Saturday, September 13, 2008

Driiiiivvvvve, My Baby drove up in a brand new Cadilac

With the Clash blaring from the CD player I drove out of Stonekettle Station heading up the Glenn Highway, hoping to avoid snow on the Tok cut-off, and finally East South East along the ALCAN. I stopped quite a bit along the road this trip and still made most of my goals if not just short. I am amazed at the landscape along the way and cannot resist stopping to shoot, turning back when an image catches my eye through the side view mirror, or just slowing down long enough to give it one long look before moving on. The first shot is from the end of Day One. The moon was rising over the mountains near Haines Junction in the Yukon Territory. When you see something like this, sleep can wait another hour.

The world is exploding with color these days. New snow on the mountains, all the leaves in the northern reaches are turning bright yellow, the grass and weeds are browning and turning shades of red and orange, and the skies are pretty dramatic these days. The days are growing shorter and the nights colder and this little RV has covered over 1500 miles in these three days. The outside is covered with a million dead bugs and pounds of dirt and the inside is getting a little messy with more dirty laundry filling the bag and stuff not being put away exactly where it started the trip.

I'm sharing the road with herds of Buffalo, a few wild horses, Elk, Caribou and Mule deer but the Bears, Moose and Dall Sheep have not shown themselves this trip. Mostly there are no problems but the Buffalo are unpredictable and tend to turn into the road when you don't expect it. And they stink really badly too.

It's all boring plains and farmland from here until the border and a little more remote. More pictures will be posted in my Picassa album so stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What's going? What's staying?

I have been struggling over the past few days as to what will actually fit in the RV and still make it comfortable to live in. Yep for the next few months I will be living in the box in the desert. I thought about trading it in for a big old Frigidaire box and finding a nice sewer grate but that is a plan for later in life. You will know me, beard down to my ankles, ragged old Carhardt jacket, clutching a paper bag with a magnum of beer inside. There are a few openings in our larger cities but the best locations are still occupied so I will keep the RV and wait it out.

But I digress, the real reason for this post was left in the first sentence. I have a 21 foot RV that was "built for two" (yeah midgets that weigh in at like 90 lbs each) and has seen two major modifications to make it more a single guy ride. First it was a nice little family rig with a galley kitchen and a dinette that just took up too much room and limited my tool hauling ability. So out it came and a long ass tool bin took it's place. I jammed in FESTOOL systainers, hundreds of pound of wood, a Shopsmith, two long FESTOOL rails to make a massive multifunction table, lathe tools, random hand tools and did I mention, a massive load of wood. Well the wood is gone, the Shopsmith has a new home here at Stonekettle Station and I can live without some of the other stuff because of where I will be working. They got nice tools there. So Mod II was undertaken.

I built a small floor to ceiling cabinet to hold systainers, food and small power tools, but in a small bench to give me a place to relax and boxed in the furnace with more logical locations for the vents and cold air returns. Hey now it's a box but it will someday be a place to plant my ass. Ok the modification is made of pine, unfinished, a little rough around the edges but hey that's a two day mod and it holds my stuff.

OK there is still stuff on the floor, the passenger seat and jammed into every nook and cranny but it's life on the move. I will be arriving in Arizona some time in late September and start work as soon as I find a place to park. Funny how the RV parks in the Phoenix area have a 55+ age restriction. Desert Blue Hair RV park, OOO my joints hurt Vista RV Park, Casa Raisin RV Park. The choices are just so huge. Well if all else fails I can park at the Ranch where the job used to be and commute to the new location (probably hauling tools and wood in a trailer behind the RV) until I find a less wrinkley RV Park. Why doesn't some one open a LOOK AT ALL THE BABES RV Park?

So for those coming back to Beast Across America, the Beastly Blog, welcome back, sorry I was gone for so long and hey check out the new slide show feature and yes I will be populating it with more Bowl shots in the next couple days.

The anchor will be weighed Thursday or Friday or Monday if Jim wants me to help him out with stuff. Well it is part of pulling your weight when you come to Stonekettle Station.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter I am forced (because I am a "Big Baby" according to a very good friend) to prepare to leave Stonekettle Station. I have enjoyed myself hugely. Made lots of sawdust out of perfectly good wood. Met some nice people and hung out with my favorite folks. Even if one of them (Jim, no question it's Jim) is everyone's favorite Asshole.

As I look around the woodshop I have to pick and choose what goes and what stays. I am amazed that I got all this crap in there for the trip up here. But alas as I see that I will be spending the next few months living in the RV, I will be forced to leave somethings behind. The best little multifunction table in AK, my Shopsmith, a nearly new TS-75, a Biscuit Joiner, tons of exotic woods, a few turning tools, a grinder with a Wolverine sharpening system, a full sized router table, and all the other bits and pieces that make woodworking easier. But I leave them in good hands and will one day return to use them all again.

In the months to come, I will be working in a furniture shop in AZ if all goes well. I have called ahead and got the nod to bring nuthin but my skills and desire to have some fun and start as soon as I get there. YAY!

Well we shall see how it all goes from here.