One week

One week in the desert and I’m starting to get comfortable. Routine. And that is somewhat good and maybe somewhat less so. It has been a quiet day and I didn’t need to go anywhere, so I stayed at camp all day.

A relaxing morning, a clear sky so the sun was shining in the tent warming it right at sunrise and I was awake shortly after basking in the warmth. As nice as it was to be able to throw off the the mummy bag and still be warm and comfortable. So nice it was, it did some of my morning work from bed.  Morning work? Well, reading my notes, yesterdays list (and the yet unfinished ones before) transferring items onto a new list for today and scratching off completed items.

I lost track of time a time, or maybe just got a bit lazy between working on my lists.. and watching some Pluto.TV on my iPad Air two. This has been new to this location.  Yes, I’ve the iPad, yet I don’t use it much.  This week, I’ve reintroduced Netflix and Pluto.TV.  I don’t watching a lot of television- well, let me specify. I don’t watch sports, or news (anymore, seventy days clean)(and I say clean, because news is dirty,) or any weekly sitcoms. I do like cop shows though.

I used to watch a lot of SVU when I had cable. As I don’t watch a lot of TV, yet I do like the background noise (decades of working from home alone,) I would usually just leave the TV on low volume on a single channel all day. With cable, that channel was USA. Once I ‘cut the cord’ on cable television and switched to antenna, it was .. .. ahh, guess I forgot, yet it was just like an off brand USA.  Lots of cop shows (and fire too) playing pretty much non stop all day.

With Pluto.TV (free tv streaming, no local channels, aka, no news) I found the Blue Bloods channel.  A great cop show I think.  Anyhow, this was the first morning so nice for me to start working while in bed, so it was really easy, once the work was done, to just stay there for a few more hours.  Before I new it, it was past nine am already.  Took my pills and finally, started the day.

Tent poles.  The fancy telescoping poles were great, all adjustable and everything. Yet they could not be clamped tight enough to not slip under the force of the wind.  Now, to be fair, it was gusting over eighty five. Yet all the same, one the tent pole collapses a few inches, nothing is taut anymore.  Do you know what a hundred and fifty square feet of fabric flapping in the wind sounds like?  Annoying, very annoying.  All night long it sounds like “you can’t make a tent, you can’t make a tent”.

Am I “making” a tent?  Well, fabric plus poles is a tent I guess. Or a lean too, depending on how you put it up. Seeing the issues with the poles, I first thought about making some.  Just go scavenge some wood the right length. Yet here, there is no wood that length or diameter, at least not in this area. Yet a trip to Lowes yesterday did reward me with two nice sticks. Eight foot and an inch and half round.

I fumbled a bit with the geometry to find the center of a circle, thought to google it, yet wanted to make myself figure it out.  Twenty minutes later I just grabbed the drill (it’s nice to have an inverter.. power tools,) and made a hole and went to twist in the hanger bolts. Then I grabbed a slightly larger bit and reamed it again. Ha, took three bits before I got the size just right- glad I started small though.

I had to take up the stakes on one side of the fabric- a large ten by fifteen foot piece of fabric- to make room for the new poles.  I wish I would have had to the confidence to time lapse the project of erecting and making it taut. Yet, I did not.  I actually thought about last week, yet I think I’ll make this my practice camp.  The next site (should be moving next week) I’ll have to do it.  A full time lapse video from as soon as I scout the new site, to unloading and expanding the camp bag.

Once finished, I sat to smoke my pipe (my tobacco pipe,) and relish in my creation. And then I heard it, a flap.  Argh. Then another one, flap, flap, you can’t build a tent.  I put the pipe down and went over to the grab bag (just a stuff bag full of grabby things.. paracord, ratchet straps, bungy cord, stakes, carabiner, etc.  I emptied the bag and went to work.  Mostly just the bungies cords.  All the bungee cords. One I was done with the front tent, I redid the camo tarp over the main tent to create a better union.

The winds didn’t get to bad today though to really test it much, it stayed sharp and taut all day.  The winds are gusting pretty strong now though, and from my spot in bed, I’d say my modifications to the camo tarp made a big difference.  A few days ago on the Facebook page I posted a video of the wind (sixty five mph gusts) from inside the tent.  Tonight, the next finally has some structural integrity. Yes, still blown around a bit, yet no longer collapsing in on itself.

Two paracord projects done, simple yet helpful. With the wind, I knew (remember how I met Kent?) I needed a strap, so I made one. Ha, this why I like the desert. No one here to take a second look at a baseball cap with chin strap. And secondly, a cell phone holder.  The cell service is pretty good here, depending on the altitude.  The altitude in the tent.  At ground level up to a few inches up, LTE service, one bar. From six to about fifteen inches off the ground, one bar five G.  Hanging in paracord at the top of the tent, two bars five G. And five G is nice, forty megabit per second downloads, and two or three megabits upload too.

And that was it.  Day seven in the desert and I am certainly getting used to it.  The wind is such a pain to walk in.  Yep, that right, just more PT.  It looks like I’ll run out of tobacco tomorrow, yet I still have two more days of food.  Wonder when I’ll go to Walmart.

Okay, enough.

Time to rest.

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