Sunday, August 10, 2014

Preppin for winter :)

I know, I know.. it's early yet.. but already starting to gather firewood for the coming winter, last winter more than a time or two I was a bit chilled and I am not a big fan of that!!

Did some research and checked into what it would take to be able to harvest wood on the national forest, with a friends help, discovered that with the right permits, on Tonto National Forest, I could harvest up to 4 cords of wood free!!  I expect that to be much more than I will require, but gonna make a point to go out at least once a week for a day of collection :)

Beyond that, not much has changed, the big truck didn't sell, and with my anxiety issues never got to the point of being willing to put it in craigslist to boost exposure, so it's parked at the moment on my acreage in Northern Arizona, using it as storage, and it's there if I need it to get back on the road one day.  have been up to the property twice this summer (other than the truck delivery trip) and there are no tracks in the area indicating that I need to worry about people.. heck, most people have no clue theres anything there in the middle of nowhere  both trips up were pretty short ones, but soaked in as much silence there as I could!  looking forward to fall and winter temps for the most part.

Dont know if I'll be attending the gathering this year in Quartzsite, and if I do it will be with the little truck and a tent.  Didnt feel drawn to be a part of the RTR now that it's gotten so large, and feel that it's not something that drives me anymore, though I could see spending time in the desert and around KOFA again.

Nothing else for now, Hope that everyone is doing well!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The End of an Era…. The Box truck is for sale :)

edited to add In Payson Az, and has an Automatic tranny :)
On the topic of the unpredictability of life…
I am no longer full time for the foreseeable future, with that being the case, I no longer have use for the box truck that has served me as home for a few years now and it’s time to see if it can be of use to someone else!  Dimensions on the Interior of the box are 15’ X 7’7” X 7’.  total length is 24’6”.
IMG_1148

Details

2002 Ford E-450 Super duty cutaway van (box extends over the cab so you can stand up next to the drivers seat)
7.3L Diesel engine with a block heater, and 157K miles (which for a diesel is minor) AC in the cab unit, never needed it in the box but I tended to avoid high heat areas in the summer. 
Barn doors on the back so you have full access to the back when doing a rebuild, or loading, made it much easier to load and unload the motorcycle when needed ;IMG_1152
IMG_1147

Currently there are 2 solar panels on the roof for a total of 410 watts, running to a BZ500 mppt controller, into a 12v battery bank of 1280 AH batteries, though they will need to be replaced for any real use, they are fine for basic lights and a dvd player at night.
IMG_1140IMG_1157
Currently, there are some shelves along one of the walls, and a couple of cabinets I used as a pantry, additionally there is a plywood bed built into one side, all could easily be removed as desired, or the wood repurposed.   The Truck has served me well in our time together, I just don’t see myself needing it again so it’s time to let it move on! 
Like all vehicles it has issues, to me they are minor.. the driver side door binds when opening, so I have used the passenger door primarily.  The dash lights (other than indicator/emergency lights) don’t work, so if you drive at night it could be annoying, I purchased an LED light that plugs into the cigarette lighter and use that if I have to drive at night and it’s worked fine, All emergency and instrumentation lights work just fine.  Also, I do not have a key for the cab doors, never had one, if I had to lock the truck, I would just reenter it from the back doors which have a padlock.  If you are interested in the truck, arrangements can be made to see it, please send me an email at SEballee@gmail.com Smile  will be doing another post with additional pictures of the interior, just don’t want to overload this one.

Truck Pics

IMG_0637GDGFDG005IMG_1141IMG_1143IMG_1145IMG_1151IMG_1146
brief descriptions.  for vanity sake. my typical camp  2, the empty box with pass through visible, 3 the solar controller and a 1500/3000 watt inverter, would use it to run power tools when needed. 4 the ‘kitchen’ area, shelves on the wall, pantry cabinets, the disk in the wall is where I cut through for a chimney and woodstove that I had installed one winter.   5. the bed area, lower shelf lives up for access to bins you might put under it, upper can be used as storage if needed.  6.  the ‘Bar’ area, was a pass through into the truck there (latched, I don’t have that key either) and made a drop down bar to use when camped for food prep, or doing dishes or whatever. 7. Ladder racks on the inside of the truck, I would carry both a step ladder and a larger ladder to give me roof access if needed.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Been a busy summer

Howdy folks!

Been a pretty busy summer this year in a lot of ways.. very sedentary in others!

Havent been walking as much, being that I’m in a stick and brick again for the summer, just not as likely to get out in the real world when I’m surrounded by distractions…  Gonna work on that!  But, I have been far more active in reading and learning about the Foragable plants in Arizona.. some I’ve been aware of for years but never really paid enough attention to.  this summer has been a time to rectify that!

In the area I have been, I have found the following plants which I have enjoyed (with varying degrees of satisfaction)

Curly Dock, Black medic, Wild Grapes, Serviceberry, Acorns, Yarrow, Teasel, Thistle, Scarlet Runner Bean, and Tepary bean.  Additionally, took some old (15+years) corn and resprouted them as a test for next year, it is Bloody Butcher corn, and I’m looking forward to growing it for harvest..

The “Garden” hasn’t amounted to much at all, but I keep hope that with each year I’ll learn more!  I also picked up a few additional books this summer on plant identification and usage, in addition to starting out a new blog.. at the moment there isnt much there and I’m still having issues with placement of ads.. but for those that might be curious it’s “Arizonawildedibles.com”  Feel free to look around and make suggestions as you see fit!  Comments there are moderated to keep spammers out, but if it’s clean and useful will put it through <grin>

The single most important thing that has happened over the summer is reconnecting with a young lady I knew years ago.. and as a total surprise, the connection we had then is even stronger now we are working out logistics to get together again soon! 

That’s all for now folks, just felt in the mood to play catch up!  Unsure what my winter plans will be this year, it is still my intent to get to Quartzsite, but as the saying goes, my plans right now are made of pudding! :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Walking in the woods on a Sunday morning.

 

Beautiful day up here in the Arizona Woods.. took a nice long walk this morning to see how the rains have started to effect DSCF0216the plants and whether or not it had been enough to start up the little creeks that run through the area.. No go on the creeks, but the plants are looking happy.. those from spring are in the process of dispersing their seeds, and the summer ones are starting to recover from the heat and I expect to see blooms soon.

While out, ran across a doe Elk, she and tori stared at each other for a bit, then she bounded up a hill and was gone, never had time to get the camera up and get a pic.

Found a few Elk bones where they had in the past been hit on the nearby highway, then back into the woods to drop, picked up a good sized leg bone which I think I might use to make eating utensils for Wintercount 2014.. Don’t know if I’ll get around to it, but would be nice to have some things more in tune with the gathering.

Since I’m more stationary of late, I find myself tuning into the local plants and life cycle of this area, I’ve passed through in the past, but this is the longest continuous time I’ve been in this area.. it’s comfortable Smile and I think I’ll stay a bit longer <grin>

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Concerns about Forest Service Ticketing campers.

 

Recently, on a friends blog, he posted about the Forest Service ticketing people for “Living in the forest”  and I find myself quite upset by it.. feel free to visit the original post HERE.  In fact, I recommend it as a read for everyone.

What it seems to be in my opinion is an attack on those campers that are trying to make due with less.  I highly doubt that they are going after the 100k rv’s or 5th wheels that are out there used by full timers.. OR that they will bother a soul if you go and spend your time in the paid campgrounds.. but if you live in full compliance with the rules, if you practice “leave no trace” camping and move when you are supposed to, they still want to penalize you for not having a set address.

in one of the linked articles in the original post, it talked about a couple that is full time in a Class A, and because they had a sticker in their window from an LFTV(Long term visitors area, like those around Yuma, or Quartzsite Az) they were cited because obviously they lived in their RV.. It had nothing to do with the 14 day limit, nothing to do with whether or not they were abusing the forest in the area they were camped.   Personally, I think that’s an abuse of power by the NFS.

Wanted to put the word out for folks to be aware.. if wishes come true, it will get folks irked enough to put in a call to complain to the NFS.

Thank you for your time.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy July 4th!

Good Morning everyone :)

thought I'd take a moment to wish everyone a good holiday today, and for those who don't celebrate it, a just plain good day!

Hanging out in the woods of Central/Northern Arizona at the moment at the family cabin.  Been here for a while now and probably will spend most of the summer here with occasional trips out into the woods.. but rather enjoying unlimited power and water for a while.

Alots happened in life the past couple years.. not all of it made the blog, for a couple reasons.  I suck at blogging is the biggest one, but also some of it was quite personal and I really wasnt ready to post about it..
Have lost a couple famly members, and it has effected me much more in some ways than I had anticipated, but learning to cope with the changes one day at a time and moving forward.

I spent the past winter on the road, making my slow way through the desert in Az, and trying to find the ever elusive "Content".. it seems to come and go for me :)   Made it to the Winter RTR in Quartzsite, also spent a couple weeks in KOFA NWR just south of there, a very wild area KOFA is, so I really like it there.  After the RTR I floated along toward the town of Maricopa, Az.

In Feburary of 2013 I had registered to attend "Wintercount", which is a primitive living skills gathering.  While there I learned how to make leather Knive sheaths, and how to take a deerhide and turn it into buckskin!  the class was only $40 and they provided the skin.. it came out great :)   Also took a class on making an Atlatl, and learned to use it. (primitive dart/arrow thrower)  Planning on doing that again in 2014 with a bunch from the RTR group.

Thats pretty much where I stand at this point, will be getting the camera and posting some pics with details on the camps I stopped at shortly :)