Saturday, January 11, 2020

Another errand, another view of Picacho Peak and Varmints in the camp

Friday, January 10

Left camp soon after 7AM to ride Fiona, my '99 Ural the 30 miles to the Ina Road Harbor Freight Tools in the northern portion of the Tucson Metro area.  I was exchanging the solar panel set I'd just exchanged on Thursday as it had not worked out of the box!

Boy, it was cold riding in the early morning darkness, waiting for the sun to come out and warm things up a bit.  I found myself warming my gloved hands on Fiona's engine's jugs, one hand alternating with the other on the throttle to keep going.

To their continued credit Harbor Freight didn't even ask a question, simply did the exchange paperwork and I was out of there in less than 10 minutes.  This time, I deployed the panels in the parking space used by Fiona and ensure everything worked before packing it all up and uraling it all back home.

Rest of the day was spent setting up the new panels and monitoring their workings.  I'd been operating under some wrong assumptions re the charge controller.  Bottom line, you really can't force a charging mode, it'll do it its own way. 

Once the panels were set and charging the URRV's house battery; I took Fiona on a different errand to the Shell Gas Station on Picacho Peak Road and filled up both Fiona and the 5 Gallon spare gas can.  Also picked up a small one gallon gas can for Yagi's use, since I keep leaving the one I have back home in the garage.

Prior to returning with Fiona and the gasoline, I stopped near the junction of the eastbound side of the I-10 Frontage Road and Park Link Road and got these pictures of Fiona:

 Picacho Peak

Relaxed the rest of Friday at camp.

Here's a view of Friday's sunset from inside the URRV:

Saturday, January 11

Warm and sunny, though still quite brisk on Fiona as it was only in the mid-40s when I rode out east on Park Link Road to check out the sights at the Catalina State Park.

Saw a sign pointing to the Biosphere 2 project under the University of Arizona so I detoured the six miles to see if I could pose Fiona with it's interesting looking buildings in the background.  No such luck, its situate in such a location that you have to pay the entry fee ($14) even if all you want to do is take a picture.

So, here's a picture of a poster sign outside the entrance:

Fiona and I then headed down towards Catalina which turned out to be basically strip malls, big box stores and nothing at all picture-worthy in my mind.  The nearby Catalina mountains were not being lit well by the late morning sun and so I kept going to the city of Oro Valley.

Nothing but another mess of "civilization" with clusters of houses cluttering up the hillsides of the nearby mountains.  Again, no pictures.

Heading back North, finally stopped and paid the $7 fee to enter the Catalina State Park.  The mountains within seemed promising but again, no pictures.  It's basically another hiking park and its proximity to Tucson and it being a Saturday meant the trail head parking lots were jammed with cagers.

So, I left soon after and retraced my route back to the BLM camp area. 

Puttered on Fiona for a bit, she keeps blowing a fuse which affect the ignition system but found no bare spots on the wire involved with the fuse that keeps blowing.  The wire is the one that provides 12 volts to the ignition key assembly so perhaps something under the tank? 

Rest of the day was spent enjoying the sun, reading my e-book and watching the varmints that live by my campsite. 

I shot the pics of the varmints with the telephoto lens from within the URRV, am pretty sure they would have rushed into their underground homes if they'd seen me walking near them.


SonjaM said...

Cute neighbors, Dom. I hope they don't nibble on the brake lines or other accessible cables below the camper van when you're gone. We have critters here that do such things.

redlegsrides said...

Cute but yeah, can be trouble....a similar varmint stole Patrick’s binkie when he was just a baby on host first camping trip!

Oz said...

I enjoy seeing critters, but sometimes they can be a problem. I was curious about the biosphere so I looked at it on google maps satellite images. Pretty big complex. Glad your solar panels are working now.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Oz, apparently one can spend most of a day walking through the exhibits and such within the Biosphere, and I just didn’t have enough interest.

Bluekat said...

ha! Good thing the critters are so cute since they’re such troublemakers. Sorry the good scenes were elusive. That’s how it goes sometimes.

redlegsrides said...

Indeed Bluekat, indeed.