Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Busy with Research

While I’ve normally not wanted to create a blog posting, just to create something, this one has a purpose for another reason.

I’m researching to find some iron sights for a rifle my son bought last week. Would you believe that they now sell some rifles without sights? I guess that the industry has gotten where everyone customizes their rifles with various types of sights. We kind of know what kind we need, but now I need to find a local supplier and get prices.

I’ve also been trying to assist a fellow RV’er with finding a good site in the Oklahoma City area where they could park for a month this coming April. While a number of sites have been ruled out, I’ve been working to help nail down some information for them.

This one leads to the need to put in pictures showing a specific area or two of Red Rock Canyon State Park at Hinton, OK. So, with bedtime quickly approaching, I shall post this and send the RV’er an e-mail with a link to this posting.

These first ones are of the area where the 3 or 4 sites are that are full service sites, meaning that those sites include the sewer facilities. Other RV site areas of the canyon do not have sewer facilities.




Then this last picture is of the site we had when we were in Red Rock Canyon last year. This picture is obviously of our coach and vehicles, but what I wanted to point out is the building to the left in the picture. That building is the one with the toilet and shower facilities. In our case, we “supplemented” our black tank capability by using the park facilities during the day and our coach facilities only at night.


I told them it was a short walk from the coach to the facilities.  Man, what convenience.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

VA Poma Ranch and Williams Reservoir Area

The last post I did was on Forest Road 636 that runs north and east of Sportsman’s Campground. For today’s entry, I’ll post photos of the area that is more north and west of Sportsman’s. As for this vacation to Sportsman’s and the Pagosa Springs/SW Colorado was taken from August 22 through September 3 of 2009.

As I mentioned in the last post, Howard and Linda had workkamped in the area NW of Sportsman’s. Incidentally, in the last post, I incorrectly referred to the ranch as La Poma Ranch, so please note the correct name of VA Poma Ranch. While I didn’t take any pictures of the ranch itself, I do have a few pictures of views from the ranch area.




I guess I should mention that the forest roads are all dirt and gravel. However, the views along them are great in the Weminuche Wilderness. This next photo was taken along Forest Road 631, which branches off near Sportsman’s Campground to go NW towards the Williams Reservoir area. Then at the junction, one takes Forest Road 640 to actually get to the reservoir.


While I didn’t stop and get any pictures, there is a national forest campground just north of the junction of Forest Roads 631 and 640. That is the one I mentioned in the last post as having some sites with full services. The beauty of that campground is that it is broken up with different sites in separated areas, so there is not a lot of congestion.

But, without any pictures of the area, the best I could do was to use Google maps and Microsoft Word to come up with an image. Sorry that it isn’t really great.

Campground North of Sportsmans

There is a small campground at Williams Reservoir, but I don’t remember that there was any kind of RV hookups. So, if you going there, I would suggest that you prepare for boondocking. Williams is not a large lake, but it is nestled within some minor peaks.

Rather than try to describe it any further, let me just provide some photos taken on that first day.





Thursday, February 23, 2012

Back to Colorado Vacation in 2009

Sadly, it has been more than a month since I first started posting about our 2009 vacation to the Pagosa Springs, Colorado area. Back about mid-January, I posted two entries about the Sportsman’s Campground that is located about 18 miles NW of Pagosa Springs. It is way past time to get back to seeing beauty.

Hearkening back to the times when I read Louis L’Amour’s books, he wrote about the early pioneers/mountain men/explorers that just seemed to want to keep going over the next ridge or around the next bend in a trail. They were always in search of new things to see. In a sense, Jo and I are the same.

When we go on vacation, we tend to “camp” somewhere and then take little day trips to places in that area. For the most part, we like natural things instead of so much man-made tourist type attractions. So, the day after we arrived at Sportsman’s, we took a drive to see what was in the close proximity to the campground. That day, we drove up Colorado Forest Road 636, over into the La Poma Ranch area, and then on up to Williams Reservoir.

There wasn’t really any particular sight to go see, so we just drove around to see what there was and to take pictures. This particular entry will probably only touch on our drive up Forest Road 636, and touch on the La Poma Ranch area and Williams Reservoir on another day.

Prior to our vacation, I had done some research on the area, looking for waterfalls in particular. If I remember right, at the end of Forest Road 636, there was supposed to be access to one. The information I had on it was that to see the waterfalls, one had to cross the river, thus it was necessary to do that late in the season. I was later to find out from the Forest Service that they consider that waterfall too difficult to get to, so they were taking it off of their list of sights to see.

So, now I will share some of the sights we saw driving up that forest road. At a few places along the road, we parked and got out to take short walks around and take pictures. You may notice that the road has different widths. In places, it is wide enough for two vehicles to pass easily, and the further towards the end you go, the narrower it can become.



Mostly the area is populated with Pine and Aspen trees, and of course, wildflowers. At one point where we stopped, we ran across a sign that was a map of the area. Mostly, it shows various campgrounds in the area around the Williams Reservoir. There is one fairly large campground south of the Reservoir where there were a few sites with full hookups. I would imagine those might be hard to get at times.


There are dozens of streams and rivers in the Weminuchi Wilderness area, so I have no real clue as to which one this one is.


Then here are a couple of pictures of meadows, trees, and mountains in the background.



As usual in the forests, one comes across odd shapes in nature. It makes one wonder as to why this tree was formed as it is.


This one is of one of the walks we took. Looking in the shadow of the trees along the trail, you can see a small bridge.


And, to finish up our little drive and walking along Forest Road 636, we need to have one of the small things of beauty.


As a preview, my next vacation post will be of the La Poma Ranch area and Williams Reservoir.  If any of you have read Howard and Linda’s journals for some time, they workkamped at the La Poma Ranch.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Response to a Forum Comment from HemiMan

I won’t go into a great deal of detail as to what has occurred, but a former RV Dreams forum participant left a comment on yesterday’s blog. As things occurred on the forums, I believe he deserves some answers to some of the statements he made in his comment, but he also deserves some criticism as well. So, let me first post his comment from the blog into this blog post.


You might think you know what happened at RV-Dreams.com but you only know what you were told. My posts were modified without my permission and I was mocked and accused of spamming within days of my joining the forum. All I tried to do was ask questions and contribute. My mistake was assuming I would be welcomesd in what is apperantly a closed club.
Also, dont think that you wont be held responsible for your part in seducing others into an early retirement RV travelling lifestyle which is unsustainable. Howard and his wife are slowly going broke with their lifestyle and their attempts to see others do the same is nothing short of a "misery loves company" ploy. A look at their tenuous financial position and their begging for donations shows me to be correct. You dont mind being part of a forum that attempts to convince others to put themselves in a jeapordizing financial position that will ultimately lead to their downfall? I only deleted my posts on that forum because I didnt want them to profit off of my posts and didnt think it was fair to contribute to the madness and deception of others. Clearly that doesnt bother your conscience.”

First of all, HemiMan, you haven’t a clue as to what went on at the RV Dreams forum. In the one post where individual posts were removed, it was done by Howard to remove some comments and your replies to them because they didn’t relate to your original post. That one was the one under the category heading of “RVing Solo.” If you didn’t check back, you should know that Howard had even provided you about 4 or 5 links to sites that were related to your original question.

Now, with all due respect meant, much of your problems with the RV Dreams forum participants are as a result of your own actions. Please allow me to try to explain that.

When people register for the forums at RV Dreams, they normally supply a name and location in their personal profile. Many also supply a quick description of themselves and their dreams. When you registered you did not provide a name or location of any kind (including a possible “false” name.) You also didn’t provide any description of yourself.

As one of the moderators on the RV Dreams forums, it is my responsibility to look at and read every comment that is posted. When greeting new members, I generally look at their profile to see what they have supplied as a name, which is normally something other than their username. In your case, no other name was in the profile, which immediately made me suspicious.

While following your comments on the forum threads, I soon discovered that you were providing substantive and knowledgeable comments and answers, so my suspicions were forgotten. I also can understand that you might prefer that your name not be on an open forum, thus opening yourself up for attempts to defraud you.

However, because you left your profile blank, when the individual saw your “personal” message in the RV’ing Solo category regarding you asking for single ladies to consider traveling with you, they probably looked first at your profile. Seeing nothing in your profile along with the “personal” message is probably what prompted them to ask if it was spam. As a normal rule, spam messages are lacking of information in the profile and the messages sometimes seem irrelevant to most other posts on the forums.

Thus, leaving your profile blank might have just been an open invitation to cause someone to think you were spamming. If you remember the thread, I was next to comment and spoke of the fact that it was not considered spam and that you had made good and substantive posts before in other forum categories.

Another issue is that you provided information in your forum signature that you had a 2009 Mobile Suites 36RSSB3 and a Dodge 1500 4X4 truck. At first, I considered that you had probably mistyped the size of the truck and that you probably meant a Dodge 3500 truck.

When someone merely questioned whether the information in your signature was correct, you seemed to get thin-skinned enough to start complaining about the “weight police” and that people had gotten off-topic on your “personal” thread.

That is when Howard stepped in and removed the unrelated posts, including your answers to them, and then he added some links where you might be able to find a traveling partner. Apparently, that is when you really got aggravated, enough so to leave a message in “Community Chat” deriding Howard and Linda and then hoping that you could meet them face to face so you could tell them personally.

Now, in your comment to my blog posting about the Watts pressure regulator, you included this statement: “Also, dont think that you wont be held responsible for your part in seducing others into an early retirement RV travelling lifestyle which is unsustainable.” I should advise you that in some circles comments about wanting to get “face to face” and the above underlined statement might lead people to believe that you were taking a threatening stance towards others.

I should also add that the largest majority of the participants at RV Dreams are fully aware that not everyone can do the full-time RV lifestyle, at least until they retire. So, we are not responsible for folks being misled. In fact, if you were to spend time looking at Howard and Linda’s financial pages, they pretty well spell out what it costs them for that lifestyle.

Lastly, as the criticism mentioned much earlier, there are a lot of RV Dreams forum participants that know how heavy the Mobile Suites fifth wheels are, and they know that even a “beefed-up” ½ ton pickup is not a safe vehicle for towing. Even if your ½ ton was beefed up close to a ¾ ton truck, it would still be an unsafe vehicle.

A number of those forum participants, including myself, are former professional drivers of trucks of all kinds. In most cases, all of them would be more likely to “suggest” that someone with an inadequate truck get one that was adequate. As an example of inadequate, one RV’er weighs RV rigs at rallies and has posted a list of DRV Suites fifth wheel rigs that he has weighed. A comment at the end of his document stated that 100% of the single rear wheeled trucks were overweight and that 60% of the dual rear wheeled trucks were as well.

So, not intending to be a “weight policeman,” I am merely suggesting that you consider a larger truck for safety purposes. Then you won’t be forced to keep the front of your coach light and drive at speeds in the 40’s. Unfortunately, when you described how you towed your Mobile Suites, I knew that you knew that you were overweight for your truck.

Sadly, when you deleted your own remarks, you deleted some very substantive posts, but you also prevented anyone from checking back to see exactly what it was you said in the questionable comments as well.

Thus, those reading these comments will have to rely on my memory of what occurred.  I also hope that you don’t decide that you should spend time commenting on everyone’s blogs as you have done on mine.

Good luck to you, Sir. Safe travels.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Review of Watts 263A Water Pressure Regulator

It has been a while since I determined that I wanted to get this particular pressure regulator, and the lack of funds each month has been the reason why it has taken this long. There have been other purchases that needed to be made that were more of a priority than the regulator. Two that come to mind are the EZE-Kleen Sewer System and the materials needed to winterize our water supply hoses.

When we realized how high our water pressure was here in the mobile home park, we went out and bought an inline device to reduce that pressure. If we wanted to water the lawn here, in order to get the oscillating sprinkler to give good coverage, we only had to open the faucet valve about ½ to ¾ of one turn.

We had been experiencing some water leaks in various places in the coach, and I finally decided that the high water pressure was probably the reason for those. We had researched the various pressure regulators and at least 3 or 4 people had recommended the Watts 263A. While they stated that it was larger than the “inline” regulators, they did a better job. In fact, one individual told me that what we bought at the RV dealership was really more of a “flow regulator” than a pressure regulator.

First of all, let me show you what it was that we bought as our initial regulator, just to get the pressure down. As you can see in the photo, it is preset at 45 psi of pressure. When we installed this and turned on the water, we noticed a huge difference in the volume of water that then came from our faucets.


In fact, to really flush the commode, one pretty much had to flush the surface of the bowl with the remote sprayer in order to flush down all of the surface area.

This next photo is of the original regulator and the new Watts 263A with a tape measure there to give a perspective of size. In that photo, the bolt sticking up from the housing of the regulator is what is turned to adjust the water pressure. When we initially installed it on the faucet to set and test the pressures, it read a pressure of 20 psi. Loosening the nut at the housing and then turning the bolt clockwise as one would when tightening it causes the pressure to increase. Loosening the bolt reduces the pressure in the lines.


My son, Eric, and I worked with the regulator and initially set it at 60 psi. In setting the pressure, one does it with no water actually running. It is what is referred to as “static” pressure. After each adjustment, we ran the water before shutting it off with a nozzle on the hose.

This next photo is of the underground hydrants with the newly installed pressure regulator. The white garden hose in the photo is the fresh water supply line and the black one runs to our black tank flush system.


A few days prior to the installation of the regulator, I took some videos of water running in the kitchen sink into a pint measuring cup. With the 45 psi regulator, it took about 7 seconds for the water at full blast to fill up that pint. That works out to about 56 seconds to run gallon of water.


This second video is basically the same test, but now with the new Watts regulator. Checking it today, the gauge on the regulator is set at about 56 psi. With the Watts 263A, it only took about 5 seconds to fill the pint measuring cup. Not being a math whiz able to determine how many gallons that is per minute, it works out to be about 40 seconds to get a gallon instead of 56 seconds.


While the videos below are not of any measurable testing, they do give an idea of how much water is flowing in the commode. The first one of the 45 psi regulator just shows rivulets of water coming down in certain areas of the bowl. If one kept the valve open longer, eventually the water flow would get a bit better.


This next one is the same “flow” test using the Watts 263A.


Lastly, the next videos are similar “flow” tests at the bathroom sink with this first one being with the 45 psi regulator.


This one is of the bathroom sink at the 56 psi of the Watts regulator.


Overall, I think I am well pleased with the regulator. As long as I don’t forget and leave it somewhere by accident, it should last for years because it has stainless steel inner parts and a 2 1/2” stainless steel, oil filled gauge. I just recently learned that the oil filled gauge is a protection against freezing of the gauge.

We purchased this Watts 263A from RV Water Filter Store.  If you look at the pictures, you’ll notice that they came with the garden hose fittings and the gauge.  This model with the stainless steel parts and gauge cost $89.95.  That has been the best price I’ve found on the Watts 263A,

Friday, February 17, 2012

What Plans????

The title relates to that old saying that “ain’t it great when a plan comes together.” In this case though, the plan is falling apart big time with two different news items that came out this week, neither of which is “helpful” to President Obama and his administration.

The first is a report from the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO’s report gives the bad news that the “unemployment figures” will remain above 8 percent for at least until 2014, but the real killer is that the “real” unemployment numbers are at 15 percent.

If you read my earlier report about the various “levels” of unemployment, you will remember that the news media reports on what is called the U3 unemployment numbers. Those are the ones reported that have been actively looking for work for the previous 4 weeks to the reported numbers. However, the U6 numbers goes well beyond to get to the actual number of people who are unemployed or underemployed and wishing to have better. Incidentally, that blog post is here:


With links in mind, here is a quote and a link from a FOX News report about the CBO report:

“The rate of unemployment in the United States has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, making the past three years the longest stretch of high unemployment in this country since the Great Depression. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent until 2014. The official unemployment rate excludes those individuals who would like to work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks as well as those who are working part-time but would prefer full-time work; if those people were counted among the unemployed, the unemployment rate in January 2012 would have been about 15 percent. Compounding the problem of high unemployment, the share of unemployed people looking for work for more than six months—referred to as the long-term unemployed—topped 40 percent in December 2009 for the first time since 1948, when such data began to be collected; it has remained above that level ever since.”

Now, the FOX News link:


And, a link to the CBO’s report:


If that wasn’t enough bad news for President Obama, his Treasury Secretary just managed to heap more bad news on the long list of the President’s failures. While this article is primarily about entitlement programs, the same can be said for the entire economic mess. If he can’t fix entitlements, which liberals hold sacrosanct, how could he possibly fix the other parts of the economy? I know that some will say that the entitlements came about prior to his administration, but he isn’t addressing them at all.

Here is the article from the Washington Free Beacon as far as the text is concerned, but the link below the quoted article takes one to the article which includes two video clips.

An Economy Built to Crash

By: Andrew Stiles

The Washington Free Beacon

February 16, 2012

President Obama described his fiscal year 2013 budget – the most expensive in United States history – as “a blueprint for an economy that is built to last.”

But even his Treasury Secretary does not agree with that assessment.

For the second year in row, Timothy Geithner admitted before the Senate Budget Committee that President Obama’s budget takes no action to meaningfully reform entitlement programs, putting us on an “unsustainable” fiscal course.

“Even if Congress were to enact this budget,” Geithner said, “we would still be left with–in the outer decades as millions of Americans retire–what are still unsustainable commitments in Medicare and Medicaid.

In fact, Geithner said the same thing about the president’s budget last year.

“With the president’s plan, even if Congress were to enact it, and even if Congress were to hold to it, we would still be left with a very large interest burden and unsustainable obligations over time,” Geithner said in 2011. “That’s why we’re having the debate.”

The Congressional Budget Office projects that federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid will comprise an increasingly large, and inherently unsustainable, share of the economy in the coming decades.”


While the media is enthralled with a question posed by Stephanopoulos about whether states could pass laws regulating or outlawing contraception and the “straw man” issue that is, they willingly ignore the truth in regards to Obama and his economic mess. Then, one can add the willing negligence of the U.S. Senate leadership to ignore mandated law and not pass a budget for at least the last 1000 days.

For those that have forgotten, or perhaps just didn’t know, the Senate is controlled by the Democrats. Passing a budget does NOT require a 60 vote majority, but only a simple majority. President Obama’s budget for last year was voted on by the Senate and they voted it down with a margin of 97 – 0. Yep, not even the democrats wanted to vote for it. To top it all off, though, Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, has stated that the Senate “won’t even vote on the President’s budget this year.”

I guess the Democratic Party leadership doesn’t want to “embarrass” the President.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

No Twelve Step Program Needed

Hi, my name is Terry Miller and I have a weakness.

No, I have no need for a support group to prevent me from engaging in my weakness, as it is one that I lovingly embrace.

I love trucks.

OK. Technically, a pickup is not “really” a truck, but the manufacturers always want to classify them as such, so I will gladly embrace that classification as is so much better than smaller vehicles.

We purchased a 2010 Mercury Mariner in the past with the thought of maybe pulling it behind our Mobile Suites when we traveled. However, as time went on, we got to thinking that why would we want to tow the Mariner for short trips when moving and lose the option of using that as a “scout” car to help find the best ways into fuel stations or what have you.

Since I really don’t like small cars, I tolerated the Mariner, but I really prefer to be in a vehicle where I can sit up higher and am able to see traffic in front of me. Jo really likes the bigger ones as well. In fact, it was her that had commented a time or two that she would kind of like to get another Ford F150 with the four doors.

We had driven out to Elk City to visit with Alicia and Slade at Rolling Retreats and take some pictures of a new Mobile Suites that they had at their dealership. A couple of friends on the forums had gone to the Tampa RV Show with the intention of seeing the Mobile Suites 38PS3 that was supposed to be there.

Unfortunately, the PS3 at the Tampa show was already sold, so I offered to take pictures for them so they could see what it looked like. I took about 130 plus pictures and later posted them on my Photobucket account and provided a link on two different forums that cater to the DRV products.

Anyway, on the way home, we drive through El Reno, Oklahoma, which just happens to be where our favorite Ford dealer is located. As we are nearing the exit, I ask Jo, “So, should I pull into Diffee’s and look at F150’s?”

She didn’t say no, so in we went. We looked at several, but many just weren’t equipped like we wanted. Very few vehicles ever have everything we want without getting stuff we don’t really care about. While we liked the dual temperature controls in past vehicles, that isn’t something that is critical to us.

We found a 2010 silver F150 with the four doors and the XLT package. The mileage and price was about right, so we test drove it some to see what we thought. That was on Monday. If you read my blog about our illnesses, you know that Tuesday night and Wednesday were not good days for me. While I was feeling somewhat better on Thursday, we drove on out to Diffee’s again, test drove the truck again, and negotiated a bit on the price.

So, as it happened, Jo was driving the new (to us) truck home when she got sick that day, and it got “christened” pretty good, but not with what one would normally want to “christen” a vehicle.

It was a few days later before I managed to get some pictures of our new ride. So, with no further ado, let me show you the results of my weakness.




Now, I may need to find some names for both trucks.  If I remember right, there is a John Wayne movie in which are two other characters who begin to call themselves “Big Casino” and “Little Casino.”  I’m not a gambler, but maybe something along that line might be appropriate anyway.