Tucson Again

Ballena Blanca in her familiar spot in Deanna’s driveway.

January 31 – February 4, 2017.

One of the problems with being a nomad is buying things. I know in the sticks and bricks world you can order anything from anyone anywhere on the whole planet and have it delivered to your door step in 5 to 9 days. But not only do nomads not have doorsteps, we often don’t have 5 to 9 days even if we can borrow a doorstep.

From Kitt Peak we were in close range to Tucson, so we took up residence in my friend’s (Deanna) driveway again for a short visit and to do some shopping for the van. Among the purchases we needed to make, the most important was a portable heater.

We were cold.

Although we had insulated the van well as well as we could and brought 2 quilts and 2 fuzzy blankets with us, we had not planned on really being cold – at all. But now we knew, it gets cold in the desert at night. We had been running the engine to warm up the van before we went to bed and before we got up in the morning, but needed a better solution.

I heard somewhere that one could buy a portable Buddy heater at Walmart, so we went by the local Tucson Walmart to pick one up. No luck. Sure we could order one online and wait, but we wanted to hit the road again. I searched on the web for somewhere to buy one local. Home Depot had one. Yay! But when we got there we found them sold out. The friendly young associate assisting us told us we could order one and get it the day after the next. I didn’t believe him, so I asked at the service desk. No, they wouldn’t guarantee delivery for 3 to 5 days. Ugh! We really wanted to get moving and head south where we were sure it would be warmer. I scoured the Internet again and found one at Tractor Supply across town. I called to confirm. The heaters were a bit more expensive there, but at least they had them in stock!

We shopped for a few more small upgrades for Ballena Blanca, cleaned her out and rearranged things, and took hot showers every day. We also spent some time with Deanna seeing some Tucson sites and spent an evening having dinner with her folks, Meredith and Ed (who are also avid travelers and adventurers) talking about traveling and whatnot. Before we left we stocked up on all our favorite foods, beer, and wine at Trader Joe’s. Then headed south ready to explore southern Arizona, clean, warm, and well fed.

A few solutions to problems. We made a hanging toilet paper holder (on the right), out new Buddy heater sitting on the counter in the middle, and a new home for the guitar. The guitar was living in the galleyway, but we had to move it every time we stopped, then I we discovered there was just enough room to bungee it to the end of the counter right inside the back door.
Gray water container. Old solution on the left. Water drained into a sterlite container with a hole cut into the lid. Water splashed out. New solution starts with a gray rubber fitting under the sink. A 2.5 gallon gas can will just fit over the water tank and under the sink. Then we bungee it in place at the back and slide a 1/4 inch piece of plywood underneath to snug it up. No splashing even when it’s almost full.
On the left is our old trash solution — a bag hanging from a knob. On the right is our new perfectly sized trash can with grocery bag liners.
Galley improvements. Paper towel holder. Side view shows a plastic strip which keeps tension on the towels so they don’t unroll. Silverware basket all patched up. Detail on the side view shows how we bungee it to the wall now. We bounce around a lot on rocky roads. Everything must be secured.
We visited this cool tool co-op. In this room wood burning printer is on the left. On the right two guys puzzle over one of the 3D printers.
Wood shop. Man in red shirt is by a lathe. He is watching a saw demonstration along with some other folks.
Some 3D printer projects.
Product of the wood burning printer.
A stroll down the Rillito River in Tucson.

**** All pics are click to enlarge.

**** And BTW – if you want to keep more current with where we are and what we are doing, check our Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/makelikeanapeman/ or click one of the Instagram pics in the sidebar of the blog.

1 thought on “Tucson Again

  1. I love your problem-solving abilities, ingenuity, and generosity. Keep it coming!

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