Sunday, October 25, 2009

Camping at the Cabin in October

It has been a while since I took the Travco out camping... April at the cabin and June at Devil's Den. I took a different route this time, taking Hwy 16 East to Hwy 21 South. I realized a savings of 20 miles taking that route and also because I was driving 45 - 55MPH on the Hwy vs. 65MPH on the interstate, I was able to get 7 MPG over the 180 miles round trip (previously I got 6 MPG on the trip to New Orleans).

I planned on leaving at 5pm on Friday, but was not ready until 6pm. With the engine fired-up and ready to go, I turned on the headlights and NOTHING! Troubleshooted it down to the connector at the dimmer switch not conducting power through. Since I would have to cut-off the old connector, I just cut and stripped the wires for low beam headlights, twisted and taped them together for the trip. OK, so now it is almost 7pm. Started to Fayetteville and fueled-up at Wally world. This was an unfamiliar road the last half of the trip, it was dark and I had no way to change to high-beams to see better.

I arrived at the cabin about 9:15pm and scouted-out the driveway for its condition. Not sure what caused it, but there were many trees down across the drive. So, I decided to park at the gas well for the night and tackle the trees in the morning, before the rest of the crew got there. It was a little cold that night, so I fired-up the furnace (original) and the burner worked fine, but the fan did not come on. I tracked it down to the temperature "disc" inside the furnace that tells the fan when to come on. So, I shut it off. To fix the problem in the future I am going to use a time delay relay, like on newer furnaces, to delay the fan on and fan off and tie it into the coil for the gas valve, so the fan comes on when the burner comes on. Ideally, with money, I would replace the furnace with something modern with forced combustion, as it is more efficient.

The gas well guy showed-up about 7:30am, I bet he was thinking WTF is that? Trey arrived around 8am, before I had all the drive clear, Durry arrived about 9am?

We rode our 4-wheelers and motorbike about 56 miles from lunch time to about 4. We fjord-ed the Mulberry river at Low Gap Springs road (D almost made it across w/o getting his boots wet!), stopped at the Oark Cafe, then found a new route back across the Mulberry with a bridge. On the way back we found a few waterfalls, this trip included many, many puddles for sure! Later that evening I checked the spring near the cabin, it was flowing very freely and was not clear, it was a little cloudy.

We had an OK fire that night, the wood was a little wet from all the rain we've had. (it still managed to melt the soles of my shoes...I threw them out today.) I gave Durry the movie pick and he went for SLINGBLADE as he had never seen it! Very funny, even after so many times. I wish I had Zombieland to show that night! BTW, the Travco works fairly well as a roof platform to get a better cellphone signal.

The drive back on Sunday was nice, I could actually see the fall colors by the road in the daylight!
I stopped at WM and got replacement fluids for the Travco and filled-up the gas tank to determine the fuel un-economy.

Until next time!