Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winter has arrived!!!

Here we are just 2 weeks into December, with winter officially a week away yet, and I woke up this morning in the STEALTH camper to find this!!
Isn't that a beautiful scene!! Of course, I can say that because I don't have to get out in it and go anywhere!! I have plenty of food and water in the STEALTH camper to last for days.....I have checked on my parents 5 miles away in town and they don't need anything...and even though I have 4 wheel drive, the roads are a mess so I'm just going to sit it out and wait for the state and county road crews to do their thing!!
It seems like I have seen an over abundance of snow in 2013!! I was here in central Illinois last year at this time and we had several light snows...then in the spring I went workamping in South Dakota and the 1st month I was there we had over 4 FEET of snow over a 4 week period!!! And now, here I am back in central Illinois, and looking at our 2nd winter storm already, and its still officially autumn!!??!! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ But, the countdown to Spring has already begun!!! Less than 100 days to go!! Hope everyone is safe and warm wherever you are!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A new experiment

Greetings all, from the frozen north! Cold and wintry here in central Illinois this first week of December. Had our 1st (last please!) measurable snowfall this week, maybe 3 inches. Bitter cold at night, but I am as snug as a bug in a rug inside the STEALTH trailer! Because I am actually hooked up to 30amp power, I can run my heater and electric blankie all night long!!--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Things are well here. My aging parents are getting along somewhat OK,but I can see them going downhill a little bit more every time I stop by...stepfather only has 1 kidney, congestive heart failure, on oxygen 24/7, and the doctors say he could go anytime. Plus, they told him a month ago he needed dialysis, but he said, we play the waiting game. Eventually, his 1 kidney will just poison him to death...or his bad heart will just give out. Would be nice if they could just lie down to sleep, and not wake up. Would be better than watching him suffer each day, taking all those damn pills.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I have been thinking for some time now about trying something different, and have taken the plunge this week and taken the 1st step to making a dream a buying this------
Another angle......
Its a Ford E350 Econoline cargo van.......1 ton chassis/V8/AM-FM stereo/ICE cold A-C/AT/PS/PB......In really good shape for its age.....
Was used as a delivery van, and has a walk thru cage behind the front seats to keep cargo from sliding forward into the drivers leaving that in place!! The bed hardly looks used at all....
I have seen lots of people take a van like this and convert the back into very comfortable living quarters!! My plans are to do the same thing with this!! Put a ladder rack on the roof and place the solar panels up there. Take out the passenger seat and place the AGM batteries and the inverter in the floorboard,and use the rest of that area for storage area. The back I will naturally insulate heavily, install a vapor barrier, and then some nice paneling. Mount a 37" flatscreen to one wall, and put the pop up antenna on the outside wall. Drill a hole in a back corner and run a HD extension cord out thru it so when near power can just plug in!! Oh, I can see it all so clearly in my head!! Get that all done, then when I retire for good, be ready to hit the road and boondock!!! NO MORE SNOW for this kid!!------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ My friend Bob Wells over at is doing the same thing and has been for several years now, quite successfully too! My gosh, go on YouTube and type in "VAN LIVING" in the search bar and you'll be amazed how many are doing it!! I can hardly wait to get the renovations done on my van and get out there with them all!--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hope everyone is well, safe and warm wherever you may be!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Still Alive!!

Wow!! I know it has been awhile since I posted anything, but the volume of SPAM I was getting was just becoming a major pain! Between 50 to 60 SPAM messages a day, all from people commenting on an older blog entry, and then including a link to their individual websites....none of them got posted, because all comments have to be approved by me. And then of course, I still have my TROLL Mike to deal with----he is such a silly little twit!! Hey Mike, you still out there?? Hope to see you comment so I can exercise my DELETE key!! lolol......... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Anyway, I left beautiful South Dakota back in late May to return to Illinois. My aging parents needed me 87 y.o. stepfather is in very poor health, and my 92 y.o. mother can't do everything for him anymore. After a 10 day stay in a hospital, the old man is home again, but doing poorly. He only has 1 kidney, and 2 valves leaking at his heart, and retaining fluids...add congestive heart failure, nearly deaf, legally blind, and you got a real mess. I think its just a matter of time now.... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I have the STEALTH trailer parked 3 miles outside of town on private property owned by a friend who lives nearby. I am hooked up to power, and have access to fresh water. Not using the solar right now, after losing my panels to a major hail storm this past spring. But I do have 200 watts of new panels/mounts/tilt bars/controller/monitor all waiting to be hooked up. Was hoping to head out to Arizona this winter and hooking up with Bob Wells from to get the install done, but uncertain right now if/when I will be going anywhere! Don't want to get 1800 miles away and then get a phone call telling me I need to come home..... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Still reading several of fellow traveller blogs and keeping up with where they are at and how they are doing. It amuses me to read about these "modern day NOMADS" camping in their travel trailers/truck campers who claim to be "STEALTH" camping!!! They are not STEALTH camping, they are merely boondocking!! HOW can you be STEALTH camping when you have windows all around your rig?? Pretty obvious when you have a van or a truck camper or a travel trailer parked in a Walmart with windows in it... that in essence---you are boondocking!! I mean, really?? Thats STEALTH?? Get real---you are boondocking, nothing more, nothing have no STEALTH in a rig specifically made for camping! Park your rig in a Walmart or a Lowes or a Kmart lot, and a security guard or a cop is going to KNOW that more than likely you are in there. You are in an RV after all.....DOH!! Thats why you are 100 times more likely to get that dreaded 3am knock on your door, telling you to move on!! On the other hand, I can park my STEALTH trailer in the same lot, and not draw the least amount of attention!! With a ladder rack on top, it looks like just another contractor trailer. Cops don't give it a 2nd look......I can be in there watching tv or a DVD, or sound asleep, and no one has any idea whether anyone is inside or not! How?? IT HAS NO WINDOWS!!!!!! THAT IS STEALTH!!!! Both my STEALTH trailer and my tow rig are kept clean. I don't have an RVIA seal on the side. I don't have a back bumper holding a sewer hose. I don't have a ladder or lawn chairs or a couple of bikes hanging off the back of my rig!! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Well, thats enough of that for now. Hope everyone is doing well wherever you are! Take care.

Monday, April 15, 2013

WHERE, OH WHERE, IS S-P-R-I-N-G??????????????

I have now been in Custer just over a week, and it has snowed a major storm that dumped 18" on us which is pretty well melted away already. Oh, there are still piles here and there, and some still in areas where the old sun isn't reaching, but for the most part that snow is gone........but here we are in a new week and guess what the weather forecast is?? Yup, that's right boys and girls, another major winter storm is on its way in!! This time, it starts on Tuesday and runs for 2 to 3 days, with snowfall totals between 8 and 12 inches!! HUH??? Its the middle of April!!! I'm pretty sure winter is supposed to be FREAKIN OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Meanwhile, I was off all weekend, and went exploring some in the area, and want to share a few pics! The entrance to Wind Cave National Park down the road from Custer. A truly beautiful place, practically deserted of humans but loaded with wildlife! Thats the Beaver Creek Bridge............ Seems to be wild horses everywhere I go here.....there were a bunch at the Badlands, and here was this one, grazing a long ways off the main road, but I got him with my zoom! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Well, thats it for today! Just going to hang out in the STEALTH camper and let the snow fall......but I will be back! Take care everyone.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What a snow storm!!

It started on Monday evening, and went for the better part of 2 days nonstop!! When it was all said and done, we ended up with 18 inches of snow here in Custer!! The roads were a mess, but the crews quickly got it under control! Just this past Sunday, I was setting outside drinking coffee right here!! About mid afternoon, I cruised up to Mt. Rushmore because I wanted to see what it looked like with all the snow.....the roads were in really good shape, and I had the place almost to myself!! Such a beautiful part of the country, these Black Hills!!So happy to be here!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

The beauty of the Badlands

Took off at daylight this morning to go and explore the Badlands.....a short drive from Custer and it started out real nice and not to chilly. It seemed I had the countryside all to myself, until I rounded a curve and found this character...... He was grazing along the edge of the road, and seemed oblivious to my prescence for at least 15 minutes. The buffalo by the way have the right of way here, and do not like it when you honk your horn or holler at them! I didn't do either by the way!! He finally looked my way, snorted, and ambled into the grass, stopping only to give me "the look" as I snapped his picture. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A few miles farther along, and I saw some people stopped and out taking pictures and pointing....pointing at what I didn't know until I in the distance, there were at least a dozen horses, apparently wild and free, grazing......I had to zoom the full 30x to get this, but it was worth it! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The sun was now out nice and bright, but still very few people here.....still early in the season. I continued my drive, enjoying the scenery, looking for that one shot that would sum up my visit..... Pretty cool huh?? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- On my way back to Custer this afternoon, I got off US16 and onto SR244, which is the main drive by Mt. Rushmore. Again, virtually no other cars out here but mine, so waited until I had just the right spot for the perfect shot.... And then just another mile along got this one, much closer, but still had the zoom on full power..... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ And that pretty well wrapped up my is to change drastically tonight into Tuesday, with up to 15" of new snow and dangerous bitter cold winds! May hibernate the next few days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Greetings from South Dakota!

Hello all!! Yeah I've been off the blog awhile, but am back at it again, trolls be damned! Got bored setting around the midwest watching it snow then warm up and then snow some more!! YUCK!! Decided it was time to take the STEALTH trailer on the road again and use it for why I had it built in the first place---to go and explore!! Have accepted a workamping gig in Custer, SD for the season, and have arrived safely this morning.......I was out here 2 years ago, at a bookstore up the road a bit at Mount Rushmore, and loved every minute of it! Now I am farther south about 20 miles and as I was coming in this morning just had to pull off and snap this beauty...thats Crazy Horse Memorial, from about 2 miles away at 20x zoom......they are definitely making progress, but have a long way to go! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Will check back in after I get settled in and situated. Take care everyone!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Where did he go??????????

I have to wonder, where did my little troll go?? He has not sent me any messages for months now.....maybe he went to prison, very strong possibility, since it was revealed on another blog whose owner told me my little troll was a pedophile!! Must be locked away someplace without internet access.....oh well, we don't need a pedophile blogging anyway. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Still in Chicago this week, but it is definitely cold up here!! Work is going very well and we have months and months scheduled! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Catch you all later! Everyone, stay warm!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Back at it!!

I know its been a while since I posted, but the spammers were getting so crazy, I just shut down for a break!! So many comments were coming in from bloggers overseas that included a link to their website seeking free advertising that I just said the heck with the blog until I got a handle on it. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- After a relaxing visit to Florida back in December, I headed west to Arizona for a few weeks. Camped in the desert on BLM land outside Quartzsite, and Yuma as well. Temps were mild and had a great time! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The company I worked for last year called me 2 weeks ago wanting me to come back on the road with them on a new project in Ace stores, so I said OK and here I am! Presently in the Chicago market for the first 6 weeks, then heading into the Grand Rapids, MI market for a couple months. The work is similar to that of last year, and the money is good.....and it all just goes into the travel fund! We have enough work scheduled right now to get thru April.....then I might head back out west for a few weeks. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hope all is well with you wherever you are! Stay safe, and stay warm!!