August – A Month of Preparation
August Has Been An Interesting Month!
Preparing for our first extended travel (2 months) has been a bit more involved than we were prepared for. of course, many of the things we dealt with preparing for this trip are now in place for future travels and hopefully things will be somewhat smoother next time around.
Technology does make life simpler in some cases. The ability to control items in your home remotely is a definite benefit. We installed the following items this month and can control them from our phones anywhere we have a signal.
- Ring Security Cameras
- Brinks Home Security System
- B-hyve Smart Watering sprinkler system
- Sensi Smart Thermostat
Also technology has also been beneficial in improvements to our tow vehicle. As discussed in an earlier post, we made the decision to make some modifications to our Ram 3500 diesel and then “tuning” the computer to allow the Cummins to perform without issues when towing our new trailer. As a professional mechanic for 42 years, I have often talked about computers and electronics on cars and trucks in a rather negative manner. The reality is that we are actually quite fortunate that technology has become such an integral part of our vehicles. I amazes me that it is possible to dial in over 500 horsepower and still get 26 MPG in a one ton 4WD truck!
Paying the Bills
In addition to hardware, we relied on technology to setup autopay to handle all our bills while on the road. Of course email is ancient technology, but we certainly do rely on it. Online banking, email, paperless billing, access to all our utility vendors online, all make being away from home so much easier.
The US Post Office
Dealing with mail turned into more of an issue that we had expected, turns out you can only hold mail for a month. We considered a few options, but unfortunately we discovered this very close to our departure date. In the end we elected to forward our mail to Liz’s mom while we are away. Thanks Sue!
Well…our solution to this was to create a watering system that waters once a week with a drip system. The problem is how do you have a drip system inside your house. We tapped into the plumbing in two of our bathrooms, utilizing the bath tubs. In each bathroom, using garden timers attached to a hose, we connected two 8 station adjustable flow manifolds to drip lines which were run to each individual plant, which we then placed in the tubs and put grow lamps over them. Not exactly a technological wonder, but where there is a will…
The lot behind our house has sold and a house is coming in there soon. So in addition to preparing for a trip, we did a considerable amount of landscaping to mitigate the impact of having our space crowded. We added several trees and a fence, as well as removing a large amount of sod to get a good start on our little backyard retreat so things could be somewhat established by spring.
Fortunately, our HOA dues cover the maintenance of our yard, so we don’t have that to worry about while we travel.
We had a little time left for trip planning and have put together what we hope will be a fun and adventurous trip. Ideally, this would have been the priority in the last month, but it was pretty much an “as time allows” kind of thing.
While we are anxious to embark on what we hope to be the first of many great trips, it has been quite an adventure sorting out the details of being away from home for more than a couple of weeks. We feel very fortunate to have great neighbors to keep an eye on things, and have come to appreciate how much technology has made traveling a bit easier.
Our first stop will be Yellowstone for a couple of weeks. We will be posting our experiences there soon!