Like most things I plan (or over-plan), the Quartzsite trip didn’t pan out as expected.
With a very small fanfare (a couple of neighbors saw us off with ‘have fun’ waves).
That was early Friday morning, just after seven.
Those same neighbors spotted the car headlights and Casita trailer lights as we pulled back to our house in the dark on six-thirty Saturday night.
We had told everyone we would be back sometime Monday afternoon.
First the good news. I had three primary reasons for making the trip. I wanted to test the solar unit. Ever since I bought the Casita in July, I wanted solar, and I was itching to see if it would do what I wanted.
The solar worked. However, not enough to run my laptop computer. It presents a huge problem. If I am going to travel for more than a couple of days, I need to solve this huge problem.
Another reason was to test the installation of the digital thermostat. It also worked. We experienced forty degrees, maybe even less, on Friday night and our inside temperature maintained seventy degrees. The fan clicked on and off to keep that constant temperature.
This trip was a far cry from our previous cold night experience on the Colorado trip. The Colorado trip required manually adjust the temperature. It was either too hot or too cold. I spent most of the night getting up and adjusting the temperature.
If I were sane, I would have stayed warm in bed and braved the cold in the morning. However, a few night trips to the bathroom didn’t allow me that option.
The other parts of the trip didn’t pan out so well.
For example, that photo of the car hood. Those are two packages of frozen veggies. I didn’t feed the dogs before we left. I planned to feed them about noon. Usually, I mix fresh veggies with their kibble.
Knowing my Casita kitchen didn’t have a lot of space to prepare food, I pre-prepared and froze the veggies.
Unfortunately, I forgot to defrost them. So, I put the veggies on the car hood and let the sun do it.
Here’s the result.
Here’s the full story.
On the inside of the fence is a completely ignored bowl of dog food. That red stuff is the same red stuff that was on the car hood.
On the outside of the fence is YESTERDAY’s dog food that Bernie and Chris decided they didn’t like. It didn’t have any veggies. It was just dry kibble with a bit of water.
Twenty-four hours after they dismissed that dry kibble, I threw it over the fence and offered them this delicious meal with kibble, meat, and veggies.
As you can see, Bernie and Chris prefer that 24-hour old dry stuff.
Yes, I ended up throwing the veggie meal away the next day when we left Quartzsite. Perhaps the coyotes will eat it.
Before I share some future Casita concerns, here are a few photos.
The solar doing a great job charging the battery. Almost invisible, the dogs are safely contained by the portable dog fence. Some nearby sentry cactus along with typical scraggly desert brush in the foreground.
A beautiful painted blue sky with marching white clouds. Stunted desert trees have to be tough to survive the dry earth’s rocky surface.
My previous fears regarding Bernie and Chris adapting to the Casita closeness is unfounded. They manage to squeeze in. I didn’t pose them; they decided this was a comfortable way to keep out of the way when I am also inside.
They chose the other bed. And that brings my most troubling concern.
Despite my creative attempts, I won’t be comfortable until I buy a bed. I could ‘fit’ across the back, where most people sleep in a Casita.
Pool noodles, egg-crate foam mattress-topper, and a double sleeping bag haven’t solved my sleeping situation.
I have two sleep platform options.
(a) I can sleep on the long side of the Casita.
(b) I can sleep across the rear of the Casita.
I have tried sleeping the length side. My next step is to position the Casita table between the side seats. Then, with the wall cushions to pad the table area, I will find out if I ‘fit.’
I must be able to ‘fit’ using only the large table, not both the large and smaller table positioned together. Using the single large table width leaves enough room to move around.
The other critical issue is charging the laptop computer. Its 17” screen size may be the limiting factor. Its power consumption is much greater than most laptops. It is significantly higher than cellphones and other small electrical devices easily charged with solar power.
Since receiving the Casita in mid-July, Friend John and I made a lot of improvements. Challenges surfaced and were defeated.
The Quartzsite trip exposed a challenge to charge the computer. It exposed achieving a comfortable sleep challenge.
It’s time to accept both challenges.