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The Solution to Winter Evenings when Camping

Long winter evenings have never been my favorite thing, when boondocking. All I could do was waste time on the internet or read books. Perhaps older eyes just don't like reading in the evening. Or maybe I have had my fill of reading by evening.

The result was boredom and glumness. This was a serious problem for me. My solution was to go to bed early.

Some solution! It results in poor quality sleep. And who can sleep for 12 hours per night?!



Lately I have been experimenting with organizing things in the evening. Consider all the photographs stored on your computer. They need to be organized and culled. This ends up being fun because it gives you a chance to reminisce over your travels.

You could argue that you just have too many photographs to tackle in this manner. Then why not just throw them out? You are never going to look at them again, anyway.

Organizing is needed for the file structure on the laptop and the smartphone, as well.

There are physical things that need to be organized,…
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November 11, 1918 to 2018, A Century of Progress?

If I were a student of American popular culture, I would follow the Media today just to see if anybody cares about the Great War ending 100 years ago. It is possible that a few of them do. But don't hope for too much in this country.

But if you look at a wider circle, there is some good news. With the exception of the USA, most of the combatants of the Great War are not addicted to war anymore. They don't seem to see it as inevitable.

Perhaps the USA is the exception because its people didn't suffer invasion or privation during the world wars. And its corporations made a lot of money during both world wars.


It is also good news that Bolshevism -- one of the miserable legacies of that war -- is dead.

There is some sad news to offset some of this: the Mideast is still a mess, thanks to the policies and agreements that arose during the Great War.

On a personal level I am going to commemorate the day by reading some of the excellent anti-establishment opinion pieces out there, toda…

Tables and Mesas

There is a quarry in the neighborhood that makes flagstones for patios. Maybe the quarry is a private in-holding, surrounded by BLM land; or maybe it is leased BLM land.

Perhaps it is the latter, because that would give the quarry operators reasons for brown-nosing with the BLM. And that could explain the donations to a trailhead nearby.

There were two picnic table made of these flagstones. They were functional -- but not too soft!


You don't have to know too much Spanish too see something a little poetic in these flagstone picnic tables with a famous mesa in the background. 


Better Traction for a Cheapskate?

At long last I finally got a chance to install tire chains on somebody else's truck. This was important because I tend to be skeptical of promotional videos.

Recall that this was the scheme for making my tow vehicle & trailer more capable on muddy roads. I really don't have problems on dry roads, when pulling a lightweight trailer with a rear-wheel-drive van.

Tire chain installation proved to be pretty straightforward. All it takes is a bit of practice and some organization, with a foam pad and gloves. What it really takes is the self-discipline to install the chains before you slide into a muddy rut.

In other words, most of the alleged negatives of tire chains are psychological and lifestyle-related, rather than real and physical.



But let's back up a step and ask why this is important. Why not just be a normal American consumer and get a big expensive 4WD pickup on credit? Of course that would defeat much of my philosophy in pursuing this lifestyle. I want to beat the sy…

The Courage to Do the Unpopular

A canine friend and a two-legged friend and I are checking out an area not so far from the overcrowded tourist hellhole of Moab, UT. This place is so uncrowded that it is almost funny.

How do you explain this? It has wonderful physical assets, not just in terms of "Wow," but also in terms of variety. But as I said before, it is uncrowdedness that really counts in modern America. Perhaps it is blessed with scenery that is just short of being a national park. That means it lacks the razzle-dazzle to get on the bucket list of millions of idiot-tourists. This area is like a picturesque mountain in Colorado that is 13,950 feet high.




The town doesn't really have a bicycle culture, but it could. In fact it has built its first mountain bike singletrack close to town. It has a hip coffee shop. Of course, with mountain bikers being the besotted sybarites that they are, the town probably needs a microbrewery. 

Tomorrow we will ride that trail. It doesn't seem to have many customer…