Boondocking vs Campgrounds

Boondocking vs Campgrounds: This is a copy of the email I sent to the Central Newfoundland Morning Show on CBC Radio. They had done an interview with someone wanting to ban RVs from mall parking lots.


I only caught the tail end of the conversation about campers overnighting on mall parking lots, so I may have missed something (I'll DL the podcast and listen to all of it), however, I felt another view was in order.

We are doing the "vacation at home" thing, and have had to change our plans three times this summer because the various campgrounds we wanted to stay in were full. We had the options of trying elsewhere, or staying home, but what is a visitor from out of province to do when the closest park is booked up?

Getting to this island is expensive, fuel prices are expensive, and staying in a campground every night is expensive. Having the option to boondock a few nights a week may make the difference between a tourist being able to come here or not. Also, having these people in a town generally means they will be spending money there. It may not the the local campground, but they need fuel and food, and may take in some of the culturial offerings and engage in other activities available to tourists.

The few campgrounds I've stayed in since buying our little travel trailer last fall have been far removed from what I consider camping. Sites are close to each other, and you have almost no privacy, or experience of nature. You might as well be on a mall parking lot. If you take this even further, eventually canoeist and kayakers will be banned from setting up a tent on a shoreline close to a community. At least RVers eventually use are dumping station, what are those tenters doing with their waste? Ban them all! :-)

Here are a few links on the subject:

"While RV parks are the best accommodations for RVers, sometimes commercial parks are full, or perhaps the RVer simply cannot find a local park, especially if it is late in the evening. Other issues come into play as well. For instance, how tired is the RV driver? Were it not for easily accessible public parking lots and other similar locations that offer a resting place to RVers, you would see an increased accident rate. Far too often, RVers will drive too long, too late, or continue searching for an RV park way past their safety and comfort zone. Knowing that they are welcome to pull into a parking lot and get a few hours of rest anytime of the day or night is an enormous safety net for the traveler."

"Score a victory for RVers in their battle against the state of Maine. In a period of less than a week, the state legislature introduced a bill to ban overnight stays in RVs in any public parking lot in the state and then quickly killed the idea."

"I say so called because it sure doesn't look like a "Park" to me! Much more like a parking lot! Why? When you have a rig with all the amenities of home, that you can take darn near anywhere, why drive from your crowded city streets back home, only to park in a crowded "parking lot!""

"Defined: What is boondocking? (Free Camping)"

(Original Blog Post: http://haliburton.homelinux.net/strofficeview/?p=87)


100PUC W4/D2/C1 and Winter Activities

100PUC W4/D2/C1 and Winter Activities: I put off doing push ups for a day to allow my neck to heal a bit more, and today I felt it was good enough to try day 2 of week 4. It took everything I had in me, but I was able to once more complete the minimums, for 72 in total. I have a feeling I'll be repeating week 4.

This morning I went for a ride on my father-in-law's snowmobile. I usually get out on it once or twice a winter. Today I wanted to scout out some of the trails to see which were suitable for skate skiing. I took the rail bed up to Lewisporte Junction and back. From the industrial park I cut across to the bogs and made my way up to Scissors Pond and then into Airways Pond, before returning home for lunch.

After the meal had some time to settle, I grabbed my skate skis and the dog, jumped aboard the truck, and drove up to the end of town. The route I chose is the 3km one I use in the summer for sprinting. It was the smoothest, and the flattest, for my learning how to skate on snow.

For the past 4 years I have been using a cheap pair of non-wax/fish scale, traditional style skis. I bought them to compete in the first winter Raid Avalon adventure race. It took me a while to get used to having these long sticks on my feet, and I fell down often. I do not fall anymore, and take them all over the place, treating them much like snowshoes. They are, however,very slow, and showing their age.

Last spring, just before the final flake of snow melted, I bought a nice skate ski package from The Outfitters in St. John's. Being end of season, I saved hundreds of dollars. Being the end of the season, I was only able to use them once, briefly, on some slush before putting them away.

This winter I have been impatiently waiting for snow enough to accumulate to get out and really use them. I've risked my old skis three times on exposed rocks and sticks, and rough trails, since conditions have not been suitable for skate skiing until now, and this is still far from ideal.

Today I managed to get in a bit of training and muscle adapting to this new style, but I had to revert back to the old diagonal motions often. It was probably 30% skate and 70% traditional. Lifting the ski after pushing, and keeping it from digging into the loose snow was a challenge. I could only get in a couple dozen strides before pulling the skis back together and shuffling for a bit to catch my breath, and let the muscles relax from the new efforts.

I was surprised how well I was able to diagonal ski on these all glide skis. There are no fish scales or kick wax to push against, yet I could move as fast, if not faster than with my old skis. My nice new poles with the comfy hand straps had a lot to do with this. This gave my arms more of a workout too. Going down the slight grade on the way back, I was able to just glide and double pole for a while at a fun speed.

While not yet able to skate ski any real distance, and not at all graceful, it will come in time. There are still a few weeks of winter remaining, and each outing will bring improvement. This winter should allow me to build a good base for next winter, and I have yet to fall down with the new skis.

(Original Blog Post: -*http://haliburton.homelinux.net/strofficeview/?p=82)


Lightweight Linux

Lightweight Linux: The computer I am using for my web server is an old Compaq DeskPro 4000 I bought second-hand many years ago. It has an Intel Pentium II 233MMX CPU, 256MB RAM, and a 13GB HDD. It is running the standard LAMP: Debian Etch GNU/Linux, Apache2, MySQL, and PHP.

It came off server duties for a little while while I tried to make it a desktop system for general family and guest use, but even with XFCE or Fluxbox I was not happy with the speed. As a web server it is also slow, but I can live with it.

For a while it was command line only, but I got tired of using wget to download CMS updates and so on. I'd have to use another computer to edit the HTML files, or suffer through Nano. Yesterday I decided to put Xwindow on it, and go with the Fluxbox window manager. This combination should not slow down the system too much, and I only have to start X when I need it.

On the command line I used:

File Manager: Midnight Commander (MC)

Email: Mutt

IRC: irssi (usually through Screen)

Text Editor: Nano

Web Browser: Lynx

Package Installer: Apt-Get (sometimes Aptitude)

I will continue to use these applications, but now with the GUI installed, I wanted some lightweight graphical programs too. They have to take up very little HDD space, and not have too much overhead with running so as to slow down the serving of web pages too much.

Here is what I have decided to start with:

File Manager: ROX-filer

Text Editor: NEdit

HTML Editor: Geany

Web Browser: Dillo

Audio: XMMS

Image Viewers: feh and GQview

Those were installed today, and will be tried out over the next little while. If anyone has a suggestion for another I should look at, leave a comment.

(Original Blog Post: http://haliburton.homelinux.net/strofficeview/?p=74)