Thursday, February 25, 2010

Leaving the Slabs

Today was a red letter day in several ways.

For starters, we were fortunate enough to get our mail from our remail service, so we were free to leave.. Secondly, we have been here long enough that our tanks are about full, so a move is in order. (It was a race to see if the tanks would fill before the mail came in.)

We picked up the mail at the opening bell (10 AM) and headed back to the motorhome. We didn't exactly rush, but we obviously wasted no time getting ready to roll. Our destination was a small (but nice) rest stop about 10 miles south of Niland. While there, we would empty our tanks and fill the fresh water tank, plus take time to change the valves on the holding tanks. The valve change was driven by a leaky black tank valve, not something that makes friends for anyone in a campground.

After dumping, we moved the motorhome to the parking area and raised the left side with the jacks so that any residual liquid would run to the other end of the tanks. It is very surprising, but access to the valves couldn't be easier. I told Sandy that it was a 2 hour job and we finished in about 1.5 hours. We removed the valve assembly, disassembled it, cleaned everything and reassembled it with new seals. Looking at the old seals and the gate, it was obvious why there was a leak. The tank side of the gate was coated with lime, much like the lime that accumulates around the water faucets etc. Naturally, the lime on the gate valve surface was like sand paper and wore the seal out. Interestingly, the gray holding tank valve had no lime present, perhaps the result of soap in the bath water and dish water.

Once everything was out, cleaned, we reassembled it and presto, good as new (we think).

From the rest stop, we headed for the Walmart in Brawley. I had planned my route via my computer map and verbally told Sandy how to plot it on her GPS. Well, I never write anything down, so we had a bit of a problem getting the route loaded. But once loaded, we headed to Brawley. However, the first road I wanted to take was both gravel and closed, so plan B. I told her to head for 1st Street and she said there was no 1st street. Anyway, we headed into town and I picked the first logical street to the right, to which her GPS goes nuts again, saying “recalculating”. The first street was really “A” street, which we headed west on. Her GPS wanted to route us north and I knew that we wanted to go south. We headed a fair distance west and then I turned south, and the GPS again said “Recalculating”. But then Sandy informed me that we were dead on the street to take us to Walmart. So how is that for dead-reckoning driving?

We had a long stop at Walmart, as Sandy said the Pantry was bare. I don't know what the bill was, but the cart was full (and I get ice cream for a snack tonight again finally!) (Buying anything in Niland is supporting highway robbery. A half gallon of milk was 50 percent more than a full gallon in Brawley.

All the while Sandy was shopping, I was manning the bug trap. It was a warm day and we had brought the slides in and al-la, did we have lady bugs! They were out in force A week ago, we thought we were out of the Lady bug land, as we were down to 2 or 3 bugs a day. But today, it was a problem with 100 plus. We have resolved that next year, we shall not have this problem with the bugs. We shall leave Iowa before the Lady bug season starts. (We believe that the bugs are hiding in the joints of the slide-outs. We need more hot weather to drive them out.

Tonight we are hunkered down in a short term (free) BLM campground near a hot spring. Tomorrow we soak our cares and worries away! Life has been good!!!

Gene

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