monsoon season, a $30 mistake, and deer bones

monsoon season

The plan to stay in the greater Flagstaff area is still in effect. The wildfires from last week are under control and temps are trending back to the 70s.1

Monsoon season has begun:

The North American monsoon (NAM) occurs from late June or early July into September, originating over Mexico and spreading into the southwest United States by mid-July. It affects Mexico along the Sierra Madre Occidental as well as Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, West Texas and California.


  • rain can be harvested for use, stretching precious drinking water supplies
  • temps tend to be lower
  • decreased wildfire danger, excepting lighting strikes


  • campers tend to be closed up and inhabitants trapped inside
  • unpleasant humidity after the rain
  • muddy forest roads

The last point is a logistical problem. The preferred approach is to wait out any particularly-sloppy periods and only attempt ingress/egress when the roads are passable. This depends on a decent stockpile of food/water and no set schedule regarding the outside world.

breaking stuff through inattention

Yeah, about that no set schedule stuff.

Because last week was sunny and hot I had:

  1. parked the van on the western edge of the clearing – this provides power to the van-mounted array until about noon when I needed relief from the heat.
  2. with portables maximally east and facing west - this provides power in the afternoons

The moonsoon changed requirements since it is both cooler and cloudier. I moved the camper to a central spot in the clearing to get maximal sun on the mounted panels.

Unfortunately I got the solar extension wiring tangled during the 30ft relocation and tore the wiring out of an extension’s MC4 connector. The panels and the other extension were unaffected.

It costs about the same to replace the 20ft extension or to buy a crimper that will handle the 10ga wiring and the components to rebuild the MC4 end. I chose the latter, assuming this would not be the only time I could be expected to break stuff. I’ll need to brave a week’s worth of monsoon-wetted forest roads to pick up the Amazon package.

In the meantime I will use the remaining 20ft extension on the portables. It’s not perfect (can’t reach an optimal spot) but we make do with what we have.

deer bones

There are plenty of mule deer in the area. They are amusing to watch because they often prefer to bounce around like kangaroos rather than running like normal deer.

It’s adorkable.

There must be a carcass nearby because various bones have been dragged into camp. Started small, then escalated to back half of the spine, then ultimately to the front half with ribcage and skull attached.

As a result the dogs have been pooping very solid white poops. They are hard enough that this morning Muffin’s made a distinct clicking sound when they fell. Like the sound of ice cubes being dumped into a pile.


twitter comment thread for this post

  1. today is an exception, with a forecasted high of 82F.