This is so embarrassing…

January 24th, 2012

About six months back, I lost my wallet and since I still don’t have a replacement debit card, access to physical cash has been spotty. We’ve been chipping away at the cash on hand. Most of the people I want to do business with in Quartzsite only accept cash.

Good Times - Blythe Bluegrass Festival 2012

Brian gives the BBGF two thumbs up!

None of this entered my head almost two weeks ago when our friend, Brian, asked if we wanted to go to the Blythe Bluegrass Festival during RTR. The day of the event though, I discovered we were only able to afford a single ticket to the event as it was cash only.

Not to be deterred, I packed a bag full of juggling gear and set out anyway along with a big cardboard sign reading “Can’t afford a ticket”. I figured that the worst case scenario was Jenn getting to see a show she was interested in and I’d be able to get some juggling practice in while listening from the parking lot.

Jenn was not quite so optimistic. She was working under the impression that the cops would toss me in jail within minutes of arrival. In case of such an unlikely event, she sat outside crocheting a funny hat while our friends went inside.

Over the next hour, I impressed tens of people… we arrived late and there was not the giant crowd I had been hoping for; most of them were already inside the event. I did manage to make several bucks and was only three dollars away from having the price of admission when a couple of guys in a golf cart rolled up.

  Make Your Own Fire Poi

They were with the chamber of commerce… which runs the bluegrass festival. They were very polite, but also very insistent. They were more than happy to let Jenn and I into the show (a $30 value!) if I would quit juggling knives in front of the entrance. In essence, they paid me to quit!

Their timing could have been better. Five minutes earlier, our friends had come back out to see how I was doing. Three witnesses… I count Jenn as an accessory!

Our band photo - Blythe Bluegrass Festival 2012

Our band photo

Waiting for the Sun

February 18th, 2011

Our solar panel

Our solar panel… installed

After three years on the road and using a generator, we’ve finally managed to get a solar panel on the roof. The problem with getting the ‘best’ price on solar panels is that we never managed to be in the right place at the right time until this winter. We had to do a local pickup from the warehouse in Phoenix in order to get a single panel in the size / price range we wanted. On the plus side, during the three years we spent trying to figure out how to get a panel, prices dropped significantly. For what we would have paid to get a panel three years ago, we could have easily afforded two today.

On our way to RTR, we picked up the panel. The trouble was the size of the panel! We had to put it on the bed as that was the only safe spot large enough to hold it… which meant Jenn and I, plus the dog and a cat or two slept on the couch our first night in Quartzsite. Comfy.

The next morning, we hit Solar Bill’s shop to pick up some wiring to make a connector for the camper and headed over to RTR. Our first afternoon was spent installing the panel and controller, which probably seemed anti-social to some folks, but I wasn’t going to spend another night on the couch.

Our solar panel is slightly tilted

Our solar panel is tilted…slightly

It’s over a month later and we’ve only run the generator for power tools and a quick charge up right after the installation. I’m sure that’ll change once we leave the desert, but I think we’ll have a lot less generator hassles in the future.

It’s too bad we abused the batteries for three years with constant deep discharges. I think we’ll still get a few years out of them, but they and the inverter are probably the next ‘big ticket’ upgrades. There are also a few smaller tweaks we may do in the future, but even as it stands, I’m loving the ‘free’ electricity that requires so little work from me.

Slab City’s Got Talent 2011

February 1st, 2011

We left RTR in Quartzsite just in time to make it to the Slab City Talent Show. The turnout was good. And, even though the crowd seemed a bit more reserved this year, the beer and hippies were both plentiful. The BBC was also in attendance this year. Supposedly, they are making a documentary featuring the slabs.

Here are some images from the event. I have a couple of videos as well, but they are too large to upload on my cellular internet. Once I get a good connection, they will appear on our youtube channel.

2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show2011 Slab City Talent Show

Campsites mentioned in this post:

  • Slab City

      Make Your Own Fire Poi

  • RTR

    January 24th, 2011

    Having a great time here at the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous. Wish you were here.

    Once again I have done a piss poor job of taking pictures. To date, i have taken a total of zero. Thankfully, other people are more forward thinking than I. Here’s a list of blogs that have documented the event.

    RVly Ever After
    http://rvlyeverafter.blogspot.com/2011/01/rubber-tramp-rendezvous-heres-what-you.html

    Techno-Viking
    http://techno-viking.com/posts/rubber-tramps/

    Stumpy’s Daily Dose ‘o’ Dirtville
    http://giantspeckledchihuahua.blogspot.com/2011/01/paw-teeeeeee-247.html

    Laura’s Westy
    http://lauraswesty.blogspot.com/2011/01/quartzesite-arizona.html

    NOLA’s Lost Son
    http://cajungypsy.blogspot.com/2011/02/rtr-last-morning.html

    Suanne Online
    http://suanneonline.blogspot.com/2011/01/rendezvous-at-quartzsite-jan-10-29.html

    Many Wheels
    http://manywheelsbrian.blogspot.com/2011/01/quartzsite.html

    Raven’s Roads
    http://www.ravensroads.com/tag/RTR201101/


    Campsites mentioned in this post:
    Quartzsite