Sunday, November 22, 2020

Shakeout for the Maggie Mee

 Well, what with one thing and another, it was several months after I finished working on the Maggie before I got to take her out on a shakeout cruise. For her first trip, I wanted to go to nearby Caprock Canyon State Park, just a couple of hours up the road. If anything major were to go wrong, I would be close enough to make it back home without too much trouble. However, getting a reservation for a camping spot (at any state park right now) meant booking two months in advance. I dilly-dallied all summer, nervous about traveling during a pandemic. By the time I decided to give it a go, the soonest available time period was the first part of November, which can be dicey, weather-wise. What the heck, I thought, and clicked “send” to book my spot.

As it turned out, the weather was nearly perfect. Moreover, the forecast for night temperatures promised to be cold, but not quite freezing, so I figured that would give me a good opportunity to see how well she performed with a small space heater. I have a good winter sleeping bag, but mummy bags make me claustrophobic, and since the whole reason I decided to embark on the teardrop project was to eliminate as many discomforts associated with camping as possible, I was hoping that a space heater would provide enough heat that I could sleep in my PJs with regular bedding during cold weather.

And the answer to that particular question is that I can.

Other things also worked as well as I had hoped. The stove and galley counter top made cooking and clean up a breeze, even in the dark. Here we are on Taco Night:

The radio did not pick up any nearby stations, but since it is bluetooth capable, I just hooked up my phone and listened to my favorite classical station, KTTZ. I also used the phone as a mobile hotspot and used my iPad for internet access. I’d downloaded some movies onto the iPad as well before leaving and was able to watch them at night (since it was late fall, it got dark at 6:30 in the evening, so I really appreciated having something to do in the confines of the teardrop). My little reading lamp was perfect for reading myself to sleep, too. All the storage space meant everything stayed organized and out of my way. And the first night out there was a fierce windstorm. In a tent, this would have been a problem, but in The Maggie, it was actually soothing to lie there and listen to it. In short, the little camper is nearly perfect for my needs. 

What would make it perfect? Well, an indoor toilet, but that is not going to happen. The park rest rooms were clean and largely unoccupied, though, so it was not too much bother.

The other thing I can’t really fix is having to lie down to get dressed, but I guess I can live with that.

I was feeling a little under the weather for the couple of days I was there, so I didn’t do much more than some light hiking and bird watching. But it was a pleasant, successful trip. 


  1. Yippee - the launch!
    Is this the equivalent of "sea trials"

  2. Exactly. It is also something called a “Hudson start”—when boats in the Hudson Trading Company would first set off on a voyage, they would travel a mile down the river and camp for a few days. That way, they could figure out what was missing, what needed fixing, and so on, all while within walking distance of getting what they needed before traveling into the wilderness.


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