September according to google, final bill for Sept, back to NF boondocking

September according to google



bill comes due for fiscal September

$658. So higher than usual but the three-month average is still below my $500/mo budget.

I’ll need to fuel the van at some point but I read that gas prices are predicted to keep dropping in October. I’ll be back in town on the ~25th and will tank up then.

back to boondocking

Being around humans was causing me stress (I may not be entirely normal) so I’d been timing my escape back to public lands. There were a few factors:

  • I was net +1gal of water a day because of my PF water harvest. Staying longer means more water.1
  • but I wanted to get emplaced before the Eclipse casuals attack
  • and I wanted to eat out of the fridge for a while; it’s quite full

I decided to head back out to the NF on Tuesday. Monday night I was stealthing in a spot where I’d overnighted before, although a little further down. I gave Muffin her last pee break and started to head in for the night. Then I noticed there was a water spigot right by the van.

How had I missed it before? I did a quick check of my water situation: both 7gal aquatainers full, and main tank held about 20gal out of the total 35. Plenty to make it for 14d, but I decided to top off.

Next morning I did one last shower and data download at PF and headed toward the NF. about 10mi west of town as the crow flies (about 20mins leisurely driving). I stopped on the way at the SF Dog Park that I’d seen but not visited. It is a large park, with areas for large doggos, small doggos, and even a space for solo dogs.

We walked the circumference of the large dog park; it was big enough that Muffin didn’t want anymore after one loop so we continued on. She walked with me off-leash rather nicely. Too bad she can’t be trusted to do that outside fenced areas.

snowbird arrival

On the way in there is a crest where you can oversee the dispersed campers. There were many more rigs than before. As I passed them they appeared to be mainly experienced snowbirds: good site selection and positioning, tidy areas, largish solar panels actually in the sun and facing south.

The last part shouldn’t be noteworthy, but unforced errors with solar are depressingly common:

  • panels in the shade
  • panels not plugged in, or blown over face-down
  • panels shaded by the rig’s own infrastructure (usually rack risers, HVAC shrouds, and antennas)
  • panels facing north (!!!)

No wonder I hear so many bloviators claim that “solar doesn’t do anything”.

aromatic mouse armor

I found a tennis ball in a park in SF, and figured it’d make a good aromatic medium for the peppermint oil I bought to repel mousemonsters. I cut it into quarters with a utility knife.

I applied peppermint oil to each fuzzy surface and mounted one under the hood and one on the floorboard near where I saw mice enter.

cool morning

By the time I made coffee and checked my email it was up to 50F in the van. This suggests it was high 40s in the van overnight, so maybe 40F ambient. We’ll see how long I get here before the first freeze, normally my cue to get going.

I made the coffee over the small lab hotplate but propane “spills” more ambient heat so I might do that tomorrow morning. This morning I put the usb handwarmer inside my fleece vest to take the edge off.

Now at 10am it’s comfortably cool so after making eggs and bacon on the hotplate I diced up the last honeycrisp and bosch pear I got 4/$0.99. Cooking it down with some cinnamon and a dab of sugar to put on pancakes in the next few days.

After that I’ll hardboil the last 5 eggs from the previous dozen. Picked up a fresh dozen on the way out of town and they say older eggs peel better anyway.


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  1. in past years water was a non-issue because there was a spigot at the gas station in Smith’s. You could gas up at the last pump and, if your potable hose was long enough (like mine) take on water at the same time.