So, we’ve been in Albuquerque for the past few days stocking up ravenously on food and pet supplies, meeting friends, eating out, planning our summer stops in Colorado (we’re spending practically all of July in the SW forests…oh yeah!) and basically just taking care, as the English would say, of various bits and bobs.
As things go, this got me thinking about other bits and bobs. So, although we’ve barely made Spring, I thought I would take the chance to update on a few items of which I’m sure you’ve been bursting with curiosity to know. Thus, with my mind psychically melded to yours, here we go:
1/ Our Solar is Cranking – As our regular readers will know we installed 600 Watts of solar panels over winter and I promised an update. I’m happy to say it’s rockin’ and rollin’. On good sunny days our MPPT controller cranks out over 35 Amps (a nice boost) and we’re usually fully recharged before noon. During the day the system easily keeps up with our biggest usage and will happily chug along, maintaining the batteries at float even if we run TV and internet all day. We haven’t used the generator once since we started dry-camping and have no regrets or complaints.
2/ We’re Doing Fabulously on our Flip-Flop Barometer – Thanks to skill, guile or perhaps pure, dumb luck we’ve been tracking superbly well on our flip-flop barometer. The cold weather has lingered longer than expected in the North, which means our Southern route has been balmy and perfect for that 24-hour flip-flop wearing goal. So far we’ve managed to stay clear of the truly freezing and doing somewhat decently at not getting too uncomfortably hot (although we did blow through the 90′s in Texas). We’ve extended our New Mexico stay for exactly that reason, and hope to continue our perfect sockless “hot streak” through the summer. :)
3/ We’ve Become Doggie-Trend Spotters - It might be my superb animal instincts, but we were definitely onto something when we raved about The Forgotten Coast in Florida. Cape St. Blas just ranked one of top 10 Dog beaches for 2011 in the US and if it were up to me I’d put it in #1. In fact all the beaches we’ve raved about on the blog in the past year (Hunting Island, Cape St. Blas, Fort de Soto) are on this list. So, although we may be out of touch most of the time in the boonies, we remain on the cutting edge of blog-breaking doggie news. You heard it here first!
4/ It’s Still Really Dry in the entire SW – Our fire evacuation in the Davis Mountains, TX was just one of many fires that have been sweeping the entire SW this spring. Texas has had one of its worst wildfire season in years and New Mexico is also struggling with dry and windy conditions. While we were in the Gila Forest there were 3 active fires burning, and several National Forests in the Southern New Mexico area have been closed. Let’s hope we get some rain soon.
5/ Trailer Food is the Future – We loved the food carts in Austin, TX and it turns out we’re not the only ones. Food trucks are fast becoming a US-wide trend and are out-stripping growth of regular restaurants. This trend is HOT and I predict it’ll keep going. Who doesn’t want access to innovative, inexpensive, gourmet food in a casual setting? Several cities now hold food truck festivals and food truck reviews, and they are proving serious competition to stix and brix restaurants.
6/ Our “No Way I Can fix That” Windshield Crack is Holding – They say the story of the fish always gets longer in the retelling, and although our windshield story might have evolved creatively the crack, amazingly has not. It was 20″ when we got it and it’s still 20″, almost one year later. Kudos to Safelite and Montie from Wyoming. We still remember you.
7/ You Blog Readers are the Best - I’m a sentimental kinda gal, and although it’s a bit on the mushy side I have to say I love y’all for following the blog. You’re the reason I’m inspired to photograph and write each day and keep up with the posts. Thanks to you we’ve surpassed 81,000 views and going strong. So, I thank you warmly for the support and invite each and every one of you for a chat and a drink anytime we’re close. Don’t be shy now!
That’s it folks. We’ll be wrapping up our time and heading back out into the boonies soon, but in the meantime rest assured we’ll be enjoying our stint in civilization to the fullest.