Stuff to do…

The Wifi here at Campo San Felipe was much, much better than at Kiki’s but there still were glitches. And the big one was my big RV blocking the signal from the people back from where I’m parked. There’s a small building shown below across the entrance road from my spot where they had recently moved the Modem/Access Point and they started getting complaints as soon as the big RV next to my spot moved in a week before I arrived. And then I moved in blocking even more of the signal so many back further from the building weren’t getting a usable signal at all. I’d mentioned a couple days after I’d moved here that the Wifi wasn’t that great and if they needed some help with it I’d be willing and more than able. So we talked about their system and the groundskeeper keeps telling me he’s got a plan to put a repeater out in the yard on top of the new building so everyone will get a better signal. I made an assumption that they’d bought the right kind of equipment. Didn’t get a request to help so since I was getting a pretty good signal, I didn’t think much about it. Heard some rumblings about poor Wifi around the park though.

And then a couple days ago I see 3-4 guys over near where I heard the new Wifi antenna was going to go, and they’re kind of ganging up on the groundskeeper about the Wifi being weak and all. I was over there listening for a bit and try to straighten out the misconceptions about Wifi and then offer to get the repeater all set up. The groundskeeper guy was really relieved and handed me the box and all the paperwork.

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More from San Felipe…

I’d initially paid for 8 days here at Campo San Felipe, and was enjoying my stay, especially the fast WiFi that allowed using Netflix, when the situation changed.

What happened was that the Mexican government sold their Pemex stations to private operators. This was to satisfy provisions of NAFTA. Thing is, the government had been artificially keeping the fuel prices low, below Mexico’s costs of production and distribution. And it had been that way for years. Plus they often have to buy gas from the US to keep up with demand and had been subsidizing that too. The citizens of Mexico strongly objected to the coming increases in fuel prices and started protesting. Soon there were shortages all over Mexico from hoarding, and thousands of stations ran out of fuel. Others were blocked by protesters, many were vandalized causing closures.

And that’s why I went ahead and paid for a full month here. With good WiFi, 50 amp service, and a beautiful RV park and surroundings, I didn’t really give up anything other than my wanderlust. Even then, I can wait for the fuel crisis to blow over and leave later. End of January when my monthly rent terminates would be a fine time.

Here in San Felipe, I’m told there was a small march through town protesting the higher fuel prices, and once I saw a truck load of marines hanging out at a Pemex, but that’s all that happened. Of course, all the stations in town ended up without any fuel but that lasted just a few days. I’m told by ex-pats living here that they will have fuel again today, and there’s not going to be any lines the day after. So, my plan to wait it out, worked. I still have 1/2 tank of gas in my car. And 3/4 tank in my RV. I could make it up to the border in the RV easy enough on that amount if the shortage drags on too long or returns.

And here’s a few more shots of the Campo San Felipe campground…the weather has been a bit chilly this year but the sun does come out from under the clouds on a regular basis.

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Enjoying Mexico…

Surprisingly chilly here in San Felipe since I arrived on Dec. 13th. Midday is nice and warm, and mostly sunny, but the mornings and evenings when I’m out and about can be downright cold. But when I consider what my friends up in Portland are enduring right now, I’m happy to be here and not up there.

Now that I have a car, it’s fun to drive around and explore the San Felipe area. I hope these pictures will give you a sense of how the people here live and work.

This is a very sandy valley. Many of the roads are not paved. There are street lights on this dusty neighborhood street though.

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On into Mexico…

My stay at the Salton Sea was great, I liked having the cement parking spot for my RV at Oasis Palms RV Resort. Allowed for crawling around under the RV and spraying the entire undercarriage with Jasco Rust Preventer, using my wheeled creeper. Much better to work under there on a cement slab and easier too using the creeper as I could just quickly roll around checking things. Most RV parks have a slab next to the RV as a patio and usually add a picnic table for visitors use but this park has the opposite. Park the rig on cement, enjoy your grass patio. Worked out well for me as I needed to treat the rust on the undercarriage, needed to get familiar with what’s under there for future reference, and finally, I used the opportunity to plug the drain for the fresh water tank. It has a drip-drip-drip leak that slowly drains the fresh water tank. It’s used when winterizing the RV. Since the drain is right in the middle of the undercarriage, the cement pad made it much easier to get to, and more comfortable to do the work of plugging it (I used a commercial 1 & 1/2″ expanding rubber plug).

With basically everything done that needed to be done, it was time to head to Mexico. I’d stayed here at Oasis Palms for 2 weeks. Used my PPA card so I only paid $160/week, $80/week less than their normal rate. The manager groused a bit about the 2nd week, saying they normally only do the PPA for six days per year, but I’d already made out the check (I anticipated his objection) and the park was less than half full so he allowed it.

All ready to go the next morning.

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Tour Around the Salton Sea…

This is the 2nd time I’ve visited the Salton Sea area, but during the first visit I didn’t have a car so I could not easily tour. This time with the car, I decided to just circumnavigate the sea and have a look. On the side I am staying on, the west side, there’s not much of the sea to see. I’d already visited the small housing developments of Desert Shores and Salton Sea Beach along the seashore that exist nearby where I was staying and they are certainly showing their ages. Even at those places there were scant opportunities to actually get anywhere near the sea. There’s really not a lot of access to it. No obvious public beaches or boat ramps that I could find. I did find some man made canals running a hundred yards from the sea inland, but their purpose escaped me. No fishing boats in them. They didn’t smell all that pleasant either. I did see some governmental environmental research buildings on one of those canals but they seemed long abandoned.

Here’s a history of the Salton Sea that helps understand it’s recent history. Worth the read. It’s the result of a human engineering accident back in 1905 which went on for two years and was considered a catastrophe back when it happened.

This is a Public Domain photo I found on Wikipedia that shows how nice the sea can be at times.


Anyway, I drove north 7 miles from the RV park, then crossed over to the east side of the sea, then continued down the east side for 35 odd miles, then back up the west side back to home base. Stopping occasionally along the way. So a 2-3 hour adventure.

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At the Salton Sea…

I am enjoying this area quite a bit…mostly because of the fine weather. Warm days, cool but not cold nights. And we’ve had a rain storm or two come through. I’ve gotten some work done on my RV too, here’s a link to the latest project, restringing of two Day/Nite Shades. They were in the living room and took me much longer than they should have, for a couple reasons. The article about those specific shades are below that older article of the bedroom shade I had to restring. So scroll down, or better yet, read both articles as they relate.

I also spent half a day visiting three hardware stores trying to find a 1 & 1/2″ plug for the fresh water drain. My Winnie has a drip-drip-drip from a PVC pipe in the middle of the undercarriage that slowly depletes my freshwater tank. It’s a drain that this RV has a slide valve for, used when winterizing the RV. Pull the handle, the slide valve opens, and drains the tank. Except when you close it, it’s suppose to seal. Doesn’t work very good at that. And rather than trying to find and repair whatever is wrong with that slide valve, I’ve just plugged the outlet for now. Had to drive for several miles to find the right sized plug. True value was out, Home Depot didn’t have that size, ended up at a regular plumbing supply house where I finally found the right part. Like I said, took half a day.

After I’d been here a week, I was enjoying myself here enough that I decided to stay another week. No particular reason, I just like it here. This is the area where the Coachella Concert is held each year. My brother Dan used to come down and camp in a tent every year to enjoy the concert but he’s stopped coming because he says the music has gotten too mainstream, with too much hip hop type music. He really goes for off-the-wall style music though. Stuff I can’t stand to listen to.

A couple days ago, I remembered my camera and just cruised around the area near where I’m staying for a look/see. This is the view from the end of the street I’m on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And up the road a bit is this little store. They really need to dust in there. Not a very pleasant shopping expirience. They have a little tiny Mexican style cafe in there too. If it wasn’t filthy all over the store, I might have tried eating there.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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A Few Weeks in Rosamond…

Last time, I’d traveled from Myrtle Creek, to Redmond, CA, to Bakersfield, on my way to again visit my brother in Rosamond, CA. This first set of pictures is as I left Bakersfield.

This is one of the amazing valleys you find in California outside of Bakersfield. Once you add water, which is in short supply around here this decade, the place just blooms.

A couple hours later, and I was outside of Tehachapi, CA. This is that neat railroad turn about that’s famous for the elevation it makes in such a small area. The trains wrap around a hillock as they gain elevation. Sadly, this route is soooo busy with freight, there’s no passenger trains that I know of that take the turn around. In the picture you can see, off in the distance, another section of the same train you can see in the foreground as it threads its way up the hill. There is a road that overlooks the route and I’ve been up there with a friend to check it out. Pretty neat. There’s a museum in Tehachapi too. They’ll direct you to the overlook if you ask.


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New Repair Section…

I’ve added another repair section to my blog. 

The new blog thread is going to cover any repairs and mods I make to my 2001 Saturn SL1. It’s a 4 cylinder 1.9L 4-door coup. I wish it had power everything like in the cars I’ve bought before but sadly, no. All it has is A/C and an aftermarket AM/FM/AUX/CD system.

When I bought it in June 2016, it only had 60,085 miles on it. It still did need some parts replaced as they were poorly designed or manufactured by Saturn to begin with and had short lives. You’ll see what I have had to do on the car so far at this link that’s accessible on any page as an extension of the ‘Towing’ section of the RV Section – RV Repair Section – 2002 Winnebago Journey – Towing-2001 Saturn SL1 drop down links. Or just click the link here.

Thanks for reading!

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On into Cali…

Last time, I’d stayed at Myrtle Creek a few days, before continuing my southward journey. And we’ll pick up where I left off. Because I was trying to avoid that big storm rolling in, I planned a short day of driving and picked a RV park to stop at just a couple hundred miles south of Myrtle Creek.

It was overcast when I left Myrtle Creek, with scattered showers threatening along the way. But being in the mountains can have it’s advantages and one of them is that storms are sometimes busted up by them. In this area, surrounded by mountains, I didn’t have to contend with much wind. At least not until I dropped down into the valley of northern California later in the day.

It had rained quite a bit before I got up, and it had been heavy enough that it had clouded the backup video camera lens which is why I took this picture of the backup camera view. The blurriness is water sitting on the protected lens. You can also see a bit of rain on the windshield there as well. Not heavy rain at this time of the morning so easy to drive in as I left Myrtle Creek. Only took about 15 minutes to hook up the car in the light rain this morning. Double checked everything, triple checked everything.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Oh, spoke too soon. Heavy rain a few miles down the road. Traveling on a major 4 lane highway has it’s advantages though, I could drive as safely as I wanted without impeding traffic. Remember, towing the car is still new to me. I stopped just a few miles later to fuel up at 7-Feathers Casino truck stop. I’ll have to get use to using truck stops while towing because I need the extra maneuvering room with the car back there. Before I bought the car, with just a 35 foot Class A, I often used smaller fuel stations, got pretty good at figuring out if I’d fit, and the best way to get into them. Sometimes I’d have to back up to get back out, you can’t do that with a toad.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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New RV post…

Finished and posted a write up of the installation of a Progressive Industries EMS-LCHW50 Surge Protector in the Journey. If you’re a fan of DIY electrical stuff, you may enjoy this, and this article may just be helpful down the line.

Electrical: Adding Surge Protection


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