldn't see this damage until the primary and secondary clutches had been removed by Kyle. took me over an hour in all to finish the job, and just about that time our first 2 hour rental customer arrived.  TLE had staged #10 KRX for the father and sun duo, and they were off on their adventure by 12:15 pm.  While TLE was finishing the paperwork for the first rental, the second 2 hour customer arrived......a husband, wife, and two children....our ideal customer!  They were off on their adventure in RZR #4 by 12:30 pm.

Once both customers were on their way I took the freshly repaired #1 RZR to the wash station, to get it washed and detailed.  After finishing that task I took a break to watch some of the NFC championship game between the Eagles and 49'ers.  Unfortunately the starting quarterback for the 49'ers injured the elbow on his throwing arm, and had to leave the game, and what promised to be a very closely fought game became very one sided with the Eagles winning handily, 31-7.

Both 2 hour rentals returned within 10 minutes of each other with no damage.  TLE and I drove both of them down to the fuel station, fueled them, and then I took RZR #4 to the wash station to clean some mud off the exterior.  Neither machine was very dusty on the interior, so I was able to use compressed air on KRX #10 to clean it, and only had to do some minor cleaning on RZR #4.  By the time I finished putting both of them away it was 3 pm, and we were done for the day.

The AFC championship game between the Bengals and Chiefs was the close game for which we had hoped, and was won by the Chiefs on a last second field goal 23-20, so now we know who will be in the Super Bowl in 2 weeks.

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. - We will be driving to Poway today (Monday) for the excision of the melanoma on my chest this afternoon, so I will not post about Monday's activities until late Tuesday when we return. Thank you for your patience.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

It was foreseeable......

 7:36 am - Sunday - January 29th - GNHS - 43° F, humidity 76%, wind 5 mph out of the south by southeast.....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 65° F.  On this date in 2017 we arrived at Crossroads Campground on the California side of the Colorado River on the Parker Strip......↴

We began Saturday with one booking, and then had a walkup....4 young guys aged 21-22.....not a good formula for success.  We were advised only one of the 4 young guys would be driving, and took the required $3,000 deposit, plus the rental fee.  They left around 10 am for a 4 hour tour.  Just after 11 am we got a call from them.....I knew it was coming.....the RZR was making funny sounds back in the clutch housing area.  We told them to sit tight, and I would come out to see what the problem was.....I suspected it was a broken, or damaged drive belt.

It took me about 25 minutes in the Kawasaki Mule to reach them, and about 5 minutes to remove the outer half of the clutch housing.  I immediately confirmed that the belt was about to break, so I reinstalled the clutch housing and prepared to tow them back to the office....about 12 miles.....without a tow I could be there in 25 minutes, but with a tow it took almost an hour.  By the time I returned it was almost 1 pm. When we tow these UTVs we put them in neutral.  I had instructed the driver to do so, and he said he did....I should have checked, because about 1 mile into the tow the belt exploded damaging the outer clutch housing....that is on me.....I think he put it in 'LOW', which is right next to neutral.....I should have checked to confirm it was, indeed, in neutral......

.....we always explain to everyone that when they leave the office in the rental they become responsible for ALL damage to the UTV, including a damaged drive belt, or flat tire.  Tire and belt insurance is available for $110, but more often than not it is declined by the customer, as it was in this case. They always say they understand, but when the drive belt breaks, or they get a flat tire, they blame it on poor maintenance, or bad tires.  The only way these belts break shy of 3, or 4 years of use is if they are abused....period.  The only way you get a flat tire is if you leave the trail and drive through brush, and rocks....period.  The drive belt on this RZR was inspected less than a week ago, and found to be in excellent condition, and Saturday was the first time it has been rented since the inspection.  When we returned to the office we advised them we would be retaining $300 of their $3,000 deposit to cover the new belt and installation thereof.  As expected they began to contest that saying the belt must have been bad....blah, blah, blah.  We did reduce their rental charge down to a 2 hour charge, instead of the 4 hour charge.  Needless to say, they left unhappy....just like I told them they would if they broke a belt, or had an accident.  For me, this outcome was foreseeable.  I just knew they were going to hammer it a few times off the line, and there is no doubt in my mind they did just that. I was 22 once, and I know I would have done just that.

Once they were gone TLE and I pushed the #1 RZR onto the concrete slab in front of our office so I could remove the clutch housing, and what remained of the ruined belt......

Before installation of the new belt

....up until Saturday I had been unsuccessful in installing a new drive belt, and had to have Kyle's help to get it finished in each case.  This is why I did not attempt to change the bad belt in the field, but  I was determined to figure out what I was doing wrong.  Using my new drive belt installation tool for the first time (I wrote about the tool previously) I successfully, for the first time ever, installed the new belt all by myself!.....


.....our other rental was a 5 hour RZR rental beginning at 11 am.....three retired, mature adults (two men, and a lady) who spend part of the winter here at GNHS each year.  They listened attentively to my instructions, thanked me for being helpful, and left on their 5 hour tour.  As we both expected, they returned 5 hours later without accidents, no broken belt, no flat tires, and all were smiling.

Fortunately, Kyle, our mechanic, happened to be down in El Centro when I called him about the broken belt news, so he stopped by COYNE and bought some new belts to replenish our stock, plus a new clutch housing (outer half), so I'll be able to install that on Sunday, and RZR #1 will be back in service.  By the time TLE took care of her end of day paperwork, and I put away the RZRs it was 5 pm, and time to call it a day.

After a quick shower I headed out to the 'lido deck' to light the Sea-B-Que in 0rder grill a couple of sirloin tips for dinner. While I was busy with that task TLE prepared smashed potatoes, and a side salad of avocados, and tomatoes with some lime juice, and salt. To chase the food we enjoyed a bottle of Catana Malbec....

.....I pulled the sirloins off the grill when they hit 125° F, and was rewarded with a perfect medium rare.....4 minutes per side....

....we sat talking about the day, and lingered over our food for about an hour.  After dinner I got a fire going in the portable fire pit, while TLE cleaned up the galley, and then we enjoyed the early evening balmy breezes until almost 7 pm before we headed back inside the night...., for the first time in a month I had to go out on a rescue.  Now that I can install a new belt on my own, I can now do that in the field, not have to take Kyle with me to change the belt, and will not have to tow the side by side back to the office.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Something's happening here......

7:23 am - Saturday - January 28th - GNHS - 40° F, humidity 50%, wind 1 mph out of the south by southwest......partly cloudy skies today with a forecast high of 65° F.  On this date in 2016 TLE and I were having dinner at Prison Hill Brewing Company in Yuma, AZ......↴

There were still very few RVs in the park Friday morning, and we had no illusions we would have any walkups, and when we closed the office at 1 pm there were, indeed, no walkups.  I busied myself taking care of things around our site.  I even setup my golf driving net again, and hit a couple dozen balls. This time I used whiffle golf balls so if I mishit a ball it won't fly a couple hundred yards into the cabins and RV sites just to the south of us.  The last time I used the net I mishit two balls, found one, and lost one completely.  I heard them both hit the ground, but could not tell where the second one landed.

Buffalo Springfield....

I haven't mentioned this before, but we're having trouble with another of our four Thetford waste dump valves, which means it is leaking.  You may recall that back in March of 2020 I had to rebuild the two Thetford valves on the driver side of the Newell (I wrote about that here), which were 38 years old.  Due to the way we chose to park the Newell in our current site it is easier to dump the black tank from the passenger side as it is much closer to the sewer connection, so that is what we have been doing. Logically, I guess it would follow that since the passenger side valves are now 41 years old that repeated use of them would result in eventual failure of the hard, brittle 41 year old rubber gaskets, and that is what has happened.  Fortunately, I was able to get it to stop leaking, and have reverted to using the Thetford black tank valve on the driver side, which meant using three 10 foot sections (instead of two) of sewer hose to reach the sewer line.  At any rate, I ordered a rebuild kit for the one Thetford black tank valve on the passenger side, and it arrived Friday, so I will be tackling that job soon.  If you remember, removing the 9 stainless steel screws on each valve was quite difficult, and took about 2 hours per valve, so I am not looking forward to this task, to say the least.  Luckily, I only have to rebuild one at a time on the passenger side, as the two valves do not dump into the same pipe like they do on the driver side.....

Passenger side setup....each dump valve has its own 3" pipe

Driver side setup...both dump valves empty into one 3" pipe

.....I also received a package from an eBay seller with the two additional VW Beetle ignition coils so I can replace the ones for cylinders 3 and 4.  Unfortunately, whoever picked the coils, sent one that was not correct.....

The one on the left is the correct one

.....the one on the left is correct, the one on the right is wrong, obviously....why wasn't it obvious to them?  I contacted the seller, and they will send me the correct one at no charge, and I don't have to return the incorrect one, so I've got that going for me.  Anyway, at least I have one in case one of the two remaining older coils fails before I get the second one.

We headed back out to the 'lido deck' Friday night to play Backgammon.... adult beverage at hand, a good cigar lit, TLE, and Backgammon....for what else can one nomad wish?

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 27, 2023

A milestone is coming.....

7:28 am - Bacon Friday - January 27th - GNHS - 45° F, humidity 50%, wind 4 mph out of the north....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 66° F.  On this date in 2012 we were watching one of our last sunrises at Rancho Jurupa Regional Park near Riverside, CA before we began our fulltime travels on 2/1/2012......↴

You just never know from where your next walkup rental will come, and Thursday we had a new one.  A single guy from Alberta was traveling north through Niland and stopped to eat lunch at Buckshot Deli and Diner (we've eaten there before).  As he was paying his check a local with whom he was talking told him about our UTV rental operation, so he decided to drop by and rent one for 2 hours. It was about 11:30 when he arrived, and we had him out in one of the KRXs by 12 pm.  Our office is open Thursday through Sunday from 9 am to at least 1 pm  whether we have a booking, or not, so it is always nice when we do get a rental to cover COA's costs of staffing the office.

Before he arrived I had spent about 90 minutes washing 2 KRX's, and 1 RZR left over from a few days ago.  The #9 KRX I washed had barely dried when we rented it out once again.  The gentleman returned just shy of 2 pm, right on time, with no incidents, and a big smile upon his face.  We were smiling, too, because it was another day without a rescue, crash, or has been almost 1 month since our last rescue, and about 3 weeks since our last accident.

Speaking of accidents, we are still awaiting the arrival of all of the replacement parts for the KRX (#8) which was rolled over 3 weeks ago.  The guy who rolled it should feel lucky we only charged him for 3 days loss of use, and that we have not been that busy, so we've been able to live without #8's services.  Additionally, we have not received all of the parts needed to rebuild the primary clutch on RZR #2, so it has been out of service as long as the #8 KRX.

The latest Santa Ana wind event ended around 3 pm, just as forecast.  Typically a Santa Ana will last 1-3 days, but most of the ones we've had the last 6 weeks have lasted less than 24 hours, which is nice.  As I write there is not a single breath of wind, and the temp is rising quickly toward the forecast high of 66° F.

There will be fewer than 20 RV arrivals this weekend, so we do not expect to be too busy with just one booking on Saturday, and one on Sunday, but who knows from where the next walkup customer will come?

In just a few days, on February 1st, TLE and I will have been living fulltime in our 1982 Newell Classic for 12 years, and we will begin our 11th year of nomadic meanderings.  In some respects it seems like a lifetime ago that we took the first tentative steps in our never ending journey, but in another way it feels like we have barely scratched the surface of what is possible.  Where will the next decade find us?  We have no idea, but we will continue to live as nomads one day at a time, living in the present, not dwelling on the past, and expecting serendipity to be woven into every twist and turn of our journey for as long as it lasts.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Behind the '8 ball'......update

 8:26 am - Thursday - January 26th - GNHS - 55° F, 27% humidity, wind 21 mph out of the north by northeast.....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today courtesy another Santa Ana wind event.....forecast high for today is 66° F.  On this date in 2018 TLE and I were riding on the Grand Canyon Rail Road from Williams, AZ into Grand Canyon NP with our daughter Meredith....↴

I'm running a little behind the '8 ball' today, so I will not be posting today's blog installment until later today.  Have to go and open the COA office with TLE, then wash three UTVs, then fuel them.  Thank you for your patience!

6:57 pm - Thursday - January 26th - GNHS - 

Okay, finally back at my Lenovo laptop finishing my post about Wednesday. We had no walkup business Wednesday, and no bookings, so we just took at easy.  I still had 2 KRXs and 1 RZR to wash, but I wasn't into it, and since we still had no bookings for Thursday, as of noon, I decided to wait until Thursday, when I would be working anyway.  On days when we have no advance bookings we don't open the office until 9 am, or if there are walkups earlier than 9 am, we open then.  I knew I would have time first thing Thursday to get them done.

As it turned out there was no walkup business Wednesday, because there really is no one in the park right now.  We do have advance bookings now for Saturday and Sunday, so we'll be busy over the weekend for sure.

TLE and I convened to the 'lido deck' around 6 pm to play 'Phase 10'.  The cards ran TLE's way this night, and there was really nothing I could do strategically to stop her.  I had my chances, but the cards just did not favor me in those critical moments.  I like games of chance like this as luck, in the case of 'Phase 10', accounts for about 80-85% of your success, or failure.  If you lose it is nothing personal, like you're a bad player.  As TLE pulled ahead I could see plainly there was nothing more I could have done strategically to have changed the outcome.  The whole point of playing these games of chance is to spend time together interacting, and being silly, and we have become quite expert at doing

We watched a Netflix movie called 'Triple Frontier', starring Ben Affleck, and Oscar Isaac, which was actually interesting, but not a movie I would have paid $16 at a movie theater to see.

We continue to love, and enjoy our jobs.  In 12 years of workamping this is the easiest , and most satisfying job we have had, and we get paid nicely at $15/hour.  Our bosses are extremely happy with our performance, and pretty much leave us to our own devices, so it is the best of both worlds.....we work for someone else, but we are actually our own bosses....pretty cool.  They do call us at least once a week to see how we're doing, and and if we need anything. We average around 25 hours per week, and probably net (combined) around $1,600 every other Wednesday.....certainly better than a "poke in the eye with a sharp stick".

Well, that's it for Wednesday.  Thank you for your the way we had a walkup today (Thursday), so I got to wash one KRX!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023


 7:40 am - Wednesday - January 25th - GNHS - 42° F, humidity 52%, wind 3 mph out of the northwest.....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 69° F.  On this date in 2018 our daughter Meredith came to visit us at the Grand Canyon....↴

Last week when two of the four ignition coils on the VW failed we were on our way into Mecca to have lunch at 'The Tacos Taqueria', and to do a small shopping, but that trip was aborted.  Well, here we are a little over a week later, and we decided to attempt the drive once again.  Since I replaced the two coils I have only driven the VW Beetle about 15 miles (to Bombay Beach and back), so we also wanted to get in a longer drive to be sure all is well, plus we really needed some Mexican food in the worst kind of way.

We began the 27 mile drive into Mecca around 11:30 am and reached 'The Tacos Taqueria' just after 12 pm without incident.  These folks get 4 stars on 69 reviews....the 69th being my review.  We have come to love these little 'hole in the wall' Mexican places, and have rarely, if ever, been disappointed.....

....we quickly made our meal choices, and placed our orders....

.....'The Giant Taco for me......

....and for TLE the 'Huevos Divorciados', of which I did not get a picture.  Both entrees were made with very fresh ingredients.  The carne asada in my 'The Giant Taco' was seasoned, and cooked to perfection, and TLE loved hers so much she literally cleaned the plate.  The tortillas were hand made to order.

After a very satisfying lunch we headed over to Family Dollar to buy a few things, then over to 'El Super Toro Loco #4' to buy some produce.  This is really a great local super market, and the produce is second to none.  We were able to complete all of our shopping within 25 minutes and were back in the VW for the return drive to GNHS by 1:10 pm.

While we were eating I received a call from Casey at COA advising there were some people who wanted to rent a 4 seater and a 2 seater if we could be back by 2 pm.  We, of course, agreed, and managed to make it back by 1:40 pm.  While TLE changed clothes I staged a RZR and a KRX.  Within minutes the customers arrived, completed their paperwork, and were on their way for a 2 hour tour shortly thereafter, with a scheduled return of 4:30 pm.  

As it turned out the folks driving the RZR pushed it a little too hard, and got a check engine light.  We noticed around 4:30 pm that they were still quite a way out, so TLE called them to remind them they were supposed to be back already.  The RZR driver advised he had a check engine light, and were in 'limp mode' so I gave him the instructions of how to clear the check engine light, and within a few minutes it had cleared.  They finally got back around 5:10 pm.....not too bad.

Some may wonder how you might clear a check engine light on a RZR, so I will tell you.  I learned this procedure during my first rescue back in November from Kyle.  You put the RZR in LOW, then run it for about 4 minutes at 3500-4000 RPMs.  It works every time. Of course, if it comes back again, then you've got a problem.  Sometimes the RZR computer interprets unusual vibration in the clutch housing (when being pushed too hard) as a misfire, and initiates a check engine light.  If it comes back a second time then there is probably a problem with the drive belt.

Because of the late return TLE and I ended up working 3.5 hours each.  On the plus side no rescue was needed, and we got them put away before dark.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023


 8:18 am - Tuesday - January 24th - GNHS - 44° F, humidity 4-0%, wind 4 mph out of the west.....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 68° F.  On this date in 2019 TLE and I were visiting the Petrified Forest National Park for the first time......↴

.....the 'Painted Desert' is part of Petrified Forest National Park.......

The wind blew all night Sunday night,  was still blowing over 20 mph as the sun crested the Chocolate Mountains to the east Monday morning, and would continue that way until after 3 pm.  As Sana Ana wind events go, this one was rather short lived lasting less than 24 hours. The wind was directly out of the north most of the time, and was it ever cold.  How cold was it you ask?  We turned on all three gas furnaces, and all three electric heaters first thing to take the chill of the Newell interior.  Within 20 minutes we were turning off the gas furnaces, but we left two of the electric heaters on for the entire day, and into the night.

With all of the window awnings, and the patio awning stowed we did not notice the wind too much during the night, but the wind gusts increased dramatically after sunrise making the coach rock back forth at times.  As I write now (Tuesday morning) there is hardly a breath of is so quiet I can hear those proverbial pins dropping.

As is our habit during wind events in the SoCal desert we stayed inside for 99% of the day.  I did spend a few minutes outside first thing retrieving items which had been blown from the 'lido deck' into the UTV parking area, but that was the extent of my ambition for the day.  

TLE and I watched the entire British Premier soccer match between Fulham and Tottenham, which was won 1-nil by Tottenham on a beautiful goal by Harry Kane in 'added time' at the end of the first half.  Our boys had lost two games in succession, so it was good to see them back in the 'W' column with a clean sheet (no goals allowed).

Whenever our pantry and fridge begin to get a little empty TLE begins to gather food items together she has saved from other meals and put them together in soup form.  For dinner she prepared what she now calls chicken/cabbage soup, and it was the perfect wintery day fare.  To be sure there was a lot more in that soup than just chicken and cabbage, and it all tasted wonderful.

I mentioned previously that we watched the first episode of 'Utopia' on BritBox the other night.  There are just two seasons, each containing 6 episodes.  We watched a few more episodes Sunday night, and sat down after dinner to watch just a few more, but ended up watching the final two episodes of Season 1, and all 6 of Season 2.  Wow!  The series description was very cryptic, and we had no idea what it was really about.  Knowing what we now know about the Wuhan flu, and all of the vaccination controversy the past 3 years, it was almost surrealistic to watch 'Utopia', which bears a striking resemblance to what we were all put through since January of 2020.  I'll leave it at that, except to say this.....this series ran from 2013 to 2014, and there are just the two is kind of chilling how prescient this series was and is.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 23, 2023

Laid back Sunday.....

 7:59 am - Monday - January 23rd - GNHS - 48° F, humidity 25%, wind 17 mph out of the northwest....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 62° F.....Santa Ana winds blowing fiercely....was windy all night long.  We had to stow our patio awning for the first time in almost 2 months.  On this date in 2019 we overnighted at the Route 66 Casino and Hotel just off I-40, 21 miles west of Albuquerque, NM....first time back in Mountain Time since April of 2018......↴

Our two KRX 1/2 day rentals were not scheduled to begin until 11:30 am Sunday, but I was outside Sunday around 9 am to refuel one RZR, and wash three RZRs from Saturday's 3 all day rentals.  Since I had time, I took my time to thoroughly detail RZRs #1, 4 and 5, and was finished around 10:30 am.

Our customers arrived just before 11:30 am to complete their paperwork.....

.....and they were off in a cloud of dust just before 12 pm.  I was pretty sure we would have no issues with them, but one just never knows for

While I was walking around KRX #8, the one that was in the rollover two weeks ago, I noticed something neither Kyle, TLE, nor I had seen when inspecting the unit for damage at the time of the accident.....the fiber glass flag pole was cracked in the accident...... I took a picture and texted it to Casey to add to the repair bill, then removed it to cut off the bad part, and reinstall it.

Next, for the first time since I bought it, I set up my golf driving net......

.....and hit a few balls just to see how much my skills have degraded since October.  I got out my 3 wood, and hit about a dozen balls.  Overall I was hitting them pretty straight, but I could already feel it in my lower back after just a dozen swings. I next got out my pitching wedge to practice chipping, and and really like it for that.  There is a target with a bullseye on it, and I was able to hit the bullseye 7 out of 10 tries.  Setting it up was kind of like setting up a tent, and didn't take that long.

Our customers returned just before 4 pm, with no damage, and with large smiles upon their collective faces, so another weekend without any rescues, or accidents.

The weather forecast was for Santa Ana winds to begin early evening, and they arrived just as predicted.  I caught a couple of pictures of our sunset......

....then collapsed my golf driving net and put an orange cone on it to keep it from blowing away in the night (it was still there this morning).  Around 8 pm TLE and I stowed the patio and window awnings as it was getting quite blustery out of the northwest, which is not a good direction of wind for our location.  As I write the coach is rocking in the wind, and will continue to do so for the next 6.5 hours (it is 8:30 am right now), so we'll be spending that time inside....glad we don't have any rentals today!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

The photo shoot.....

 7:48 am - Sunday - January 22nd - GNHS - 36° F, humidity 57%, wind 3 mph out of the southeast....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 62° F.  On this date in 2013 TLE and I were watching our 26th sunset at Cedar Key, FL.....we were there for 5 weeks, and loved every single minute of it.....↴

Overnight we got a 3rd all day booking for a 4 seat RZR, which is all the RZRs we can rent in one day right now since #2 is awaiting parts to rebuild the clutch.  The first two were on their way by 8:30 am, but the 3rd party did not arrive until around 9:30 am.  This is the customer for whom I spent a lot of time detailing #4 RZR.  The owners of COA hired them to take video, and stills of our operation, and the various trail destinations in the area for a brochure they will produce for the California operation next season....

Left to right: Nara, Nadia and Roland.....Nicole is just out of frame.  Roland is using our compressed air to blow the dust off Nadia

.....the photo shoot group consisted of Nara who was the primary photographer, Roland, Nadia and Nicole.....Nicole was the driver.  Since they were here to get as many shots of the surrounding area as possible we suggested they finish their day with a sunset drive out to the bat caves to catch the sun setting over the Salton Sea, which they did, and they loved it.  They returned around 5:30 pm just as it was beginning to get you can see above, it was still pretty light outside as they blew dust off each other.

When we have all day rentals there is a lot of activity on our part at the beginning of the day, and then a lot of waiting around before they return, at which time there is another flurry of activity as we check them in, and I drive down to the shop area to fuel them up one by one.  I managed to get 2 of the 3 RZRs refueled, and will take care of the 3rd Sunday morning when I wash it.  We only have KRXs going out Sunday, but it is possible we could have a walkup for one of the RZRs.

It was nice to get through another weekend without any accidents, or has almost been one month since our last rescue, and two weeks since our last accident....knocking hard on wood right now.

We utilized the 'lido deck' after dinner for 6 games of Yahtzee....we each won 3 games....always nice when it comes out 'even Steven'.  We began watching a series on BritBox called Utopia last night, and are kind of intrigued by it.  We only watched one episode before it got too late, so we'll continue the journey Sunday evening. I'll be sure to let you know how we like is still too early to tell, but we are hopeful.

Our Starlink, and the one COA has here are both working flawlessly.  I'm still in awe of how easy it is to set up, and use.  The download speeds continue to be between 50 and 100 mbps.  We continue to be asymptomatic to you know what

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Easy Friday......

6:49 am - Saturday - January 21st - GNHS - 42° F, humidity 61%, wind 7 mph out of the north by northeast.....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 64° F.  On this date in 2013 TLE and I were picking up our 2002 Thunderbird from a Ford dealership in Chiefland, FL where they replaced two ignition coils....sound familiar?  I had forgotten about this.....they charged close to $800 to do the repair....I replaced two on the VW myself for under $100......↴

Friday was an easy rental day for us.  We had just one rental scheduled at 10 am for a 2 seater (KRX) for a 2 hour tour to two ladies, who happened to be twins.  They are vacationing here from upstate NY (Livingston).  They drove in from Yucca Valley around 9:30 am, and by 9:45 am they were on their way.  All we had to do was be available if they needed rescuing, and when they returned....the perfect, non-stressful rental day!

I'm going to have to pause here as I need to get dressed for work (Saturday)....we have three all day rentals (3 RZRs) going out at potentially 8 am, and need to be ready for the arrival of our customers. I'll finish later this morning after they've left on their tours.

9:45 pm: Well, I obviously did not get back to writing my blog today, and I apologize.  The day just kind of got away from me.  Anyway, there was not much to Friday, other than the fact that I managed to get in another soak at the hot springs.  I utilized one of the individual tubs, and spent about 45 minutes mellowing out quite nicely, and then spent about 15 minutes air drying in one of the pool side chairs before walking home.

Of course, it was Bacon Friday, and TLE made salsa scrambled eggs for dinner to accompany the peppered bacon, and there was a side of sourdough toast and honey.  To chase everything she made me a batch of Margaritas.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 20, 2023

Catching up.....

7:28 am - Bacon Friday - January 20th - GNHS - 49° F, humidity 50%, wind 7 mph out of the north by northwest.....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 64° F.  On this date in 2019 we were westbound on US-287 heading to Amarillo, TX.....↴ 

We had no bookings for Thursday, but I still had 3 UTV's to wash and fuel, so I got right to that around 8:30 am.  Since we had no rentals I took my time, and really got each one of them (2 KRXs and 1 RZR) as clean as they have been since they arrived in early November.  Next I spent time in my continuing efforts to detail RZR #4 for a photo shoot rental on Saturday.  Wait, what?  Yup, someone is renting one of our RZRs for a whole day to be used in a photo shoot, so Casey and Bob wanted it to look as good as possible.  This is my second time detailing #4 for this photo shoot, and I wanted it to be the last.  I spent close to 2 hours going over every nook and cranny to get rid of any sign of dust, or dirt, and by the time I finished it looked pristine, except for all the wear and tear over the past 12 months of its life.  By 12:30 pm we had no bookings so we closed down the office for the day.

Our current booking manifest shows we have a two hour rental on Friday, a photo shoot all day rental, and another all day RZR rental on Saturday, and two KRX rentals on Sunday, so at least we've got business the next three days.

I noticed there are a number of pictures we've taken over the past few days which I neglected to publish in my blog on the appropriate days so I'll publish them today.  The first one TLE took on our drive into Indio Wednesday to buy the ignition coils....we've gotten a lot of snow this past week in the local mountains.  This picture is of two local mountain peaks....San Jacinto and San Gorgonio........

San Jacinto is 10, 834' and San Gorgonio is 11,503'

....I never published a picture of what an ignition coil looks like so here that is.....

.....we recently ordered some custom high ball glasses and they arrived just the other day.....

.....we had 4 high ball glasses we received as a gift from Newell back in 2013, but over time 2 of them have been broken, so it was time to replace them.

We've had some nice sunsets lately, which I failed to publish, so here they are.....

.....and here was our sunset for Thursday night.....

....TLE gave me a salmon steak to grill on the Sea-B-Que, which she marinated in a cilantro/lime concoction she put together to which she added sides of wild rice, and grilled summer squash, which we chased with some savignon blanc white wine....perfecto!

We returned to our 'lido deck' games night, playing 5 games of Backgammon, of which I won 3, and TLE 2.....the final two games were very close, and were decided on the last roll of dice....they could have gone either way.

TLE wasn't up for a fire, but I was so I got one started, and enjoyed the starlit night for about 90 minutes before the chilly night air chased me inside for the night.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 19, 2023

It is just that simple......

 7:24 am - Thursday - January 19th - GNHS - 39° F, humidity 56%, wind 4 mph out of the south by southeast.....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 61° F. On this date in 2016 TLE and I were wondering around in Quartzite at the White Tent sale.....some very colorful vendors......↴

By mid morning Wednesday TLE and I had decided we would drive the COA van into at least Mecca to do a small shopping, and also check at the local auto parts store (Juan's Auto Parts) to see if they had any 2001 VW Beetle ignition coils in stock....if they didn't we would continue onto the O'Reilly's in Indio.  We arrived at Juan's around 11 am, and found he only had one of the two coils I needed in stock, so we continued our drive into Indio.  We arrived at the O'Reilly's around 11:30 am, and found they also had just one of the coils, also, but their Coachella store had one also, so we paid for both at the Indio store, planning to pickup the second coil at the Coachella store on our way back to GNHS after we shopped at the local Ralph's.

By the time we finished our grocery shopping it was around 12:30 pm, and we arrived at the Coachella O'Reilly's about 12 minutes later to find they had not held the ignition coil we had purchased while at the Indio store.  Instead they had sent it over to the Indio store....doh!  Now we have to drive all the way back to the Indio store. 

One interesting side note I need to inject here is while we were on our way to the Indio store the first time I received a call from Kyle that 3 Canadian couples had arrived for 3 rentals they had booked online.  I told him we had checked the manifest that very morning, and there were no rentals scheduled for Wednesday.  Had there been Casey, Torri, or Bob would have called to ask permission to make such a booking on our scheduled day off work.  TLE checked on her phone and reconfirmed there were no bookings.  About 20 minutes later I got another call from Kyle advising they had made reservations at the Glamis Sand Dunes rental agency in error.  At any rate, with Casey's permission, and ours, Kyle rented out two of the KRXs and one RZR for 4 hours, since we would be home by 2:30 pm, and in time to receive them when they returned at 4:30 pm.

We arrived back at the Indio location of O'Reilly's around 1 pm, picked up the second coil and were on our way back to GNHS.  Since we've used the COA van twice now we decided to stop in Mecca at the ARCO Travel Center to top off the tank, which was down to 1/3 by now, and while there to try out the Mexican place inside the Travel Center (Chello's Burgers).  In spite of their name, they do specialize in Mexican food, so I ordered their 2 crispy/shredded beef tacos, and TLE a Chef's Salad.  The tacos were surprisingly good, and so was the salsa.

After our lunch, and taking on 19 gallons of unleaded regular at $4.17/gallon we were on our way again arriving home around 2:30 pm as we had planned.  While TLE opened the office I changed clothes, and set about installing the new ignition coils.  Doing this job was a new one for me, and whenever I attempt something new I am always uncertain as to the outcome.  I understood intellectually that it could only be two things that could cause the type of misfires we had, and those were the spark plugs and/or the ignition coils.  Since I had confirmed the spark plugs were fine it had to be the coils, right?  Nevertheless, I just thought it couldn't be that simple.  

Installing the new ignition coils took about 15 minutes, and then the acid test.....will it start and run smoothly without any flashing check engine lights?  I got in the car, inserted the key, and started the started, and ran as smooth as misfires.  Then I drove it around the park for about 10 minutes, and it continued to run just fine with no check engine lights, or misfires.  I'm sure my sigh of relief was audible.  So, it was just as simple as the YouTube video implied, and all it cost me was some gas, and $70 for the two coils.  I neglected to buy the new spark plugs, but I will order them, and install them at a later date.  The main thing is our car works again...what a great feeling!

Our three unexpected rentals returned just before 4:30 pm with no issues and our lovely Canadian couples all were smiling, promising to return next year.  Since it was getting late I just checked each unit over for damage, and finding none parked each of them.  I'll wash them, fuel them, and clean the air filters Thursday....we have no rentals at the moment so I'll have plenty of time.

Thanks for stopping by Clarke's Automotive Repair where the outcome is always in!