Fixing Stuff 2014

Fixing Stuff is what I do when we are in Sagaro SKP in Benson, AZ. It may not seem too glamerous, it’s part of the trip. All RV’s need preventive maintainace as well as repairs to most of the systems. That work is simplified here at Sagaro as there is a large equipped workshop with every tool one could want. On Friday, I did emergancy repair on gas system. On Monday, I tackled the bracket failure(s) on our invertor. You may remember that on the way to Kino Bay we had a structural failue casing our invertor’s chincy brackets to fail. The invertor weighs about 75 pounds, I needed a bottle jack to leverage it up. I than fabricated brackets out of angle iron and doubled up on the attaching screws. Not a difficult job for me, 20 years ago.

We had a great tag sale event on Saturday. I made a very good deal on the Dahon folding bike. $500+ at retail, I paid this perfect example!

Tomorrow we are going to take a ‘side trip’ to Phoenix where we hope to have our fogged windows repaired. The fogging on my driver’s window is forcing this as the mirror is useless backing into the sun or at night.







Leaving Benson 2014

We’ve been having a good time at the Saguaro SKP in Benson, AZ. Great weather with crisp nights and warm & sunny afternoons. I polished the car and got several small jobs done around the camper. All this and I made 6 of the 7 Happy Hours!

As you can see, our time here is running out. Tomorrow we move to Pima County Fairground where we fine tune our plans for the Kino Bay rally next February. We are meeting up with 2 other rigs to make the pre-run. Our inter-net will be very poor sad to say.

We participated in an Italian Festival in our Fellowship Room. These dinners (about $12) are well attended. In addition to their earning for the Co-Op , they rovide a nice social atmosphere.

If you have an IKEA near you, you can duplicate our fancy Plastique ‘Silver Service’ for a mere $1 for 4 settings. They are tuff, washable and make a great fashion statement.


Thought For The Day – When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money.

Then take half the clothes and twice the money. – Susan Heller Stolen from Nick Russell’s Blog.


Last Topper is installed 2014

With a ‘little’ help from Greg (Apache RV in Wilcox, AZ) we finally installed our 3rs topper. I had done 2 of 3 earlier. The last one is about 20′ long and appeared to require removing the main awning. To remove the topper (on the right), you must slide it to the left. The main awning support must be removed to do that, it appears to be welded to the roof structure!

Greg’s cunning Apache heritage lead him to an easier trail. After discussing it with me, he spread the about 1/8 of an inch at point ‘X‘, this allowed us to R&R the topper in about 45 minutes! The photo above is after the replacement.+

You may note below that I am perched upon my new ladder. It is a big improvement in vertical mobility! Note that Greg is appropriately dressed to work in the Arizona sun. Hat, Sunglasses, long sleeves and pants will serve to protect you. Me? The sun has turned my hair gray!

Later that night we went to the club house for an ice cream and 2 hours of guitar strumming entertainment. This morning we went to a breakfast, about 50 folks attended these festive events.

More excitement to come…

Happy Birthday Kelly Mattesen 2014

Our daughter Kelley Mattesen is: Sister of Grace, Mother of Amelia, Wife of Greg and Owner of Scout. She is the Dental Hygienist to the Stars having worked for Somerset Dental since she was single.


Born 10/17/1968, she was declared legal size at 10 pound, 3 ounces!

Kelly’s older sister Grace talked her in getting into a laundry basket which was catapulted down a flight of stair when she was about 3. This stunt was repeated several times!

Kelly ran away from home when she was about 6. She returned shortly as she remembered that she was ‘grounded’ and could not cross the street.

At about 8, Kelly discovered she could buy a package of trading cards for $.25 and sell the 5 of them at school for 10 cents each.

At 16, she helped o’haul the engine in her ’69 Datsun Pick-up. She got the dirty work! I admonished her to never have passengers in the back, she never told me that she did. (Can you read between the lines?)

At about 22, Kelly invited us to dinner at her condo. She explained that she and Greg had to get married. Because {wait for it}, they had bought a house!

We are at Saguaro SKP Park in Benson, AZ, waiting for 2 other rigs that will join us in our trip to Kino Bay Mexico.

Stay safe, hug your Kids.

Blog 2014

Balloon Fiesta ended with a very windy stormy weekend. No flights with the exception of a few folks who had lawn chairs, awnings and Slide Toppers blown away or off. This is serious stuff at this altitude!

On Monday the wind abated to allow us to move to the SKP Park in Deming, NM. This was a run of 250 miles thru some desolate country.

I’ve kept myself busy trip map planning for our upcoming pre-run of the 2015 Rally to Kino Bay in Mexico. There are 2 other rigs j4oining up with us for the trip which will take about 2 weeks.

Today we went 37 miles south to the border town of Las Palamos, our mission was to acquire visas and have a great lunch at the Pink House. We got the visas ($24USD each) and the photo tells the rest of the story. Can you believe I gave the waiter a $3 tip to take this picture?

About 10 miles north of the border there is a large Airfield/Private Condominium that has been abandoned. Kind of sad to see a few Million Dollars revert back to nature. The Bi-Plane’s prop is still turning to no avail.

Tomorrow, we will move to the SKP Park in Branson, AZ. We always find this spot entertaining and restful.

Balloon Fiesta is winding down 2014

It’s Saturday morning, tomorrow good weather is forcast for our last Mass Ascension in the morning. After that there will be a mad rush for folks to jam up every road for 20 miles. We will stay here until Monday and have leisure time with our Boomers Friends.

Special thanks to AirFly Balloons, a Brazilian company that specializes in manufacturing the Special Shape balloons that we crewed for this year.

Here I am holding the ‘throat open on a huge Frog Balloon while the fan blows cool air into it. When the balloon is partially inflated, the pilot will go hot by engageing the burner (lower right) with short bursts to heat the balloon.

We didn’t fly this day, simply put the balloon up for a ‘Glow’ and brought it down. Total time was about 2 hours with about 10 crewmembers working. One the balloon was back in it’s bag, Charlie and I need a rest!

The Wells Fargo Stagecoach Balloon is one of the bigest and most complex shapes. This ‘Conga Line’ of about 30 volunteers is required to put the collapsed balloon back into it’s bag! The balloon is so valueable that they use a huge tarp to keep it off the ground. A balloon that is laid out on grass on a sunny day will absorb moisture, leading to dreaded mildew.

We bid on a very nice lot at the Escapee’s Park in Benson, AZ this morning….

Crazy Day 2014

Today was a 5:30 wake-up, jump on the bus, go to the field and wait day. The field was under yellow flag (Pilot’s Discretion) due to wind. The Morning Patrol inflated, only 3 of the 6 elected to launch. At about 300′, they took off like jack rabbits, not a good thing. Too much wind aloft, the flag was under Red Flag for the next 2 hours.

We pretty much sat around, swearing, spitting and doing manly things.

Yesterday I asked you what the fellow was doing with the long gray tube. He had run around with it open on one end, tied it off securely and held it exposed to the bright sun on a cool morning. In short order the sun heated the air in the balloon. Last time I saw it,it was headed southat about 1,000′.


At about 9:00 the field went on Green Flag, most of the pilots elected to fly as they get paid appearance money or have contractual obligations. The owners of Orca elected to inflate and tether, which we helped them do.

This team made me to say hello to Dave & Janice Kinceman. I learned today that their son David is recovering from a kidney/Live transplant in Boston. We hope to see them in December when we visit for the holidays. If any of our readers have contacts that have rental condo’s, Furnished room or deep discounted motel rooms, please contact me at as we are in need.

Flying The Box in Albuquerque is done when the ground layer of wind is moving south and the upper level(s) and moving north. In Albuquerque this is not uncommon and is more pronounced than most locations. I’ve tried to demonstrate in the photo below. There Balloon lower (Larger) are moving right to left while the balloons at 2,000′ are moving left to right. It is possible theoretically to land where you launched from. This is not done as the field is closed while launching for obvious reasons.

I posted a video of this on FaceBook