I write this from a dispersed camping spot in the Organ Mountains - Desert Peaks National Monument. At 6000ft it’s a few degrees cooler than El Paso at the same time period.
Breakfast and coffee at Joe Vinny & Bronson’s. Laid back and caring service; Eddie is a great guy.
At 10 the Wyler Aerial Tramway opened up and I was in the first couple of cars that went up. Wasn’t planning on staying up there a long time, but saw info on the Ranger’s Peak trail. Signed out at the gift shop up top, got a map, and promised to call when done so they know I didn’t crack my fool head open.
It was tougher than I thought, and took longer. About an hour into it I looked at the map sheet and it was labeled “moderate to challenging”. I’d say that’s about right. I was sunburned, jelly-legged, and almost out of water when I finished. I had a nice widebrimmed hat but nothing on my arms. Oopsie.
If I were to do it again I’d take more water (in a camelback), two trekking poles instead of a staff, and gloves because of the hot and rough rocks. Although I did not directly touch any cacti I got some needles in my hands from where they had fallen out and onto rocks.
Stealthed in a residential area that had copious street parking. The older parts of ELP are awesome for stealthing; so much space, street parking in residential, biz, and industrial areas.
I did some work in the van, setting up a couple 4-way anderson power outlets. One set is for normal house power and the other is the opportunity circuit.
Had to cut some of it with a jigsaw, which for testing purposes I ran off a lithium battery pack. I am not a big fan of the “solar generator” packs because of their cost and misleading name. But I was on Amazon looking for a small PSW inverter and one of these units popped up in the suggestions because they have small PSW inverters in them. I looked at it for a second and clicked away reflexively.
Then clicked back. This ~18Ah lipo pack was on “lightning sale” for $20 off. So about $220. Still too much, at that rate 100Ah would cost something like $1200. But at the bottom was a listing for a used one for $99, free shipping. Hmmm. Getting closer to the $/Ah ratio I was wiling to experiment with. Something like $550 for 100Ah.
I pulled the trigger on it. It arrived quickly and was in great condition. But there were no cables or adapters or anthing else, just the unit. No way to charge it with what was in the package. I asked the seller to send the cables, and they said they’d replace it. Wasn’t sure what that meant.
The replacement arrived very quickly and appears to be an entirely new package. So now I have two, and the cost for 100Ah for them is something like $225 for 100Ah. Yes, please!
Time for the interview came around (how did I not know El Paso was in Mountain Time?). Went ok, I think. Luckily I have direct experience doing that kind of work, so that may tip it in my favor against some strong competition.
I hope I get the job. I like the supervisor, I like his team, and I really like El Paso. The people are really friendly, the food is great, the place has a great feel to it. I will elaborate on that later after I get some literal and figurative distance.