All posts by ggraham

Magnolia Beach, TX

We’re hiding from the cold on the Gulf Coast. It was surprisingly chilly as we headed for San Antonio to meet up with my son and his family. We had a great time.

Now we are parked at Magnolia Beach, Texas, on the beach no less along Lavaca Bay.

Looking to the north out the windshield while camping on Magnolia Beach

Tonight, I am sitting in the front seat staring to the north out of our windshield. It’s expected to storm tonight as a cold front moves through. I can see lightning off to the north east.

Same general direction at night. Big refineries and plenty of industry located all over the gulf shores. It is easy to see why hurricanes can impact so much of commerce and life here.

The thing that strikes me is how much the Gulf of Mexico impacts the weather up north. The plains states rely almost entirely on the warm humid air of the gulf to provide the rains to sustain agriculture all the way to North Dakota and beyond.

As a land lubber, completely ignorant of the ways of the sea, and open water. I can’t help but wonder if the sea level will change much as the storms move through? It isn’t like a hurricane or anything, but if the wind blew pretty hard, I can’t help but wonder if it would push the water level up to the RV?

I hooked the car up just in case we need to make a fast getaway, LOL.

 

Utah Night Sky

I started learning how to photograph the night sky so that I could try and capture the beauty of the sky in one of the few places left on Earth where it is actually dark at night. It is so dark here in Valley of the Gods, Utah, that when you step outside it takes a bit of adjustment to see at all, other than the stars above.

Anyway, after trying what seemed like a million different settings for my Canon Rebel T6i, I found a combination that worked really well. I got my info from an article on the web.  Astrophotography Tips

Basically, the most critical setting is the f-stop. It needs to be set so the aperture is as wide as possible, which means a low number. Then the ISO needs to be set low too. This seemed counter intuitive to me, but high ISO with long exposures creates a “noisy” image. Finally, the length of the exposure.

So, I set the ISO to 200, the F-stop to 2 and exposed the image for 30 seconds using the remote control. Here is the final product, with no retouching.

Bought an RV

I can tell you that looking for an RV is a pain in the ass. The problem is that they are spread all over the country and you could spend a small fortune looking at each potential candidate. There are lots of things that come in to play, and people don’t always represent what they have accurately, sometimes, they don’t even know what they have.

Well, after lots of searching, we found an RV in Iowa. It is a 2002 Newmar Dutchstar 3852. It has a 350HP Cummins with a 6 speed Allison transmission, air brakes, jake brake, good tires, and two slide outs, or as Terri calls them, “bump outs”. It met my needs in that it is made by Newmar, which is what we wanted, is a diesel pusher, has air brakes, a jake brake and is fairly low mileage, about 85K.

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Continue reading Bought an RV

Looking for an RV…

We started by determining what type of RV we wanted. There are quite a few options but for full time RV life there are only two that we felt fit us. The first option, is the fifth wheel type trailer that connects to a fifth wheel hitch in the bed of pickup. The second, is the basic motorhome.

In both cases, it is best to have a vehicle that has a diesel engine. The diesels have the torque to pull heavy loads in mountainous areas and generally last longer than gasoline powered engines. The prices are significantly higher for diesel engines, but I think in the long run, they are worth the difference.

Continue reading Looking for an RV…

Jumping Off….

Terri, Gizzy and I are getting ready to make the leap from bricks and sticks apartment living, to nomadic life on the road in an RV. It is a little stressful trying to get everything organized and ready to go. It’s incredible how much stuff we have acquired in our 8 years here. You would think that living in an apartment would keep some of that to a minimum, but it seems we’ve managed to keep tons of stuff we shouldn’t have.

Well, that will definitely be less of an issue going forward since we simply won’t have the room in an RV to store everything we can in our apartment. All I can say at this point, is thank goodness we aren’t living in a house, I’m pretty sure it would be worse yet.

We’ll keep you posted on our travel plans and what we end up with for an RV, etc. Later.