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Vladimir

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About Vladimir

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 09/24/1950

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    http://www.usbackroads.blogspot.com
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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    eastern Washington
  • Interests
    Camping, fly fishing, bird hunting, astronomy, photography, hiking, and everything else outdoors.

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  1. Just drove last week from the Mexican border to the Canadian border....more or less. That was interesting. So the information is somewhat dated.....From Benson to Wenatchee, basically on 93 until Idaho March 18th in Arizona. It was pretty much business as usual. Parking lot fairly full at stores and businesses. Lots of traffic on the roads. Stopped for the night at a BLM campground and it was fairly full. But it looked like lots of snowbirds were staying there rather than moving on. March 19th in Nevada. Pretty much shut down. The Governor closed all the casinos, brothels, churches and other gathering places. Highway 93 heading to Idaho had long "wagon trains" of trucks and Canadians heading home. Really surprised at the number of Canadian snowbirds that were heading north. I guess when the PM said come back home....they all started heading north. Going through Ely I was surprised to hear on the radio that the town had two cases. One case, definitely related to overseas travel. Camped on BLM land outside Alamo. Only RV there at 3:30 in the afternoon and then had 15 other rigs join me by 5:00 pm. Alamo grocery store was picked fairly clean. At Jackpot there were people that looked like they were going to boondock there at night. Casino was closed. Campground was open at that point. I decided to head into Idaho for a BLM campsite instead. Oh, driving was definitely an adventure. Almost saw a 15 vehicle RV pile-up outside of Wells!!! Did see another single vehicle that rolled off the road around Wells. I tried to stay away from everybody on the road!!! March 20th in southern Idaho. What pandemic?? Stayed at a BLM campground just a short distance above the Nevada line. It was pretty full with locals fishing and riding their quads. Traffic looked a little lighter than usual going through Boise. There are virus cases in Boise and a large cluster in Sun Valley. I guess those private jets brought it in. March 21st in north-east Oregon. Lots less traffic according to the gas station attendent (they pump your gas in Oregon). Campground I stayed in was a "resort' RV park that was pretty much empty. No contact with anybody. Just a note on the office door on which sites to take. They were staggered so that nobody was next to each other. You paid by dropping your registration and money through a mail slot. Not many people in the campground. March 22nd in Washington state, somewhat lighter traffic, not sure if that was due to a Sunday or a virus. Pretty much everything was open. Today March 26th the "shelter in place order" goes into affect in Washington state. Pretty quiet around Wenatchee. Several new cases and another death from the local extended care facility. Washington state owned public lands are ALL closed to overnight camping. Individual National Parks are also closing campgrounds and even closing overnight camping in Wilderness Areas. Not sure the status of private campgrounds. Yesterday in Washington state, the Governor FINALLY issued a shelter in place order for two weeks after several requests from the medical community. There is much less traffic on the roads. It is suppose to be essential traffic only. People are going outdoors for walking and using local trails. Hope this information, though dated, is helpful. It does give you the wide variety in response from the local state governments.
  2. Thanks for posting the link. I might pick it up when I get home. The version with the "trucker" antenna looks like it would be really handy. I hear you Kirk about the pride. But having a phone given the places I frequent is pretty handy and important.
  3. I have not found a good solution. I have used 200 feet of garden hose and a milk jug when the source was ABOVE the RV. That works really well!!! However, I have used a 12 volt "shower" pump, a submersible 12 volt pump, and a couple of other kludges. The 12 volt shower pump worked best of all, but I did not have to pump more than 10 gallons at a time. I don't drink out of tanks. I did use the 12 volt shower pump to fill a "bag" water filter set-up. I suspect there is a pretty good market for a well-designed water pumping system for RV's.
  4. Ally Bank is the former General Motors Acceptance Corporation that offered car loans for General Motors. During the last financial crises the Federal Government not only bailed out General Motors, but they decided that GMAC (Ally Bank) was really a bank and not a financing arm of General Motors. I had a car loan with Ally Bank, when I called them and told them I wanted to make a additional principal payment, they told me to compute it myself. I told them....fine. They were accepting my interest calculations and balance due. At that point, they decided that maybe they would tell me how much I was paying in interest and principal. Unlike losthikers...I have no problem with a for profit business. But this is telling.....I have THREE credit unions that I do business with an multiple accounts with each. I do NOT do business with ANY banks and have closed out and moved accounts to the credit unions ASAP when my accounts were transferred due to mergers, etc. There are great local banks in this country. There are NO great Wall Street or national banks. But why take a chance...get a credit union account.
  5. Mobility....the definition varies according to activity. Early in my career, I supervised a couple of interpretive naturalists. We organized a set of "handicapped" tours using the local Boy Scout troop and Forest Service resources. Our tours went through "swamps", but today's term is wetlands. They are still cool no matter what you call them. My surprise was the number of Vietnam vet's with war wounds that made it difficult for them to walk. Canoeing, however, took advantage of their upper body strength and suddenly they were no longer "handicapped". The letters were most gratifying and opened a view on "mobility" that changed as a result. Mobility...canoes, electric bicycles, tri-cycles both electric and non-electric, motorized wheel chairs, wheel chairs for trails, and it keeps going.......define your mobility issues and then look at how you can overcome them. A raft trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon has been on my bucket list for 50 years. I am saving it for my later years, when I have mobility issues.
  6. Hey, thanks for that information. I was totally clueless about "high value loads". Hmmm, maybe next time....a Wal-Mart driver?? But seriously...thanks for the info....it never crossed my mind. I must confess, particularly on two lane highways I will always drive behind a semi. Living in rural areas, there is not much survivability in a head-on-crash. Nobody, wants to have a head-on with a semi....a car seems so much safer to them.
  7. Ok, serious question..... Going down I-5 your going to have somebody tailing you ALL THE WAY to LA. So why wouldn't you prefer to have ONE vehicle behind you, instead of a different vehicle every couple of minutes?? I understand the need to see people behind you. I try to stay far enough back that the truck can see me AND most importantly I can stop before I meet the vehicle in front of me. Really, when you come down to it most folks driving cars do NOT realize how long it takes to stop a semi or RV. I was almost killed by a semi that did NOT notice my left turn signal on a two lane highway. I don't know if he was on the phone or fiddling with the radio, but I quickly turned right into the ditch and he had his brakes locked and smoking and finally came to a stop about a 1/4 mile from me. I was mad as hell at him, but since I was driving a government vehicle I thought it probably was not a good idea to drive down to him and start discussing highway safety with him. There is no reason not to drive safely. Just today between Yuma and Tucson it was interesting.
  8. Yeah, I know that....I tried to stay as far back as possible and in position where he could see me in his mirrors. But I-5 is such a straight shot that you really do need to wig and wag to check on traffic behind you. The issue is unless traffic dictates I really didn't want people pulling constantly between him and me. After all it was I-5, but a fairly light traffic day. I did drop back whenever I thought a semi or larger rig really did need to pull in between us. Only happened once in the 150 plus miles!! A friend of mine did it with his Camry and drafted a truck for several hundred miles. They both pulled off at the same exit and the trucker walked over asked him if my friend was going to buy him lunch with all the gas money he saved drafting the truck. Oh, I forgot I got plenty of warning on potholes and bumps on the road surface when he tried to avoid them.
  9. Years ago, during the 55 mph speed limits I learned to follow the truckers. If they were speeding....so was I. If they were going 55 MPH so was I. I must have been pretty funny since I was driving a 1600 cc Datsun pickup in the middle of semi's. Later while towing through urban freeways I learned to follow a "thru truck". Yep, they pretty much knew the lanes to stay in and ALL I had to do was stay far enough away that it was safe to follow and allow the "urban" drivers the ability to pass in front of me. But IF I kept the following distance close enough, none of them lingered there. Well, today I was heading south on I-5 in the Stockton area and picked up a "trucker navigator". He was going somewhere between 5 and 10 over the speed limit. His load was light enough that he never had to slow down on the slight uphill sections. In California, three of more axles and your at 55 mph. So there I am with my 1-ton truck and 3000 lb trailer doing 55 mph. So I thought I would just follow him.....IF he and I were speeding then the CHP really SHOULD pull over HIM and not me. And he was a good driver. He did know how to pace the traffic and his passes were generally limited to one every 20 minutes or so. It was great for almost 150 miles!!! He would pass and I would wait for car traffic to clear and then pass and once again pull in behind him. I quit worrying about making decisions when to pass, who to pass, where to pass, etc. I just followed my "trucker navigator". Best trip ever...down I-5. Picked up a blues station and listened to that for the entire time. Totally comfortable, without a concern in world. I did have to follow far enough back for safety, but close enough that NOBODY wanted to slip in between us. I did have a great advantage that my one-ton diesel and small trailer meant I could pass quickly and easily after my "navigator" had completed his pass. I did catch him a couple of times turning slightly left and right so he could see me in his mirrors. He was probably wondering why I NEVER passed him!!! Well, you never want to get ahead of your navigator!!!
  10. Working as a forester for 50 years, I have seen a winch used ONCE. It was pretty much my first day working for BLM and the forestry tech was taking me out to a BLM timber sale when we ran into a gate on a BLM road. He undid the winch, hooked it to the gate and yanked the gate out of the ground. He then came back to the truck and wrote a short note...."this is a public road, DO NOT GATE IT.....signed BLM. That's it. If you need a winch to get you out of trouble, well your showing bad judgement in the first place. I would rather walk, than unstick a vehicle.
  11. I thought long and hard about this.....finally came up with. Spring is fishing season, don't want to miss that. Summer is travel season. Can't miss that. Fall is hunting season......can't miss that. That leaves November, December, January and Feb. Most times I want to be in Arizona during those days. So....ALL the medical appointments are for November at the home base. Anything found amiss and I get to spend time in the snow and clouds doing medical appointments. That's fine....last year I ended up with medical tests and could not leave until the end of January. Pick a time.....when you don't want to be somewhere else and schedule all your appointments at that time. Leave room in the following months so the follow up tests don't infringe on your PRIMARY time. I found some decent Doctors....don't want to go through the routine of finding new doctors.
  12. Second on Credit Unions...even worked in Canada. Credit Unions are service oriented.....so they tend to help.
  13. I don’t agree....but the original question was “which of the American legacy car manufacturers will fail”. I believe GM has failed TWICE and both times has been bailed out by the Federal government. I bought one GM vehicle and inherited two others....NEVER AGAIN. So yep, one of these days the the Federal government will let GM go under. Fiat-Chrysler....I think they have ALSO been bailed out by the Federal government TWICE. Really an awful company, making awful vehicles, EXCEPT for the RAM truck division. That will survive. Ford??...I don’t know. Never owned a Ford vehicle in my life. Never bought one, but then again I am probably not the typical car buyer. Electric vehicles are fine for urban areas. There is a definite market for them. As soon, as one has a range of 200 miles (in mountain terrain) and around 20,000 dollars I will buy it!! But I will ALWAYS own a large diesel truck and maybe a decent sized SUV will towing capacity. So that leaves that cheap, electric vehicle for the third car.....and depending on how handy it becomes...it might be a shared vehicle with a per mileage charge. BTW...IF I stay in Wenatchee with .027 cent electrical rate I would love a electrical car with a 200 mile range. IF I move to Arizona with a .15 cent electrical rate I probably will be more skeptical.
  14. I camp in colder weather during hunting season. On my 5th wheel, my water lines freeze up when temperatures drop to 25 degrees. I am guessing that your 5th wheel will freeze up at that temperature or slightly above. As others have mentioned keep the temperature up in the trailer and disconnect the outside water line. But at 25 degrees it is the water lines inside the trailer that will freeze. I have gotten up many times in the middle of cold nights to run a couple of faucets and watched the faucet gurgle and then finally run water!! A couple of times I didn't wake up to run water.....and I had to defrost in the morning. You might want to keep your trailer temperatures warm at night......I don't and didn't. My water lines were pretty much limited to one basement storage unit and on really cold nights I would put an electric heater and run it for a half hour or so......I never did feel comfortable leaving the electric heater running down there without me being around. Hope this helps.
  15. I had a "interesting" black lab. When I was hunting with her I found a fully functional transmitter. I took it as a message from GOD, that I should get a collar to fit the black lab!!! You can ruin a dog by overusing a collar. So pay attention to the video or training manual. That said...my current dog earned his "good citizenship" collar at 16 weeks. He is currently dying of bone cancer at almost 11 and has lived with the collar all his life!!! He is perfect when hunting, I just use the collar to hear the beep if he goes on point in heavy cover. Day to day living, well he views himself as a "free" citizen. I tried explaining to him that Constitutional rights only apply to humans not dogs, but he ignores me. Hence, the collar. One HUGE advantage to a collar is the tone control. You can teach your dog to sit on the tone. Handy, when you don't want him to investigate a skunk or porcupine. On a repetitive tone, you can train the dog to come back to you. Sure does beat, yelling or blowing on a whistle to get your dog to return to you. If your dog roams the neighborhood, this is a great way to get them to come back home. My wife bought one for her Bichon, my daughter bought one for a dog smaller than a Bichon. They work, just be careful not to overuse the shock portion. Get them trained on the tones. You will never go back to yelling. I bought my collars from SportDog. Great American company. I even asked them for a collar with ONLY the tone control. After awhile, you will NEVER use the electricity portion. If your dog lives on a leash.....thank you, but I feel sorry for your dog. Quite frankly, at 100 lbs I don't think I can control my dog on a leash. His is the perfect gentleman with the shock collar. BTW....I once met a woman being dragged by a dog on a hiking trail. He was adament about attacking my "unleashed" dog which was sitting on command by my side. When he reached my dog.....I released her and she nailed that "leashed dog". It isn't about a leash. IT IS about controlling your dog. For large dogs, your really do need a shock collar.
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