T3: Rise of the Trailers

After two great weeks in New Orleans it was time to leave the bayou.

Rainy morning walk across the bayou.
Rainy morning walk across the bayou.
Never saw a gator in here. Did hear a few wildcats though.
Never saw a gator in here. Did hear a few wildcats though.

Shortly after crossing Lake Pontchartrain is the Mississippi border and I stopped at the welcome center rest area to find …

Mississippi welcome center on eastbound I-10.  The lunar lander trainer used by the Apollo 13 astronauts.
Mississippi welcome center on eastbound I-10. The lunar lander trainer used by the Apollo 13 astronauts.
Space boot prints signed by Fred Haise, Apollo 13 astronaut and Mississippi native.
Space boot prints signed by Fred Haise, Apollo 13 astronaut and Mississippi native.
Sign at lunar lander exhibit
Sign at lunar lander exhibit

Then I stopped at a little town in Florida, Bonifay, where it rained for 40 7 days and 40 7 nights, flooding the nearby Choctawhatchee River. Finally it’s time to move on to Ozark, Alabama and pick up my new motorcycle trailer.

T3

Yes, this is my 3rd trailer in just over a year. If this doesn’t work out I’m putting training wheels on the bike and towing it with a nylon strap.

Trailer number 3 - The Baxley SB001.  Yes, that's a moonshine still in the background, every campsite should have one.
Trailer number 3 – The Baxley SB001 at my campsite in Ozark, Alabama. Yes, that’s a moonshine still in the background, every campsite should have one.

This one is a Baxley trailer which has a pretty unique loading mechanism. So far, so good.  I’m hanging here another few days to sell the old trailer on eBay where the bidding is way higher than I expected and there’s still a few hours left in the auction.  Then I’ll be heading to sunny rainy better be sunny Florida for a little time at the beach.

March On, March On

The march is on, in March.  There’s a new satellite TV receiver to install, a new cycle trailer to get, dog training, communications and a couple of shake down trips.

You may have seen my post about the swivel wheel trailer I bought.  Well the last trip got it – a huge pothole at freeway speed half a mile from home broke the wheel mount.  So, I’ll be in the market for a more conventional trailer. I’d really like a CruiserLift, but the weight at the rear of the coach would put me pretty close to the rear axle weight limit and could affect handling by taking weight off the front wheels.

Keira, my 11 year old beagle, has had a back yard and a dog door the last 7 years.  She’s also a head out the window car rider.  Neither of these will work that well in the RV.  So, this month I’ll be working on getting her used to living, sleeping and traveling in the RV.

Keira and Puff guarding the RV door.
Keira and Puff guarding the RV door.

A Damn Fine Coffee at 4:30am

I’ve had both Nesspresso and Tassimo coffee makers and they were good while they lasted, but I’m not too keen on using counter space for one of these.  The RV has a under counter coffee maker which works fine, but there’s no espresso and a pretty long brew time.  I was a bit skeptical when Lisa gave me a stove top espresso/coffee maker, but damn if it doesn’t make a great cup of espresso or coffee.

Coffee

After walking the dog at 4:30am, you need a little warm up and in less than 2 minutes the GSI Outdoors 1 Cup Stainless Mini makes a hell of an espresso, directly into the cup and I’m a happy camper.

Shake

Later this month Keira and I will take a short jaunt to the Verde Valley, only about an hour away, to expose any canine or equipment issues. After that, it’s Imperial Beach for a week.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Needing a trailer for the bike (my Burgman 650 maxi scooter), I’d been searching Craig’s List and found a unique swivel wheel trailer for sale at a thousand bucks.  Smoking deal, so off I go with Roamward Bound to meet Stephen the seller at the Anthem Outlet mall north of Phoenix.

Rolling along I-17 for a bit, I start hearing bang, bang bang, bang bang bang.  I pull off to the side, walk around, and find nothing.  Everything seems secure, tires good, hmm.  Drive off again and at about 55 mph the bang starts again, so again I pull over.  Now I can see the TV antenna peaking over the roof at an odd angle.  The antenna is broken off its mount and is flopping around by just the coax cable.  I can’t undo the cable and don’t have a wrench or wire cutters with me.  There doesn’t seem to be any roof damage, and the antenna is a lightweight plastic thing, so I move on to Anthem at reduced speed.

Stephen, the seller turns out to be the nicest person in the world.  Carefully explaining every detail of the unique trailer, operation and his experience with it, when he hears me mention the TV antenna, he is on the roof with a wrench practically before I know what’s happening and has the antenna disconnected in a flash.  Then when he finds the solid steel 2″ post of the trailer hitch is 1/8th of an inch too long for my receiver, he takes it home and uses a diamond saw to trim that 1/8″ off and brings it back.

All hitched up I drive it around the Anthem Outlet mall parking lot, park a few times, then head back home.  This is where it gets ugly.  You see, pulling back into my space at the RV park I manage to hit the rear bumper of my parked car with the trailer.  I’d have probably crushed the car if a neighbor hadn’t come running out waving his arms to rescue me. The damage is minor, cracked plastic bumper, but the embarrassment is extreme.