It is the last few days of September, the weather has been beyond great with beautiful sunny warm days in the mid 20’s or low 80’s and cooling off nicely in the evenings to make sleeping easy. But as we are closing in on October the crispness of the fall season is just around the corner, so its time to start preparing for our departure from the shores of Lake Huron. We have no major issues that need to be addressed before we start our next adventure, we have scheduled a little time in Gino’s body shop for a couple of small repairs, oil changes and chassis lube and we should be good to go.
It may sound silly but I miss hearing the big diesel come to life, the rumble of the C12 Caterpillar engine is pretty unmistakable, the whole park knows when it is running as the deep throated exhaust does leave quite an impression. But for now it is about loading the basement and the towed. I have just updated Thunders daily log, this is where I daily track miles covered, fuel consumed, run time of the Hurricane Heater, generator run hours, and the like. I also record our costs of camping and what hook ups we had, if we are boondocking where we were and how much power the solar produced and most importantly the state of charge of the battery bank. There hasn’t been much to update for the last few months except some run time for hot water and of course the solar keeps producing to top up the battery bank.
This will be the longest that we have sat in one spot ever…in fact just a few days over six months…we have watched the trees come to life, the buds, the leaves opening, the rich greens of summer, to the colours of the fall season, to being raked and bagged for disposal. The whole growth cycle for a year, we are expecting some brilliant colours in the area soon, but have not experienced a frost yet, which could be happening anytime now. It is usually after our Thanksgiving (which is the second weekend of October) that we see the weather turn and the possibility of that four letter word (SNOW) becomes very real, not that it will stay but we usually get our first taste of it before Halloween.
None of the packing process is difficult, its more like working a big jig saw puzzle, as we need to find a spot for everything, but try to have items available in the order that we will need them so it take some planning and some trial and error. The more we pack in the towed the less that needs to make its way to the basement. So I try to pack both with the least used items packed the deepest and with the most needed easily available. Now that does not always work but I’m getting pretty good at it just the same, and if things have to be moved for access of an item I try to make it as easy as possible.
I ran the generator today first time in a few month, it started fine and I ran it for about twenty minutes just to bring it to temperature. Did a light check also and I have a couple of lamps that need attention, will be replacing some marker lamps with new LED units as they flash when the directional signals are on, and if that helps with merging it’s a good investment. I had replaced one in Florida with a cheap LED, it only had 3 LEDs inside but the cover fell off of it on the way north, I know you get what you pay for…so the new brand name ones have 13 LEDs and good fitting lens. I’m going to town today to try to find some new lights for our mirrors, one fills with water and quits working, so it’s time to upgrade.
I will be checking the fluid levels on the diesel today and will most likely fire it up just to check everything, as I start preparing to roll down the road. Our travel is slow and methodically, so we try not to be rushed, we like the ability to sit for a day if the weather is bad, no deadlines if possible and when we have a booking we will try to be in the area a day or so early. This slower pace puts less stress on both Thunder and myself…I tell everyone I’m not on the road till 10am and we are off the road by 2pm and usually stop for a lunch break and maybe a small nap. So 150 to 300 kilometres (100 to 200 miles) a day is pretty normal so Arizona will take about a twenty days if we move every day which we won’t, as there is always something we will want to explore. In fact usually the weather is our main pushing influence, trying to avoid the real cold spots, and bad weather either snow or just heavy rain and we don’t turn a wheel.