Well…lessee. Neil got out and did a whole bunch of under the house and under BAT maintenance yesterday morning…and Connie helped him lubricate the dump valves over the weekend…he crawled into the underbelly and sprayed silicone spray on the valve operating mechanisms while Connie cycled the valves open and shut to help distribute the spray around the cable. The actual valves are right behind the rear basement wall towards the curb side but they have cable operating mechanisms that lead over to the utility console on the street side about half way back. That way you can operate the valves more easily while observing the flow out of the clear discharge pipe to tell when your flushing process has cleaned all the muck out of the black or gray tank.
Last Friday we tried out a new place for dinner/happy hour…it’s called Banana Joe’s and it’s a semi-outside Tiki Bar style place about 5 miles from the campground. Great time, cold beer, pretty decent appetizers and we met some fun folks. Kirk had been there since 1100 when we arrived and sat at the bar…he was ordering Miller Lites by the bucket; they have some sort of special where you get 5 bottles in a bucket of ice for 7 bucks or something like that. Turns out that almost everybody that came in knew Kirk and came over to say hello, hug, and otherwise allow him to act what is apparently his normal perverted self. His wife came in about a half hour later on her Girl’s Nite Out…and sat around the other side of the bar with her lady friends. After our appetizer dinner and a pitcher of beer Neil polished the night off with a Dark and Stormy…since they had both Gosling’s Dark Rum and real Ginger Beer to make them with. The D&S is a British drink popular down in a lot of the Caribbean Islands that were former British possessions back in the colonial days. Sort of like a Rum and Ginger Ale but Gosling’s is a really dark and well spiced rum…and Ginger Beer (although non alcoholic) is way better than Ginger Ale…much more ginger flavor and a lot tarter as well as less sweet. Makes a really fine cocktail. Here’s a picture of the Dark and Stormy he grabbed fer ya’.
Mighty tasty lookin’…eh? You know you want one.
The weather finally cooled back off from the high 80s we had last week…so we were able to open up the house and get back to natural breeze ventilation on Saturday…we like that a lot better than having to hermetically seal ourselves inside to escape the heat and humidity.
Yesterday afternoon we hopped in the car and drove up tower Punta Gorda to visit a couple of friends of ours…Howard and Linda Payne of RV-Dreams. They’re a couple who sold their title insurance business in Louisville almost 8 years ago and hit the road full time. They work camp at various locations, put on educational rallies, speak at RV shows, weigh RVs and probably have another 5 or 6 money making things going on that I don’t know about…but they’re making enough to support their lifestyle. They are in the middle of a boon docking training rally for RVers who want to learn how to live without hookups (that’s what boon docking is). The advantage is that you can find a great number of places, particularly out west where it doesn’t cost anything to park your RV and you may be the only RV you can see in many square miles of land. That’s the good part, cheap or free parking and no neighbors so you can just kick back and watch the world go by. The hard part is that you don’t have any power or water or sewer hookups so you have to work around that. An RV has batteries and an inverter to provide some AC power and you use either your generator or solar panels to recharge the batteries. You’ve also got a fresh water tank as well as the gray and black tanks for waste water…but by judicious use of water you can make it 10 days to 2 weeks before your fresh is empty and the black/gray are full. At that point you hitch up and drive to the nearest RV park where for 10 bucks or so you an dump and refill then it’s back to the boon docking area for another couple of weeks. What Howard and Linda do is train people how to manage your tank and electrical capacities to maximize the amount of time before you have to go and dump/refill.
We got there shortly before the afternoon appetizer pot luck…since we were freeloaders and not paying for the rally we just took ourselves a Subway and box of wine. Along with chatting again with Howard and Linda we met some other old friends Bill and Nancy who retired out of SC and hit the road full-time although they’ve been RVing for 40 years or so. We’ll see them again at the rally in April up in TN near Neil’s baby sister. All of the RVs are parked in a big oval in a cow pasture owned by some friends of Howard and Linda…Neil snapped a pano with his iPhone 5s so you can see what a group boon docking setup looks like.
That little semi cleared area just right of center is where the campfire pit is located and the training, seminars, and meals go on over under the trees just to the left of center. The oval is about 200 yards across so everybody has plenty of space. You can see the rig on the far left has their portable solar panel out on the ground to maximize sun collection. On a good day with lots of bright sunshine like you can see above then you can recharge enough battery capacity without using your generator to cover lights and a couple of hours of TV and internet use…if you need to run the A/C or microwave then you have to kick the generator on for the higher current capacity those devices need but generally only for a few minutes up to an hour or so. On overcast or rainy days you might need to run the generator 3 or 4 hours a day.
After dinner over under the trees the group (there are 35 or so RVs here) moved over to the campfire pit and lit the fire that Neil helped Howard lay earlier and we sat around drinking wine and talking until 2100 or so when we headed home.
Howard and Linda are toying with the idea of opening a co-op style RV Dreams RV park…but with fewer sites per acre than one needs in a commercial park to make a profit. The idea is to have 3-4 sites per acre instead of the 12-15 of a commercial park with lots of trees left in place to make it much more of a state park, camping in the woods atmosphere but with full RV hookups. As a co-op there would be a buy in fee then a couple thousand a year maintenance fee but you would get the right to use one sight without additional charge. We’re not sure if we’re interested in it or not…but will at least watch the possible project develop and if necessary make a decision about what we want to do. The property they’re looking at has river front footage of about 2000 feet and almost 97 acres of land…it’s located only a couple of miles from this pasture…Howard is trying to arrange a group tour later this week so we might have to run back up and take a look if that works out. There’s also a group paddle tomorrow morning that we may or may not go up for depending on how we feel about it.
Today Connie went off to get her toes and finger nails painted…she’s off to choir practice this afternoon while Neil has computer club in the campground…then some chicken for dinner and off to Bingo.