Archive for July, 2008

SNU Rally Sweetwater Summit July 2009

A rather warm weekend, even at 6800′, made for a good equipment test rally. A few things got fixed, too. As always, good food, good fellowship, scenery that does something to you, and away from it all for a few hours with the Airstream.

See the photo gallery!

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Potluck food safety tips

Hot Hots And Cool Cools Protect Picnics – Cross-Contamination, Bad Temperatures Can Aid Bacteria by Shiloh Woolman, Staff writer at Fox news describes a few things to keep in mind when you want to take the dinner outside.

Temperatures? the 40/140 rule; avoid cross contamination; cook the meat properly; see the article for a number of things to keep in mind to make sure you minimize the risk of an unpleasant day after.

Don’t forget to check the sidebar links: basics Food Safety Smarts and others (many at revolution health – watch out for ads)

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SNU July Newsletter

The July 2008 Newsletter has been posted. see the newsletter index. Links to photo galleries and additional information mentioned in articles in the newsletter can be found there too.

>*>*> News from Bozeman! Check out these pictures

Topics in this newsletter include:
* Portola Rally Report
* July rally at Sweetwater Summit
* The President’s Ramblin’s
* Time to renew or join the SNU for 2009
* Preview of the 2009 rally schedule

>> Thursday July 17 to Sunday July 20, 2008 the SNU will hold it’s rally at Sweetwater Summit, a National Forest Service dispersed camping area between Yerrington and Bridgeport. The area is located on highway 338 in Nevada, which comes out of Bridgeport as California highway 182. If you are heading north on Nevada 338, at the Sweetwater Summit there is a large parking area to the right with a weather gathering station at the south end. There are no facilities. This is a take it in, take it out rally.

>*>*> Just In
Jack Clark says he has a 1999 Bambi 19′ for sale that is in like new condition. The plastic is still covering the rugs on the floor. It has been kept at home and towed less than 1,500 miles. Includes complete Eazy-Lift hitch with sway control. Compare to the cost of a new one and make an offer. Shown by appointment. nvcaped (at)

> Check Zephyrs to find out what else is new on the website


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Fuel Cost Calculating

The download squad took note of some web sites that help you figure your fuel costs on a trip. See Simple but powerful Drivepricing helps calculate gas costs .

With gas prices so high its nice to be able to know how much to put in the piggy bank to save up for the trips you have coming up this summer.

The references are to Drivepricing and The comments include other links.

These sites would be more valuable if they not only used your fuel use rate on trips but also your fuel tank capacity. Then they could figure optimum fuel stops and calculate costs based on current local pricing. That may be in someone’s thinking for the future.

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Sweetwater planning, weather forecasts

If you plan to head out to the Sweetwater Summit rally and are looking at the thermometer in the current hot spell, weather comes to mind.

The Nevada Road Weather Information System (RWIS) for this location is still offline after many months. It doesn’t provide forecast information, anyway.

To get a forecast courtesy of modern weather modelling, the National Weather Service point forecast for Sweetwater Summit (38.53N -119.2W Elev. 6842 ft) will get you out a full week.

Keeping cool isn’t the only concern. The agencies are at paranoia level 1 regarding fire. Anita sent along links to Reno Gazette Journal stories on this: Fire restrictions in Western Nevada underway as of July 1 and Fire restrictions start this week — don’t plan on a charcoal grill, campfire, or even an outdoor smoke in these conditions!

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Medicine Lake out towards Lava Beds National Monument

Randy took a scouting trip to Medicine Lake and the NFS campgrounds there. This is a place you don’t get to unless you are going there.

See the photo gallery!

location coordinates 41.595547,-121.609039
To get there, head up CA 89 to Bartle halfway between Mt Shasta and Burney Falls. Head north on NFS 49 and Medicine Lake is about halfway to the Lava Beds National Monument.

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Mosquito season – tips from US News

5 Tips for Avoiding Mosquito Bites—and West Nile Virus is timely. This appears to be a good year for mosquitoes and you can take action to reduce the damage. The five tips include advice about repellents, clothing, screening, and the elimination of breeding sites.

Near dawn and dusk is when the risk is highest. Let’s see, that’s the morning wake up with coffee when all is quiet (see Washington Times for Noise) or it is the evening social hour after the pot luck dinner.

Take care. Don’t get bit.

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Boseman memories

June 2008 WBCCI International Rally – Bozeman, MT – reports are trickling in. Jerry and Dyanne sent this picture

That’s PeeWee (see his history collection at Dale (Pee Wee) Schwamborn -Wally Byam, Helen Byam Schwamborn) with Jerry surrounded by Schwamborns.

Robert took some pictures – see the photo gallery

Here he is with the SNU flag.

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About that pain at the pump

Warren Meyer, a small business owner in Phoenix, Arizona took a look at the Economic Impact of Gas Prices. There has been much discussion about the recent bump in the cost of energy, especially for the fuel we put in our RV’s. Some are limiting their excursions to avoid the pain at the pump. The Coyote Blog post took a time out to consider the big picture. How has the fuel cost changed over time as a part of our per-capita disposable income?

What prompted the Coyote Blog post was Economist Mark Perry, at his blog Carpe Diem.

For gas to reach a record high as a percent of per-capita disposable income, it would have to sell today for about $5.50 per gallon to reach 14.90% of per-capita disposable income, like it did in March of 1981, when gas sold for $1.42 per gallon, and per-capita disposable income was only $9,500.

It looks like the cost of gas ran about 6% of disposable income from 1985 until recently. Starting about 2003 it has increased from there to near 10%.

Meyer realized that the price of fuel was only a part of the picture. He factored in the average MPG rating for passenger vehicles to determine the fuel cost for a typical 15,000 miles per year. That graph accounts for the improvements in efficiency and starts its rise from about 3% in 1998 to a current 7%.

You might think that RV fuel efficiency hasn’t changed as much as it has for passenger cars but consider: A typical Suburban tow vehicle used in the late 70’s through the 80’s got about 8 miles per gallon. A modern diesel with the same trailer can get up to 14 and the big block gasoline tow vehicles will get 10 to 12 mpg. That’s an efficiency improvement of 20% or more in fuel efficiency. So Meyer’s adjustment makes sense for RV’s, too.

The pain at the pump has put some people in a panic. There is talk of re-doing the seventies with price controls and the double nickel speed limit. They didn’t work then and took a long time to get settled. It may be why there is a sharp drop to a fairly steady level starting about 1985 in the graphs. A proper perspective and learning from what has been done before will help to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

So, while I too think paying $4 for gas is not my favorite way to dispose of my income, in terms of average household pain created, gas prices are quite far from their historic highs.

It will take some time to settle things out. There are many experts trying to figure out why dropping demand has not had an impact on prices. There is also some wondering about why the pipeline isn’t getting clogged as supply keeps up and demand drops. There is also quite a bit of ‘blame game’ going on looking for scapegoats and conspiracies.

The increased pain at the pump has dampened demand. It is also stimulated a re-examination of ideas about energy and where we get it and how we manage it. That should lead to good things.

But, for now, perhaps the best bet is to put more emphasis on enjoying the places you visit rather than the journey and travel for its own sake. If history is any guide, this will work itself in due course. All you have to do is to be patient and avoid succumbing to the fear mongering that is being peddled in the news.

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