We are home at last. The trip was wonderful, aside from the bouts of nefarious infection that Jodi and I had to combat. The weather was as good as we have ever experienced for a winter desert trip. The first week was cold, with one morning Django's water bowl being frozen solid, but after that...puurrrrfect. We did two backpacking trips, just one night out due to the water load penalty most desert backcountry requires. What follows is a selection of pictures from the wild Southwest.
Here are a few shots of the good ship Tundra. This is a special purpose vehicle that we only use for these sorts of trips, and the camper is always left on. There is a 75 watt solar panel fixed on the roof, but we found with the low angle of the winter sun, the charging of the battery was inadequate, so as you will see, I set up a 54 watt additional panel that rides under the bed when not in use, but when we're parked, I can shift it about to maximize charging. The key issue for us is that we run a 12 volt compressor refrigerator--no propane units for us. We've had too many problems with these in the past, often hard to light, don't function well or at all if the rig is parked on a slant, etc. The new unit functions beautifully. The LCD screen on the voltage regulator died later in the trip, so I've got to get that replaced.
Backpacking in the desert--a delight! I carried seven quarts of water, Jodi, five, and Django, two, and this left us with plenty for the over night trips. We camped in places of perfect silence--well, except for that F18 in the Mojave.
Until the next adventure, get out there!