I sent the drone up this morning and took this panorama of the trap and skeet range, one of the sporting clay courses on the right and the campground.
It was a beautiful day today which brought out great hordes of shooters, and the smell of burning gunpowder signals things are getting back to normal at Ben Avery's after the Christmas lull.
I made four new mounting feet for my poor wounded solar panel and with any luck I will scrape together enough motivation to actually get up on the roof of the Arctic Fox and repair it someday soon. Unfortunately it doesn't look like I'll be able to use the weather as an excuse to put it off since its supposed to be in the low 70s for the next 10 days.
I sure am getting anxious to be back on the road again heading to someplace with a new view, but it looks like I'll have to hang around here a while longer to see how the motorcycle deal turns out and get the seat for the Beta. I know I'll be here till after the first of the year but after that I'm not sure.
Being able to go whenever and wherever I wanted to go for the last couple of years is very addictive. It's what my sense of freedom is based upon and to be tied down, however lightly, like I am now gets harder to deal with by the day.
I guess technically I could take something like a one week vacation, leave here and then come back, which would relieve some of my hitch itch and give me a different view for a while.
I could run back to Wickenburg for a week and stay at a different boondocking area, or I could keep on going and in another hour and a half I would be in Quartzsite and boondock there for a week. Or I could just stay here buckle down and get some of my DIY projects done, but that sounds like a lot of work, and how important could those projects be if I've been putting them off for a year or two.
These are all difficult and complicated decisions and you can't make difficult and complicated decisions on the spur of the moment, they have to be contemplated in a serious and thoughtful way, but when I do that I always end up falling asleep in my easy chair and when I wake up I don't remember what I was thinking about, which probably explains why not much ever gets done.
These are my neighbors that live right behind me. Long time ago I thought that I wanted to retire in RVs like these but now that I've fallen in love with the boondocking lifestyle I wouldn't trade the Arctic Fox for both of these RVs.
The range is closed today so this is the first day since I've been here that I didn't wake up to gunfire.
Even though today will be quiet with nothing going on, tomorrow will be very busy. Everyone that got a new gun for Christmas, or any gun accessories will be here tomorrow testing them out. So while the kids are riding around the neighborhood on their new bicycle dad will be here at the range shooting his new shotgun.
It's going to be a quiet day for me. Like all of the folks camped around me were away from our families so there's not a whole lot to do. Most things are closed so there's not much a person can do on Christmas day except stay home and eat which is pretty much my plans for the day.
It's lucky I went up on the Arctic Fox's roof to take this sunset picture
Today was just about as perfect a day as you could find as far as weather is concerned, 70 degrees, 10 percent humidity, and a clear blue sky. Unfortunately things other than the weather are going to require some attention.
At sunset last night I climbed up on the roof of the Arctic Fox to take that picture you see at the top of this post, and while up there I saw the evidence of where I had apparently gotten too close to a tree limb and had ripped out one of the feet that holds a solar panel to the roof. At the other end of the panel the foot was halfway ripped out and one of the feet on the other side of the panel was bent over but still holding.
Now I know it wasn't that way when I was staying at Ben Avery's rifle range about a month and a half ago because I got up on the roof and cleaned all the panels and I certainly would have noticed a situation this bad so I know it didn't happen before then.
Since I'm in the desert there's not a whole lot of trees around with branches sticking everywhere so I had to give some thought to how I managed to get that close to something that could mess up my solar panel mounts that bad.
It didn't take much mentally retracing my path over the last month and a half to figure out what happened simply because there's just not much in the desert that can do this that I would have to get near.
The problem was when I left the rifle range campground when I camped at Ben Avery's before. The last thing I did was dump my tanks at their single dumpsite on my way out. And there's a narrow driveway going into the dumpsite with the dump area on the left and trees on the right that are taller than the trailer. I remember getting over as far as I could to avoid the branches but it was pretty narrow and I guess I didn't get over far enough and probably caught a branch under my solar panel.
I guess it just goes to show that no matter what you do things aren't always going to go right and you need to be prepared to fix whatever problems are going to occur so that things like this are just an annoyance and not a disaster.
I went to Home Depot this morning and bought some pieces of metal that I'll used to make more feet to replace the bent and broken ones. They sell feet that you're supposed to use but they're kind of expensive for just a bent piece of metal and not that easy to find without ordering them. But they're very simple to fabricate out of two pieces of aluminum "L" stock and will be stronger than the ones you buy.
If I were staying anyplace besides the desert this project would go to the top of my DIY list. But since it seldom rains in the winter I'm not worried about any leaks, and its probably not going to blow off, after all I've driven it back and forth from Wickenburg and its still up there. This problem will more than likely get fixed while I'm here but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it and stress is not even in my vocabulary.
This mounting foot was totally destroyed and is completely separated from the roof
This foot was halfway pulled out but is still holding a little