A forecast heatwave moving into Cottonwood, Arizona made me chicken out and climb back to the cooler air of Mingus Mountain yesterday, something like 6.5 miles away, but 16 on the road. Cooler, but probably not cool. Mingus is more problematic to get accurate temperature forecasts about, so you get what you get. This time, the trip was all climb, so the Mighty Furd burbled its way up the serpentine that is 89A. I’m not the only one who deserted Cottonwood’s 3,500′ elevation, which is expected to hit 90 degrees today and head for the mid-90s until Sunday. My location at 7,300′ should knock that down by perhaps 10 degrees. Of necessity, I’m not conforming to my pre-planned travel itinerary, but the time prior to the Overland Expo consists mainly of mucking about at various unfamiliar sites onroute, their elevations being unknown but certainly not as high as Mingus, so forget it.
The talk among vanners and RVers is that Cottonwood has some great campsites, but with my interests, I’m just not seeing it at this time of year. The town itself is a great place to resupply and cleanse, but that’s the town, and the clog of traffic can be pretty impressive for its population size. I think that its sites are better suited for group camping with friends. For the lone wolf, it rates as a “Meh”.
Signs in the official (pay) camp higher up warn that this is bear country, though I suspect that sightings are very few. Still, I don’t go out sans a precaution or two, since I don’t care to play the “I wish I had…” game, accompanied by a change of shorts.
On the Good News front, my Pentax DSLR camera seems to have come back on board as of the end of yesterday. It coughed up that last sunset shot. I had reinstalled the latest firmware for it during one of those times it worked when switched on, that act just representing one of those desperate voodoo things you do when you don’t know what else to try. I likened it to a corrupted computer that continually cycles through boot – crash – reboot. Will it stick to the program in the future? I don’t know. But I am particularly pleased, since the glossy glass screen of my iPhone makes it awfully tough to see what you’re shooting in bright sunlight, which is just about all we’ve got down here. Without a viewfinder, you can’t really compose a shot so much as aim and pray. Plus, transferring shots to the laptop wirelessly uses up my Verizon data quotient.
Cameras and videocams that have no viewfinder have been all the rage for the last decade. Heck, you can’t even buy a new viewfinder video camera today below the professional price point. (They wouldn’t dare remove viewfinders from those.) We apparently no longer deserve them. As one frustrated lady trying to capture her son’s speed run at the Bonneville Salt Flats discovered to her dismay, fads and fashions have their limitations, and a sales clerk’s assurances don’t always work out. Her new $300 Canon had features and video quality that most certainly put my decade-old Panasonic cam to shame, but only one of us had any wild idea what we were shooting. As for the final footage, my results were washed out and kinda fuzzy once the telephoto kicked in. But her results were zero footage. Honestly, I hurt for her. Commemorative moment, unusable camera. All the technoids gloat over such videocams – because they aren’t out there taking footage.
My motto? The most effective way to save money is to not spend it. I used to buy on the cheap, but after decades of that, I’m finally shifting to “buy it once”. That is, the goal is to choose a quality level good enough that whatever it is will last a good long while instead of having to be regularly discarded and replaced. That’s especially true if you’re a minimalist, which I am most certainly not. Still, for someone like me who’s more into maximalism, the potential money saved in the long run by “doing things right the first time” is considerable. You take care of it, and it will take care of you – that sort of thing. I’ve got a few miscellaneous things that cost more than the norm but have held up remarkably well over time, despite abuse. In a few cases, they just work better. Perhaps I should note them in a future post, for those who get tired of laying out for such things again and again.