LET ME SPLAIN FIRST. Then today's story.
Yesterday I mentioned that we were going to stay at Gobernador,NM for the night but we didn't because we didn't have cell service. Back in those days we stilled stayed in RV parks occasionally or we were at shoots plugged in to electricity. Gas was cheap and the Onan generator was a workhorse. We could run it 12-14 hours for $7-8 worth of gas. When we were on the move we just stayed wherever, if we had cell service. I knew nothing of Satellite internet or VOIP phone service.
Communication was a must, in case there was and emergency issue with Jeanie.I was very confident that I could handle almost any emergency issue that developed. But "WHAT IF", and this is one of the very few occasions that I can justify "WHAT IF". My Dad was one of those "WHAT IF guys", I think his life was ruled by worrying about "WHAT IF." Rant over with and back to the story. "WHAT IF".I Fell in the shower, had a heart attack, or otherwise suddenly became disabled?
If Jeanie was in bed she would just be stuck there, with no way to get help, food, water or go to the bathroom. If She was in her wheelchair, she would be in a little better shape. She would be able to get to food and water and maybe the CB radio. It was not a pleasant thing to think about but we needed to deal with it. So "WHAT IF" the worse came to the worse?. Someone would find 2 decomposed bodies in Jeanie's Bottle. So we always parked where we had cell service and we always had our cell phones within reach, and still do today.
Fast forward 2 years to July '06 Amarillo, Texas. The above described situation was something that was always in the back of my mind. Before we started our '06 trip we bought Satellite internet/TV/ from Steve and Collen Neal at Midwestern Satellite and Technology in Lebanon, Indiana.
We looked at several Satellite systems, compared the service you get and the complaints from the users. We found Starband was by far the most trouble free system. Then we looked for a dealer. After talking with several,Steve and Colleen Neal were our choice. They never disappointed us. In 2006 I had one problem. Steve told me to call 24/7, so I did the problem was operator error. BTW they have a sale going now I think. If I recall correctly it is $99 for the whole system except the tri pod. email@example.com
Steve also builds computers. We ask him to build Jeanie a space saving cube gaming computer in 2007. It cost between1/2 and 2/3 as much as others were asking. It has been trouble free. Needless to say we highly recommend Steve and Colleen and Starband for all your satellite/ computer needs.
After I had set the dish up 3-4 times, I could set it up and have Jeanie on the internet in 10 minutes. We also got VOIP phone service. When we didn't have cell service, we would leave the computer on and set the phone next to the bed. I dont know if we covered all our bases or not because we never had to use it but it sure took a load off my mind.
While I am side tracked and not getting on down the road like I should be I might as well tell you about one another safety feature I installed on Jeanie's Bottle. A LED Red flashing light like School Buses use and a Loud alarm on each side of Jeanie's Bottle. I put a switch at Jeanie's computer desk and clipped one to her pillow.
As I was mounting these on the sides of Jeanie's Bottle . It occurred to me that If she needed to use these lights and alarm it would not be about her , It would be about me. I couldn't help but chuckle. I went in and ask Jeanie if she had Realized that if she had to use all this stuff, that it would be because I was having a crisis not her. Her answer was I knew that all along, You can take good care of me. I gave her a kiss and hug and went back to work :-)
I have sent more than enough time setting here splaing and chatting with Juan Valdez when I should have been getting on down the road Rewind to July 26, 2004
We Drove the 30 or so miles into Shiprock,NM. Shiprock is the Junction OF U.S.64 and U.S. 666 which was later changed to U.S. 491. Back in the 60's and early 70's it truly was a Devil of a highway, I had a couple of stories to tell Jeanie about my experiences driving the devil's highway on the way to 4 Corners
We crossed the Arizona state line on U.S.64 to the junction of U.S.160 and turned North to 4 corners. I tried to get Jeanie to buy a survivor but she wanted a rock.She loved to collect a small rock from the places we had been. According to the signs posted everywhere, everything from rocks to twigs to rabbit poop was protected, but with due diligence we managed to find her an unprotected small rock
A wheel in each state
At the junction of U.S, 160 and Colorado state road 41 which becomes Utah state road 262. Ship rock on the distant horizon.
We crossed into Utah and took a short break for a snack just East of Aneth. When We got ready to go the batteries on Jeanie's bottle wouldn't turn the engine over. Now what the heck? these batteries were just about 6 months old. This was not a big problem, I started the generator and got out my battery charger. When I took the battery cover off to my surprise I found not 4 new batteries that I had paid the shop to put in but 3 used batteries. Not a lot I can do about that out here in the middle of nowhere,I started the batteries charging and the rain came.
We were parked at a scenic turnout at the bottom of a little dip in the road. off to our right were these beautiful Rock formations ,as far as the eye could see.
They became even more beautiful as the rain ran off of the top and down the side, they changed color. We were enjoying Mother Nature's show to the fullest for about an hour. Suddenly I realized that rock don't soak up water and that there was going to be a lot of water that needed to go somewhere, and that somewhere was about where we were setting.
I Put the battery charger on boost and pushed the starter button, She started, yea for Jeanie's Bottle. I unhooked the charger and turned the generator off and just as we got ready to pull away I took the above picture out of the wheelchair lift access door.
Notice the tiny stream of water at the bottom middle of the picture and about 1/3 of the way up on the right side the tiny stream is about 20 feet wide. A mini Flash flood, we didn't stick around to see how big or small it was going to be.We drove about 20 more miles to Bluff and called it a day, it rained off and on most of the night.
Tomorrow: Beautiful rock formations and fine melons
I plan to have a good day, I hope you will Join me.
Thanks for coming by to check on us.