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Old 05-04-2008, 04:51 PM   #21
Manual Garcia O'Kely
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Yea, you 'hi-tech' guys probably have wifi for file transfer. Not me, w/out a reader I'm done. I don't carry all the cords possible either, lack of room in the camper plus no interest in it. I 'll bring the card reader next trip - I do have one at home.

I'm contemplating another visit to the Atlas Missle Museum to operate their
Discage antenna again I have time to decide but I may skip it in favor of sleeping late in a nice, big, comfortable bed.

We are considering Death Valley as a last stop on the way home, mid-week it should be easy to find a place to camp. Then home for a few weeks of R+R before heading to the great north.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:40 AM   #22
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Picking up the Roost, Report Three:

The Fatal Flaw: OK, it's not fatal, but it's wounding indeed to notice that the Subaru
just lacks a few HP for going up steep hills - for example, going over Sonora Pass [CA 108] today,
we were the second car of the season - I have a pic of the guy unlocking the gate for us - we let the
guy with the Forunner go first...well, it's a 26% grade up this little pass. We were forced to resort
to first gear several times, and going down, we were insanely pleased to have trailer brakes.
That being said, we do rather have to flog it hard at altitude but at least it goes.

From Ruidoso, we headed west and ended up camping in Arizona where we had temps down to 20 degrees -
our water system froze and we got up and got the heck out of there, and headed towards Tucson, AZ for
a few days visit with my parents - we got to sleep in a king bed and use a private shower for three nights!

We did get one nice accessory - we got a 1.5" thick TempurPedic pad to go on top of the stock mattress -
although it's warmer and reduces foot clearance somewhat, the added comfort was seems to be worth it.

We decided to take at least two days to get home and headed towards Death Valley, sticking to all back
roads to avoid truck traffic - it's a desolate place, part of it, but we got into DV about 7:30 PM and found
a no power site at Furnace Creek - woof - it went all the way down to 80 and it was NOT very comfortable
without A/C [no power].

We had hoped to camp in Yosemite tonight but Tioga Pass had not been opened, so we ended up coming all
the way home instead. Bay Area traffic sure was a surprise after 3 weeks of relative sanity on the roads.

I'm going to post some pictures in the next day or so, I want to get them onto my photobucket page rather than
putting them on this system, but here's a teaser.....

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Old 05-09-2008, 01:51 AM   #23
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Default Photos!

http://s166.photobucket.com/albums/u...Inn%20Trailer/

This links you to a bunch of pics on my photobucket site - please be gentle. It's mostly about the unit but some of the pics show the variety of the terrain.

I'll note that we put nearly 7,000 miles on the trailer coming home with nary a glitch apart from a frozen water system in New Mexico [or AZ?] the night before we arrived in Tucson. Not that we beat the heck out of it, but we did take it on dirt roads and we pulled at speeds that are probably not fully intellegent, up to 90 on some locations, it was a real easy tow.

We had virtually no problems with the Subaru except for the one check engine light that was a false alarm [cleared by dealer for free on the road], and the expected sluggish performance on anything approaching a steep hill - mostly we were ok dropping to 4th but some really good grades took 3rd - but that Sonora pass....1st up a 26% grade. Still, what do you expect for 2.5 liters of engine?

Alright, I've got to rest, time to hit the rack.
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Old 05-09-2008, 07:41 AM   #24
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Nice pics and great story! That's a new version of the teardrop isn't it? I don't recall the large windows in the front from the tv special on them about a year ago. Nice unit though. Keep up the great stories and good luck on your Alaska journey!
73



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Old 05-09-2008, 04:05 PM   #25
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Thanks for taking the trouble to get the pictures to us. Fun to look at.
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Old 05-09-2008, 06:59 PM   #26
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This is a new version teardrop type - it's the long-bed model 560 Ultra from Camp-Inn [www.tinycamper.com]. Since we are going for an extended period of time and both of us are 6' tall or more, we decided on the extra comfort.

The set-up and breakdown time can be as little as 10-15 minutes from parking to cooking once you have a bit of practice - that includes leveling it, hooking up any utilities, etc.
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:49 PM   #27
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Yesterday and today were car/trailer days:

Registered and plated the trailer - check
Oil change for Subaru - check
New RV store items:

Level
Level blocks [4" max]
Fresh water hose, 25' [same as the power cord]
Propane tank gauge [do those work?]
New 20 lb propane tank purchased [trailer comes with an 11 lb, but I wanted more for the long trip]
Both 20 and 11 lb tanks filled [only used 1 gallon in 10 days of camping, that's much better than I expected]
Got treatment chemical for the greywater tank to help keep it cleaner
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:30 PM   #28
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Default Departure Fixed

Had to wait for the YL to finish a project installation and so we are good to go. Departure is set for June 1st - right on schedule. We have a few things left to do, like shop for food, but that and wash the rig and make the beds is about it.

Finally. I'm really ready to hit the road.

Radio Sked: I belong to our local RACES group so the agreement is that when possible, I'm going to be on Tuesday nights at 0300 on either 3895 or thereabouts or on 7170 up to .178

I'm not sure I'll be there every tuesday but I'll try hard. 40 will probably work better most nights.

I'll post here when I can, I put the camera card reader in the electronics gear bag so I can post pics to my account as well.
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:07 AM   #29
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Well God bless you on your journey and we all hope you have the time of your life! Looking forward to your picks and posts.

We pick up our 5th wheel in Ohio July 5. Wish us luck!
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Old 06-05-2008, 09:16 PM   #30
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Default Man I hate rain

We are in Portland, OR today. We had a bit of an issue with water the other night - that is, our trailer turned our to be a bit less waterproof than we had hoped/planned.

According to the factory, leaks are our problem, not theirs, so we are trying in the absense of a dry garage, to get some sealant into the appropriate areas to stop future leaks, but we need 3 days of bone-dry weather - which I don't really expect to see much of.

So, we bought a HUGE tarp and will go back to the blue tarp method of Alaska camping - you rig a tarp as a rainfly over your entire camp site. Might as well have saved the $$$ and used the tent if we have to do that. Except for the exellent kitchen facility.

Well, tommorrow we are going to drive up the Columbia River for a while. YL has not done that before. Unfortunately, the forecast is for rain, and snow about 4,000 feet. This IS June, right?

Not much radio, I did get to talk to an interesting guy when we were freshly out of town - turns out he's the owner of one of my favorite companies and I've been invited to visit after we return. Should be fun.

More reports will be forthcoming. No interesting photos yet.
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Old 06-05-2008, 09:45 PM   #31
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Too bad about the leak in the unit. "According to the factory, leaks are our problem, not theirs," does not bode well for future sales for that camper. I would find all the sites I could with forums for that camper and post what happened and the response from the manufacturer.
Hope things work out better on your trip north.
73 and good luck!
Andy



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Old 06-06-2008, 11:17 PM   #32
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Well, temporarily arrested anyway. Woke up this AM in Portland with another wet bed and wife and I agreed to head home [see it's DRY here] and work on the problem from the comfort of our own yard.

I do believe I solved about 3/4 of the problem, so I think I can probably finish this, but you are so correct that my recommendations for this camper are now prefaced with "Give it a hose test before you accept delivery".

More later, I have to go get dinner for us, it's late here and we have been in the car for 11 hours.
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:52 AM   #33
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It would sure seem that the manufacturer has a problem comprehending express and implied warranties. I'd write a nice letter to your state attorney general and explain what happened then request their assistance in securing the repair or replacement of the unit. Copy the maufacturer on the letter.

Stay dry.

Richard, WU5K
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:41 PM   #34
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Default Effecting repairs...

After a wasted day yesterday, I bit the bullet today and removed the rear hatch in order to gain access to the area most in need of sealant.

I used a tube of Lexell sealant, which is just about as sticky as I've ever used. I hope it cures well - I think I might have gotten it.

Hopefully we will be able to get the lid back on - it's an aluminum knuckle type of hinge and it was not too easy to uncouple. Hopefully we don't fatally damage it trying to put it back together.

I'm going to give this stuff a couple of days to cure, then we are going to go back on the road, I estimate Wed. AM, by the time we get all said and done.

What is not clear to me is how this missed QC since it's such an obvious location - you can see it, it's really not hidden IMHO.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:30 PM   #35
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Default Re-assembly

My Son was over, and he helped me and the YL put the hatch back on - darned hinge nearly defeated us - it was a tight fit and the first time we had it cockeyed. Had to re-do the prop a second time to get the entire hinge in line - hope we did not bend anything in the process.

Couple of more days curing in the warm, dry weather then I guess we will flood test it - I doubt SWMBO will accept anything less. Although I'm going to argue not to do it until the sealant has more time to cure - a week? Two weeks?

Anyway, that's as far as I go trying to fix this. Next step is a repair shop.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:23 PM   #36
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Default Trip restart!

We have had three good warm days for the sealant to effect it's initial cure, and hopefully it's now enough to keep it from shifting around. We should have a dry day until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest, so I hope for good result.

Regardless, it's the decision of the executive to get back on the road tomorrow AM. If we continue to encounter leaking issues, we are agreed that we will seek out an RV repair shop for further attempts, and will recover this cost from the manufacturer upon our return.

We did add a few things to the inventory:

A big blue tarp 16' x 20' for pitching over the campsite - a super-dining fly.
Two adjustable 9' tent poles - suitable for pitching tarp or antenna, as needed.
Folding BBQ [the elusive Pyromid]
Small bag of charcoal for above
Two kinds of Caulk/Sealant

So tomorrow, it's back on the road again. We are both ready to go, the interruption has run it's course. I'm ready to be traveling.

Next posting will be from the road again.
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Old 06-22-2008, 01:29 AM   #37
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Default Report One

North To Alaska, report No. 1
Dateline: Whitehorse, Yukon, June 21, 2008

Well, greetings all and welcome to the first report from our trip.

First off, a general note: We are WAY too early for many facilities and camps, particularly in
Alberta in Jasper and Banff parks - many places don't even open until late June this year.

Secondly, I'm not giving daily mileage figures, they are a pita...

6/11 - Home to Valley of the Rogue State Park, near Medford, OR.
Day one of the re-start, we jetted straight up I-5 trying to recover our lost
ground. This park is in the shadow of I-5 so some of the sites are very noisy
but it's a well equipped park with showers and laundry. Sunny weather today.
The car continues to tow well, so that's great. Showers are decent, hot enough
but like many we will see, a bit on the small side.

6/12 - Nehalem Bay State Park, Oregon Coast, north of Tillamook
One must stop to stock up on cheese at the Tillamook factory store, the choices
and prices are quite good and there's plenty of parking for the rigs.
This park is on a coastal dune location and you can walk to the beach from the camp,
they also have accommodation for horses. However, this park is wildly popular in the
summer so reservations are recommended - it's a great place for kids with the ocean
right there. Also worth seeing here is the old NAS Tillamook, which has a blimp
hangar from WWII and a very nice collection of old warbirds. Great showers

6/13 - Memaloose State Park, on the Columbia River, Oregon
We continued up the coast of Oregon to Astoria, then turned inland on the south side of
the Columbia River. This camp is near Mt. Hood, OR. The trip up river takes you from
coastal rainforest to near desert conditions. It's on the river, although we found it a bit
windy and again close to the highway, it's still a nice location. Again, showers are
adequate and the site is good.

6/14 - Sun Lakes State Park, Near Coulee City, WA
This park will not go down as one of our favorites - the tent sites are very closely spaced
and the RV section [power and water] has no trees to speak of, however the views
are pretty darn good. We drove up from The Dalles. It's an interesting trip with both nice
areas and sun blasted places one would never choose to live.

6/15 - CANADA - Gladstone Prov. Park, BC.
Ouch. $21. to camp. No services, showers or flush toilets. We crossed the border
on Wash Hwy 21 and found that we could not take any of our fresh produce or firewood
into Canada. Yepers, all into the incinerator. then another shopping trip to replace all
we lost. Sigh. They were really anal about weapons and that includes Bear Spray, which
they sell in Canada and is legal to carry there [so why can it not cross the border?].

This part of WA was very scenic and relatively remote, roads were great and the weather
continues to please us with reasonably warm and mostly dry weather.

We are also settling into our travelling routine, with shopping stops planned, meal planning
for the shopping, fuel stop routines and most importantly: Visit EVERY information booth
the first time we enter a state/province. They all have guides to camping locations. Handy.

6/16 - Martha Creek Prov. Park, 20 K north of Revelstoke, BC
Well, the Revelstoke park has camping, provided you can walk into the camps some
15K or more [backcountry park] but the area around Revelstoke is very scenic. The
Martha Creek park is small but has some great views and is right on a nice large lake.
No showers, unfortunately. Seems like there are not a lot of people living around here,
but there are plenty of small towns around.

6/17 - Lake Louise NP, Alberta.
When they call the National Parks crown jewels, it must explain why they charge so
much for them. $32/night, but that does include a decent shower, and it's much less
than the Lake Louise Lodge [Fairmont Hotel property], but they also nick you for $20
A DAY for the park pass - yes, that's right, what would get you a weeks stay in Yellowstone
or Yosemite gets you exactly ONE day in Canada. They also have bear issues that they tend
to sort of ignore, except that the tent camp has an electric fence around it.

Many of the smaller campgrounds have not even opened for the season yet.

6/18 - Whistler Campground, Jasper NP, Jasper, Alberta.

The Icefields Parkway drive was most certainly a highlight drive. It's one of the most scenic
drives I have ever seen, and if I had not been trekking in Nepal previously, I'd say they are
some of the most impressive mountains ever, as it is, it was superb. A full day of scenery
beyond photography. They call it an 'all-weather' road, and they are not kidding, we had
Sun, Rain and Snow, all in the same hour at one point. The Columbia Icefield is just
amazing and the visitor center is well worth the hour it takes to walk thru.

Jasper is one of the nicest towns we have seen - it's very tourist oriented, but not in a bad
way, and it's a hub or outdoor activity.

6/19 - Charley Lake Prov. Park, just outside Fort St. John, BC
This is a very nice park, small and no amenities, but one of the nicest managers we have
encountered yet. She strongly suggested we stop at Liard Hot Springs.

We have finally started on the official Alaska Highway, being some miles NW of Dawson
Creek, which is Milepost 0 on the original route.

Once we left Jasper, we went north to Grand Prarie, and the transisiton from mountains to
Prarie is abrupt and it's vastly different. Nice. Plenty of campgrounds on this road, but
the majority of them are primitive camps.

6/20 - Liard Hot Springs, BC

If the 18th was 'The Weather Channel', today was Animal Planet:

Brown and Grizzley Bears, Caribou, Moose, Stone Sheep, Bison and Deer
and we did not even get out of the car....

This is one popular weekend campsite - they let us camp in the overflow parking lot, but
unfortunately the well was dry so there was no water. Glad the trailer carries it's own
supply.

The Hot Springs were well worth the special stop - I would strongly recommend that
you stop for a nice hot soak. Yum.

6/21 - Whitehorse, Yukon

OK, we are cheating tonight, we needed to do laundry and a nice shower, so we splurged
on a room for the night. Unfortunately, everyone else is here in Whitehorse as well, we had
a hard time finding a room - seems that everyone thought that the Solistice would be the
perfect day for their summer event - there are 6 going on, including a fast-pitch softball tourney
with 100 teams in town, a Honda Goldwing gathering, a First Nations event plus the usual
events celebrating the day.

But we got a good Pizza at Tony's [you would never know it was that good from the street]
and we have internet access so here we are.

Saw our first Bald Eagle today and that was very very good. The road is surprisingly good
and traffic is still light but there are plenty of cars heading back south already!

Lots and lots of bikes on the road too.

Pics have been uploaded.

http://s166.photobucket.com/albums/u...ericus/Alaska/
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:36 AM   #38
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So glad to see your report and I have been looking forward to it. You have done a great job with the writing, editing and photography- is there a book down the road?

I didn't see any mention of any HF time. Have you had a chance to set you rig up?

Thanks,
Richard-WU5K
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:57 PM   #39
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No book.

I have only had one chance to operate HF, from Alberta, VE6, but I made a single check-in and contact on the 3905 CC Net, 40 meters early net. That was last Tuesday, I was trying to keep my Sked.

To be honest, it's not been a priority yet.

Oddly, I did help a fellow ham change a blowout the other day, and ran into another with a huge screwdriver antenna, but he was Off the air due to a loss of all the fingerstock wipers in his antenna - the road vibration broke off every single piece on the antenna. What a bummer.

On what is Tuesday nights [Wed on GMT] at 2000 PDT [that's 0300 GMT] I've been trying for contacts on 7.170 to 7.178 MHz.

Feel free to listen in.

Turns out that the local club is doing field day here in Whitehorse - for some reason my wife things we should be here for that - so maybe you want to listen for a Yukon operator on field day.....

Best. We are checking out this AM so I've got to run.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:55 PM   #40
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Default Report Two

North To Alaska, report No. 2
Dateline: Fairbanks, AK

Greetings from Fairbanks and welcome to report No. 2

Well, been a busy week.

6/22 - Takini Hot Springs, North of Whitehorse

We drove down to Skagway for the day - it's not a huge drive by today's standards,
but since the road more or less follows the Chilkoot route, you can see just how
brutal that trip must have been when you were hauling the required 1,000+ Lbs. of
supplies required by the Mounties to cross into Canada in those days.

Skagway is an interesting town in that much of the center of town is very old-school
and looks much like it did during the gold rush days. However, there are more jewelry
stores than there are on 5th Ave in NYC. Still a good visit as the Park Service has
lots of the buildings restored and with good displays.

6/23 and 24 - Haines AK

Another border crossing. Haines is a more authentic Alaska seacoast town, not as 'scenic'
in the tourist sense but much more interesting as a living community. The drive again was
dramatic. We camped in town - the RV park was decent and with great location but the bugs
are still thick.

There are several good sights to see including a native arts center where they carve totem
poles - they had a good 40'er going when we were there. There's also a Hammer Museum with
no kidding, about 1,500 hammers - for things you never would have thought of - it was worth
the $3 admission.

Mosey's Cantina had excellent mexican food and was just enough off the beaten path that we
were glad for the recommendation. It was a very local place.

6/25 - Kluane Lake, Yukon

This is a huge lake between Haines Junction and the Alaska border - we camped right on the
edge of the lake at the Cottonwood RV park - good location and great views but the wind came
up during the night and was blowing so hard we could not cook breakfast - we hit the road early
and headed west to Alaska.

6/26 - Eagle Trails Campground - 12 miles south of Tok [pronounced TOKE, not Tock]

This state campground was secluded and featured the worst water we have seen - brown out of the
hand pump. But was a good spot to camp away from it all.

Ernie's Roadhouse in Tok is was a good place for lunch but the supermarket in Tok leaves much to
be desired. The best thing I can say is that they had Johnsonville Brats.

We decided to continue on to Valdez and finish off the lower coastal towns. Another nice driving
day but the scenery is not that dramatic compared to the last few days.

6/27 - Valdez, AK

We camped in the city campground out by the airport - we were two camps from the local nesting pair
of Eagles.

Valdez has little to recommend it except as a place to get on the water for either Glacier tours or
sea kayaking. The city itself is all new since the 1964 earthquake which more or less demolished the
old town. They have a decent museum but apart from the physical location - spectacular, there is little
to recommend the town of Valdez as an attraction. And it rained.

They get so much snow here it's amazing - pics of the city in winter show snowbanks 6' tall and more in places.

I did some radio work but it's so far down in the hills that contacts were difficult at best.
I was able to check into the Sniper's net and made my only Field Day contact here.

Drove past the HAARP project [you all remember their moonbounce experiment earlier this year?] but you could
not see anything from the road and the gates were locked. Pity. It's just outside Gakona and they do have
an open house towards the end of summer every year.

6/28 - 50 miles south of Delta Junction - BLM campground

Another remote camp and a nice one indeed - lots of trees and I managed to rig up my 80 meter dipole to try a few
more field-day contacts but no one was listening hard enough for me to make contacts and calling CQ was no help.

Bought myself a nice new knife though - found a local who makes his own damascus steel and bought myself a souviner
my second knife from Alaska - I bought one on my first vacation up here 10 years ago. This one cost more but is
very nice with unique scales on the handle.

Had a Wolf sighting today - a brown coated wolf crossed the road about 100 yard in front of our car

6/29 - Fairbanks, AK

Drove up past Delta Junction today saw Ft. Greely where they are building StarWars missle launchers - nothing visible
from the road but they have re-paved their old runway since I was there last. Wonder if they still have the portable
atomic power plant there?

This road parallels the pipeline and we got lots of views of that plus some nice mountain views.

Our camp tonight is the Chena RV park south of town on the float plane lake - we have small planes coming and going
at all hours now. The service buildings here are all salvaged pipeline construction camp buildings, which I find
amusing.

We are going to stock up here to go north. I don't know if we will go all the way up, depends on the road, but we
are going to try and get to where the sun won't set for at least one night - I have to see that at least once.

Sorry there are no pics posted, this connection is not that good and I'm running out of time, it's almost 2300 local
and the sun is about to set as I sit outside smoking cigars and drinking Mt. Dew.

Hope you enjoy the report and I'll post again next week or so when we are a bit farther along.

The trailer and car are doing fine as are we.
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