Boondocking at Walmart

Went to @Walmart off Dimond today looking for a tallish plant stand when I notice a bunch of RVs parked in their parking lot.  It brought back memories of my driving with 3 dogs from Houston, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska.  Both times waking up to fresh snow on the ground.

I stopped at Walmart because it was on the way, I did not know of any other place to stay, both times it was very late, and the weather was getting worse by the minute.  The next morning there was a dusting of snow. I parked out of the way, but people were around so I felt safe.  There was ample shopping opportunity.  The next morning I would have my Sausage McMuffin breakfast, walk the dogs, and we were on our way.

What did I learn?

  • Ask management permission-not every Walmart permits staying overnight.
  • Park out of the way-so shoppers can park close.
  • Limit your stay to a night or two tops-this is not for your vacation.
  • Be discreet-don’t start putting out lawn chairs, fences, plants, etc.
  • Be nice and friendly.
  • Be grateful.

For more information and help finding RV friendly overnight stays at walmart, check out their Walmart Locator

KeyWords: boondocking dry camping  overnight

Coffee Coffee Coffee

Working on cutting down and maybe stopping my coffee consumption.  I’ve lived for that morning cup for such a long time. Starbucks was always my coffee of choice. When I crewed on the hot air balloon Chameleon, I was so proud of my app. I could find any Starbucks wherever I was.

When I took this image, I used both @Starbucks coffee (which I drank) and non-Starbucks beans from the dollar store as filler.  Little did I realize then that it would have been better for me to use the non-SB coffee to drink and use the other as filler for the image.

They forgot they were simply purveyors of very expensive flavored water, and not a well honed PAC.  First the race thing.  Then the LGBTQ thing. Then the 10,000 immigrant thing, Then the President Donald Trump thing.  So the conservatives showed them.  They walked in en mass and demanded coffee.  They got it.  Only to find out that tests have shown it tainted with fecal material?  Dookie?  In our coffee?  <Chuckles> I am thinking everyone else’s too?

During the 10,000 immigrant ruckus, Black Rifle Coffee Company ( @blckriflecoffee made a big and welcomed stand for our vets declaring they would try to hire 10,000 veterans.  Next question, is there a little something extra there too?  But I’m buying.


Charcuterie #1


This is my first attempt at charcuterie.  I am most certainly not an expert, but give me a little time.  My first exposure to charcuterie was at the Rustic Goat in Anchorage (@rusticgoatak).

Meat:  choices  pickled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto piccante, Italian dry salami, peppered salami, Calabrese salami.  Cheeses:   Gruyere, Drunken Goat (goat cheese, rind treated with red wine), Stilton.  Misc: A medley of pickled olives, peppers, onions, stone ground mustard, dried figs.  Not shown: pepper water crackers and toasted baguette.

Beer: Denali Brewing Company (@denalibrewing) Agave Gold (#agavegold).  Visited the brewery and tasting room today.  Found everyone to be warm, knowledgeable and friendly. I will be stopping from now on every trip I make.  I would recommend you stopped and visited.

The desert, “Moose Droppings” from TheRoadhouse in Talkeetna, AK (@tkaroadhouse).

Special thanks my friend Pippa (@pscrogg88) for all her help and advice.

Rudy’s BBQ Sause


I don’t think Anchorage is a hot spot for BBQ.  At least I am still looking.  One place had the greasiest brisket I have ever had to endure.  Most are just cook-it-in-the-oven-and-put-bbq-sauce-on-it establishments.  I started working on my rub recipe when I remembered I could order Rudy’s.

I have to admit this was my favorite place for BBQ in Houston.  We were a group of people calling ourselves the “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Ladies”, High Performance Computing types who would meet once a month at Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ off NorthWest Freeway.  It gave us an opportunity to talk nerd, discuss cutting edge research, and gave vendors a target audience while eating great bbq with our hands.

I ordered three bottles of Rudy’s BBQ rub and sause.

My Friend Ed


Today Ed Gold started shakedown  trials for his #SuzukiTL1000s motorcycle.  He bought it for $400.00 and then searched for parts all over the world to make it better than new.  I followed him down to  #BrownBearBar at #IndianRiver in the #Hummer #H3 to make sure all went well.  It did.  Extra points: His “Silver Sufer” series started here…

New55 PN

Negative scan of Ed Gold using New55 PN film

Last year I bought a Polaroid 110 -> 4×5 conversion thinking it would be a much simpler way of shooting large format than carrying a large and bulky monorail and supporting tripod. loaned it to my friend Ed Gold (pictured above) who used it for his Galena, Alaska  book project.

New55FILM are a kickstarter designing new chemistry to reimagine Polaroid type 55 Black and White film. They have a number of interesting products including New55 PN which is coming closer and closer to Polaroid we all remember and love.  It uses the Polaroid 545 holder (available at New55FILM) and follows the same process you became used to following.  Note that you will have need to have Ilford Rapid Fixer to fix the negative.

This is my first attempt.  Hand held.  Learning a new camera and film.  And sometimes having to start over again.  Each box comes with ISO rating, and recommended development time on the box.  Tutorials can be found on their site, and on you tube.

@New55FILM #New55 #New55FILM #New55PN #1SHOT #R5MONOBATH  #New55Superb @Polaroid #Polaroid110  #Polaroid4x5

New55FILM #1

Film Scan: 35mm Kodak Technical Pan developed in R5 Monobath.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish-Anchorage, Alaska

One of the hardest things for me is finding something to photograph.  I work long hours, have way too many things and things to plan and do.  I have driven by this church daily for almost two years when all of a sudden, last week, it “saw it”.  I looked at it from a different angle, and it felt drawn to it.  I love that old Spanish Church architecture like one sees in New Mexico.  The San Francisco de Asis Mission Church for instance.   I vowed to photograph it and use it to learn Salt Printing.

I found some rolls of Kodak Technical Pan 2415 and thought I would try that.  it was   discontinued in 2004.  I  have had these rolls since at least 2007.   On the shelf I had a couple of bottles of New55FILM R5 Monolith Developer. I liked the idea of not having to use one chemical and then another. I recalled reading somewhere (like their website?) that I could use R5 on out date Black and White film stock, so…


Friday it started snowing and Saturday morning it was still coming down. I wish I had not waited and just gone to photograph it while the sun was out.  My friend Ed Gold said, “Let’s go now”, and was kind enough to accompany me.  So we went.

Loaded a roll of film into one of my Canon EOS-1 cameras, set the ISO (too old to have a DX code), and off we went. Shot the roll, ran home and developed it using R5 (more on that later), and scanned it today (will also cover that later).

I am pleasantly surprised by what I am seeing, though it can get rather contrasty.

@New55FILM #New55 #New55FILM #New55PN  #R5MONOBATH @CanonUSA #EOS1 #EOS-V EOS1VHS @Kodack  #TechnicalPan2415


BBQ Pork Ribs


I was off from work today. So I decided to cook some BBQ ribs.  I slow cooked some pork ribs for 8 hours. Fall off the bone goodness.  Beer, Jublie, 10+% content.  Potato salad and baked beans.

Sterling, AK?


Next week I am heading to Sterling, AK to visit Wayne and his lovely wife.  When I got here, I was able to park my camper at  Fox Run RV Park. Desi and Scott took me under their wing. I can never, ever say enough good things about those two!  Through them I actually learned how to use my camper.  I always felt safe and watched.  Through them I met Wayne and his lovely wife who are nurses who seem to always find great places to work.   He also does some wonderful wood carvings.  Here’s one I have in my home.