Today the crew and I reach three milestones.
One month ago we made our first camp in our brand new Casita travel trailer and our vagabond life began. What a full month it has been! Not only that, this entry is the 100th entry of “rvsue and her canine crew!” And I am pleased to see the sitemeter is moving up toward 22,000! Thanks to all who helped us reach these three milestones.
I forgot to mention yesterday the two new sights for me.
These things I see as I drive south to Las Vegas on Interstate 25. We go over a small river — I think it’s called Pinol River, something like that — on a low bridge. The river probably only exists in the spring. Now it’s a swampy area of tall reeds. We’re going about 55 mph, I glance to the left, and there stands the most magnificent deer I have ever seen.
At first I think it’s an elk.
That’s because it’s antlers are huge! He’s contentedly munching on reeds underneath what has to be at least a 10-point rack, maybe 12, whatever the points are for a super-duper rack. He doesn’t have a care in the world. I want to stop and watch him, but I also don’t want to slam on the brakes on that bridge, so we keep whizzing on down the interstate.
The other new sight for me is not as dramatic.
And don’t laugh at me . . . I’m an Easterner. This is a big deal for me, okay? As I drive across the plains I see herds of what I guess are pronghorn antelope. Yes! Isn’t that exciting? You know, the kind with the pointy horns and the white fur behinds? Those things are all over the place, even grazing alongside cattle. Check that off my bucket list!
Okay, calm down, back to today.
I’m sick of lousy phone and internet! I toss the crew into the PTV and motor on down to the Verizon office. There are two guys inside waiting on customers. Everybody sits on a high stool at a stupid high table. What’s that all about? Does that mean we’re sophisticated or something? I always feel like a fool on a stool. I’m not at a lunch counter wanting today’s special. I want to conduct some business, if you don’t mind. Anyway. The customers leave and I climb up on my highchair.
I state my situation and the inadequacy of my present internet service from Verizon.
The guys (after awhile the second one joined in the fun) are as helpful as they can be, given their product. The unlimited data plan recommended by the camp host at Eagle Nest is no longer available, due to its successful delivery of internet connectivity. To make a long story short, this Verizon office can offer phone and internet to people who live in Las Vegas, but beyond that, they don’t make any promises. They fall short of announcing “Verizon sucks really bad in New Mexico,” but I hear it, loud and clear. You’re on you own, lady . . . just keep making those monthly payments for THE NEXT TWO YEARS!
Bless their hearts, they even go so far as to recommend a competitor.
They send me to a place called Desertgate, giving me directions and all. I go there and, oh dear, closed on Saturdays. I stop at the Santa Fe National Forest building, Las Vegas Office, thinking I’ll get some neat maps. Oh dear, closed on Saturdays. Not a totally wasted trip though as I did get to listen to some live music in the very artsy, college-town-atmosphere plaza.
Next I mosey on over to Walmart to buy a new camera.
I’m sick of lousy picture quality! I choose a camera on sale. . . it’s not in stock. I choose another camera on sale . . . it’s not in stock. I choose a third camera which is not on sale . . . it’s in stock!
It’s a Sanyo, 5x optical zoom, 14.0 megapixels, HD 720P, really skinny, fits in a pocket, panoramic capability, and . . . face recognition! At last! A device that will help me recognize faces! I want this thing! Plus it’s red! All for $99 plus tax.
I run out to test it. I take these photos without doing anything but pointing and clicking.
I want a close-up so I capture some yellow flowers for your viewing pleasure.
Also two photos of Storrie Lake that were shot in early evening in medium light with bright sunlight breaking through the clouds.
Oh, by the way, that stuff I mentioned yesterday? I got most of it done. . . everything except solving the internet and phone problem.
Yahoo, yippiee – just had to say something to let you am still reading your blog with envy. If you should go by Socorro NM on your way south to warmer climate – hollar “hi” to my son. Hope to see him next month and you if you are somewhere in the “neighborhood”
I’m glad you’re still reading . . . and it’s okay to be envious. I was for YEARS!
I wish I could tell you where I’ll be in a month. I don’t even know where I’ll be in a week. Which is not a bad thing at all.
Oh, my! Has it already been a month since you started out? How time does fly by. I hate those high stools no matter where they are. I am 4′ 11″ and getting up on one for me is a sight to behold. Looks like your new camera is going to do well taking pictures. Those are nice shots. Sorry about the bad luck getting your phone and internet taken care of. Hope you get that fixed soon. Keep enjoying your travels…I am enjoying your posts. Hugs
Good to hear from you again. Another thing about those stools, they always seem to have these tiny little round seats. Of course, one could say, everything’s relative!
I hope all is well with you and Chancy. I need to get over to your blog!
Happy Anniversary !!!
Or maybe . .. Happy Monthiversary! Thanks, Kim. It’s the thought that counts.
3 great milestones!! Really proud of you, Dear Sister. Glad you got a good camera because I love seeing the pictures. Wish I could help with Verizon.
I’m proud of you, Pauline!
i always feel so Blessed when i inadvertently get to ‘view’ happenstance wildlife, like no one else has ever seen what i have seen!!! But NOT at that exact time & space. No matter if i am not fast enough to catch it on camera, it is all mine to remember and bring up all on own. I got out and able to see that at that exact time… How exciting
You’re absolutely right. It feels like a special gift just for me when I happen upon natural scenes such as I described.
“Closed on Saturday” reminds me of the nice thing about fulltiming or being retired – there’s always Monday with NO obligations. Glad you got a camera that you can enjoy. I didn’t see anything wrong with the pictures you posted before – other than the picture with Paul and me prompted me to go on a diet! But I’m sure you feel better because you got a bunch of stuff crossed off your “to do” list.
Congratulations on the monthiversary, the 100th blog entry and the climbing site meter. We read it and recommend it because it’s interesting. You’ve got talent girl!
Thank you, Reine. What looks like talent is simply writing the way I think, including all my inner grumblings!
Nice camera but like Reine said your pictures were great before. You sure got a lot of stuff done.
Verizon is a pain and they have really strange stores. I dropped my Verizon last year it was getting to expensive. Of course I have free wifi here. I went with Straight Talk from Walmart it works great all over so far. I just wish they would come up with an air card.
I can’t believe those places are closed on Saturday. Shouldn’t that be a big day for people who work and kids who go to school?
At least you can hit the road now that you have taken care of the important things.
I have Straight Talk and it hasn’t done well here in NM, except when I’m practically in a city.
You’re right about the closed-on-Saturday stores. Reminds me of the days banks were only open when people were working . . . 9 to 5 and you had to get transactions done by 3 if you wanted them carried out that day!
Moving pictures off my phone was a tedious job and my regular camera’s lens got condensation or some kind of unremovable smudge on it that I tried to crop out of the photos . . . This is so much better.
Verizon isn’t perfect. It’s just the best that is out there, if you want to travel around the country. If you are going to stay in New Mexico, you may do better with a regional provider. It can get expensive to have multiple providers. Even the one is not cheap.
When I bought the trailer in 2001, I often had to beg the use of a landline to call long distance by modem back to Texas and get on-line with my local carrier. Met some interesting people that way. By 2005 I was getting 3 bars with Verizon at my dinette table way up in the woods near Durango, and blogging from the beach in Oregon. Things have vastly improved. There’s free wifi in almost every little town now.
The problem with getting away from it all is …. that you get away from it all. Embrace your limitations. That’s how prose turns into poetry.
Of all the umbilicals you are cutting – wall plugs that always work, endless hot showers, the easy proximity of help and sympathy – the hardest to cast off is the need for instant gratification.
When you wander back from heaven, we will still be here.
So there’s free WiFi in every small town? You mean, sitting in the PTV in a parking lot with two canines going nuts barking because we’re not going anywhere, while I try to post photos on my blog? Or do you mean connecting with one of the five spots that come up alongside my Verizon bars, the spots that have padlocks on them? My main gripe is paying for internet that doesn’t work!
I had to chuckle when I read “cast off the need for instant gratification.” If there were an award for delayed gratification, I’d win it, hands down. I’ve lived my whole life scrimping . . . hardly ever buying anything on impulse (and never for me!) and passing up things I wanted . . .even small things like a candy bar or a magazine, and big things, too, like vacations. I’m not complaining. I did what I had to do.
Going out and buying something simply because I want it is a new experience for me. This is why I get such a thrill out of the things that other people hardly even react to. Also that’s why fulltiming suits me to a T! Now you know a little bit more about me and my life!
I’m afraid you mistook my meaning. When I said “Embrace your limitations” I wasn’t talking about money. It is the “instant” part I suggest adjusting, not the “gratification”.
You have decided to go to places where there are no internet connections. Where there never will be, short of a satellite setup. That’s okay. It’s worth it. You can gratify your internet and blogging cravings by dealing with it in packets. No practical amount of money will change the situation much, anyway, no matter who you pick for a provider. But by organizing your time efficiently when you do have access, you can have both access to wonders to write about and access to connections that broadcast your blog. Just not at exactly the same time.
I think, over time, Verizon will serve you well, depending on the amount of traveling you do. I permanently installed a Wilson Trucker’s Cell antenna in the trailer to boost the cell signal. Also had a portable cell booster when away from the trailer and a Hawking wi-fi signal booster to use through a USB connection to the laptop. These things are relatively cheap. Maybe a couple of hundred dollars, all told. There’s a picture here:
These worked pretty well. With the Hawking, I could get a useful wifi signal from a couple of blocks away. The thing is 10 years old. There are probably even more efficient models now. You don’t need much of a signal if you are blogging through email and Posterous. You can always clean it up later.
As to the other question, yes, I often could be found parked on the street outside a small town library or in a motel parking lot having a beer in the trailer and typing away. Barking dogs are a problem I didn’t have. But if it had been so, I would’ve taken the laptop inside.
Just trying to help. You’ll figure it out.
Lynne and Bob,
First off, let me express my appreciation for your input. I’m fortunate to have received an offer of help from an online and hometown friend who is doing what he can to get me set up as per your suggestions. For that reason I’m staying here in Las Vegas at least another day.
I’m beginning to see that I’ll have to move close to cities periodically to get caught up on things. Hopefully my friend and I can get an antenna set up to improve my chances of internet when not next to a city.
Don’t lose hope on your Internet. I work from the road about 5 months a year, and Verizon absolutely has the widest 3G data coverage in the US. I happened to get a MiFi card and a 3GB/mo plan from them last year for $35/mo. I don’t think they offer that plan anymore, but they do have some phones that can be tethered to a laptop for about the same price. Nice thing is, if you go over your cap, it’s just $10 per GB. But there are other ways to get Verizon service– Millenicom is one of the most popular. They offer more data and/or unlimited, but are a bit more expensive. One other recommendation– look for a Wilson Electronics cell booster and antenna (buy online from 3GStore or eBay). These devices take a 1-bar signal and boost it to a 4-bar meaning better data speeds and fewer dropped calls. The 3GStore has a guy who specializes in helping full-time RVers, so give him a call and I’m sure he can recommend some good solutions to fit your needs and budget. ps. love New Mexico (I was just there last month!), and love your blog!
Thanks, Lynn, for explaining so much and for the nice compliment at the end! I responded more to your comment together with Bob.
Hi Sue,,, That’s great, And I know you had fun,,, I have traveled with you from the start, and can’t wait to see were we go next… I know we will have a blast..
Glad you’re travelling with me, John!
Here’s a few sites that may be useful. Sorry about the length of the last one. That’s just the map coordinates:
Bob . . . I’m so out of it I never heard of this 3G store you and Lynne refer to. Thanks for the links. The last one didn’t work for me.
That’s odd. It works fine from this end. It is a map based searchable database of wifi hotspots.
You might have to copy and paste the first time.
I have a Verizon Droid and also experience the same problems as yourself. They are not very good in the mountains. However as you move south you will find it works much better. At Storrie Lake I am getting 3G. What is even worse is AT & T. I had them last year and could hardly get anything.
Just wanted you to know that Naomi and I have returned to Nashville. After visiting Carlsbad Caverns, we drove three days back. We were both very emotional about the end of a wonderful trip. Are having trouble getting back into reality mode–although Naomi had to work yesterday in Indianapolis so we didn’t have much choice.
Will keep on following you. I have told people about your story and they are impressed by the adventure and your courage.
Loved meeting you on your travels. Continue to be safe.