Saturday, September 13, 2014

WHY

It puzzles some folks, and I can see that quizzical look come across their face, just before they say, WHY ? My initial response is usually, “Well, because we can ! “ But in reality it is much deeper than that. The conversation is about Work Camping, and why we do it as we approach our mid 70’s.

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Here is a look at our route to the harvest.

One of the jobs that we work is the Sugar Beet Harvest and we’ll be leaving out to go to it, in the next few days. Here is where you can learn more about the harvest. www.sugarbeetharvest.com

Now, like any type of work, it isn’t for everyone, however, even at 70 plus years, it suits us just fine. The harvest is a 24/7 operation until completed and that means being outside in all kinds of weather conditions. If you have a love of everything out of doors, then it might suit you as well as it does us. So, why does a couple of 70 something’s do this ?

Simply put, we feel good about ourselves when we are productive. Being raised by the world’s greatest Generation, the World War II Veteran’s,  we are imbued with a pretty serious work ethic. We are just not going to sit on the front porch rocking and waiting to meet our maker. We will be out there on the road somewhere going to meet him !

So, as the sunrises and we are at the end of a 12 hour shift, nearing the end of the harvest season, we are tired, a bit sore, sometimes more than just a little dirty, how do we feel ? Happy and satisfied that we have been a part of the world’s largest harvest, while working side by side, and keeping up with 20 something’s. Oh, yeah, then there is that other thing, getting paid well for your effort. The job pay’s straight time, time and one half and double time.

It is pretty cool to be retired, knowing that we can spend five months out of the year, basking in and totally immersing ourselves in, our particular intermountain culture ! Yet even then, we spent yesterday volunteering as part of a painting crew working on a local community building that was constructed circa 1909. So, WHY ?

Hey, remember, we have the need to remain productive ! See you out there on the road somewhere !

Saturday, September 6, 2014

SIXTYSIX

The Mother Road, Route 66, runs from Illinois to California. Any time we get near it, a involuntary, reflexive action happens. We escape. Off route. Abandon all plans. Drop off the face of the earth and get lost. Sometimes we wander aimlessly. Sometimes we search out specific places. But one thing for sure, we always have fun ! 

In this photo we are in front of the Phillips 66 Service Station that is in the music video link below.

Here is a look at a book that we pour over on a regular basis because it is such a in depth study of the Mother Road.

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This video misses what we think are some of the coolest places, yet it is ever so good !

Enjoy the video and a good look at all of the cool stuff out there on the old Route 66.

ROUTE 66 MUSIC VIDEO

This strange phenomenon, the connection between our escape and Route 66, is hard to describe, but, Depeche Mode does it quite well in the above video .

Sometimes escaping is good for the soul !

Saturday, August 23, 2014

LEAKER

When the replacement speakers arrived for the broken external speakers on our fifth wheeler, we had already cleaned all of the old caulking away and were ready for the install. After removing the tape that I had applied to keep the rain out, the next step was to clean the surfaces with alcohol to insure that the caulking sealed well.

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Since the factory installer had put the speakers in upside down the first time, I made sure that they were placed as they were engineered to be. The above photo is the correct way. Here, below, is a look at how the installer had them placed.

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Note that should the speaker cone break, water can easily enter the trailer.

So, have you got a potential “speaker leaker” ? It might be worth the time to take a look. If your external speakers are covered like the one below, it’s a easy check.

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Loosen a screw or two and take a quick peek. It’s a investment in peace of mind !

Saturday, August 16, 2014

SPEAKER

During our latest stay out on Lake Ouachita we had a big storm that at first we thought did no damage. However when we went to backtracking a strange drip from our Kitchen cabinets, we made a discovery. Our outside speaker cone had blown out and water could come in.

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Looks ok from here.

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Here is the culprit after being removed.

After removing the suspect speaker I could see that the cone was broken, allowing water to come inside the trailer. Here is the port the speaker was removed from.

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Here is the speaker box inside of the kitchen cabinet.

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New speakers were just a click away on eBay, so, we covered the port with shipping tape while waiting for them to arrive.

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Now, when we bought the trailer, I did not care for the outside speakers, but I thought, “well, I’ll just leave them off. And we have, but they still came back to bite us in the butt ! Our trailer is six years old and it looks like the leak was there for awhile before we detected it.

Outside speakers, do you want them ?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

REMEMBERING

It was back in September of 2007, the 9th day, a Saturday as I recall, when I saw my first Oliver travel trailer. I had cruised through the web site, called the factory and talked to the guy in the parts room. The Sales Manager at the time was going to show one at the River Valley Egg Rally in Van Buren Arkansas, and Betty and I drove up to take a look.

Oliver Legacy Elite

My cell phone was fairly new, but the technology just wasn’t there yet and it took grainy and blurry videos that were three minutes long.

Oliver Legacy Elite

As soon as I got back home, I put them up on YouTube so I could show the Oliver to friends.

Oliver Legacy Elite

YouTube didn’t stabilize the video back then, so they were pretty shakey.

Oliver Legacy Elite

The old cell phone didn’t have much memory so it was maxed out on the fourth video.

We just absolutely fell in love with the Oliver and soon we were at the factory picking up our Ollie.

It was hull #3.

The Oliver Travel Trailer makes a lasting impression on every one that sees it, or so it seems. Do you remember the first Oliver that you saw ?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

BEACON

There is a thing that Betty and I love to do on those sultry, hot, breathless, Summer nights when not a leaf is moving on the lakeside, and it is impossible to sleep. We cruise slowly out on the lake with the stereo playing those old rock tunes that we like so, playing softly. Our dive boat that we had for twelve years or so is long gone and we now have a smaller fishing boat. So, we now operate a little differently.

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BEACON in the night

Our dive boat had lots of cool electronics on it for navigation that our fishing boat doesn’t have. This Coleman lantern provides a constant visual fix on the campsite’s location, backed up with a low powered solar light. Not nearly as high powered, as the old boat,  the sound system is pretty good. Here is a look at the bluetooth connected speakers.

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The cell phone connects wirelessly to the speakers and also picks up SiriusXM radio for the oldies sound.

As we quietly slip across the surface of Lake Ouachita with no light except the boat’s navigational lights, our night vision is ever so good and we invariably begin to talk about the stars above in the sky. That’s when the cell phone’s star map app comes in handy.

Our four cycle engine is so quiet that we can hear conversations around campfires on the shore, as the sound travels across the water.

Late night cruising, it’s pretty nice. Boondocking on Lake Ouachita, in Arkansas.

Friday, July 25, 2014

CHAINSAW

Big Storm on the Lake

 

Big Storm on the Lake

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Jul

July 25, 2014

by Larry Mountainborn Harmon

in Guest Blogs

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After coming off of the road for Oliver’s ten thousand mile Legacy II Tour, we have been camped out on the lake. Fishing and vegetating. It was a bit of a whirlwind tour and we have been getting caught up on our loafing. Until day before yesterday, that is. A big storm came through and blew hundreds of trees down and all of the power lines. Here is a look at Betty and I chain sawing and clearing the road.

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Here is a clickable link to a brief video of the narrow access trail that we chain sawed out.

Narrow chainsaw trail

After such a great adventure, we may just be ready to see if Oliver is about ready to activate the Road Crew again !