Seekin' My World

Subaru Outback traveling, ATC Bobcat on Tacoma in the past

New iPad and case August 2, 2019

Filed under: Stuff I carry — Sierrashadow @ 11:28 pm

Not exactly travel related, but I do like to document my progress. I needed to upgrade my iPad because the mini I was using would no longer download certain apps. So I sprung for the larger iPad Air. It’s a little hard to juggle but I will get used to it eventually. I did buy an interesting strap that helps.

But then there was the issue of how to protect it when I travel. The cases are quite expensive, and would interfere with using the smart keyboard which is a case in a way. I haven’t bought the Smart Keyboard yet, but they look flimsy.

I just happened to have a thrift store purchase that worked perfectly. I had bought it for $.50 months ago. It is an old DayTimer planner. I had to hacksaw and mangle the rivets out of the notebook rings, but it really wasn’t that difficult to do. It did not damage the case at all but I did run a strip of duct tape to tidy up the loose edges.

I can fit a composition book and a pen inside so it becomes a productive little office. Add some stamps.


395 trip July 6, 2019

Filed under: Non ATC Bobcat travels,Subaru travels — Sierrashadow @ 3:14 am

I went down to check on my mom in Long Beach and take care of a friend who had total knee replacement, so I returned by way of 395. It’s a pretty bleak landscape until you get to Lone Pine and there I found a campsite at Diaz Lake. Not the most scenic campground in the world but an oasis of water in the middle of the desert. But on July 4th at 11:00 a.m. you can’t be choosy. Unfortunately the sites are right on top of each other and I am hearing more foul language from the Marines next-door than I care to. Makes me miss being able to go farther a field with all the comforts of home in my camper. I did pack up the Subaru but with the bare minimum. Fortunately, I tossed in a tent at the last minute and so I set up the tent because I think it’s going to be a rather warm evening.

I went to Manzanar war relocation center. They have built some tarpaper barricks to represent what was once there. I kind of miss the ruins of 20 years ago. But the explanations and displays were very well done and I was humbled to see many Asians touring the site. Unfortunately very few Anglos. It was the perfect thing to do on the Fourth of July, contemplating freedom and its fragility.

I drove up to Big Pine where the world-famous Coppertop barbecue is. I waited in a very long line to get tri-tip meat. I can snack on that for quite a while.

Then I headed back to Diaz Lake, but I pulled over and did a little watercolor painting to kill time. Diaz Lake was certainly not quiet, between the fireworks, the Marines next door and the very loud amplified Mariachi music. But I still enjoyed being able to camp. I decided to set up the tent without the rain fly because I didn’t think sleeping in the car was such a good idea, given the campground. It was nice to see the fireworks overhead without having to get up and go out.

The next day was pretty much drive straight home with two stops to paint. I stopped for lunch at my favorite little lake near Tuolumne Meadows. I always have it to myself.

I bought this little backpacking chair at Walmart for $20. It is easy to set up, holds up to 250 pounds, and stows in little space. It isn’t super comfortable, but I don’t hang around in a chair much. The other chair I used was cumbersome to store in the Subaru. Actually, pulling out the ice chest to use as a stool was more comfortable.


There was something very restorative about seeing my mountains again. I kind of wish I had slept in the Subaru, but I was anxious to get home after being away so much.


Shakedown trip May 4, 2019

Filed under: Subaru travels — Sierrashadow @ 1:01 am

I enjoyed camping at Morro Bay

And El Capitan (just north of Santa Barbara)

I had a little trouble figuring out which direction to sleep. I opted for the head towards the seats, even though it is inclined up a bit rather than head towards the hatch, because it was too cramped at the shoulder elbow area. I spun around several times until I got it figured out.

I enjoyed a picnic lunch as usual without too much difficulty. I am going to miss the solar refer, I had to get ice twice and drain the water.

I discovered one flaw: the electric windows only work when the engine is running. I had brought window screening to make bug screens. I stitched the front of the pocket at home and pinned them at the site. Four super strong magnets make it secure.

I can hear the campground noise with the windows down, but the breeze was nice.

The cardboard window covers worked well but I will be switching to reflectix soon.


Subaru Outback April 29, 2019

Filed under: Subaru travels — Sierrashadow @ 5:01 pm

So a wonderful gentleman from Eugene Oregon came down and purchased my truck and camper combination. I was a little sad to see her go, but it was time. I hope he has many wonderful adventures and enjoys it as much as I did.

So the new travel vehicle is a Subaru Outback. I laid down in it to make sure I could sleep inside. The biggest thing I am having to work around is the lack of a heater. I plan to buy a 12V RV mattress pad heater. But I need to figure out how to recharge the battery. I don’t want to risk my starting battery. I am considering a Jackery Explorer Portable Power source.

But since it is spring I’m going to put all that on hold and go without. I am going down the coast to spend a couple days in Morro Bay and then go see my mom for a while.

We happened to have a large masonite board that I had my husband cut down for me. I used three underbed storage bins to contain my cooking gear, seasonal gear, and necessary clutter box. I tried using them under the board, but it made me a little claustrophobic to lay in there with my face quite that close to the ceiling (see my sad face). Back to the drawing board, and the big red ice chest has to go.

I put one of the boxes on the side, transferred the seasonal clothing (swimming suit to mittons and hats) into a zipper bag I had which was a lot easier to conform into tight spaces. I should probably keep that in the car all the time so I am prepared.

One ice chest had to move forward so the hatch could close. (Actually both moved forward, blue with sodas in front seat, silver with food items under my pillow.) But this configuration worked fairly well. I got rid of the board and just laid down a blanket on the rear portion that was a smidge lower than the seat back (wool incase it gets really cold). The 3.5″ pad evens out the differences.

Filled the footwell of the back seat passenger side with various soft sided luggage things and the silver ice chest. This is how close the head is to the back window and the feet are to the seat. But I ended up facing the other way. I needed more shoulder room.

There was one annoying bracket that could dig into my hip, so I padded it with a pool noodle portion wrapped in black duct tape. Simple. Easy to remove to raise and engage the seat back. And a chair and table ride on the bed for travel, but fit in the front seat well at nighttime.

For this trip I think I am going to plan to not take cooking gear and just focus on sleeping arrangements (who wants to cook when there are so many interesting restaurants to visit?). I will toss in a tent in case it just doesn’t work to sleep in the car. I will also take a roll of screening material so that I can work on making ventilation if it is too warm. I cut cardboard to fit each window for temporary window coverings, but will do Reflectix eventually.

So on goes the adventure.


Changin’ times March 16, 2019

Filed under: Bobcat travels — Sierrashadow @ 11:55 pm

It is with some sadness that I composed the following advertisement to sell my beloved camper and truck. I hurt my knee last summer and it just is too difficult to lift myself into the back and up to the bed repeatedly. By the end of a week my knee is screaming. This isn’t the end of my travels, I have other ideas up my sleeve, but it is time to let this version end. I know I will miss them. We had great times together and I know someone else will too.

2013 Toyota Tacoma DCLB – 2015 ATC Bobcat

 Toyota Tacoma

Double Cab model, full sized seating for 5

Long Bed (6 foot)

86,000 miles

Rock rails (bolted on)

Toyota factory camera removed from tailgate and mounted to bumper

Air bags to help suspension with extra weight. Remote control to change air pressure

Also including BakFlip; solid folding tonneau cover for truck bed

Snow chains included

Regularly serviced at dealership

Bobcat shell model

Factory installed heater, propane cabinet, couch, 100 W solar panel with 2 ciggy plugs, one Fantastic fan over bed and one vent over mid camper, two overhead lights, rear flood lights and amber porch light

Dometic 40 liter chest style compressor refrigerator

Ceiling built 2.5 inch added to flexible part, standing height inside 6’2”, but it also helps a lot with the sleeping area

Homemade curtains

Slight reoccurring mildew problem in the cabover ceiling (from condensation not a roof leak)

4 jacks for removing and storing camper

Asking $30,000

Located in Sonora California.


Another aborted trip November 20, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels — Sierrashadow @ 6:49 pm
Tags: , ,

I have so little to share that it almost isn’t worth it, but I use this blog as a memory keeping aid so here goes.

I offered to drive halfway to Seattle to return my sister-in-law’s dogs that we had been watching while they moved. Since I was headed through Sacramento and couldn’t find a deep cycle AGM battery anywhere in my small community, I emailed ATC about it. They said come on by. I cannot possibly say enough good things about the service this small factory does in aftermarket assistance. Most companies wash their hands of you once they’ve got your money. These guys go above and beyond. Quick in and out replacement. Once again very glad my policy is to maintain a clear aisle at all times. Didn’t have to move anything but the couch cushion to make the repair.

I got a site at Valley of the Rogue again. Not exciting but predictable. We spent a wonderful evening in their motel room catching up.

The next morning, I started heading down 199 to begin my coastal vacation down highway one. But I got a message from my mother that I needed to come home to Long Beach. My dad has stage four lung cancer. So I powered my way down highway 5 instead.

I have never seen so little snow on Mount Shasta. California will be in bad shape if we don’t get rain soon. And the smoke from Redding to Stockton was horrible because of the Camp fire that destroyed Paradise last week.

I was fine driving the full 12 hours although it is a boring road even in daylight, but I got a call from my husband worried about me. He thought I was letting my worry cloud my judgment (he didn’t know I was totally enjoying a book on CD). He asked me to pull over at the next hotel. I was on I5 just south of Bakersfield, the black hole of nothingness. I promised him I would (not too nicely, either). Imagine my surprise when the next exit had a little brown recreation sign with camping. It said four miles to Buena Vista Lake. I was lucky to find a lakeside site at 9:00 pm on a Saturday two hours from Los Angeles. I am a Christian so I don’t call it luck but Divine providence. I popped up and got a good nights sleep. Until 3:30 when the propane ran out. It made some different clicking noises trying to light the furnace. So I got up and drove the rest of the way “home”.

I will use the camper in my parents driveway since there are not enough beds for everybody. Yes, I have time to create this blog entry while sitting at the hospital. It takes forever to get discharged. But praise the Lord they are letting him come home.


Southern Utah Fall October 5, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Destinations — Sierrashadow @ 1:56 am

I wanted to see some color so I headed over 120 and straight across Nevada to Utah. The first day was pure power driving. Kershaw Ryan State Park was my destination. Nevada is one very sparsely populated state. I have never spent much time there since my vacation time was in summer. I may have to rectify that. I think I was near Area 51 but didn’t see any aliens except for plastic ones.

The next day was gorgeous with the red rocks and yellow aspen. I pulled into Cedar Breaks but there was no parking so I didn’t really see it from the rim, but here it is from below.

Then they show you the grand staircase from the top. Better to view from below but still very pretty.

Just before you enter Bryce Canyon from the West is Red Rock Canyon. You get a better view from below this time, and I can include my baby.

That is just a foretaste of the wildly ornate, incomparable Bryce Canyon.

People with better cameras than I get fabulous shots but even just a cell phone works when the subject is this beautiful.

The next day I went to Kodachrome State Park. I must admit I was humming that all day long. Pretty in a different way.

I try to record my lunch stops when the view is like this.

Then off to Zion where I hoped to be after the crowds, but it was still a zoo. Hour long waits for shuttle buses. But at least I snagged a campsite by getting there at 10:30 in the morning.

It was threatening rain and flash flood, but turned out to be just perfect weather. It did rain that evening, but just lightly. I love the sound of rain on the roof of my safe and secure little Bobcat.

Then I drove straight through to Long Beach to see the parents. I haven’t been to Vegas in 30 years and from what I saw from the highway, I won’t be back. Huge!!!

Another wonderful wander accomplished.