Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I had a few comments to my blog yesterday wondering about the lack of electricity at Lassen.  I have never found it to be a problem, as when I spent the summer of 2009 there I lived in my 5th wheel and ran the generator once a day, which allowed me to dry my hair and use a few other appliances.

Last year I camped for a week at Lassen, and then went back for about a week when I stayed in the ranger cabin, where I will be living this coming summer.  I don't find lack of TV to be a problem, as it is only since I was feeling unwell this past fall and winter that I got used to turning on the TV.  There are so few channels I watch and I might miss them for a few days, but I actually look forward to getting unhooked from TV.  I certainly won't miss the stupid commercials!

The cabin is run by propane:  water heater, furnace, kitchen appliances, and lighting.  There are light fixtures in every room, but they give off a soft glow rather than bright light.  My reading is usually done outdoors sitting in a camp chair.  Each day I gather tinder for the campfire, which is lying on the ground everywhere you turn.  I bring a good supply to the campfire area and sort it as to size; last year the camp host had chopped some of the larger wood into nice campfire size logs, but most of them were used by the end of the season.  I have thought about buying a small hatchet - I would probably hurt myself with an axe - but don't even trust my hatchet skills.  I'm hoping to find some kind of saw I can easily handle.  I don't need the huge logs favored by most males as I like to build an "Indian fire", keeping it small and manageable, and easier to douse when I retire for the evening.

There are always people to talk to, as many of them park their vehicles in front of the cabin when they hike up the Cinder Cone volcano or into the back country, and I jot down their license numbers and time they leave so as to keep track of who is out there.  I answer lots of questions, give advice, and the usual general chat.  This year I think they want me to open the office in the cabin to the public to sell topo maps, etc.  That will provide me with enough human contact while ensuring I enjoy the solitude of my evenings.

As when I was camp hosting with my RV in 2009 and my short stint last year, I spend most of my time outdoors where I can see everything that is going on, while enjoying the wildlife - tiny ground squirrels and chipmunks, and lots of birds.  I never tire of leaning back and looking up at the trees sway in the breeze, and it is much more relaxing than watching TV which is intended to stimulate.  In between relaxing and doing next to nothing, I make several rounds of the campground (about 100 camp sites spread out in two loops) each day.  I will get two days off each week, although to keep the paperwork accurate I will probably make a round of the C/G early in the morning before leaving the area to get groceries, fuel, beverages, and sightseeing, and then if I feel like it, make another round of the camp sites in the late afternoon.  I walk the round in the morning and use the golf cart most other times.  I always go to bed shortly after dark.

So you see, I don't need TV or electricity to enjoy life, and a good supply of books will keep me occupied when I feel like reading.  As for the internet, I had an appointment today to visit the Apple Store where I hoped to get my laptop refurbished.  It turns out that it would cost a bit more than buying a new MacbookPro, but the 13" model (my ruined one was 15").  I ended up buying the 13" laptop and have just set it up, although I need to get a device called a "sled" so I can move some of my old programs over to the new computer.  Just dealing with userids and passwords has me opening a can of beer at 3:30 in the afternoon, and you can probably hear my bad language all the way to Texas!

So the bottom line is that I will have a laptop that is lightweight and easy to carry, but I will need to take it to a place that I can plug in to a power source.  That's likely to be a laundromat, and there are two of those in Old Station which is about 17 miles from the campground.  Also I'm sure I can find someplace to plug in when I need to get groceries at one of the larger towns in the area, about 50 miles.  So I am planning to add to a blog entry each evening running the computer on battery power, and then publishing the entry all at once when I can plug into electric power.  Should work very well.

I will decide at a later date if I want to keep the iMac or sell it.  It is a beautiful computer but just too large for me and not easily transported.  For a person with a computer station and electric outlet it would be great.

As I was leaving for the Apple Store I passed a house just down the road that had 6 dinette chairs sitting outside with a "Free" sign on them.  I took 4 of them, which is probably more than I really have room for, but it was too good to pass up.  They have a chrome base and tan leather seats.  I'll try to post a picture in the near future.  Now I still would like to get a table and put the current one back into the kitchen.  I'd like a long narrow table that I can slide against the wall under the window, that doesn't take up too much space.  Pictures will definitely be coming soon.


  1. I think this summer is going to be a great one for you. Sure am looking forward to your posts from Lassen.

  2. Sounds like you got it all planned out. When do you start?

  3. Gee, Gypsy, you make me feel OLD!
    You're so cranked up and ready to go! I think you'll have a fun time at Lassen. And we will, too, 'cause we get to go with you.
    Hope your new laptop serves you well, and No, I didn't hear you in TX. Glad to hear you got some new chairs. They'll come in handy when your kids come to visit.

  4. Guess I misunderstood the no electricity thing. I assumed it was a cabin with the bare essentials. My mind didn't click onto the propane source running things. It would have been the lack of hot morning showers that would have bugged me the most. I feel exactly the same way you do about television. If I want to get myself all stirred up all's I have to do is turn on the television. Lassen sounds like just the right thing for you. A change, a challenge & a chance to sharpen up some good old happy camping skills again.....

  5. I have a cheap folding campers saw that is just the item for sawing small limbs etc for fires. It folds up like a jack knife only bigger.

  6. They have book lights at the dollar stores that seem to last a long time. They give off great light. You might want to pick a few up for cloudy or rainy days. Even RV0777 picked one up the other day showed it on his blog.

  7. This all sounds wonderful to me. I don't watch tv. Haven't for years and I honestly think it contributes to one's happiness not to. The programming other than PBS is mostly stupid and the news is designed to pit us against each other or make us afraid. Your plans sound great. You are going to have a such a fine time there. Can't wait to hear about it.

  8. TV? Don't need it. Commercials? I hate them. The simple life in a cabin? That's my kind of life.

  9. I've lived a couple of times by propane only, and it powered everything in the house. It was a regular house with all the outlets available for hair dryers, computers, etc. I ran a business out of one of them.

    Lots of people out in the country use propane only for their heating/electricity. Is this not the same situation in the little house you will have? It was nice when the electricity went out, the propane was not affected, and with a gas stove and two wood stoves, I was always toasty warm, able to cook and keep everything going even during heavy snow storms.