Well I’v managed to do it again, a HUGE break in between posts to the blog. My last entry had me sending my sister Kim back off to Boston after spending time with me in Colorado. That was way back on August 30! I cannot believe
how time has flown by. Leaving Colorado I spent a couple weeks in Wyoming. I made a couple day stop in Lander, WY, where I stayed the Lander City Park. They actually allow RVers to stay up to three nights for free at the park. My spot was amazing, right on the river and only a few feet from the bike path to town. I put a ton of miles on the bike just running around and exploring town. Lander Brewing Company had some great beers and I meet a couple of great locals there as well and chatted it up for a few hours! I really enjoyed the town and actually wish I could have stayed longer, but I adhered to the three day limit. In the words of Arnold, “I’ll be back”. The next week plus I spend based out of Curt Gowdy State Park a few miles west of Cheyenne. I’ve stayed in this park before and love it. I snagged a secluded spot elevated up above the lake with a sweet view. I spend the entire time riding the mountain bike and Jeeping. The MTB trails at Curt Gowdy are way cool, I think I rode most of them several times. I took the Jeep out exploring the forest roads around the area as well. While there was not anything I would consider to be challenging, it was many many miles of fun and scenic cruising. One day I made a run into Cheyenne to grab a bite to eat and wander town. Not super exciting, but it was still fun. I then set my sights on Salmon.
So how has my stay in Salmon been? Quick answer, well needed. This was the first time I was able to visit with Toni’s sister Linda since Toni’s passing back in February. It’s been great to spend time wth Linda and Bob, my time here has really been very therapeutic. I feel so blessed to have such a great relationship with these guys and imagine my travels will bring me here often. The past few months have been tough for me, but I know it is even harder for Linda. I was afraid my presence may be uncomfortable, but I feel it’s been great for both of us. One “downside” to being in one place, with a shipping address and tools, for so long is that I dream up all kinds of projects to do. I’v been working on the Jeep, getting it all setup for Overlanding. For those not familiar, my basic definition of Overlanding is vehicle supported adventure travel. Something I’ve been missing is really getting out in the backcountry and exploring. Most know, Toni and I spend most of our lives four wheeling and camping all over the Southwest. Since being in the RV, I’ve really missed that more serious back country adventure. With the addition of the Rubicon (also know as The Interceptor) as my town vehicle, the burning desire to get out there is stronger than ever. Over the next few months I
plan to really setup the Jeep to allow CC and I to get out on multi-day adventures away from The Black Pearl. I envision week long excursions with just the Jeep to more extensively explore the areas I visit. I plan to document via Youtube and the blog as I work on the Jeep build for anyone interested. While in Salmon I tackled quite a few items. I re-designed the rear interior of the Jeep, modifying the storage box I built (Youtube video of that previous build here). I decided to go with a drawer system that will allow a 12volt refrigerator to be installed on top. The drawer system is all in and complete. For being self-reliant on these trips, I decided to also install a Genesis Offroad dual battery system and Odyssey AGM batteries. The system handles the management of dual batteries perfectly and out of the box. Check…that is done now as well. I also installed a new power distribution system in the rear of the Jeep for other future plans. I installed a mount system from Vector Off Road on the dash that allows me to use my iPad mini as an off road navigation unit. Over the past few weeks I have been tweaking the Gaia GPS program to use and record all my adventure travel and am loving it. I’m also able to mount a GoPro and cell phone to the system as well.
The Seneca also got some attention. First off, I officially installed my Black Pearl lettering inside to remind me daily of the freedom she provides me. These days I’m leaning much more towards not downsizing and staying with the Pearl. It’s just so comfortable and I feel spoiled to live in such a lavishly appointed nomadic home. I mean, as I am writing on
this chilly 30 degree Idaho night I have my fireplace keeping me warm, a load of laundry running in my own washer/dryer and music playing over my satelite TV. Does it get any better than this?? While she may not get me as deep into far secluded boondocking spots as an expedition vehicle or even smaller class C might, I’m still impressed with where I am able to take it. I have not ever been disappointed with a boondocking spot I “settled” for. Besides, with the plans for the Jeep and Overlanding, I only need the RV to take me so far. Oh, and I finally finished the epoxy tabletop with the vintage map and postcards (thanks for the help Linda!). While it didn’t turn our perfect, I am thrilled with the results, it is way cool. I got a new remote camera installed and upgraded my bluetooth sound system to a Bose unit. I also picked a new “bad habit” while in town (thank Bob for that one). I snagged up a Green Mountain Davey Crocket Pellet Smoker. I had no idea how much fun it could be using one of these things. We’ve cooked up a storm including briskets, ribs, brats, beer can chicken, poppers and burgers among other things. The flavor the smoke
provides is incredible. I’ll be glad for my vacuum packer, I can see some great smoked foods being prepared and separated into individual meals that will last me weeks. Imagine being out on a multi-day backcountry adventure in the Jeep and dining on smoked brisket and corn for dinner! My smoker is even 12volt powered and wifi enabled, how cool is that? It’s the opposite of the current RVer trend of the Instantpot, I’m going with the low and slow method instead. I mean really, am I in some kind of hurry? Loving it so far and I have a list of things I can’t wait to try on this thing, so fun. Of course the addition of this grill meant the I had to rethink my storage on the RV. Believe it or not, I was able to re-arrange things and the smoker fits perfect, like it was meant to be there all along. All that was really required was changing out the ladder I carry from a standard step ladder to one of the fancy collapsible ladders, which I had been wanting to do anyway. No WAY the smoker would fit in any of the smaller rigs I was considering. Thankfully I have also been able to help out around the house as well. Bob and I handled a few tasks here and there, but I really do not feel enough to cover for my being here over six weeks. But, it looks like plans may be in the works for a full kitchen gut and remodel next year….woohoo! There was of course a few trips up the mountain to cut down some trees for firewood, something I have really come to enjoy. You get to be out in the woods, get a workout and provide fuel to heat their home for the winter. Hard to beat that!
It’s not been all work, I managed to squeeze in some other fun as well. The Jeep made quite a few trips up into the mountains surrounding Salmon. I definitely plan to do some of the multi-day Overlanding trips here in the future, perhaps next year. Then there was the AMAZING solar eclipse on August 21. Bob and I loaded up the dogs in the Jeep and headed about eighty miles south to get right in the path of totality. I will admit, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I sort of thought it would be cool, but not that big a deal. Well, first of all, the spot we watched it probably helped. We parked down a road out in the middle of know where with views forever in all directions. Nobody was anywhere near us to be seen. Then there was the eclipse itself, HOLY CRAP. I have to say that it was one of the most INCREDIBLE
things I have ever experienced. I’m not even sure how to explain it, as totality came near I was actually short of breath and my heart was going crazy. I had no idea it would actually get so dark. All the photos I’ve seen do not even come close to doing justice to what it was like to look as the sun during totality. Totally freakn’ crazy! As the sun began to re-appear we even say the crazy wavy lines on the ground that people talk about. Soooo glad we experienced it, something I will remember always. During my stay I also was able to hang out with Bob, his son David and wife Whit and several friends Elk hunting. The spot we camped was excellent and I brought the smoker out as well and cooked up a few meals for the hunters. While I did not hunt, I did participate in the glassing and of course the beers and stories. Really fun experience. During the hunt I was able to take the Jeep out exploring all around the Continental Divide area, such beautiful country up here. I rode my bikes, both mountain and hybrid all over the place around Salmon as well. The Discovery Hill are near town has miles and miles of MTB trails that kept me busy. On a sad note, my electric system on my cruiser Trek Navigator crapped out on me though! Ringing in my ear I could hear “I told you so” for several days (I’m sure you can all guess where that was coming from). So, I tore all the electric stuff off the bike and I am back to a normal Trek Navigator for my street exploring. After this experience, not sure I would spend the money on an electric bike again. I really only wanted it for the long hill climbing and that is what did it in. Like many things, I just do not think it is build for “real” use on a daily basis. Great novelty if you only ride your bike once in a great while or just on flat ground. I wear the tires off my bikes. I had only put just over 600 miles on the electric system when it basically gave up. Really not missing it.
In summary, I have loved every moment of being here in Salmon with family again. I still cannot believe I will end up being here for over six weeks. I’m down to my last few days and then I set sail again. I’m heading to Bend Oregon for the entire month of October. Since I’ve streched my time in Salmon so far, the trip up to Bend will be a quick one. Most likely just two stops and only take about a week to get there. It’s going to be sad to leave, but I do feel the tug to get back on the road. One last thing, speaking of the road. September 1st marked three years I have been living full-time in the RV. THREE YEARS, wow hard to believe. It has consisted of the highest of highs and unfortunately the very lowest of lows. Regardless, I am eternally grateful that Toni and I made the decision to start this crazy new life back in 2014. Although moving on without Toni has been incredibly difficult, knowing that Toni considered our last couple of years some of the best of our lives gives me peace and encourages me to continue to live this amazing lifestyle.This entry was posted in Blog and tagged fulltime, gorving, idaho, jeep, kuhl, kuhlodyssey, livingthedream, lovelife, nomadlife, outfitandexplore, rv, rvblog, rvlife, rvtravel, seneca, xscapers by Kurt Kuhl and comments are open.