Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sweet home Alabama

We are parked at a Lowes in Montgomery, Alabama (map).

Yesterday morning we were out of drinking water, and I did what I normally do when we run out on the road -- I went downstairs and opened the valve that transfers water from the fresh tank, through the ceramic filter, into the drinking tank. I then set a timer for 15 minutes and went back to whatever I was doing.

Fifteen minutes later I went back downstairs and the wet bay was flooded. Water was virtually pouring out of a PVC fitting on one of the drinking tank inputs. It's possible that the fitting itself has cracked in the cold weather, or perhaps the glue at the joint has quit. In any case, the solution will be to replace three fittings and an 8" section of pipe, and we went into the Lowes to buy what we needed. It turns out there is a Carrabbas restaurant just one parking lot over, and so we asked the store manager if we could spend the night.

Long-time readers know that the Red Cross has a disaster relief "hot site" here in Montgomery, where we spent a few days last fall. Since we were passing through anyway, we called headquarters to see if there was anything they wanted us to check on while we were in town. They called back an hour later to tell us that none of the hot site computers was accessible on the network, and, yes, would we stop by and check. When we called the local contact here last night, they were closing, and so we agreed to call again this morning to set a time to meet at the site. Depending on what the problem is, we may be here in Montgomery another night.

Yesterday's drive was quite pleasant. We managed to stay off the freeway for most of the day, taking US-29 to the state line, crossing the Chattahoochee just south of West Point Lake. We got back on the Interstate at the last exit in Alabama so that we could stop at the welcome center rest area just a mile west of there, where there was a dump station and fresh water, both of which we needed. We bailed off at the next exit to reconnect with 29.

In Tuskegee, where we saw no airmen (I think because they all went to DC for the inauguration), US-29 turns south, and so we continued west on US-80, which brought us all the way here. Whenever we leave here, we will continue west on 80 through Selma (yes, that one) and Demopolis and into Jackson, MS, where we will fuel up.

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