Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Off-line in Little Rock

No internet access today -- we're under the trees at Burns Park in Little Rock, Arkansas (map). As is usual in such circumstances, I am posting to a file for upload later. I might get on with my cell phone here, although the signal seems pretty weak; otherwise, you'll be reading this when I upload it from our next stop.

We are here because the route plan called for us to stop just a bit further north, and this is the only decent place to stay anywhere near our route with electric hookups. The latter is needed because it is once again in the 90's.

Yesterday was a somewhat irritating day. As is our usual practice, we stayed off the interstates, leaving Tyler on TX155, picking up US59 in Linden, TX, and connecting with US67 in Texarkana. US67 is a narrow two-lane that roughly parallels I-30, and, passing through Prescott, AR on it, we took a hit from either a rock kicked up by, or some debris dropped from, a haul truck going the other direction. The really, really good news is that whatever it was, it missed both the upper and lower windshields. The bad news is that it hit right between them, taking out a chunk of body filler and paint about two inches long and an inch wide. I'll have to fill the divet with Bondo, sand and prime the result, and somehow match the metal-flake black paint in that area to hide the hideous thing. Of course, there isn't really time to deal with this now until after General Assembly. I might touch it up with a black Sharpie until I can get to it.

As if that was not enough, the recurring generator heat-prostration is still with us. Temperatures climbed into the mid-90's in the afternoon, and we just could not keep the genny running. In order to keep the interior from baking, we were running both one roof air and the cockpit air, and any charge depletion at all in the house batteries coupled with these two loads was enough to cause the PathMaker battery combiner to cut out on overcurrent, thus further depleting the batteries as the inverter struggled to run both units. The afternoon was a constant cycle of resetting generator breakers, the inverer itself, and the air conditioner breakers and controls. By the time we arrived here we were very hot and very cranky.

On top of all this, the rear leveler stopped responding once we arrived, so I am in for another crawl under the rear wheels to check on it later. And, finally, we never made it to the grocery store, so we had to fall back on our emergency pasta and clam sauce supplies. At least we still had wine -- a friendly syrah was a nice finish to a cranky day.

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