I step out of the Best Little Trailer into the brisk, fresh, morning air.
I feel a burst of ambition and decide to spiff up the Perfect Tow Vehicle.
Well, maybe just the hood. I’m not THAT ambitious. The PTV’s hood is splattered with buggy stuff and its paint has been chipped off in a few places. I clean the hood with some wet Bounce fabric softener sheets, and then I use my auto paint pen to cover the chips with white paint. I apply NuPolish and wipe it off once it’s a haze. Now I have a filthy van with a very shiny hood!
Inside the PTV dust and sand has crawled into every crevice. I have just enough ambition left to clean the dash area and wipe it down with vinyl protectorant.
While cleaning a young couple appears.
“We’re looking for the subway,” the young man announced earnestly. “Do you know where it is?”
Given that I’m into my third week of dieting, I immediately picture a very large, bulging sandwich, and then I think of underground transportation, given that I’m a native New Yorker, albeit upstate.
“The subway?” I respond.
“Yeah, it’s a trailhead around here. We parked our car up the road about five miles and have been walking this way a long time. We should have reached it by now.” He pulls out a map. “Here we are, I think.”
He points to a place on the map that definitely is not where we are.
“No, you’re way down here.” He looks where I’m pointing on the map. “It’s about 25 miles from here to Kolob Reservoir. If you estimate you walked about five miles, then your car is parked right about here.” I’m pointing nowhere near where they think they parked. So you need to go back to your car and drive up to . . . and so on.
But youth being what it is, they are not dismayed.
Apparently with energy to spare and before I can even think to ask them if they want a ride, they cheerfully throw thank yous over their shoulders and disappear beyond the brush. Judging from the expensive hiking boots, he probably wouldn’t want a ride anyway. This way they made a minor miscalculation. Otherwise, they were lost and had to be driven back.
Geri stops by our campsite to deliver my shipments from Amazon.
I ordered six Benchmark maps like the Oregon one that Rusty aka Three Feathers gave me. (https://rvsueandcrew.com/2012/04/16/the-mountain-mans-gift/ )
To order some Benchmark maps for yourself, click on Amazon.com Benchmark maps.
Plus I ordered a monocular, a water bandit, a water tank filler, and a Bal leveler.
Everything has come in except the Bal leveler, the costliest item.
Geri and I talk for a while and then she invites me and the crew to supper!
When we arrive at their place in Zion River RV Resort, Geri has a casserole dish of enchiladas in her toaster oven. The toaster oven is plugged into an outside outlet on her and Chuck’s fifth wheel. “It’s too hot to use it inside,” she explains.
Chuck, Geri, and I sit in camp chairs on their lawn, talking and watching the numerous hummingbirds at their three feeders.
Geri hands me a sun tea. She makes them in individual glass bottles. That way they don’t take up as much room in the refrigerator. All you have to do is drop in two teabags – Geri likes herbals – and place the bottle in the sun for about five or six hours.
“We’re having enchiladas, but I don’t wrap them up. I layer them,” Geri tells me as she places the casserole dish on a small table. The surface of the casserole is golden cheese, lightly browned.
“Oh, so you make it like lasagna.” She ladles me out a hefty portion. I can see she’s used chicken for the meat.
It’s absolutely delicious.
“Hey! I thought you were on a diet!”
That’s what you’re thinking, right? Well, I couldn’t refuse dinner from my good friends, now, could I? For heaven’s sake, it’s just one meal. I’ll go back to eating gruel and Greek wallpaper paste tomorrow.
After dinner the three of us walk their “Hound Herd” and the crew.
Dianne and Roger of www.travelwithwhippets.blogspot.com come out of their motorhome as we pass by. They give attention to each of the canines. Roger pets Spike and tells him that he knows all about his behavior in the water. “Yeah, his reputation precedes him,” I remark wryly.
We approach the PTV parked in a space by the Resort’s office.
I open the side door for Bridget and Spike, and they hop in. I exchange thank yous and hugs with Chuck and Geri. “Well, we’d better be going home. I’ve got a blog to write.”
Eating gruel and Greek wallpaper paste! Such an apt description of dieting! It is nice to have time with friends! Could you include a link to the source for the maps that you ordered? It’s never to early to start dreaming!!
Sure! Here it is . . . http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Benchmark+maps
I’ll put it on the Readers’ RVing Resources page, too.
Sue I’m thinking of getting some of these to dream over during long hospital days and am wondering if you know what is the major difference between the map and the “Road and Recreation Atlas” other than price of course. More detailed maps maybe??
I was thinking the same thing as klbexplores…sounds like some of the diets I have been on!!! It seems to be working though, you looked slimmer in the last blog’s photo’s. Every once in a while you have to take a meal off from the diet. I don’t blame you for not passing up that casserole.
I am getting a little tired of the Greek yogurt. I’m loving the breakfast of fat-free milk with oat bran stirred in. The last mouthful is like swallowing gravel, but I love how it keeps me from even thinking of food until about six hours later. I appreciate you telling me you notice a difference. I feel slimmer, too. I’m not quite where I want to be yet.
Jazz the Greek Yogurt up a little with a dash of almond or maple flavoring and just a little honey. Good stuff!
Or make some Snezhanka salad for lunch or evening meal. Simple to make: Greek yogurt and diced cucumber or diced gherkins with a sprinkle of diced walnuts when served.
I think your cleaning schedule is just right. A little bit here, a little bit there and by the time you get it all finished, it’s time to start over. Only problem is it never looks all clean at once but that’s a minor problem. Love that you manage to get Amazon to ship and a friend to do personal delivery. Now that is slick! Package delivery is always a problem for me.
I base my cleaning/maintenance schedule on the way Tioga George handles it . . . a little bit at a time. He’s always doing something to keep Miss Tioga looking good and running well.
Geri and Chuck offered me their temporary address at the resort. I didn’t expect Amazon to send almost everything I ordered in different boxes.
Geri’s casserole, you are excused. I flavor my Greek wallpaper with lemon or orange or peppermint (like lemon the best).
That casserole was heavenly!
Do you use the real fruit for flavoring? Elaborate, my dear.
Nope, can’t have fruit until in Phase 3. I use the extracts – just a dab. I also mix the yogurts together with low-fat cottage cheese sprinkled with a dab of Parmesan cheese or dried parsley and sometimes put it on celery. I asked some Dukan “gurus” about flavored Greek yogurt and was told it’s okay to have flavored Greek yogurt as long as it’s not fruit until Phase 3 – basically leaves “plain” or vanilla (okayed). I love a cucumber/red onion salad with a low fat sour cream/vanilla Greek yogurt dressing. I make a pancake using low-fat cream cheese and eggs, sweetened with stevia. I’ve gotten a lot of good recipes from DukanItOut.com. I haven’t tried the Red Velvet Cupcakes yet! Sorry, I don’t want to make your mouth drool.
Oh, if I can get Fat-Free then I use that instead of low-fat. Just found fat free sour cream so switching over. PS Fat Free Cool Whip is a pretty good little perk. Can you tell not in a hurry to get to my target weight – have until August and half way there now.
You’re halfway to your target weight? That’s wonderful, Emily!
Next time I’m at a store I’m going to pick up some of your diet recipe ingredients. I’ve been eating very Spartan . . . a bowl of steamed broccoli is a treat! Maybe I’ll put the oat bran in Cool Whip. LOL I finally found a box of oat bran at the market at the entrance to Zion Nat’l. Park, of all places.
You reminded me of a salad I use to make on a previous diet and I really enjoyed it. Chunks of squash (zucchini or summer), cut up tomatoes, a little chopped onion, low-fat cottage cheese, garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese. The juice from the tomatoes mixed with the cottage cheese, garlic, and Parmesan made a great dressing and the squash was filling.
Thanks for the ideas. I need to work on some variety.
I bet it was like Christmas, getting the Amazon package. Did the monocular come in? Can’t wait to hear what you think of it. By the way, loved the artsy way you photographed your maps. Especially with the sunglasses casually placed on the maps.
Really like the cactus garden. How long does it take to outgrow the box it is in?
I don’t know if you remembered to hover your cursor over the photos. The message explains my knowledge of growing cacti. I’ve never had any live long enough to know how fast they grow. I do know the first years are very, very slow.
Those glasses are my bifocals with transition lenses. Thought they’d be a nice touch.
That’s exactly what I said to Geri as she watched me opening the packages…. “Gee, it’s just like Christmas!”
I love the cactus garden!!! It’s full of flower blooms! Thank you so much! The HoundHerd loves their treats too! Thanks for thinking of them!
You’re welcome, Geri. I figured it was time the crew replenished the Hound Herd’s supply after all the treats they’ve shared.
Now why didn’t I take photos when at your place? I didn’t think of it until I was describing your yummy casserole. A photo of that cheese on top would have had everybody salivating all over their computers!
Thanks again for everything. I always enjoy your company. Chuck’s, too.
BTW, the Bal leveler has been shipped out of St. George and is supposed to arrive today.
It’s here!!!! HEAVY!
We level our Rig with the same sophistication…..lol. Whatever works!
Trouble is the dang boards break on rocks. My new 2 X 10 split right away. And you’ve got to admit, although it looks okay when boondocking, that looks kind of shabby when in a full hook-up campground (which I may do again someday!).
Oh Boy Sue ! Looking at your maps. You are going to some great states. Should take a couple years to cover them !!! LOL.
And, of course, I’m not satisfied with six. Now I want Wyoming and Montana, too!
Great post. You’re more likely to stay on the diet if you have a “cheat” meal occasionally with reasonable portions. I agree with Pauline, you looked slimmer in the picture from Zion than in the one earlier this year.
Let us know how the BAL leveler works for you. I’ve read some folks who swear by it and some who swear at it.
I find it funny that folks use “Mickey Mouse” as a make do, sort of cheesy, childish adjective when the Mickey folks are the most organzied, precise and professional folks I know. Robyn worked on the Disney ships and I was amazed at the level of detail the crew was taught and how well planned and well executed everything was, even when weather changed the plans. It makes me laugh every time I hear “MIckey Mouse” used the way you did in your leveling description since it’s totally the opposite of the way “Mickey” does things.
Thanks for the encouragement, Reine. It’s nice to hear I’m getting results from the diet.
Many years ago I bought a used car and the AC never worked for any length of time. The repair people said it was because the car had “Mickey Mouse air,” meaning it didn’t come from the auto factory. It was added on.
I know what you’re saying about Disney. Anyone visiting Disneyworld would have to admit they know how to make and do things. I wonder if it refers to something being cheap or easily broken like a toy (with Mickey Mouse on it).
Robyn had interesting work!
So glad for your happy life!! And thank you for sharing it. It helps give some of us some hope!
You’re welcome, Elizabeth. If my blog gives hope, then the effort is worth it.
I recently bought some NuPolish to use on my Casita but haven’t tried it yet, so I’d like to hear how it works. It’s been raining way too much here for the past week, so I’m waiting ’til everything dries out. Diet be da**ed once in a while – some treats are too good to pass up!
Hi Marsha . . . The NuPolish is easy to apply and it dries to a haze quickly. The directions say to wipe it off. I couldn’t help but buff it a little bit. I’ll let you know how it holds up. Looks great nowl.
Can see you are still lovin the life. Have been doing a lot of decluttering lately in hopes of one day hitting the road and never having to return “home” after the vacation is over. One really accumulates stuff and I am just giving it away to charity. Can’t think of anything more satisfying than roaming endlessly through national parks, hiking, biking, meeting new people and looking through the maps for the next adventure. Maybe we will meet up one day. Was thinking about getting a Alto trailer made in Canada. They just look pretty nifty to me. Check em out and let me know what you think.
Oh yeah, I’m still lovin’ the life. I’ll look at the Altos and get back to you here.
LATER . . . I looked at a website about Altos. I can see why you are attracted to them. They are very stylish, ultra-light, and super aerodynamic. My evaluation isn’t worth much, but here’s some questions I have. Since the frame is entirely made out of aluminum, would it hold up to the wear-and-tear of fulltime travel and living? (I’m assuming you are going fulltime.) Would its construction coupled with fulltime living be a problem when insuring it? How is the ventilation? Do those upper, curved windows open? Does it have big enough holding tanks or are you sure you will always camp with hookups?
I didn’t catch how long they are, so without more research I can’t comment on the size.
They are absolutely adorable and eye-catching, which is great. You’re smart to look beyond that. Maybe someone here will help you. Or bury yourself in teardrop forums for a while. That’s where you get to hear voices of experience. You’re probably doing that already. Sorry I’m not much help. I know Casitas and that’s about it. Good luck!
Let me throw my 2 cents in about the Alto. It violates one of my primary rules for a travel trailer which is NO SET UP. One of the things we love the most about our Casita is that we can stop pretty much anywhere for lunch or a potty break (or a nap for that matter)without doing anything to the Casita. Also if the weather is lousy, then we can stop at a campground and move from the truck to the Casita and be “set up” immediately if needed. I don’t see the Alto is worth $6000 more than a Casita.
Your long awaited UPS package is here! Glad that you liked my enchilada cassarole!
Oh, I wrote the other comment about the shipment before reading this. Yippee! I’ll call before coming over.
I will be here all afternoon, just come over!!! Chuck goes to work at 6!
We used a BAL leveler on our A-frame Chalet pop-up. You will love it!
That’s good to hear. I’m going to try it in the morning.
Sue, I came across this recipe on another blog and have been making it for hubby and me…though being the flour is almond flour, it might be harder to find in general…but well worth it. We added 1/4 t. baking powder to it as per what one blogger said to do too. Plus instead of water, I make it with almond milk, which is a bit thicker than water. We put some 100% apricot All Fruit jam on top. Here is the link: http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/breakfast1/r/lowcarbpancakes.htm and a great way to get almonds eaten.
(You know they are very healthy but very hard on the older teeth. I am going to have to have a chewing tooth out ere long…partially from eating too much nuts probably…argh!!) Oh and I add 1/2 t. of Guar Gum too…or 1 t. Xanthan gum would work too. It helps the non-gluten flours hold together better. I make it into 4 nice sized pancakes. (Might be enough for 1 breakfast for you and the pups!!) Bon Apetit!!
Hi, Elizabeth! This is interesting. I’ve never even heard of almond flour before or almond milk. Thanks for taking the time to write out the recipe info and for posting the link. I should explore it more for ideas before I go to the store. Yeah, those ingredients might be a bit tough for me to find. It was a challenge just to find oat bran. Sounds like you and your husband enjoy a very healthy diet.
Ahem…a bit TOO healthy…both fighting a lot of weight and diabetes…but we just need to get a rig and travel and WALK more eh?? (And of course, I do think we need a dog then too…at some point in future I hope). You are certainly welcome about the info…you have been more than great about sharing what you learn with all us here and we appreciate it so much, Sue!!
Almond flour is carried in our bitty health food store now….there are whole cookbooks out now to help with recipes…and maybe Amazon would have it too. It should be kept in the fridge unless used up fairly quickly. Even our major supermarket here carries Almond Milk, and I think maybe Walmart here does too. I understand it has more calcium than cow milk. I will try to remember to send on other links as I see them…there are quite a few gluten-free sites out there…and that often has things that would fit your diet too.
I found this link for Almond flour…available by 1 pound amount too…and reasonable priced I thought:
We enjoyed seeing you and the crew the other day. We are planning to take our dogs to the dog park in Springdale tomorrow. We will be very careful of the current in the river. Bandido is likely to hop into the water, just like Spike did.
I enjoyed seeing you and your crew the other day, too. Spike and Bridget enjoyed the attention.
The river is deceptive where Spike went in. It’s not very wide and seems placid enough. The danger is in the quick drop near the river’s edge. It goes from a few inches to three feet or more in one step. And that’s where the current is.
We have those same Benchmark maps & I much prefer using them to anything on the computer.
that how the Columbia River is.Just watch Spikey if you get close to it