At long last, it's time to return to the upfit of Blue. We plan to leave for our first trip on May 1st – a mere 4weeks away - so we've pared the list of projects down to those that are essential and/or which can be completed in the remaining time. Just a few years ago, we spent several weeks 'car camping' on a cross-country road trip, stopping at a campground at the end of each day and pitching a tent for the night. Our biggest issue with that trip was that we were getting way too old to sleep on the ground on an air mattress anymore. We've decided that as long as we have a reasonably comfortable bed in Blue, we could get by initially, if need be, with camping gear and public toilets. I may not be able to finish the planned Murphy bed within the May 1st timeframe, but I am certain I can get a basic platform built for our new mattress, which should also provide some storage area underneath. I'll be starting that project in the next few days.
Next, while not absolutely essential, it would certainly be nice to have the house batteries installed so we can power the fridge, a few lights and our laptops - which also means we need a way to recharge them. I've pretty much finished the plans for the electrical system, and while I won't complete the entire project before we leave, I do hope to get the basics installed. I'll be spending the next couple of days sourcing and ordering parts so that when the bed is finished, I can move right on to the electrical system.
Another project that would be nice to complete would be the installation of the composting toilet. We may not always be in a campground, and even when we are, the two of us rarely make it through the night without needing a trip to the loo, so if time allows, I'll try to get this project done.
It would also be nice to have some privacy curtains for the windows. The windows are tinted, but that doesn't help at night when the interior lights are on. Marcie has agreed to take this project on.
Then there are the host of projects that we'd like to complete, but probably won't get to now; removing the industrial diamond plate flooring, insulating the floor, then installing a new sub-floor and flooring; interior walls; building the galley with sink and stove; propane locker; freshwater tank; gray water tank; all those cabinets and drawers I'd like to add; and, of course, finish the Murphy bed and electrical systems. Piece of cake!
The plan is to alternate a month or two between traveling and continuing the upfit process in Las Vegas, so the projects will be done in chunks. Not that different than the refit projects on Nine of Cups, when it was a very good thing we had complimentary views. With Blue, I'd happily spend the next five years building the perfect camper, but never go anywhere, while Marcie would be happy with a mattress on the floor of Blue and a bunch of plastic bins holding our camping stuff - as long as we were traveling. I have no doubt it will continue to be an ongoing negotiation between the captain and first mate as to how much time will be spent on the important stuff like Blue's projects versus the fluff-stuff like actually traveling to and exploring new places.