TONIGHT’S SUNSET IN SLAB CITY (no color enhancement needed)
Gets dark early here in California but also gets light earlier in the morning as well. Had the normal list of confuselments this morning. Snow Birds know what I’m talking about here. Having just packed up the rig again come’s the usual, ‘where’s my socks', ‘have you seen my headphones’, ‘can’t find my towel’, ‘where did I put my shoes’, ‘did we bring the flashlight’, & so on & so on. Always takes awhile to get settled in, develop a routine, & get things organized again. Just about when things are up to speed & running well it’s about time to head home & reverse the whole procedure again. Am I complaining?? Nope just happy to be back on the road going somewhere:))
SOME SLABBERS OUT FOR A MORNING WALK & THE LAST ONE IS SOLAR MIKE HIMSELF
Did I mention the big batch of oatmeal raisin cookies Kelly baked up a couple days ago. Best ever. Cookies for breakfast, lunch, & supper works for me:))
THE ROAD LEADING OUT OF SLAB CITY PAST LEONARD KNIGHT’S SALVATION MOUNTAIN
A SHOE TREE STANDS ALONGSIDE THE ROAD
Unhooked the Jeep & drove the few hundred yards to Solar Mike’s SUNWORKS. Mike was right out there to greet us. Talked some solar talk & decided on a system which would be best for us. Last time we had 2 130 Watt solar panels & this time we will have one 240 Watt panel. Last time a 2500 Watt inverter & this time a 1500. All our outlets will be live. I knew our two 12 volt batteries were not the best. When we bought the rig almost half the cells were down & I have had to monitor & add distilled water to them about every 3 weeks. Decided to go with 2 new Trojan 105-RE 6 volt deep cell batteries. Last time in the Damon we had 4. For our needs this system will probably be more than adequate. We are not big power users.
MIKE IS DECIDING ON A SPOT FOR OUR 240 WATT TILT-ABLE SOLAR PANEL
MIKE DECIDES ON WHERE TO LOCATE THE 240 WATT PANEL
CHRIS STARTS WORK ON THE PANELS FRAMEWORK & THEN INSTALLS THE PANEL ON THE ROOF
MIKE EXPLAINS THINGS AS HE GOES ALONG
Mike’s right hand man Chris showed up at 9 & the two of them were soon hard at the installation. Chris built the framework & mounts for the solar panel & installed it on the roof. Mike concentrated his efforts on the wiring, mounting, & set up of the controllers. Chris mounted the Inverter in a side bin. There is a fair bit of work to these solar installations with wires having to be run from the roof down through vents & snaked through cupboards etc to be tied in with mounted control panels. Old batteries out & new batteries in. And all new wiring. I was qualified enough to help Mike lift the solar panel up to Chris on the roof. Yaaaay me:)) And Pheebs of course was on her best behavior as usual helping out wherever she could. Mainly just putting smiles on people’s faces as they came & went from Solar Mikes today.
PHEEBS IS ALWAYS RIGHT THERE READY TO HELP WHEN NEEDED
MIKE’S OFFICE BUS & SHOWING US HOW THE CONTROLLERS WORK
MIKE’S GOING TO TOWN CAR & SOME TECHNICAL TALK GOING ON
The installation took all day. Like I said there is a lot of work involved in a solar installation. I just basically sat in a chair outside under a Mesquite tree, took a bunch of photos, relaxed, & may have even caught myself a few zzzzz’s. We did take a Jeep ride around the Slabs & to me things looked even worse than the last couple times we were here. Not as many people as before it seems but the trash & litter left behind will make anyone shake their head in disbelief. There is a fine community of people here & anyone coming to Slab City must come with a very open mind. Yes the trash is appalling & the living conditions primitive but there is a soft underbelly to to the Slabs. You just have to look for it in it’s helping & togetherness people…….
I SPENT A BIG PART OF MY DAY RIGHT HERE RELAXING FOR A CHANGE
PHEEBS & MIKE’S DOG GRANNY GOT ALONG JUST FINE
KELLY PUT IN SOME OF HER TIME READING
Sun was going down when the fellas finished up & we still had to find a place to park for the night. Chris gave us directions to a place near him & not far from Solar Mikes. We will be back in the morning & Mike is going to check out a few electrical things in the rig for us. We may leave after that or we may stay one more night. Always a good idea to hang around a day or two in case there are any bugs in the system. But we just may head on out & show up in Borrego Springs for a bit too. Where to from there I have no idea……………
SUN WAS GOING DOWN WHEN THE FELLAS FINISHED UP THE INSTALLATION
Again it was a warm night as I took Pheebs for a walk through the large Creosote bushes. A rippled cloud cover wasn’t enough to block the Moon from shining through casting a gentle light across the desert floor. In the direction of the Chocolate mountains to the East I saw a streak of light come out of the sky & streak earthwards. I knew right away what it was. I had seen it before here at the Slabs. Two slow moving & blinking red lights in the far distant sky told me they were military Marine helicopters based out of Yuma. The Chocolate mountains is where their live fire range is located. Watched as a shower of lightning fast fire came from the direction of one of the red blinking lights. The gunfire & rockets were being fired at targets on the ground. But no sound except for the occasional low muffled chop chop of heavy helicopter blades cutting the night. One of the Choppers departed the area & came our way. Couldn’t see it in the night sky, no blinking red light. The sound got heavier as the invisible sky bandit flew towards us. Even straining my eyes I could not see it as it passed low overhead. Maybe, just maybe I thought I may have seen a slightly dimmed fuselage in the Moonlight…………..
OUR NEW SPOT FOR THE NIGHT
GROANER’S CORNER:(( 16 Ways of Knowing You're in the Desert
- You no longer associate bridges (or rivers) with water.
- You can say 110 degrees without fainting.
- You eat hot chilies to cool your mouth off.
- You can make instant sun tea.
- You learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.
- The temperature drops below 95, you feel a bit chilly.
- You discover that in July, it takes only 2 fingers to drive your car.
- You discover that you can get a sunburn through your car window.
- You notice the best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
- Hot water now comes out of both taps.
- It's noon in July, kids are on summer vacation, and not one person is out on the streets.
- You actually burn your hand opening the car door.
- You break a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m. before work.
- No one would dream of putting vinyl upholstery in a car or not having air conditioning.
- Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?"
- You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.
- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.