First, my apologies, friends, for the months that have slipped by. Miss Trilly has been parked in the driveway since January 8th, the day we returned from our very wonderful Southwest Road Trip. She is merely biding time until April, when we tow her to the Summer Palace in Oregon. We, on the other hand, are enjoying warm Spring days doggedly working on various projects. There remains much to do before we head north. Clark has engaged himself in building an HHO system for Zuzu. He is very intrigued by the prospect of increasing gas mileage and engine power by generating hydrogen gas under the hood. Inspired by a bloke we met in Pahrump, Nevada, he researched the details and located the required components. He is nearly ready to complete the installation. As for me, my time initially was soaked up organizing our photos and completing a website focused on our last three years of land travel. Now I am collecting loose ends and getting back to things that were put aside while I finished the website (begun last winter!).
We thoroughly enjoyed traveling with Miss Trilly! It is hard to express how pleased we are with everything she is. We encountered very few issues, a propane leak (yes, again) being one of them. Finding the source was difficult. We did find that one of the new valves in the stove was leaking. Fortunately, I remembered where I had stowed the old valves and Clark exchanged it. Still, propane was getting away from us for the duration of the trip. We elected to buy an extra tank, which is how we found ourselves at Shoshone Propane in Pahrump. A 1999 Isuzu Trooper just like ours drove in right behind Zuzu. Its driver called us over to show off what was under the hood–an HHO system that he had built. He raved about the enhanced performance. As a result of this encounter, we will be driving an HHO Trooper soon. Back in California, Clark spent days tracing propane leaks in the trailer. There were several. He ended up replacing all the flare fittings and installing a solenoid valve to turn the gas off at the stove when we aren’t using it.
I am excited about a certain delicate topic (if one can be excited about such a thing) in which a few of you may be interested. We have been using a composting toilet on our boat since we launched in 2004. We would not consider using anything else. It works great and we never dump effluent into the water. Miss Trilly is graced with a porta-potty, which most small trailers her size lack. I love not having to traipse to a campground facility or squat in the woods. However, a portable toilet has a very small capacity, which limits our time away from a proper dump station. To solve this problem, we are designing and building a micro-size composter that will replace the water-filled porta-potty. We nearly had it ready to go before the Fall Road Trip, but were missing the urine diverting part. For the trip, we reduced the amount of liquid going into the portable toilet by using a 97-cent long-nosed funnel in partnership with a 1.2-gallon flexible plastic bag with screwcap. This bottle is similar to the flexible drinking bottles you may have seen, but is larger and has a base which spreads to support the bottle. Its built-in carry handle makes it easy to transport to a nearby shrub. The flexible bottle will become part of Miss Trilly’s composting toilet next Fall. It will be a marked improvement over the porta-potty. I also bought a GoGirl, which goes with me on hikes. We keep a second flexible bottle/long-nosed funnel in Zuzu.
We did not want our journey with Miss Trilly to end. She was a perfect lady! Clark and I are already looking forward to more distant destinations, Southeast Alaska perhaps, with our sweet gal following closely behind Zuzu. This trip, we made it to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon (our first time!) and to several areas we had not yet visited. We reveled in the luxury of propane heat, a comfy bed, a convenient galley, and solar power for our lights and for charging the iPad and cameras. The large windows are wonderful–we often found ourselves lounging on the bed and contentedly gazing at the view. We are totally pleased with the size and ease of Towing Miss Trilly! Regretfully, fellow travelers, I cannot devote more time and attention just now to recounting the details of our Southwest Wanderings. In place of my personal narrative, please visit our website… Winters Are for Wandering–2013. May all your journeys be as wonderful as your dreams!
Happy Vernal Equinox!
9ah & Clark