The Journey Begins? What? Wait! First, you have to pick a rig.

The Journey Begins? What? Wait! First, you have to pick a rig.

Anyone who decides to play monopoly knows that the first critical step is deciding what token you will choose.  Much like President Trump’s power handshake, a token determines everything.  What will it be? Do you select one of the originals?

Maybe you are sophisticated enough to select one of the new pieces.

Either way, You have to select a token before starting the game.  It was no different for us.  Your selection of a token might depend on your strategy.  Would we decide on a fifth wheel or a motor coach?  If it was a motor coach, what class would we select?  It is all about picking the right token.

I thought long and hard about a fifth wheel with a nice beefy diesel truck.  As it passed by, any kid could hang his head and arm out the window and give the sign to blow the air horn!  Fifth wheeling is as serious a business as:

However, we wanted to fit into as many of the national and state parks as possible.  This would mean we wanted to be under 35 feet if possible.  My search for motor coaches under 35 feet only left one coach that had the ability to tow what was needed along with the layout we wanted.  If you have a motor coach you probably will tow a vehicle behind it.  This is called a “Toad” or a “towed vehicle”.  A towed vehicle has to have a certain transmission in order to be towed with “four on the floor”.  Otherwise, you need to drag along a trailer to pull the front wheels up or actually trailer the whole vehicle.  Our Toad selection was a Jeep Grand Cherokee.  It could even fit our newest telescope additions.

Most of you are aware that I fell in love with geology and astronomy later in life.  Amateur visual astronomy has a few big names: James Dobson’s development of the simple Az/Alt design (Dobsonian telescopes), Dave Kriege’s Obsession telescopes (advancing the simple Dobsonian design using some of the best materials and engineering), and Al Nagler’s perfection of the Tele Vue Optics (eyepieces) that are needed to take the newest Dobsonian designs to an even higher level with the shorter f-lengths.  It was my desire to have the perfect complimentary visual telescopes with the proper eyepieces.  An Obsession 20″ Classic and a Tele Vue NP101is are the “thoroughbred” reflector and refractor that have not only revolutionized amateur visual astronomy, but have served as a standard for the last two decades.  These guys will go down in history!

Unfortunately, to properly care for all of my delicate astronomy equipment, I would need a climate controlled environment.  This would not be feasible with a Jeep Grand Cherokee.  My research revealed I would need to have a full-time air conditioner dedicated to the telescope equipment in order to control the climate.  After much searching, I found the answer to my problem was to expand my telescope space from the back of a Jeep Cherokee to a Mobile Solar MS-325.  This was a two axle trailer that could house all of my equipment along with enough space for: a composting toilet, extra water and gear.  I could actually park this trailer anywhere and put on self-sustained astronomy presentations with our rig parked at a site in the park.  Otherwise, we could boondock with the whole enchilada.

So, after touring the factory, we decided on the 2017 Thor Aria 3401.  We also decided on the Mobile Solar MS-325 to be towed behind a Ford-F150.  To top all this off we needed to “solarize” our Aria 3401.  After a ton of research we found the number one candidate was Eddie Glonek of Mobile Homestead Solar Services.

This is how we came to select “our Monopoly piece”.  Which piece will you select?

2 Replies to “The Journey Begins? What? Wait! First, you have to pick a rig.”

  1. My Osprey backpack(s) are probably my chosen monopoly piece(s). I’ve gone past “Go” and collected new experiences many times with them.
    I didn’t know the T-rex was a new monopoly piece. I’ll choose that as well.

    1. We decided to go with the Kelty Redwing 50. They are a bit bigger than your Osprey, but they seem to fit both of us. The Osprey’s rubbed along my armpit area on all the models I tried on. They compact very nicely for more of a day pack, too. Plus, it’s bigger so we can fit Missy into the back of the pack. 🙂

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