Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The 2014 Recompence Knit Project

This year we are going to make a quick knit hat, one that even our brand new knitters can finish in a few hours. If you want to learn to knit, this is a great first project. We will have a bit of extra yarn and needles available for you to try if you aren't sure about jumping in. For those of you knitting along, the materials list is below.

The Pattern is "Super Bulky Button Hat" found free on Ravelry.com. I will have printed copies available.

Bulky yarns are those that average around .50 to .60 yards per gram.  Test hats were made in two colors but one color is fine. Test hats used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick and Lion Brand Hometown USA. Both are yarns easily found at Joann's and Walmart. Other similar yarns are at Michaels. These yarns are lower cost and contain acrylic. Most good yarn shops will carry much better yarns such as Malabrigo and Juniper Farms, natural fiber yarns. Get what you are comfortable with -two skeins in different colors. 

Needle - I used a 24" number 11 circular needle. I did not need to use double pointed needles though I will have a set to use at Recompence for those who don't have them. Size 13 as called for in the pattern made the hat way too big. 

I'll have a skein of yarn that we can cut loops for stitch markers, scissors and needles for sewing on a button if you wish. This hat has a decorative large button on the side - optional of course. 

Let's have fun and get warm heads. 

Monday, September 08, 2014

We traded Chalet truck campers !!!

We took the opportunity to trade truck campers as we are spending more and more time on the road and a little more space was available. We stayed with Chalet and went from a double to a triple slide. It's been a lot of fun cleaning out the "stuff" and winnowing it down a bit. It does accumulate. The new triple is all packed and ready for the road. The 2011 Chalet Double Slide is at Truck Camper Warehouse in W. Chesterfield, NH on consignment. Those of you who camp with us know what great shape the camper is in and how much care we took of it. Lots of photos below for those of you interested in going up in size. Our F-350 dually handled this camper with no strain over tens of thousands of miles.

Entry and kitchen side of double slide


Long storage under dinette

Onan Generator and dump valve area

Two 30 pound propane tanks

Barn storage


Tanks and access panel to heated basement area
 Entry door

Kitchen with sink island

 Kitchen cabinets

 Counter and storage drawers

 Sink Island

 Under sink
Bathroom door

 Medicine cabinet and shower

 Storage in dry  bathroom

 Right side of bed

 Storage by  left side bed

View with TV turned View towards front of camper
 Storage behind TV
 Dinette with under storage

 Entry cabinet and bath door

 DSI Dometic refrigerator

 Fantastic Fan

 2000K Inverter plug

 Radio/DVD/CD player

 Solar controller

Sunday, May 25, 2014

May 23 to May 25 Oklahoma to Bull Shoals Arkansas

May 23 to May 25 Oklahoma to Bull Shoals Arkansas

We hated to leave the peaceful Corps of Engineers camp but the East calls and we are wandering on. You forget when you live in an eastern state, that even though everyone thinks we are rural, it isn't more than a half hour to a store for groceries, bookstore etc. In the western states you can easily drive several hours before a larger city appears. The roads here are, for the most part, in much better condition and better maintained then the east. Of course there is a lot less traffic to wear them out and the freeze/thaw cycle is shorter but the roads are a joy. Another nice thing about trucking through the west are the diesel prices. We thought of our camping friend Roy often with all the signs with "Cherokee Nation" in them.

We crossed Oklahoma mainly on Route 412, a red road though we did take the interstate through Tulsa, a big sprawling city. The roads in OK are long and flat and for the most part empty except for oil trucks picking up from the little derricks which are in most every field.

We had tried calling quite a few OK and AR state parks plus Corps of Engineers to see if there were a space to be had. It's not a good thing to not have a reservation over Memorial Day weekend. Our luck hit again and Bull Shoals State Park near Flippin, Arkansas had a cancellation. The fellow who answered the phone asked if we played the lottery as he didn't believe our luck. He had just hung up from a four day cancellation. And yes there is a Flippin, AR. Gave us an extra 150 miles of driving on narrow, hilly back roads to get there but it is worth it. We've been traveling long and hard and needed "down time".

The Corp of Engineers manages the White River and the dam is huge. It's a bit disconcerting to know the state campground is on the down side of the dam. The dam releases water for power generation and all day the river rises and falls. You can tell when a release is coming as all the local fishermen move to higher ground.

Exhausted we just crashed and slept a great night with the sound of the river beside us. The state park is one of the best we have ever been in. There are about 100 sites but spread out well, all along the river. It is immaculate and I would highly recommend staying here. A ranger told us that several years ago the state added a half cent tax which goes directly and solely to the state parks. There are 52 parks in Arkansas. Lucky citizens to have so many and so well managed.

Today, the 24th, we have mostly walked a bit around the park, not done the hiking trails back to the dam yet. I read and knitted; Joe read and had a great time talking to the local fishermen. We mostly hung around the camper doing some cleanup and maintenance, cooked and rested. Tomorrow we'll walk the trails, rest a bit more and then head east on Monday. As the temperature starts to drop, a fog starts to form on the river. It never got over 85F today and is now down to 70F. Want to bet this is a good sleeping night again?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May 21 Bandelier National Historic Monument

May 21 Bandelier National Historic Monument

Up early on a crystal clear day after a sound sleep with no one around us even owls. This isn't a crowded time of year but we are still body time East Coast so are up and going early.

Usually I research the places we visit but I hadn't done that for Bandelier. What a shock to find what we did. We didn't expect the extent of the  ruins which rival Chaco Canyon but there are more of them easily accessible. Again we were the only people walking through these early Indian ruins and had the place to ourselves. 


This part of the site has paved paths with sandstone steps and wooden ladders. It is quite accessible and has interpretive signs all along the way. The park service also loans out a pamphlet with a history write up to read as you get to sections of the site. I personally think that one of the best parts of our government is the Park Service.

You don't realize the size of what you have walked through until you see the ruins from above. There were about 100 people living in that pueblo circle plus more buildings up against the cliff walls.

Walked out, we went on to Los Alamos and the Bradbury Science Museum. Learned a lot about the Manhattan Project and how the entire town of Los Alamos was built for the Army in secret. We decided to skip Taos this time and moved on to Route 64 through some pretty tight curves at over 9,000 feet and into Cimarron, NM. This is part of the Santa Fe trail scenic byway and follows the early western cattle drives.

Too long on the road today and finally ended up at Clayton Lake State Park, glad to put the old feet up and rest a bit. We've turned east and will gradually head home having met our major goal of Big Bend National Park.