Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Yup... I know it's redundant, but we made yet another trip up to Lake Roosevelt with the Airflyte & Swinger! It's vintage camping at it's finest! Even though it's now September, it's still above 100 degrees up there in the Tonto Basin. Night's are a little more tolerable, but AC is required for a comfortable night's sleep.

This trip, we made an excursion past Roosevelt Dam, down the rough Apache Trail, to Apache Lake. The road curves and changes elevation in dramatic fashion, and there are places where it's just a single lane. I think the dirt road jarred loose every nut and bolt on the boat there and back!

Scenery at Apache Lake

There's a different vibe to Apache compared to Roosevelt. At Roosevelt, you have locals, old guys fishing, lot's of families, very low-key and somewhat unexciting. At Apache, there seems to be a much more lively and playful atmosphere. Lot's of folks put up a canopy to sit under in their lawn chairs right in the water. There's beaches where 20+ kids pull up there boats and hang out, kind of what you see at Spring Break at Lake Havasu. The scenery is more dramatic than Roosevelt as well, with the high canyon walls and jagged rock formations & such. The water is a lot colder as well, which can be refreshing on a 100+ degree day! I think since the journey getting there is a bit rough, people have more fun because of the challenge of arriving! That's my theory anyway, & I'm sticking with it.

Monday, Labor Day, we cleaned the '62 Shasta "Airflyte" camper thoroughly. We put a lot of effort into restoring the inside, and since it's so dry & hot in the desert, I like to keep the wood inside "oiled" and looking pristine. Not only that, but it's always nice when you come back to take it out camping and it's in clean, sweet smelling shape! There's always little projects to attend to as well, since we don't have access to our boat and camper at home, storing both up there at the lake. Had to fix a rail on the boat trailer; checked the lower unit oil on the Mercury outboard; organized and cleaned the pass-through/storage area in the camper... You get the idea!

Now back in Scottsdale, it's great to be home reflecting on another adventure. We are looking forward to cooler temps and taking the camper to new locations such as Dead Horse State Park, and Sedona, maybe even Tombstone and S. Arizona this Fall and Winter.

Happy camping, all!

(Click on photos to see actual, glorious size).

Dam Eric!

We always win the most colorful campsite award!

The Glastron "Swinger"

Little cove and beach.

Burnt Corral camping area.

Hanging out, canopy erected, chairs in the water, beers in hand!

Apache Lake


Cooking up breakfast

Roosevelt Dam, back side

Wifey at the Dam

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Busy weekend August 19-21... Had a gig with my group, BANDALISM on Friday night in Mesa. Saturday we spent the day recovering after crashing at 4 am. Ahhh yes... The life of a rock star, in our minds! My pal Bob Turner came out from L.A. to visit, so Sunday we (Wifey & I) just had to drag him to the lake to have some water fun on the boat! Great day- about 105 degrees, and water temp was about 85. Brought some sandwiches, beers (I was designated captain/driver), and munchies, and spent around 4-5 hours touring the Lake (Roosevelt), swimming, and lounging.

It's not a bad drive from Scottsdale to Tonto Basin, when you're not towing anything behind you. "The Beeline Hwy," or Hwy. 87 is really pretty, going from saguaro cactus and red rocks to more of a forest-green, hilly landscape as you gain elevation. Takes about 1 hour-20 minutes from home to the lake.

You have to get these city folk out into nature every once in a while!

Bob & Eric at Lake Roosevelt Bridge.
2 Goofy Dudes!!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011


After our last excursion (see "Hell and Back"), it was time to redeem our camping experience and have a good time, as opposed to suffering miserably. So, after turning 48 on July 29th, 2011, 10:13 am, we decided to head out again to Lake Roosevelt with the '62 Shasta & the '74 Glastron Swinger.

Things started off quite well, arriving Friday night after dark. We kind of have the setup down to a science, so it isn't a big deal getting everything together at night. I hooked up a small, halogen, shop light to an inverter & marine battery, which lit up the entire campsite and then some. This trip, we decided to purchase a small window unit AC and stick it in a side window. Our gigantic, standup, inside AC unit was drawing too many amps & shutting down the generator. So, we had to remove the window panes and construct a little apparatus to hold the AC & support its weight.

Had a light supper, a couple of adult beverages, and hit the sack somewhat early.

Next morning, it was time for a day on the Lake! The Glastron boat, with its Mercury "Tower of Power," inline 6 engine, works just splendidly, which is something I haven't said often in the past. With a new prop, the things cranks, faster & smoother than ever! Had the bikini top up all morning and afternoon to fight the blazing sun. Brought plenty of soft drinks & water with us, enjoyed some pasta & fruit salad for lunch.

After a pleasant day of boating, fishing, & swimming, it was time to return to the campsite. A storm was brewing in the distance, which hit us around sunset. Desert thunderstorms can dump a ton of rain in a very short time, and this one was no exception. Temps dropped 20 degrees as the rain came down in buckets, from about 104 to 82 degrees in less than 20 minutes. There's always a mad dash to put up everything you don't want to get wet, but this time we were pretty much prepared as we saw the storm coming in an hour or so before it struck. Temps stayed a bit cooler tha normal throughout the night, but this did not stop our generator from overheating and conking out during the middle of the night. Even with the new system (window AC, 4 amps), the (Honeywell 2000i) generator was flaming hot to the touch, and shut down after 3 or 4 hours of running time.

Our adversary- The Honeywell 2000i Generator

So, after 3 times of starting the generator, closing the windows in the camper, only to have it shut down again 10 minutes later, we decided to give up on the idea of having a good night's sleep in air conditioned comfort, and hooked up fans to the inverter & a battery, kept the windows open, and had a somewhat uncomfortable, sweaty sleeping experience.

It is becoming more and more evident that my wife and I have no clue when it cpomes to fishing. After 2 years of trying to catch something... ANYTHING... We came up short again. I was bound & determined to catch a fish, and after bagging absolutely nothing from 7 am tp 12 noon, I resorted to my usual tactics of of lounging in the lake to beat the heat! Defeated again! Damn fish! They were popping up out of the water right in front of us all morning, as if to say, "SUCKER"!!!! Maybe next time. We'll have to watch a few You Tube, How To, fishing videos to see where we might improve our skills.
Doing what I do best... NOT fishing!

Overall, I had a great birthday weekend! The storm was exciting, the food and my Wife's company was great, saw some neat wildlife, and I was glad to be 48 yrs. old and enjoying life to the fullest! Until next time, happy camping, and see ya' soon!

P.S. E mail me any and all fishing tips!

(Click on pictures to see full size)

Drying the towels after a day of boating.

Dish washing station under the ramada.

Cholla campsite ramada, w/ flags!

Inside the Shasta camper; C-pap machine hooks up to inverter & battery.

Original magazine rack & new curtains.

New tile, bench cushions, table, & colorful placemats.

Inside the camper, window unit AC.

Sunday, July 3, 2011



Ever had one of those trips that, at every turn, near disaster struck? A trip where you wished you’d never left the comforts of your home? Well, been there, had that done to me. Such is the saga of our last, recent journey.

It started out as a 5-day camping excursion to Lake Roosevelt, Arizona. We new the temps were going to be hot as hell, as July in AZ is somewhat unforgiving. Little did we know that it would be a record setting weekend, with temps reaching 118 in Phoenix that Saturday.

We arrived in the afternoon, later than planned. After “setting up,” which is a couple hour ordeal, we decided not to take the boat out, yet planned on waking at 4 am for some very early morning fishing. Late afternoon temps hit around 111 degrees, a tad on the warm side. At a certain point, we determined that it would be a good idea to get the generator started to run the AC in the camper. The gas in our generator and spare can was stale, at least 2 years old, and our generator was conking out, not running the AC. So, off to the gas station, 20 miles away & back. Ran the old gas out of the generator, filled up with newly acquired premium fuel. Still, AC would surge and generator would shut down. After starting cocktail hour, just before the sun was setting, it was 104 outside and 113 inside the camper. Yikes.

Had our charcoal burning in our little football shaped BBQ and a fire going in the campground fire ring when a Forest Ranger drove up & informed us there was a fire restriction in place- No fires or charcoal BBQ’s! (Thanks for not posting any signs on the information boards). So, it was sausage and peppers in the frying pan on our propane stove.

That night’s sleep was a bit grueling. It cooled down to about 90, outside, and with the windows and a small, desk-type fan hooked up to an inverter and marine battery, it was somewhat cool after 3 am. Then, at 4 am, the old style clanging bell alarm clock sounded off… Time to get up and start fishing. I flipped on the light and Wifey exclaimed, “No way… No way!” Slept until about 8 am, and then decided to start the day, from hell.

Figuring there was no way the generator was going to run and power the AC in the camper, we headed back to “town,” (Tonto Basin is more like an outpost), the hardware store to grab us a couple of fans. Back at the campsite, after loading a cooler with waters, lunch, Gatorades and water, it was out to the lake for a day full of fun! Launched the boat, Wifey parked the car and trailer, met her at the dock, and we zoomed out to find a cove or beach to set up our own little paradise. After cruising at moderate speed for about 15 minutes, I gunned the throttle and a KABOOM sounded at the back of the boat where the engine was. Uh Oh. Checked the motor, everything looked still intact. Tried to get underway again, but the engine roared and the prop wasn’t turning.

What took 15 minutes at nearly full speed from the launch ramp to the other side of the lake took about an hour and a half at putt-putt sped to get back! 3 gallons of water later, we arrived at the dock, and put the boat back on the trailer. After a short conversation about selling the boat, we decided to seek a marine repair spot in town… Uh… I mean back at the outpost, and checked back in with our buddies at the hardware store. They recommended a guy in town who would take care of us, Rusty. His shop and home was about 5 minutes away, so I gave him a call. He explained how to get there, and instructed us to pick up a 12 pack of Bud Lite as his diagnostic fee. Rusty turned out to be a cool, fun, goofy guy, who determined that our prop blew out (the hub was shot), and called another local marine repair place and set us up with a guy who could put a new prop on for us.

About 30 miles down the road, at the other end of the lake, we arrived at M&S marine, where the grumpiest man in the southwest sold us and installed a new prop. 200 bucks & 30 minutes later, we were headed back to the campground. It was pretty much at this point where Wifey made it clear that she was not staying another night! “I haven’t been having any fun since 11 O’clock!” What was she doing at 10:30 that I didn’t know about?

The car temperature gauge read 111 degrees as we headed back to the campsite to pack up. The phrase, “packing up,” doesn’t sound all that heinous, unless you consider the amount of crap we have and the fact that it was record setting, blazing hot temps this particular weekend. Plus, there’s a lot of heavy crap: marine batteries (about 40 lbs), coolers full of ice and food (3), the generator (50 lbs.), gas cans, crates filled with gear, etc. etc. etc. I worked outside as Wifey was inside the confines of the (aluminum) camper at about 130 degrees. I overheard lot’s of mumbling, unpleasant swear words emitting from the vintage Shasta trailer, as I took down the bungee lines, put away the stove, dumped the water container, took the battery out of the boat and back in the car, collected out solar panel/re-charger… Get the idea? At one point, my poor Wife had to stop and get in the car, turn on the AC and re-group. She almost passed out when bending down to grab something.

The jack on our camper was as old as the actual camper, dating back to 1962. We had purchased another new jack, black metal, which needed to be installed. Despite the 110 degree heat, it needed to be put on. Removing the old one was a beast- Rusted bolts, WD-40 in the wind getting in my eyes, wrenches that wouldn't fit, laying on the ground with rocks poking in my back and arms... Tons of fun! Finally got the old one off and installed the new.

After another visit from a Ranger, we were packed up after 2 hours of torture and headed back to our spot where we store our boat and camper. We thought about taking out the boat with our brand new prop, but at this point, home… Ya’ know… AC in every room, pool in the back yard, steaks on the grill, cold beer in my hand… Hitting the lake again wasn’t a viable option! Arrived at Jacqleen’s Storage, put the boat in the spot, looked down at the car, and discovered a flat as a pancake tire. Just what I needed at this point. ½ hour later, spare was on, flat was off. When putting the boat cover on, Wifey slipped, fell over the side of the boat, and her leg caught on the window and railing as she dangled over the ground... Looked like one of those Amazon jungle monkeys dangling from a tree! Ran over to help, and she got up, started crying a little, and reiterated, “I haven’t been having fun since 11 O’clock!” Then it was back the campground to pick up the camper. About 4 hours after the “packing up” started, we dropped off the camper and were headed home at 8:30 at night.

Now that I’ve had a great night’s sleep, and we are safe and at home, I wonder, will we be doing this again in the near future? Hell yeah! Like everything else in life, you have to learn from your mistakes, improve on past experiences to make them better, and plan on having a good time with a positive attitude. In this case, we think the trip would have been completely enjoyable if (just) our AC had have worked properly. We’ll try a smaller wall unit in a window instead of our mega, heavy duty, portable jobber AC. The boat is fixed, has a new engine and added goodies, so we shouldn’t have to worry about the floating vessel. Right now, I’m off to the back yard to BBQ some hot dogs, swim in the pool, enjoy my 4rth of July Weekend… and daydream about the next time we head out camping and taking the boat out on the lake!

Shasta Airflyte 1962, Glastron Swinger 1974
Solar battery charger at work
Ill fated generator in background
Lovely campsite... When it's not 111 degrees!

No flash, solar patio lights

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Well, we finally made it out with both the camper and the boat! First time in 2 years we have had them both together. We are storing them both up at Roosevelt Lake, about 2 hours northeast of Scottsdale, AZ. Had a great time, but it was just an overnighter, arrived at 6 pm, and before you knew it, we were heading back home. There just wasn’t quite enough time to really enjoy all the work that goes into planning a trip. But, we pretty much have everything up there and prepared for an entire Summer of fun & adventure!

After getting the camper from our storage place, (we had the boat with us having brought it up from home), we had a few brews and Wifey had a few glasses of cabernet. Those Sierra Nevada Torpedos will really kick your butt! It was chilly enough to have a nice fire as well. After BBQ-ing some steaks and chowing down, we retired to the Shasta to watch an old 1970's episode of "Police Woman" in HD on the computer, hooked up to a little stereo, through an inverter and a marine battery. Seems to me that Angie Dickinson was always playing a hooker trying to entrap the "customers," then arresting them.

Lake conditions were a bit windy in the morning, and temps were mild at about 74 degrees. When the boat was roaring across the water, it was even a bit chilly. Definitely not a June, July, or August feel to it… It’s still only May 1. No time for fishing, as I had to get back for band rehearsal later Sunday night.

Here’s a short video of us cruising around the lake with “The Tower of Power,” Mercury 115 outboard motor. Thing is fast and powerful, as you’ll see in the video, it almost scares us!

Take care, happy camping, more to come!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011



Well, we didn't get around to painting the ole' 1962 Shasta Airflyte, as we'll wait until after the scorching AZ Summer is done before we mess with that. Nonetheless, we got a lot of work done on it, and here's a new, revised video of the progress we've made so far. Happy camping!

Monday, March 7, 2011


Well, this is going to be a big week in anticipation of the warmer season to come! We are getting the '62 Shasta "Airflyte" painted, and finalizing a few projects on the '74 Glastron "Swinger."

We took the Glastron boat out at Bartlett Lake this last Sunday, tested the new Mercury, "Tower of Power," 115 HP motor we had put on. Runs a lot smoother, faster, and better than the Johnson 115 we had on previously. This motor is nasty! Purr's like a tiger, the throttle control is smooth and effortless, and overall, just runs much better. Very happy with that move.

Water is still very cold, but it was a lovely, 80 degree, slightly overcast morning/afternoon out at the lake.

Here are some pics from Bartlett...

The boat still needs the new ladder put on, the tilt & trim installed, the new windows fixed & installed, and some electrical wiring done before it's 100% finished.

Friday, I'll go up the hill to Cottonwood, near Sedona, and grab the Shasta, bring her here to the compound here in Scottsdale, & get 'er ready for painting. I have to do a lot of prep work- Sanding, priming, tape, etc. to save some $$ and make sure the job is done right. I'll post some juicy pics when she's all finished.

Respectfully yours- ERIC

Friday, February 11, 2011


Howdy! Well, we are in the middle of Winter here in Scottsdale, Arizona. In fact, this last week or so, we have had the lowest temps ever recorded in this area... It got down to 24 degrees in Scottsdale. Tucson and surrounding areas got down to 12 degrees! Unheard of for these parts.

But the real news is this: We have a new engine on our boat, and we are set to paint our camper. What's this? Oh yeah... A little background info. We have a 1974 Glastron "Swinger" that we restored a few years ago. Last Summer, we blew a piston on the engine, so it was out of commission for a year. We just put on new (to us) Mercury "Tower of Power," 6 cylinder, 115 HP outboard. In addition to our ancient boat, we have also restored a 1962 Shasta "Airflyte" camper/trailer, that's getting a new paint job in the next few weeks.

So, the paint is in the garage; Valspar tractor paint, gloss white & John Deere (bright) yellow, and we bought some new boat parts as well for immediate installation: New windows, a trolling motor, a boat ladder, and a tilt & trim system. It's the ONLY time to get parts for your boat here in The valley of the Sun, because as soon as it gets warm, everybody starts clamoring for parts and goodies, and the stock dries up!

We'll keep you posted when we start our adventures, as soon as it gets a tad warmer around here... which in the Desert, could be any day now!

Happy trails... ERIC! (Phoenix Rover).