March 31, 2018

March, mostly in pictures

Suffice it to say, my desire to keep up with this blog has lacked this summer, for good reason...we are having far too much fun to bother with it most days!  But, I do take photos everywhere we go and I do like to review them periodically...and keep track of where we've been and what we've been up to, mostly for our own purpose, but also for those who might be interested/curious about Airstream living and/or a full-time travel lifestyle!

We are loving it, for the record!  If you are interested in more up to date info, find us on Instagram and say hello!

We started the month of March off in Picacho Peak, south of Phoenix...and we liked this spot more than we anticipated, so we moved campsites a couple of times, in order to accomodate the reservations they had coming in and out, and we stayed 9 nights!  It was quiet, lots of great options for hiking and biking, close to Phoenix and Tucson; for baseball games, art fairs and general meandering...and, close to the Scottsdale Airstream dealership...for what takes place later in the month!

We miss the trees...but man oh man the weather is gorgeous...
And the sunsets are amazing!

Casa Grande Ruins

Tucson street art
This mission is a work of art itself.

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Love a good Airstream window reflection!

Go Cubbies!
There is not much better in life, especially for this guy.

If you recognize this arrow you've probably been to IKEA a time or two...!
Yep...we bought a new Airstream!  

Across from ASU in Tempe, we rented some bikes for a meander along the river!
A student took this photo and offered it to us as we walked by!

A sunset sky (edited) in Mesa...we parked at Mesa Spirit RV, where we purchased a Thousand Trails pass...

And...we were getting ready for a MOVE!

Gracie and Gracie Lou!

We traded Gracie in...

And had a huge mess to figure out!  So much for living simply...where did all of this stuff come from?!

Oh my gosh, this was the saddest thing ever... Bye Gracie!  We love you!

Still 4000 Rivets!  Now in a 30' RB International!  (See our page introducing her!)

One day and hours and hours of rearranging...and we have made Gracie Lou feel like home!

Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park

Sedona! Devils Bridge

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Watson Lake

On the way to Page!

Wahweap Campground!

We spent the entire month in central Arizona!  We had thought we'd go explore in New Mexico...and it's definitely on our list (White Sands, Santa Fe, Albequerque, Bosque del Apache, time!) but the upgrade in our Airstream kind of took over our schedule this go around!  And, we are loving the new digs!

The highlights...we enjoyed Picacho quite a bit, close enough to the city(s) to have plenty to do...and quiet enough to enjoy doing nothing!  (Mike hiked to the peak on the Hunter trail...a winding, challenging hike that offers 360 degrees views of the desert valley floor.)  We only spent a day in Tucson but that was a really fun day, love the artsy funky vibe there (and the Sonoran Hot Dogs!)!  We met up with new friends, the Kenney's, in Casa Grande for a day...we had corresponded with them over the past year, about their experiences/solar, etc...but we had a great chance to actually meet them! Sedona was really cool, but also super crowded...we preferred Prescott and the Watson Lake area.

We'll be back!

March 18, 2018

The answer to the most frequently asked question....

...what is your system for carrying your bikes on the back of your truck?

We knew that we wanted to bring our bikes with us on this adventure, though we are not die-hard mountain bikers we do enjoy a good bike ride, whether around a park or to the store, and figured we would also use them periodically to check out campsites.  We also knew that we didn’t want to attach our bikes to the back of the trailer on a bike rack, but instead we wanted them on the truck so that we could have them with us when we left our site to do some exploring. 

We have had rolling tonneau covers on several of our previous pickups and have always liked them.  We went down to our local truck accessory store to discuss our options and how we wanted to carry our bikes and they showed us the Pace Edwards rolling tonneau covers that we were familiar with, but they introduced us to the Explorer Rails. These rails sit on top of the edge of the pickup bed and house not only the tracks for the tonneau cover but also have slots down the middle which allow you to mount either Thule or Yakima crossbars.

The tonneau cover we chose is a Pace Edwards Full Metal Jack Rabbit which is a step up from the Jack Rabbit version.  It has aluminum panels with a black ‘rhino like’ covering that roll up into a box that hangs down from the bed rails.  The box does take up some room in the bed of the pickup but because it rolls flush with the top of the bed it allows the crossbars to sit over the bed at a fairly low profile.  Our crossbars are made by Thule but Yakima also makes bars and stands that fit the Explorer Rails.

Our bike racks are also made by Thule. They are the Thule Side Arm and they mount to the cross bars. The arm that holds the bikes solid at the front wheel/fork locks in place. There is a cover over two of the fasteners that bolt the rack to the cross bar.  This cover also locks to make it more difficult for someone to easily remove the racks from the crossbars.

The rack holds the bikes sturdily and we’ve never had any issues with them moving around, even on bumpy roads.  The bikes and car top carrier make it a little more challenging to access the full length of the bed of the truck, but we can roll the tonneau cover back completely and still reach everything in the back of the bed without removing the bikes or the car top carrier.  If we want to completely rearrange everything and clean out the bed of the pickup we remove the bikes to make it easier.

This system isn't theft proof, apparently...!  We had our bikes stolen off the back of the pickup in Las Vegas while we were away visiting family.  We left the truck parked in a semi-secure lot (it was actually at the Airstream dealership) for a few weeks...which was about two weeks too long as thieves decided to jump the fence and take them.  The bikes were cabled to the crossbars but the thieves cut the cable and then hack-sawed the rack arms to get the bikes.  We can’t really do anything about preventing someone from using a hack saw but we now added a chain to our setup, if we expect to be away from them for a longer period of time.  

This setup works really well for us!  Let us know (email us, find us on Facebook or Instagram) if you have any questions or suggestions!  

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