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by Lloyd Treichel
Dateline: April 25, 2003 -- Sedona, Arizona
San Diego... During my one week stay in San Diego, Vanita and I hiked, ate sushi, biked and just hung out. Just before I arrived at San Diego, son TJ called to tell me of his wedding plans in September. So I had to change my travel plans. Yeah! Right! Like I had plans. TJ's plans were in conflict with my plan to attend the Fall Escapade in Indiana so I went to the...
Spring Escapades in Lancaster, CA... Before the Escapades, I boon docked with the Escapees Solos for socialization and touring the area. While there, one of the stops was the:
Poppy Preserve... It is a California State Park located just west of Lancaster and is the high desert preserved in its natural state. Due to some good rains, the spring wild flower blooms stretch across the landscape with the orange poppies taking center stage of the show.
Covered wagons ... heading across the prairie is what the solos looked like as the Escapee Solos headed en masse to the Escapades at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds.
The Escapees RV Club presents the Escapades twice a year. These are week long events with how-to seminars, workshops, Birds Of a Feather (BOF) meetings, evening entertainments and lots of time to meet up and socialize with the "rootless" crowd.
The Escapades includes vendors selling their products for the full time RVer. This becomes one of those times to differentiate between need and want. I bought a "want" -- a flagpole for the wind sock I had. Its use will be to find home next winter when I am parked among the 25,000 RVs at Quartzsite.
Care of RV tanks... was the subject for one seminar at the Escapades. Although the speakers were not to turn their talk into a sales pitch, this speaker did. He knew of no other way to maintain the tanks other than to use chemicals. His product was free of formaldehyde, but it did have chemicals. "Kill the bacteria" was his mantra. After speaking to the care of the black and gray water tanks, he turned his attention to the fresh water tanks. Guess what. He added chemicals to the water. And he would drink that water. This guy was paranoid about bacteria and germs. He sprayed anything that someone else could have touched. That included the water hook ups because the water faucet is "dog leg high".
Personally, I would take my chances with germs. My immune system is designed to fight the little buggers. My genetic makeup does not include the process of neutralizing chemicals.
Through the use of anti-bacterial cleaners, some people try to create a germ free world. It just isn't possible. However, It is good for the economy; the manufacturers have something else to sell.
No chemicals or enzymes are added to my tanks. All fresh water is filtered before entering the RV (or tank) and then it is filtered again as it comes out of the tap for cooking. Most times I drink bottled water. After dumping the black water tank, I always put some water in the tank. I add detergent to that the black water before I head down the road. That has got to be a pretty good way to clean the crud off the inside. I have no idea whether it works, but I feel better.
Changing altitude... Sometimes my leftovers will end up in one of those containers which you can burp to create a seal. A couple of days later I will see the leftover, but the lid is loose. Did bacteria get in there creating gas and pop the lid? Or is it due to the fact that I changed elevation from 500 feet to 2500 feet? Regardless, I fear eating it. I know it is perfectly safe, but I pitch it anyway.
Changing altitude also does some interesting things to the Select Comfort air bed. Sometimes, getting into bed can be a "bottoming out" experience.
Sedona, AZ... has natural beauty that may be unequaled. Nestled in a valley surrounded by red rock formations of eroded sandstone and limestone, it is visual overload. This natural beauty may also be its curse. The area has become home to artists, retirees and a large tourist business.
Many of the visitors to Sedona come seeking a spiritual experience. According to some people, Sedona is surrounded by energy fields, or vortices, which will produce calm or create spiritual awareness in sensitive individuals. Sedona's visual beauty certainly has a calming effect on me.
Meteor Crater... is located about 40 miles east of Flagstaff. When I was a wee lad, I had a science book that had an illustration of that crater. As a child, rocks dropping out of the sky to earth was fascinating. There was a hole in Arizona to prove it. I had to see it some day.
For a privately developed natural wonder, the presentation was superb. The exhibits were well done with the latest in technology to explain the varieties of meteors and the craters that they have produced around the world.
Campground ... When in San Diego, Vanita and I bicycled on the Silver Strand south of Coronado. The Silver Strand State Park is there and so we took a detour to check it out for future reference. The ocean is mere yards from where you would park your rig. There are restrooms but no hook ups. Only boon docking with water and dump about seven miles away. ... With Coronado and downtown San Diego not far away, at $11 a day it is great place to park your home on wheels.
Hiking ... While in San Diego, Vanita and I went on a hike to the top of Mt. Woodsen. That was a workout with a lot of elevation gain.
While in the Sedona Red Rocks country, I hiked many times. Many of the hikes are short enough so that several can be done in a day. The hikes through the rock formations are quite scenic with lots of "digital photo moments" along the way.
Above I mentioned the spiritual nature of the Sedona area. Not trying to be cynical, but my hiking over the past -- almost twenty years -- has been for spiritual renewal. The hikes here at Sedona did not seem any different. ... But perhaps I was not near one of the vortices.
Cinnamon Roll Search ... Of the many bakeries that I encountered in recent travels, when I entered two of these, there was only one cinnamon roll left. I decided that if the rolls were gone by ten o'clock in the morning, these must be pretty good cinnamon rolls. Popularity does not necessarily mean "good". These ended up in the honorable mention category.
I have wondered many times: why is it that cinnamon rolls are frequently larger than any other item in the bakery case. When they are more than three to four inches across they are too big. Many cinnamon rolls fail by that criteria alone.
So where did you say there was a bakery?
Latest Read ... One of the recently read books was Robert K. Kaplan's "Balkan Ghosts." This well researched and well written travel book about the Balkan States explains the hatreds and animosities that these people have had for their neighbors and outsiders. Kaplan's research shows that this has been going on for a 1000 years and based on the current status will not change much in the near term. To explain the continuation of strife in the region Kaplan quotes Steven of Byzantium from the 6th century : "Mythology is what never was, but always is."
In another recently read book, Tony Hawks writes about his journey to the Balkan State of Moldova in "Playing the Moldovans at Tennis". Tony is the author of "Round Ireland with a Fridge." The bet this time is that Tony can beat an entire team of soccer players at tennis. The book is a humorous and observant look at travel in a country where the USSR and the KGB is still reality.
Words .... can be interpreted very differently.
Some years back, I was hiking a trail that was also heavily used by mountain bikes. I was resting beside the trail when a bike rider stopped for some minor repair. We chatted as he worked. As he mounted his bike and headed down the trail, I wished him my usual "Keep the balance... " Why did I say that to a bike rider?
Ego Plates ....
XRADOC -- On a red retro T-bird.
CUZAHR -- on a mini van. That tells all.
YBFAT -- No other clues on the car for explanation.
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