Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Things I love about GrandpaLyle’s Ark

. . . in no particular order:
  • Adventure: It’s delivered me safely to all four corners of the 48 states and parts of Canada. 
  • Wrap: I wanted to create something unique . . . and I did. And it’s often the opening to a nice conversation . . . or sometimes a delightful evening with new friends.
  • Leveling jacks: Flip a few levers and, voila, things don’t roll off the counter and I don’t roll off the bed. And it all happens before I leave the driver’s seat.
  • Power electric cord reel: 50-amp cords are heavy. A 25-footer weighs a ton. An extension weighs another ton. But in the Ark, I push a button and an electric motor reels in the first ton of cable. And the 25’ extension? I think I’ve only used it once. (One of many foolish purchases: the extension cord, not the electric reel)
  • Sleeping: Like a baby . . . in a bed that’s as comfortable as the one at home. And usually with windows open on both sides of the room. The only thing lacking is Marie cuddled up next to me.
  • Showering: The shower here is only a few inches smaller than the one at home. My daily routine is undisturbed.
  • Self-contained: Although it’s nice to plug in rather than run a generator or simply live off the battery, there’s nothing I have to give up when I’m boondocking. Water and sewage needs -- including dishwasher and laundry -- are met with a full connection once a week.
  • Refrigerator: It takes care of itself -- I never even think about whether it’s running on gas or electric.
  • Funky horn: As I roll through a town, kids often give me a big grin and a thumbs up. They're rewarded with a friendly “oogah oogah.”
  • Perimeter lights: When out on an evening stroll it’s always easy to find my way home. And like the wrap, it’s often an opener. 
  • Power mirrors and rear camera: So easy to find my way backward . . . as I do way too often. 
  • HVAC system: Although I strive to find nice weather I sometimes blow it. When I do, whether it’s too hot or too cold outside, I’m comfortable inside.
  • At home on the road: Every day I wake up in my own comfortable
    bed. I wash my face in my own bathroom where everything is exactly the way it should be. I make tea in my own kitchen with my own teapot and favorite mug. To say nothing of knowing exactly where to find every pot, pan, knife or unique kitchen gadget I just bought at a flea market. Then I open the drapes and, wow, I’m looking at a new front yard. And, oh, the view! A lake . . . a mountain . . . a babbling brook (and yes, they actually babble.)
  • On the road while driving: In the fifties, Dinah Shore (remember her?) nailed it, “See the USA, in your Chevrolet. America’s asking you to call.” (Dinah Shore "See the USA in your Chevrolet" - 1953) Believe it or not, the prairies are actually covered from horizon to horizon with amber waves of grain . . . and the only word to describe the sky in Montana is “big.” A Cèilidh (pronounced kaylee) in Nova Scotia, the Blue Angels practicing in Pensacola, Wyatt Earp’s legendary battle near (not in) the OK Corral and Dave Matthews season finale at the Gorge at George  (The Gorge Amphitheatre) . . . have all been right outside my door.
  • The weather: A few years ago, having spent most of our lives in Chicago, Marie and I moved to Bentonville seeking more moderate temperatures. So I wasn’t nearly as excited as our grandchildren were when we all awakened to snow. While they harvested the entire yard for enough snow to make a 10” tall snowman, my mind was in Laredo, TX where the temps were ranging from 50s to 80s. Time to get outta Dodge. Rarely do I cover more than 50-100 miles in a day, but in 48 hours (drive ‘til tired, sleep ‘til wakeful, repeat as needed) I was 900 miles closer to the equator. Right now as I write this, it’s sunset and I’m sitting outside overlooking Lake Casa Blanca -- the high today was 86. Every day my planning is about the same -- where’s the nice weather tomorrow? Wherever it is there’ll be a wonderful adventure.


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