The Scooter

Well, I got my scooter.  Chris came in on 7/31 and the next day we went running around doing errands and stuff.  We went to Performance Cycle, who had the carrier rack and ramp in stock, then to Sportique Scooters.  They thought they would have to order the scooter, as there weren’t any in stock.  That would take about 10 days.  But, just after we left I got a call that there was actually one in stock that was still in the crate.  It just had to be transferred to the Englewood store and prepped.  I would be able to pick it up on Saturday.  Yay!  We got the carrier rack loaded on the hitch on Friday, then on Saturday we turtled-up and drove the new rig down to Sportique.  Chris snapped a picture with his iPhone when I first got a look at my new scooter.

New Scooter

New Scooter

By the way, Colorado just legalized marijuana.  They are still working out all the processes.  But, the area on Broadway in Englewood, where Sportique is located, is weed central.  One intersection nearby had 3 stores.  Maybe one day they will get a pot distributor on the 4th corner.  This place pictured below is next door to Sportique.  It’s called Nature’s Kiss at Broadsterdam.  I guess that’s what they call the area, as a reference to Amsterdam.  I think they should call it Engleweed.   This store is currently a medical dispensary, and you can’t go in without a prescription.  (I just wanted to check out what a weed shop is like, I swear!)  You see these green crosses all over town.  I guess they are the medical marijuana shops.  As the new law rolls out a lot of these shops will be able to sell regular retail.

Engleweed

Broadsterdam/Engleweed

Anyway, in order to get an M (motorcycle) endorsement on my driver’s license, Texas DPS requires a 2-day class approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.  I was able to find one nearby that I could get into that was held Thursday and Friday, 8/8-8/9.  Chris was leaving on Wednesday, the 7th, and I wanted to get it done ASAP.  The class was held at G-Force Powersports on Colfax, and it was a great place to take it.  All the folks there were fantastic.  The instructor, Jesse, was great.  I even liked the other guys in the class (all twenty-something guys).  They were really nice, and were super helpful when I needed to get my scooter unloaded off my carrier.  I did accept some help, but I need to learn to do as much of it by myself as I can.  To load it back up after classes I asked Adam, who manages the G-Force training program, to help me learn to get it up on the rack and strapped down properly.  Again, he was really helpful, but it is very hard to do, both weight-wise and structurally.  It’s bulky and hard to balance as it goes up/down the ramp, and until I get it firmly strapped down.  I’m not sure if I will ever be able to do it all by myself.  I am happy to say I passed the course and can now send off my paperwork to the Texas DPS and scoot around.  It will be so nice to have my own mobility, not having to get Chris to drive me into town, or drive my big rig.

Here is a shot of the scooter at the RV park, with the new rig.

Scooter

Scooter

Loaded

Loaded  (Chris and I are going to drill some new holes for the wheel chock so it sits further over to the left.)

For practice I scooted in to Golden yesterday to go to the grocery store and to check out the downtown area.  It’s super-touristy downtown.  Of course there is the famous Golden welcome sign:

Golden Welcome

Golden Welcome

Gotta go – need to scoot over to Home Depot and Camping World down the street…

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My New Lazy Daze

Here she is.  A 2001 Lazy Daze Mid-Bath.

New RV

My New Lazy Daze

We are still in the Denver area – Golden actually, on the west side of the metro area.  Finally found an RV park where I could stay for a month. Let me tell you – it is very, very hard to get a month in Denver in the middle of July.  Also, I found a Public Storage spot for my rig for the month to give me time to sell it.  (The RV park where I am staying doesn’t have storage space, and you aren’t allowed to park a spare rig in their overflow parking.)  The RV park is only about 1/2 mile from the light rail line, and so is the storage spot.  So, I can use the train to get over there as needed, without having to drive the new RV.  Mass transit is so handy!

Anyway, been SO busy.  I picked up the new RV on Thursday, the 18th.  Cliff and Joyce, the prior owners, have been just great.  I was able to park in front of their place, next to the new rig, to do the big transfer.  Got almost all my stuff moved over and stuffed into every crevice by mid-afternoon so I could get the old rig over to the storage.  Cliff drove his car to the storage with me so I could have a ride back.  The RV park reservation started on Friday, so we just headed to the nearby Walmart for Thursday night.  Had to go by the storage spot the next day to finish getting my stuff out of the basement areas of the old rig, then got settled in my spot for the month.  Been organizing ever since.

The day before I got the new rig, I wrote up an ad for the Lazy Daze forum and created a website with info and pictures.  Within a couple of days there were 2 very interested parties that had seen my ad.  Eventually I also got an ad up on the Denver Craigslist and on another site that gets picked up on the aggregator Oodle.  Those brought several more inquiries and 2 more interested parties.  I did come to an agreement with a very nice couple from Michigan from the Lazy Daze forum.  I think they will really enjoy the rig, and I’m happy to see it go to someone that will enjoy it as much as I have.  They arrive on Sunday and we will make the transfer on Monday.  I’m sad to see it go – so many enhancements added for comfort and convenience.  My dad and I did a lot of work on it in December.  It was a great home for the past year, truly a cozy cottage.  Everyone that visited loved it.

While I’m here I will take advantage of the big city to get a scooter and a rack/ramp carrier.  I’ve been researching scooters for several months, and had narrowed it down to a Genuine Buddy 170i or Kymco 200i LX, finally deciding on the Kymco.  Sportique Scooters has a few stores in the area and have been great when I’ve visited,  so I will get one ordered from them in the next day or two.  Also, need to decide on a carrier, which I’ve been researching as well.  Then I will need to take the Basic Rider course from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation so that I can get a motorcycle endorsement added to my Texas driver’s license.

Chris is coming for a visit tomorrow.  He was able to reserve a week at the RV park where I’m staying.  It will be really good to see him and I’m sure we will do a bunch of touristing.  And, I’m excited to show him the new RV!  I think I’ve got it almost set and cozied up some.  Cliff and Joyce stopped by on Sunday and liked how I have the place.  It’s homey already!  Here are some pics:

I don’t have a table in the living room, so am using a shelf that I had between the couches (under the back table) in the old rig.  It works well for now.  Also, I have since added some blankets to cover the couches.  Gotta protect the upholstery and give it some coziness!  Riley knows he can only lay on his quilt.

My New Living Room.  Riley approves!

My new living room. Riley approves!

Closet storage.  I have added some wire baskets like I had in the old rig.  Prior owner Bob had added them, and I really liked them.  So, had to add to the new rig. The original idea came from Andy Baird.  Room for all my clothes, misc. stuff, and craft supplies up above.  And, there are 4 drawers under the closet.

Closet

Closet

Nice big bathroom.  Lots of storage, and a BIG shower.

Bathroom

Bathroom

Kitchen is not too much bigger than the old rig.  I like to make the stove cover into a shelf, another Andy Baird idea.  The metal underside of the stove cover gives me a place to have my “Dress Up David” magnet set, one of my favorite things.  Unfortunately, not much magnetic space in the Lazy Daze.  This will have to do.

Kitchen

Kitchen

Living room storage.  There are 3 good cabinets above the couches.  Lots of room.

Living Room Storage

Living Room Storage

I am really loving my new home.  Can’t wait to finish my tasks in Denver and get back to the forest with Chris.  It’s been nice to be able to run to the Walmart, Home Depot, and IKEA (Yay!), but it will be nice to be back boondocking in nature.  Hopefully I can get everything done before my month is up on 8/18.

By the way, I will still try to post about my travels in Yosemite, San Francisco, etc. I’ll just do it as ‘flashback’ entries interspersed with real time updates.  Hopefully that will work and I will eventually get caught up.

Update – I should clarify – the counter space in the kitchen is just a bit more than the old rig, but the kitchen itself has a great dinette that I didn’t have before.  So, the kitchen/dining/work area is really good space.

Dinette

Dinette

Update and Big News!

Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to finish my post about day 2 of Yosemite.  But, the good news is that’s because I am in Denver to buy a new (to me) Lazy Daze!

Lately I had been thinking of carrying a scooter on the back of my rig, but CB (my Engineer friend) advised against it, as the structure underneath didn’t seem strong enough to hold it on a hitch-mounted ramp/rack.  A welder I went to see in Santa Fe agreed.  I started thinking of upgrading to a 26′ Lazy Daze, both for beefier structure/power and for more room.  I didn’t buy my Lazy Daze originally with plans to full-time in it.  I planned to have it for a few years, try it, learn the systems, see if I like it, then get a larger/newer rig when I retired and started full-timing.  But, things don’t always work out as you planned, and now here we are. On the road full time….

Anyway, I got to thinking about getting a larger Lazy Daze (mid-bath floorplan) and almost immediately saw one for sale near Denver.  Wow, what luck!  I was in Salida, CO, only about 150 miles away.  It sounded like a good candidate after talking on the phone with Cliff, the owner.  Chris mentioned it to our friend John in Colorado Springs.  (We met him and his wife, Linda, in Quartzsite in January).  He happened to be going right by there on the way to the Denver airport this past Friday morning, and offered to take a look and tell me if it was worth driving my rig over from the spot near Nathrop, where Chris and I were camped.  He looked it over, said it was in good shape and was worth making the trip in person.  So, I got my stuff together right away, drove over to Denver, met with Cliff Friday afternoon, checked it all out, and started working on a deal.  We just finalized the agreement Sunday, so now I can say I am about to have a new RV!  I expect to be able to finalize the transaction and pick it up on Thursday.  So excited!

In the meantime, I have been busy with working on –  a.) finding an RV park where I can stay a while in Denver (to sell my current Lazy Daze), b.) figuring out how to title it in TX while out of the state, c.) getting insurance, d.) etc., etc..  I expect to make a page on the blog here to post info and pictures in a couple of days as I get it for sale online.  So, if you know anyone in the market for a cozy cottage of an RV with a fantastic solar setup…..  🙂

1st Trip - Inks Lake State Park.  3/4/12

1st trip – Inks Lake State Park, TX. 3/4/12

Boondocked near Flagstaff, in the Coconino National Forest.  5/13/13

Boondocked in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, AZ – 5/13/13

More from Quartzsite

[Sorry this is a long post.  I have been a lazy blogger, having too much fun to post.  There is a lot to catch up on.]

Riley and I are still having a good time in Quartzsite, AZ.  The RTR (Rubber Tramp Rendezvous) had lots of good seminars and fellowship. For the first week or so it was just us and we were pretty spread out.  As it got closer to the big tent show (Jan. 19-27) a lot of big Class A RV’s pulled in near us and parked side by side like sardines.  And wow, do they like to run their generators.  It was pretty loud, but we still enjoyed our spot.

CB's Rig

Here’s a picture of CB’s spot at sunrise, taken from my roof

Lots o' rigs

Later in the week lots of rigs arrived and they stacked them in like sardines

Before

Before

After

After (looks like I’m at an RV show)

I got to do some shopping at the vendor area.  They are geared to RV owners, so I got things like vent covers, LED lights, tools, etc.  Then, when the big tent show started, I got to ride over with CB and and his friends that were visiting from L.A.  It was HUGE, but was mostly just one big infomercial.  Lots of handy-dandy products for sale, and lots and lots of people.  It was packed.  I did splurge on a 6’x9′ mat for outside my door.

At the RTR I got to meet lots of neat folks like Kim, Ryan, Susan, Dori, Sandy, Joyce, Brad, and of course Bob, the organizer. I can see why many folks go back to the RTR every year.  Good times with great people.

My last sunset walk at the RTR

My last sunset walk at the RTR

By the 22nd the RTR was winding down and I headed over to the area across town where the Lazy Daze folks were gathered.  They had found a great area at the La Posa West LTVA, only about a 15 minute walk to the big RV tent show.  I had stopped by their site the prior week when out getting propane and doing my tanks, and was super excited to spend a couple of weeks meeting all of them and learning about repairs and improvements to my rig.  On the way over there I stopped by the bike shop and had 2 new tires/tubes put on, and also did laundry.  (There are always chores to do.)

The BLM area is a network of dirt roads, but well marked.

The BLM area is a network of dirt roads, but well marked.  Roger has his sign here, too.

Lazy Daze campsite

Lazy Daze campsite

Our site on the right, same style rig (it's a 2003 I believe) on the left

Our site on the right; same style rig (it’s a 2003 I believe) on the left

On Thursday the 24th I went with Roger, Linda and Jim to the big tent RV Show.  I wanted to get some more LED lights and a new fixture for my couch area.  The place was quite packed again, but I did get the fixture I wanted.  (Later I realized it wouldn’t fit and will have to exchange it when I get to Yuma.)  On Friday Jim was heading to Walmart in Parker and I got to ride along.  Jim has been a full-timer for 2.5 years and just a couple of weeks ago found a great vehicle here to tow.  Now Jim is the one providing rides to folks like me!  I hadn’t been to a proper grocery store since Casa Grande, so I was ready for a Walmart run.

Riley and I have kept up our daily walks.  I really enjoyed walking with folks at the RTR and have transferred that to an 8:30 a.m walk at the Lazy Daze camp.  Chris and I have been walking every morning and Linda and Jim have joined occasionally.  On our first walk Jim, Chris and I hiked up a hill with an old abandoned mine on top.

Jim and Chris at the top of the hill near the abandoned mine

Jim and Chris at the top of the hill near the abandoned mine

View of the big tent and surrounding area from the hill

View of the big tent and surrounding area from the hill

While here I have been able to do some work on my rig.  Although the LED fixture I got at the RV show won’t work, I have an IKEA fixture that I got from CB.  It’s a strip light that I wanted to hang under my back cabinet, above the table.  John and Roger explained how to take up the cabinet shelf to get to the space above the cabinet bottom.  (There is a bit of ‘subfloor’ in there where wiring runs.)  Then, when I had it up, John came over and drilled a hole for the wire to go through. He wired it to an existing switch that was originally for a fan that was replaced later with stereo speakers.  Now I have a great light in my main area that draws almost no electricity from my batteries at night.  Since I have solar and can boondock for extended periods, power usage needs to be as efficient as possible.  John also helped fix my step light and the trickle charger for my cab battery.  It’s so nice camping with Lazy Daze folks that know how all the systems work and can help those of us that need it.

When I first arrived I parked next to a new blue/white TK floorplan.  It looks almost exactly the same, although 20 years difference.  The newer paint jobs are a bit swirly, but this owner paid extra for the classic look paint scheme.

My 1992 Twin-King on the left and same floorplan 2012 rig on the right.

My 1992 Twin-King on the left and same floorplan 2012 rig on the right.

The Lazy Daze group is a fantastic bunch of people.  In the evenings we have a happy hour at 4:00, and then Roger starts a campfire about 5 or 6.  We sit and chat until about 7:00 or so when folks break up to go make dinner or just in for the night.  We have had a few cookouts, too.  Roger has a great grill.  He made a Tri-tip last night and everyone brought a dish or desert.  We also had a hot dog cookout on Sunday.  Tomorrow we are going to have a big breakfast, Roger on the grill.

That’s all for now, but I’ll leave you with a beautiful Arizona sunset over our Lazy Daze camp.

Lazy Daze Sunset

Lazy Daze Sunset