Williams or Bust

May 22, 2017

We wound up leaving Las Vegas a day later than expected because we were both exhausted and felt like we needed on more day of down time. As such, we embarked for Williams Arizona Saturday morning.

I thought it might be fun to shoot a time-lapse dash came video of our leaving Las Vegas bound for our new home (yet to be found) in the Williams, AZ area. Here’s the time lapse video:

Leaving Las Vegas
Leaving Las Vegas

We arrived at our first camp site - what we call home base - in Kaibab National Forest just North of Williams off of SR-64. This will be home for the next two weeks.

Home base consists of our tent trailer and a white easy-up that doubles as our shower and cook area. I prefer to cook away from the tent trailer as dropped scraps and the smell of food will attract animals.

Home Base Front

Home Base Front View

Home Base Back

Home Base Back View

Speaking of animals, we had a pack of coyotes come in close to camp. At 2:30 am, they started howling, waking Judy, Joy, and I up. I yelled, “shut up with yer shuttin’ up, ya dang noisy neighbors!!!” That shut them up and we fell back to sleep.

For power, I’ve set up three 100 Watt solar panels, feeding into a charge controller that charges three large 12V AGM batteries in parallel. While we have an inverter for 120VAC, we rarely use it because I’ve adapted all of our electronics to run directly from battery, including our laptops and portable cell tower. In the future, I’ll create a tutorial on how my solar power plant is setup.

Solar Panels

Three 100 Watt Solar Panels Power Home Base

We’re dry camping, which means there is no water, electricity, or dumping stations available. For water, we have a 19 gal. water tank on the trailer and a 25 gal. water tank on the rack of the truck. When we run to town, we fill up the water tank on the truck and use it to refill the tank on the trailer with some left over for showers and dish washing.

Water Tank

19 gal. Water Tank on Tent Trailer

Water Tank

25 gal. Water Tank on Truck Rack

There’s some weak 4G cellular coverage in the area but the signal levels are too low to be useful for high speed Internet. I built my portable cellular booster tower some 10 years ago. It’s too old to use the 4G frequencies so we're having to connect to a 3G tower which provides slower Internet access. I’ve ordered a new amplifier and antenna that will give us reliable 4G coverage around home base. It will be arriving in Flagstaff tomorrow. If anyone’s interested in building a portable cellular booster, I’ll make a tutorial on it in the near future.

Portable Tower

Portable Cellular Booster Tower


Bidirectional Amplifier for Cellular Booster

The amplifier is mounted upsdide down. It doesn't seem to care.

We’ll make a run into Flagstaff on Wednesday to pick up the new amplifier and antenna and also to meet with our real estate agent. I’ve put together an “A” list of preferred properties, and a “B” list, just in case we don’t find anything on the “A” list that interests us.

I wanted to put the drone in the air today to shoot a bird’s eye view of home base and the surrounding area. Unfortunately, it’s been too windy today. Oh well, it will make for another blog post.

If there’s anything that you’re interested in that you want me to cover, photograph, or video, leave a comment and I’ll try to get it done if it is reasonable. I look forward to your comments below.

More Later...

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