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Posts tagged ‘Weaselmouth’

In Search Of Relaxation and Improved Showers

Home for the next two nights

Home for the next two nights

Following a hearty breakfast with Gene and Sandy, Kelly and I begun what will be a week-long crawl back towards home base in Half Moon Bay.  This past week with Kelly parents and their respective spouses was great and we both are definitely glad we made the long drive this way.

One upside of this lengthy journey is that our location now affords ample opportunity to visit places new to us and even better – not overrun with hustle and bustle one will find elsewhere.  In fact, based largely on the glowing reviews of our pals over at WeaselMouth, we’ve gone out of our way to be out of the way … stopping for two days at the BLM campground Painted Rock Petroglyph.

Our destination today is only about 100 miles southwest of the hustle and bustle metropolis wherein we awoke this morning, but the area lies squarely in the midst of nowhere – just about perfect for our wants at the moment.  If you ever decide to visit the area, you’ll know you’re getting close once you pass the Space Age Lodge in Gila Bend, AZ … about 11 miles away.

Hotels rooms are out of this world

Hotels rooms are out of this world

Our campground is nothing more than a huge chunk of land – probably a few hundred acres in size and offers no amenities, less a picnic table and fire pit.  For many with RV’s this types of dry camping is not appealing, but for Kelly and me (and a few others here), these primitive campsites are just what we need to recharge – both mentally and physically.  Of course it helps that our Airstream is pretty self-contained, equipped with just about all the necessities to make for a more than comfortable stay.

Site #6

Site #6

Once we were set-up, we took a little walk – nothing major, but enough for Lilly to stretch her legs a bit and poke her nose into endless holes in hopes that she might come across a critter or two along the way.  (she came away empty-handed)

Lilly, waiting for me

Lilly, waiting for me

Upon returning, I had a simple modification to complete  — replacing the shower head.  I continually hear high praise for the Oxygenics BodySpa shower head and its magical abilities to deliver a quality shower with stingy water usage, so I figured this week in the desert would make for a fitting field test.

Our new shower weapon of choice

Our new shower weapon of choice

Swapping out the previous unit with this new one is about as easy a task as one could expect.  As per my usual cheap frugal self, I opted to save $10 bucks and went with white, not polished, so the new head unit doesn’t match the non-replaced hosing and bracket, but I really don’t care about the fashion of it all.  Rather, I’m far more interested in the water flow – something I’ll test tomorrow.

Function over fashion

Function over fashion

Once the “work” was complete for today, I set my attention towards more interesting matters – like watching the sunset in this beautiful area … Mother Nature’s Fantastic theatre in the sky.

Another fabulous desert sunset

Another fabulous desert sunset

Bittersweet Ending

Mabel basking in the morning sun

Under partly-sunny and beautiful skies, Kelly and I concluded our return to Bainbridge Island today, our first visit since moving away just over a year ago.  It’s been a good week for sure, but the days have passed too quickly and I wish we could stay longer.  It is hard to say goodbye to this place we love.

I must say, our visit has been a real treat for us.  We’ve had many wonderful reunions with friends (and restaurants) across the area.  Being the dork I am, I even delayed some needed purchases until arriving so that I could give the business to my friends over at Wildernest and Poulsbo Running.

I’m definitely glad that we decided to make the trip – all 900 miles one way.  The drive is long, but well worth it in my mind.

One highlight of the trip a was a planned meet-up today with Deke and Tiffani of Weaselmouth fame.  These legendary Airstreamers live in the area and ventured over to Bainbridge for the afternoon.  Both have been super helpful to Kelly and me, patiently tolerating our many emails and phone calls as we navigated our Airstream purchase and it was so cool to finally meet them today.

Of course they are rockstar awesome and Kelly and I absolutely enjoyed their company.

Like us, Deke and Tiffani live full-time in their Airstream but maintain a “home base” location when not traveling.  I’m mentioned before that Airstream ownership brings with it, a strong sense of community and Kelly and I have been welcomed into that extended family.  However, Deke and Tiffani are the first couple we’ve met who live so similarly to us.  That is to say, they do not travel full-time, yet they are choosing to eschew a traditional home for the cozy confines of the Airstream.

Suffice it to say, Kelly and I were so excited to be meeting them and enjoyed sharing stories and exchanging ideas.

Soon enough they had to get going, leaving Kelly and me to begin planning our drive back to Half Moon Bay.  Kelly suggested we pack-up and get a head-start on the drive, which is exactly what we did.  As I type, we are dry camping at the Cabela’s parking lot in Lacy, WA … located about 70 miles south of Bainbridge Island.

Quietly resting at the otherwise giant Cabela’s store

We’re planning an early start tomorrow and will be covering a lot of miles.  I’m hoping to convince Kelly to share the drive duties with me.

Hey, there is a first time for everything.

Sleeping Beauty(rest)

When Kelly and I bought our first RV, there was no dedicated bedroom area.  Consequently, what Winnebago referred to as a bed, I (and I suspect others) referred to as a couch.   A fold-down couch no-less.  It was awful.

Buying the Airstream, I was hopeful that the mattress would be something decent.  I was wrong.  In moving full-time into the Airstream, downsizing from a king size bed was only made worse by the flimsy and wimpy mattress provided us.  After nearly 100 nights, the OEM mattress contained a nice-sized (and rather uncomfortable) crater, offering little to no lumbar support.  Given this situation, there was no doubt that a new mattress was in order.  Unlike a vacation RV, this bed is our primary bed and comfort is paramount – this is one of the items we are not willing to compromise.

One worthless piece of crap

Generally, RV mattresses are not standard size – they are ‘short’ a few inches from those typically found in traditional residential use.  Given this reality, our first decision revolved around whether or not to maintain the ‘short’ dimensions of our queen bed (80″ x-75″) or move to the normal dimensions (80″ x 60″).  While the difference does not sounds material, those five inches matter.

Our bedding is cut to 80″ x 60″, hence is a bit loose and not securely affixed to the ‘short’ mattress.  Secondly, our bedroom is not large – adding an additional five inches of clearance consumes otherwise needed space.

The other primary consideration was whether to have a mattress custom made.  As most RV mattress are junk, anyone wishing to maintain the ‘short’ sizing and a decent mattress must often procure a custom mattress.  This option can be quite expensive, however, in doing so, the buyer gets exactly what s/he wants – not so when buying at a typical mattress store.

Ultimately, we chose to buy a traditionally sized mattress.  We ventured over to Sleeptrain, a local mattress retailer and began the customary action of resting atop a number of purchase candidates.  Ultimately, we chose a very firm Beautyrest affectionally dubbed  the “brick” by the staff.  No matter – Kelly and I both prefer a very firm mattress and while the staff had a bit of fun, the ‘brick’ had Kelly and me at hello.  Like most mattress stores, Sleeptrain had obligatory big sale underway and we scored what we felt was a nice deal (btw – is it just me, or does anyone else notice that only mens clothing store JoS. A. Bank seems to offer more ‘blowout’ sales than the mattress stores?).

With the purchase decision complete, our next order of business was to rebuild our bed platform in order to accommodate the larger  mattress.  It turns out that it is very difficult to find plywood in excess of 48″ wide and when you do, the price is exorbitant.  This presented a problem as we wanted our platform to be 56″ wide.  After a bit of rude sketch work, I landed on a design that would allow for a nice solution … and provide extra scrap wood to be recycled into a small deck outside our door step.  Score.

In the spirit of plan the work, work the plan, that’s exactly how Kelly and I spent our day yesterday.

First order of business – disassemble the existing platform.

The previous platform with slats to allow under mattress airflow

Ample under bed storage

Second, we assembled the new (and, at 3/4″ thicker & heavier) platform.

New platform in place

Once the new platform was on, the final bit of prep was was to complement the slats with small holes to aid in air flow (an idea I completely stole from Tiffany & Deke of Weaselmouth fame).

Kelly working the drill

Final assembly complete, I was curious to visualize the impact of losing those five inches, so I placed the OEM mattress onto the newly constructed longer platform.

A few extra inches

Once this comparison was complete, I unceremoniously finalized the upgrade, surrendering this mattress to the Sleeptrain delivery guys for a proper burial.

Then, it was time to look forward to improved sleep comfort.  But not before first better understanding the loss of those lost five inches.

One tight squeeze.

Finally, project Mattress Upgrade was complete and all was well again.

Lilly and I test driving the new mattress