Archive for September, 2009

Beckwourth camping and Crocker

The old Beckwourth to Genesee stage route runs up between Davis and Frenchman’s lakes between California 89 and US 395 at the north end of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This is BLM and NFS land with a few old campgrounds and many opportunities for dispersed camping. Crocker Campground is just a few miles north of Beckwourth.

See the photo gallery!

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U.S. Navy Blue Angels Sept 2009 – Reno Air Races

The Navy visited the Reno Air Races this year and put on quite a show. Here are some pictures

See the photo gallery!
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Petrichor

10 More Whatchamacallits And Their Real Names started with that smell you get after a first rain. “Petrichor is the name of the smell of rain on dry earth. The word comes from the Greek words “petros” which means rock, and “ichor” which means the fluid that runs through the veins of the gods.” Sagebrush, especially, seems to invoke this smell.

The list had a few other pertinent words. What would a good pot luck be without Nidor or Salmagundi? If you hit the Obsidian Dome rally, you should be quite familiar with scree. Tenesmus is one reason a lot of us prefer camping with an RV.

Impress (or confound or confuse or irritate, it depends) your RV friends with a good vocabulary. This list is a start for your expanding vocabulary horizons.

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Is that water disinfected?

The question about whether or not the water in the RV tank is suitable for drinking shows up on the forums now and then, NASA faces the same problem with their RV, the space station. Water quality in orbit: Scientists test H2O disinfection on International Space Station at Physorg describes a new technique developed to test for proper levels of disinfectants in the water supply.

What NASA is trying to do is to avoid having to bring samples back to earth to test in much the same way that public water supplies are tested. It is one thing for a ranger to collect water samples from a campsite out in the boondocks and yet another for an astronaut to collect samples for testing in the lab back on earth.

“You can’t sterilize water well enough to keep things from growing in it,” Porter [University of Utah professor of chemistry and chemical engineering] says. “Nature happens.”

NASA uses iodine as a disinfectant on U.S. spacecraft. The Russians use colloidal silver – pure silver nanoparticles, some of which go into solution.

The problem for both iodine and silver is that microbes grow in the water if levels are too low. If levels are too high, iodine-treated water tastes bad and eventually might cause thyroid problems, and silver at excessive levels can turn the skin grayish blue.

Most RV’s and public water supplies use chlorine for both sanitizing and disinfecting. Those tend to dissipate over time which is good for well used supplies. Iodine tends to stick around so it is a good solution for longer term storage needs but does need care in getting the right dosage. Silver based disinfecting agents tend to be a bit more potent against “Cryptosporidum and Giardia, if utilized correctly” (wikipedia)

For the RV, if you sanitize the system before every season with a thorough fill with a solution of common bleach at a quarter cup to fifteen gallons to get a good smell, let sit overnight, then flush thoroughly, your tanks should be safe for drinking water. Flush and fill with fresh water from a public supply before each trip or at least weekly while traveling and the water should be safe to drink. If using a private well as a source, a disinfectant such as a few drops of common bleach, would be a good idea.

Perhaps this NASA technology will develop into a simple and inexpensive means that an RV enthusiast can use to make sure that the water in the holding tank has a proper level of disinfectant. That should ease a few minds worried about water safety.

See the CDC page Water Disinfection for Travelers by Howard D. Backer for a good summary of techniques.

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San Francisco Bay Bridge

Twenty years after the Loma Prieta earthquake did a job on it, major repairs are under way on the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The bridge is being closed for the Labor Day weekend to set up a detour so that the Eastern span can be replaced. National Geographic is recording the effort for a show on unprecedented construction feats. See MetaFilter for a whole set of links to news stories and videos about The Bay Bridge is now closed.

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SNU September Newsletter

The September 2009 Newsletter has been posted Links to photo galleries and additional information mentioned in articles in this newsletter can be found at there, too.

Topics in this newsletter include:
* Obsidian Dome rally review
* September at Unionville
* Unique opportunity for Unionville
* Death Valley Rally
* Death Valley ’49ers
* SNU August business meeting
* 2010 SNU rally schedule

September Rally at Unionville

The Sierra Nevada Unit will hold a Rally Thursday September 24 to Sunday September 27, 2009 At Unionville off of I 80 East. About 60 miles East of Lovelock.

We are working on a special opportunity at this rally. An Airstream owner, SNU newsletter subscriber, and local Reno chef is holding a class at the Old Pioneer the same weekend. Plans are in the works to do, as Barbara says, “something fun” . So plan to come to the Unionville rally and find out what “something fun” is.

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

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