Archive for July, 2008

Gettin’ hitched

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Getting hitched is not to be taken lightly. It’s serious business, and a time to reflect on what’s really important, and then to act in a correct, determined and focussed manner to assure a successful and happy outcome.

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Not doing it correctly could lead to problems.  I’ll ‘fess up. Shortly after hitching up, I slowly pulled the trailer forward a few inches and felt and heard the thud of the hitch jack as it moved off of the thin wood pad onto the concrete driveway. I had forgotten to raise the electric jack. Fortunately, no harm was done, but it scared me into thinking about how to prevent what could be a costly omission in the future.

Early on, I developed a number of trailer protocols and checklists (including hitching and unhitching). But as time went on, I tended to do, what were becoming to be, “routine tasks” by rote. But all it takes is one brief distraction and a critical step could be omitted. So this season, I have built into my routine a way of reminding me to do certain critical tasks. For example, when I’m about to hitch up, I remove all of the specific tools and items required from the hitch box at the outset. When each task is done, the related tool goes back into the hitch box. The trailer is not moved until all tools and items are back in the box, and we both do a walk-around inspection, and check lights and signals.

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Four of my essential tools seen in the above photo remind me to do certain things. The stabilizer crank reminds me to raise the stabilizers (done first when hitching up). Next to that is the tool that helps me to place the Equal-i-zer sway bars onto the brackets on the A-frame. The rubber mallet reminds me to knock off the jack foot when the electric hitch is raised. And the wheel chock wrench reminds me to remove the chocks.

Other useful items seen in this picture include the Husky Universal Coupler Lock #39594, rubber cover for the greasy hitch ball, tube of white lithium grease, and Gojo Natural Orange Pumice Hand Cleaner (which comes in handy with all that grease around).

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Those Equal-i-zer sway bars also get greasy, so Larry made lightweight tubes for them when they are not in use.

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Also seen in the above picture is the flag pole stand under the jack post. We often use this stand under campsite tables as well.

So that’s how we get hitched… oh, there is one more view

In the meantime, during these dog days of summer, we’ll stay home and enjoy the house air conditioning. (Our local state beach campgrounds are mostly booked until after Labor Day, when we plan to return to our favorite beach campground.)

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We will use the time to catch up on various projects, including playing and listening to the ukulele.

Summer flowers and turkeys…

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Or Getting Cereus. So after a strong cup of coffee, I was off to hunt turkeys and flowers in the Cuyamaca Mountains.

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With shooting equipment in hand, I quietly approached the direction of turkeys gobbling in the brush. A turkey hen and her poults emerged in the sunlight.

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300 of these Rio Grande Turkeys were introduced here in 1993. There are now up to 20,000 or more in the area.

I continued my morning hunt in William Heise County Park for wildlife or at least wild flowers, and was rewarded by the Lavender Monkey-Flower

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and the Wild Rose, Rosa virginiana

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A festive meal, prepared by Larry, of pork-shrimp bean curd skin rolls, served with beignets rounded off the day. See his cooking page on our web site Dim Sum Safari Express.
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We hitched up and returned home in time to see the Queen of the Night, the Night-Blooming Cereus (Cereus greggii) profusely bursting with sweetly fragrant blooms during the night of Summer Solstice.

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I then sat back and listened to turkey-in-the straw as I contemplated my next article, “Getting hitched”.

About the Author

BILL, along with partner, Larry, were first-time RV'ers when they purchased their custom-ordered 23' 2007 Airstream Safari SE. Bill (a retired RN) and Larry (a retired pediatric Occupational Therapist) enjoy bringing history alive in the area of San Diego, CA.