I have been a photographer pretty much all my life it seems. I remember loving photography and always having a camera in my hand throughout my high school years, and then after that too – once I got married and had my own kids, I photographed them A LOT! I have albums and albums and albums of photos of the little cuties all stored away while we travel in our RV.
My love of photography turned into a career in portrait photography about 14 years ago when we lived in Illinois. I photographed babies, families and high school seniors in my own studio that I had purchased and run myself. The studio was part of everything we sold off when we decided to change our lifestyle and go full time RV-ing. However, I could NEVER put my camera down, and I love being able to earn some extra money doing what I love to do best! So I turned to Stock Photography! Now I can travel wherever I want, take photos while I’m there, and upload them to my stock agencies to make some extra money! I also take photos of food and upload those to my stock agencies, as they seem to sell very well!
You can get a peek at my Shutterstock portfolio HERE for a great example of what I do. I also upload photos to Getty, Dreamstime, 123RF and Adobe Stock! Between these 5 agencies, I make a fairly decent little side income (and I continue to grow my portfolio more and more and earn even more money!)
If this is something that you might be interested in, my friend Teri – who is a stock photographer from Denver, CO and myself wrote an Ebook called Earn Extra Income Selling Your Photos On Stock Photography Agencies. It’s all about how to get started in this business! Here’s a peek at our Table Of Contents so you can get an idea of all that this Ebook covers!
This Ebook will give you all the information you need to get started making an income from your photographs! And, many of these stock agencies now accept IPhone/Smartphone photos, so you don’t even need a ton of fancy equipment to get started!! Just the camera that’s always in your hand anyways!
Right now, through April 30th, our Ebook is on sale for ONLY $14.99! Our regular price on it is $20.00, so you can save a few bucks by purchasing it now! Just use the code 1499Ebook1 when you check out! You can find our Ebook HERE ON OUR WEBSITE!
While Stock Photography is by no means a get-rich-quick type of job (it takes time, effort and perseverance!), it sure has been a FUN job! I really enjoy taking photographs and to be able to make a little money off of them is even better! Happy Shooting!!
Today I’m going to replace the front door swing arm on our Monaco Coach. Monaco used these things on all but their top of the line DP’s, They work like a locking scissors, they keep the door under control, and lock it in the open position such that a simple pull will unlock it and let you close the door.
At least they are supposed to. This thing is 5 pieces of stainless steel held together by 3 rivets. When they are brand new they are very tight, I think I may hear about how hard it is to close the door now. As they wear, they get loose, and don’t hold the door open, a mild freeze will slam the door. When completely worn out, they lock firm, and require one to reach up and push it before the door will move.
Ours has been in this terminal mode for a few months. It’s a pain because it’s high on top of the door, and you have to remember to reach up and pop it before you get to the bottom step and can’t reach it.
Luckily, this part is still available. I found one place, an old Monaco Dealer who seems to have stocked up before the bankruptcy. They have lots of uncommon or hard to find Monaco specific parts. If you have a Monaco made RV, I highly recommend Veurinks RV for those hard to find parts.
Anyway, Sunday I bit the big one on this, and $155 later including shipping the new swing arm is here.
First to get the old one off. I get out my trusty extend-o-ladder and climb on up. The coach side is 6 square head screws, easy peasy. The door side uses 4 3/16” short rivets. These have to be drilled out.
The new one is very tight, and somewhat of a pain to get into exactly the right place. Then run the screws back in (I replaced 2 because the heads were kinda worn.) and get out the old pop rivet tool and pop in some 3/16” short rivets. Use steel rivets, aluminum won’t last.
We’ve been in the process of converting our motorhome to LED lighting for a long time. To save money I bought most of the LED’s direct from China on ebay. This has been a bit of a learning experience. Buying from Camping World and such, you get Chinese made bulbs, but hopefully “better quality” ones, for $10 a bulb. On ebay, there are thousands of vendors, American and foreign, all selling the same stuff at a variety of different prices. Direct from China, you’re talking fifty cents to a dollar per bulb, rather than $5 to $15 for exactly the same Chinese bulb from an American vendor such as Camping World or Home Depot.
What I learned the hard way is that the cheapest ones aren’t very good. The first ones I bought, strictly on price, burned up within months. I went back to ebay, bought some slightly more expensive LED’s, and have been very satisfied. I converted all the “hockey puck” light with plugin LED bulbs, they run cool, make good light, and so far have lasted 4 years.
Today, I’m going to continue to work on converting fluorescent fixtures.
RV’s use a ton of these that run on 12 volts and take T-8 or T-12 bulbs. These are a little more complicated than just changing a plugin bulb. They do make “sorta plugin” conversions, but I went my own way and bought 10 meter strips. Twice actually. The first time I got really cheap ones that were “waterproof.” And they burned up quick. I don’t know if it was the “cheap” or the combination of the waterproof covering and being in an enclosure that caused the overheating, but the next purchase brought strips of bare LED’s, 10 meters each, self adhesive, with 3050 cool white LED’s. The “Number” in these things refers specifically to the size of the LED in millimeters, and along with the density ( # of LED’s per foot or meter) directly relates to how bright they are. The ones I got are very very bright.
After removing the fixture (4 screws and a plug) the next step is to remove the parts
required for the fluorescent lights. Drill out the 6 rivets from the back with a 1/8” bit, pop out the reflector, and the lamp holders and ballast will fall out. Mine had 2 wires, neg is white, pos is red. There was a switch in the housing that I chose to keep, and I cut both wires as close to the ballast as possible.
Prewiring is next. I’m going to use 6 LED strips, I like bright light. I made up 6, 6 inch lengths of small gauge white stranded wire, stripped, wrapped, and soldered to the white wire entering the fixture, and covered the connection with heat shrink tubing. For the hot side, I’m going to setup 2 light levels. I removed ½” of insulation from the red wire going to the switch and attached 2 lengths of green wire as above.
On the red wire coming off the switch I attached 4 lengths of red wire. The fixture will burn 2 or 6 strips of LED’s, switchable by the switch on the housing, with the fixture remaining controlled by the coach’s wall switch.
Now time to peel and stick the LED’s to the reflector.I put lengths of electrical tape on the end where the connections will be to help insure against short circuits. I used a 12 volt battery and a couple jumper connections to verify that the roll of LED’s work, and to determine where Neg and Pos is. LED’s are polarized, cross the wires, they won’t light up. (It won’t hurt anything, they just don’t light up.) If you look carefully at the LED strip, there are a pair of copper dots between each pair of LED’s. I’m going to solder to those to minimize waste. If you’re less confident in your soldering, there is a pair of solder pads every couple feet, those are easier to solder to, but will produce mucho waste. It’s best just to peel stick cut and go when sticking the LED’s. That way you don’t set anything down and don’t lose track. If they all go on the same direction the Pos and Neg sides will all be aligned. Now go back to your battery and test the first strip, making darned sure you remember which is Pos and which is Neg.
Now carefully solder tin the copper dots where you will attach your wires
(skip if you’re using the big solder pads.) Cut your wires to length, strip a small amount of insulation, tin each wire, then cut the tinned end short, just enough exposed wire to use.
Lay the reflector into the housing and start soldering the wires. A tiny amount of heat on the tinned wire, touch it to the tinned pad and get your iron off, it will stick. White wires to all 6 Neg pads, and I put the green ones one the center 2 and reds on the remaining 4. Be really careful here. I used a small 20 watt soldering iron, very well tinned, and just a touch of heat. With both the pads and the wire tinned, you won’t need any additional solder.
Now snap the reflector down and you’re done. Go back to your battery and test your work. Make sure you get 2 or 6 LED strips depending on flipping the switch. If any strips don’t light, go back to your bench and swap the wires on that strip. Time to plug it in, screw it on, and pop the cover on.
Before I started I hooked up my ammeter. The fluorescent lights need 1.6 amps each. Equipped with 6 strips of LED’s, they are 4 times brighter and only use 1.36 amps. Best of all, with only 2 LED strips on only .45 amps. While of course all the lights (11 in our coach!) are rarely on all together or on all the time, if they were I’ve dropped from 17.6 amps (140 amp/hrs in 8 hours!) to 4.9 amps (39 amp/hrs) and we’re putting way less heat in the air.
When you decided to go on this grand adventure of full-time RV-ing, you had dreams of seeing and doing so many awesome sights and places. And of course, you want to document these great times. These days, everyone carries this tiny computer with a killer camera (it kinda looks like a telephone – LOL) and we’re all just snapping away as we wander. But what do these pictures look like? And what happens to them once you click the button? Can your phone take a really good picture? What, exactly, is a really good picture? And what to do with it once you’ve taken it?
Yes, your modern phone has a really good camera. And yes, you can take really good, interesting, properly composed and exposed pictures with it. Follow along, we have some professional tips you can use with your phone to take better pictures! All of the photos in this article were taken with my IPhone.
Rule Of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds is a guideline in photography that involves mentally dividing your viewfinder into thirds, by using a grid (either in your mind or on your camera). You then want to place your subject in the image on or near one of the intersecting lines in order to get a pleasing composition. Clear as mud right? Look at our example – I’ve placed the log cabin (the main subject) in the lower right intersection of this photo. It makes for a pleasing composition of the gorgeous scenery. On the IPhone, you can turn on gridlines so they’re visible on your screen as you take a photo. To do this, go to “Settings”, then “Photos and Camera”, then simply toggle the “Grid” to “On”. Easy!
Use A Unique Perspective
Most people see a scene, pick up their phone and just shoot what’s in front of them. But what if you use a different perspective? Try walking all the way around your subject while looking for interesting angles, or try shooting straight up or straight down on your subject. Get down on the ground and shoot low, or climb up on something and shoot down on your subject from up high. The possibilities are endless!
Another great composition tip is to use leading lines in your photos. Leading lines are a great way to draw your viewer’s eye into the photo. In my example photo, not only is the path a leading line, but the trees also form a strong line which draws your eyes up into the photo and through it.
Using patterns in your photographs doesn’t only have to mean repeating shapes. You can find patterns in lines, forms or colors as well. In our example photo, we have a pattern of shape and color in the purple cactus plant, making for an interesting scene to keep our viewers engaged.
Tell The Story
Use elements around you in order to tell a story. I named this sample photograph “Sunday Morning” because it’s a great representation of what I was doing that Sunday morning. I had the fireplace on, my cup of tea, blanket and my favorite magazine to relax with.
There’s nothing better than grabbing in-the-moment, real life candids that capture pure emotion. So sometimes you just have to throw all these rules out the window and take some non-posed photos of your family having a great time! After all, these are the best kinds of photographs there are!
Turn Off Your Flash
For the love of all things holy, turn off your camera’s flash! It makes your photos look overexposed and washed out, and it looks like you smacked your family member in the face with a light. Instead, find natural light! Your phone camera can and will compensate for the lower light and make a much nicer photograph. Take a look at our two sample photos here: The flash photo is altogether too obvious, while the natural light image is much nicer, with natural catchlights in the eyes and a much more pleasing skin tone. These two images were shot in the same room, on the same day, within seconds of one another (my granddaughter is pretty cute, isn’t she???)
Use a Tripod
The very best way to steady your camera and make sure your photos are super sharp is to use a tripod. It’s also great for setting up a shot so you can jump into the frame too. This cute little tripod has flexible legs so you can stand it up on a table, or wrap it around a tree or whatever works best for your situation at the time. It also comes with a handy wireless bluetooth remote for those times when you want to get in the shot too. This is the phone tripod I have and use and I do love it! (affiliate link)
Photo Editing Apps
There are so many apps out there that you can edit your photos with, and I’m sure you might already have a favorite. I have a couple that I use all the time. By far my favorite one is SnapSeed. It’s free, which makes it even better, and I just love the editing capabilities that it has. It’s HDR feature is stellar and I use it all the time. I also use the Tune Image feature at the top of the menu to tweek my image’s brightness, contrast and saturation. Another favorite of mine is Pic Stitch. Pic Stitch is a program that allows you to make collages out of a series of photographs. They have lots of different layouts to choose from, and for 99 cents you can buy a border pack if you want to make colorful borders on your collages. Fun!!
As you can see, there is a lot that your smartphone is capable of as far as taking great travel photos. What tips do you have for taking great photos with your phone? Please share in the comments!
When we left you, way back in August, we had bought a fixer-upper house on Douglas Lake, near the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. Sorry we’ve been away so long, it’s been a very busy time. We cleaned and cleaned and painted and painted inside that old house. We ripped up nasty old carpeting to find savable hardwood underneath, and refinished the floors. We bought furniture.
After 2 months boondocking in the driveway, we moved into our house. We liked it so much we (Carol) convinced our adult children to join us! Our 3 boys, Samantha (Jake’s wife), and their daughter Willow. It’s just great having family so close (underfoot? And certainly within “earshot”!)
Six or so weeks ago, Samantha gave birth to Kaison. Kaison was born with a heart defect, and required some extra attention. He’s doing great now! Read Kaison’s Story here.
So now, including the dog’s, we’re up to 11 in the house, it’s kind of loud and kind of crowded.
So Carol and I, and the dogs, moved back into the bus in the driveway.
And we’re just itching to get back on the road again!
Lets talk poop! Keeping tanks clean and sensors working is always a popular RV discussion. It’s been a problem for all of us. Why does my black tank sensor always read 1/3? Why won’t my tank drain? These are daily questions on RV forums and Facebook.
And for good reason. The sensor systems installed on most RV’s don’t work very well…
And when the tanks get a little scummy, they don’t work at all.
Ours quit reading less than a season in. My response (6 years ago) was to purchase and install a SeeLevel 709 sensor system (affiliate link)
And guess what?
After a couple years, the SeeLevel gray tank sensor stuck on 100%!
The black tank sensor was kinda flaky, but mostly read OK. Interestingly, our rig had a factory installed black tank sprayer, which I used most of the time.
The SeeLevel system is highly recommended and will be a subject of a future blog post (once I find the pictures!) but for now…
Calls to SeeLevel indicated that our gray tank had enough of a coating on the inside to kill the signal from SeeLevel’s external signals.
After some searching, I came across the “Tornado” sprayers by Camco. The part number is 40126, and they are available at Amazon (affiliate link).
These spayers ROTATE!
The photo above shows the sprayer attached to a garden hose. It creates quite the spray!
The kit comes with everything needed to install it, except for a tube of silicone sealer. I decided to use 2 sprayers in each tank, as ours are long and flatish. I purchased a couple of Tee fittings, so I ended up with an inlet for the black tank and an inlet for the gray tank, each with 2 sprayers.
To get access in our Monaco, I had to remove the white cover that made the wet bay look nice. Under the cover, it looked like this!
Installation was simple, drill a hole, gob around it with silicone, insert the sprayer, and run in 4 (included) self-tapping screws
and attached the hose.
I used the existing black tank sprayer inlet for one inlet (I sealed off the original black tank sprayer, it didn’t work well anyway) and used a Valterra RV water inlet fitting to add the second sprayer connection (affiliate link).
And then I put the original white cover back on over that mess of pipes and hoses.
For a future blog post, at the same time I replaced the original useless “outdoor shower” with a narrow base chrome bar faucet, and put an adapter on it so I can attach a hose. That lets me wash my car with hot water, and connect a short hose and use hot water to run my tank sprayers.
It took about 6 weeks of weekly dumps, spraying everytime, to get my gray tank sensor to work again. I continue to run the sprayers every time I dump, and the sensors on my tanks work perfectly.
After a full year of travel, we have decided to purchase a home once again. This was a very tough decision, and we thought about it and talked about it a lot. Don’t get me wrong – we LOVE to travel and will continue to do so and will continue to blog here about RV maintenance, fix-it’s, DIY’s as well as bring you some great “living in the country” type posts like recipes, gardening, photography and whatever else I feel like writing about.
We will also continue to travel as much as we want. We remain independent as far as work goes – continuing to work our business from home (or wherever we want when we are on the road). This remains very important to us so we can continue to travel whenever and wherever we want.
The house we purchased is located in Tennessee, near the Smoky Mountains and on a beautiful lake (that’s sunrise on our lake in the picture). It was very difficult to pick a place to settle, as we love the west very much too! However, I seem to be terribly allergic to something out west (I’m guessing the blowing dust of the desert), and just can’t live out there. We’ve always loved the mountains of Tennessee, and in fact spent our honeymoon here almost 30 years ago!! Jim tells me all the time how beautiful it is here and how happy he is to be living here, and I couldn’t agree more! We have a little ranch on a lake, which needs A LOT of work, but in the end will be a great house (sometimes all that gets us through a particularly grueling day of remodeling is to say, “The house is gonna be great!”). Right now our days are spent working in the morning, spending our afternoons working on the house and our nights sleeping in our RV in the driveway (guess we ARE still full-time RVers after all!). The house is too gross to actually live in yet, but will be livable very very soon. These photos show the nasty nasty nasty 1972 carpet that’s never been cleaned, which we removed and found beautiful hardwood floors underneath!! This is our guest room which is complete now.
On another completely unrelated but AWESOME note, my granddaughter has just turned 1 and couldn’t be any cuter!! And we are expecting a grandson in February!! So exciting!!
I love business. I love entrepreneurism. I love having my own business, being my own boss, doing it my way. And now that we travel full-time in our RV, I especially love being able to bring my work with me wherever we go. That’s all I need is my laptop and an internet connection (see our article on WiFi That Works).
See, here’s the thing about a regular job – you’re limited. You’re limited in the income you can make – you get paid $xx.xx dollars per hour and work xx hours per week, take home your paycheck, pay your bills, go out once with what’s left, and do it all again next week. I cannot stand the thought of being limited. After owning our own 7-figure business for the last 28 years, it is now ingrained in my DNA that I don’t “work for the man” – I AM “the man” (er, woman).
So when we started thinking about this full-time RV adventure, naturally our first thought was, “How will we continue to make money while travelling?” I see this question asked almost every day on the RV-related Facebook pages that I belong to. And while we still own and run our same business as before, we restructured it to make it more portable and simple. Now the business practically runs itself – we are basically drop shipping, so it’s super easy to run! Read more about drop shipping as an income source here.
However, I still have to do something! It’s in my blood – my mom owned her own (graphic arts) business, my dad owned his own (printing) business after mom passed away, we owned our own (computer-related) business for many years, and continue to do so. Since our business is structured to run so easily, I have too much time on my hands! And since I am a big believer in multiple income streams (more on that later) I just HAD TO do something! So I scooted over to Bluehost and bought my domain name. And you can too! It’s super easy to get started blogging! Just click HERE to purchase your domain name and start blogging today!
Blogging As A Career
Blogging is so diverse. You can blog about ANYTHING in the world! Anything that interests you, or a talent that you are good at. Don’t get me wrong – blogging is no easy job! It’s not easy to continually come up with subjects and write blog posts. And there’s sooooooooo much to learn about how to make money with your blog! Not to mention, every time I learn a new program that I think will work well with my blog, somebody comes out with a new one that’s supposed to be even better! However, once you get the hang of it, there are many different ways you can monetize a blog. Here are a few great ideas:
* Pay-per click ads – such as Google Adsense. Yes, I have Adsense installed on my blog, and so far I’ve made about enough money with it to take my family out for dinner (at a burger joint). It’s not a lot of money, but every little bit adds up (multiple income streams!)
* Paid ads on your site – I do have a couple of ads up on my blog, but one I’m running for free for my BFF, and the other is actually another type of advertising known as:
* Affiliate advertising – Affiliate advertising is basically where you advertise for another company, and if somebody buys their product through your special link, you get a small commission. You can do this by running an ad on your blog, or by referencing their products in your posts and linking to their site so a person reading your blog can buy their product. Many companies have affiliate programs in place – all you have to do is find them! One of my favorite affiliate programs is Amazon Associates. With Amazon Associates, you recommend (and link to) a product on your website, and if somebody purchases that product through your Amazon link, you get a commission!
*Sponsored Posts/Product Reviews – Have a product that you love and want to share it with the world? Write on your blog about it and make a little money! I suggest you only write about products that you really really love – your readers can spot a fake a million miles away! Some companies will pay you for a product review, and some companies will give you free samples of their product for you to try and then write about. So many possibilities here!!
*Sell a Product – Anything from T-shirts to books and e-books, digital downloads to hand-made products, the sky is the limit here! Ruth Soukup, author of the book How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul is a great example of a person that has built a great business out of having a product to sell and blogging about it. By the way, I highly recommend you click the link above and get her book – it’s been a real game changer for me in my quest to learn how to blog!!
*Sell Memberships – Another great way to make money with a blog is to sell memberships to other beneficial areas of your website. For example: You can create some great content on how to do (name your niche here), and then sell a membership where people can keep coming back to your site for further knowledge on this subject. I’ve seen blogs where people sell a membership to their MasterMind content, which is regularly updated with new bits of information. It’s very important that you build a great rapport with your readers and that they trust you in order to be successful at selling memberships.
*Teach/Give Workshops – Do you love to teach? Do you have something that you are really good at that the rest of the world can benefit from? There are some big name workshops/life coaches out there who are making a ton of money teaching others their skills. If done well, BIG money can be made here!
These are just a few ideas to get you started thinking about how to monetize a blog into a full-time income. I hope it has given you some ideas on how to start your own blog!!
Get Your Own Domain!
Are you interested in starting your own blog? Sign up with Bluehost through this link for only $3.95 a month! Or type your desired domain name in the box below and see if it’s available!
This post contains affiliate links.
We’re in Asheville, North Carolina. Believe it or not, we went here for the dog park! Our poor pack has been leashed for like 6 weeks, they were itchin to get loose, and we haven’t found a good fenced dog park in East Tennessee. (Now that I say that, hopefully a bunch of our friends will clue us into some?)
Anyway, we got here Thursday and took the huskies to the French Broad River Park dog park yesterday afternoon, and it was great. We even found a place where they could swim in the river. Maybe Carol has a pic…. It was under a bridge, and Nikko was just swimming around for like half an hour. He loves to swim. Kobi went in too, but he just kinda splashes around, doesn’t go into the deep water and swim like Nikko does.
Today we got out there early, it was cool, 70’s and kinda cloudy, there were a lot of other dogs there, and they had a blast. No swimming today, but there wore themselves out and slept all afternoon.
Today was also laundry day (BAH!) and grocery shopping day. We went to Walmart, and this one was not laid out like most. It’s always fun going to a strange grocery store (not!)
Dinner was Chicken Fajitas. Delicious!!!
We’re here to Monday morning, and we found a long term place for the rest of the summer! We’ll be at Bear Cove Village on Veterans Parkway in Pigeon Forge until October 1 or we buy a house. (ooops, that was a secret, forget I said that!)
The rest of the weekend, I’ll be watching Nascar on the outside TV (rigging an outside TV should have been a subject of a past blog post, hopefully will be a subject of a future one?) We also want to go to the Arboretum, which is much less expensive than the Biltmore Estate – LaDiDa!) and we’ll see what else.
They have a GREAT Farmers Market right here in Asheville, so before we went to Walmart (blech on their veggies!), we stopped there and bought a bunch of fresh locally-grown produce for our week of meals. Carol went back there on Saturday morning, camera in hand, to get some photos of everything Farmers Market to send to her stock agencies. She met a lot of really nice people and got some great pictures! The Market is broken up into 2 separate areas – retail and wholesale, and this is where many local restaurants go to buy their fresh produce. I highly recommend going there and buying fresh, locally grown produce. They are open every day! Check out their website HERE.
Somehow, this place keeps calling to us. We enjoyed the West, the awesome scenery, the endless desert views, all that. A great place to spend the winter.
But come spring, the Smoky Mountains is where it’s at for us. We’ve been here for about 5 weeks now. We spent a month at the KOA in Newport, a nice if somewhat boring place with a great monthly rate.
Brian and the Navy finally got on the same page in Morristown, Tennessee. MM1 Hatmaker is taking good care of him. Brian went to MEPS (forget what it stands for, but it’s where they go for the test and physical and all that) in Knoxville 2 weeks ago. Here he is taking the Oath of Enlistment, pledging to serve our country against all enemies. He got really lucky, the Navy just happened to need someone in Brian’s favored job the same day he showed up to claim it. So after boot camp, he will go to Quartermaster School, where he will learn to help the Navigator get the ship to the right places, work on the bridge, and even get’s to drive the ship. He leaves in January, and has to meet with his recruiter twice a month, so we are “anchored” here in the Smokies for the next 6 months. There are worse places to be.
Today is our last of 4 days at Panther Creek State Park in Morristown. We just love state parks, and this is a good one with a great campground. But while the $28 a day rate for a big beautiful full hookup site in the quiet woods is great for weekend campers, it’s double a good monthly rate. Also, typical of State Parks, it’s 2 weeks in, 1 week out here, no long term camping.
Another thing we did here is to finally get our Jeep a new passenger side wheel bearing. It’s been howling like mad for a long time, since we were at Organ Pipe some months ago. We were exploring this really cool road south of the National Park. It wound through a canyon down toward the Salton Sea, and we were stopping here and there to take pictures. I got it in my head to drive up this side canyon that turned out to be deep deep soft sand. And then I screwed up, and instead of flipping the dial back to 4 low, I flipped it forward to 2wd! Anyway, in my stupidity, I buried the poor thing to it’s axles. Finally discovering my mistake, I got it shifted into 4 low, and we hand shoveled the sand for a few feet ahead of all the wheels, and set some rocks in there. In 4 low she pulled herself right out, thank God. This place was so remote, no cell signal, and we were out of site of the road, which was deserted anyway. But we were moving again, I circled around and got the heck back on the pavement. Hmmm, I seem to be digressing here. But anyway, ever since then, car has been howling like mad. Anyway, thanks to a tip from a Facebook friend, Tuff Enuf 4WD Service got me in right away, and our poor lil Jeep is nice and quiet again!
Our next stop is Asheville North Carolina, for 4 days of rest and recreation (next blog post will detail why we need to rest…lol.) We’re going to Asheville for the Dog Park! Oddly, East Tennessee has no Dog Parks. And the “Kamp K9” in the Newport KOA turned out to be a chicken wire enclosure twenty feet by fifty. About 3 strides in wide open Huskie running. So into North Carolina to find a place the Huskies can play. I bet we find other cool things to do there, and we’ll get to stick another state on our door!
Today we’re driving the Jeep back toward Pigeon Forge to try to find a long term campground. Might not be an easy task. ALL of the campgrounds on Douglas and Cherokee Lake’s are “Seasonal only”, basically a place for locals to park their wheeled summer lake houses. No monthlies, and you can’t live there, you can just go out on the weekends. Anchor Down in Dandridge is wonderful, but pricey with a capitol P, and no longterm rates to keep the riffraff out.
So we’re going to try to find a long term home base in Pigeon Forge. Hopefully we score a nice campground with a reasonable monthly rate. A dog run would be a big plus. And close enough to everything so Brian can get a job while he’s waiting to leave for Great Lakes for boot camp.
Until next time!!