Thursday, January 22, 2009

Moving on

We are at the Sam's Club in Sterling, Virginia (map), just around the corner from where we parked back in December. That was a nicer spot, behind the building and mostly obscured from public view, but they are now building a gas station here, and that area was full of construction vehicles when we arrived.

We had tentatively made plans to have lunch yesterday with folks over at the Red Cross headquarters hot site facility, and so we packed up around 10am. I had 75' of power cord out, to reach the 50-amp receptacle from our chosen parking spot, which we selected to get satellite access through a line of trees to the south. It was so cold still at that hour that I could hardly coil the cords enough to stuff them in the bay -- it felt like bending copper tube, with the added hardship that it all kept trying to uncoil like a giant spring. It had also gotten cold enough over night that a new crop of coolant leaks has sprung up, including from the main connection to the lower radiator, and somewhere in the bowels of the driver heater plumbing.

We arrived at the Red Cross facility ahead of lunch time, but not late enough to avoid being pressed into service to label and hump dozens of equipment cases for shipment back to the technology maintenance center in Austin. The equipment was here, as were a couple of volunteers with an ECRV, in the event of any incident surrounding the inauguration -- we were happy to send it back unopened.

At least we actually earned our lunch -- lasagna and caesar salad that had been brought in to the center. We also got to meet some of the new HQ staff since our last visit two years ago, and it's always good to catch up with everyone. These are folks we spend hours and hours talking to on the phone, but rarely see in person.

While we were at the hot site, I got a call from regular blog readers Randy and Pam, who inquired if we were still in Fairfax and up for a visit. We agreed to catch up once we parked for the night here in Sterling -- we knew we did not want to try to fight our way out of the area at rush hour after wrapping up our Red Cross visit, and we also remembered there were several restaurants here.

We first had to make a stop at the nearby Petco. The filter unit on the fish tank crapped out a couple days ago, and Louise has been having to change water every day to keep the fish alive. The filter unit is integral to the acrylic tank assembly, and we will have to order it from the manufacturer, but we were at least able to pick up an external unit to tide us over.

We had a nice visit with Pam and Randy, and we all went to dinner at the Macaroni Grill two parking lots away. They are shopping for a full-timing rig now, and had many questions. We hope Odyssey gave them some good ideas.

In a few minutes, we will head into Wal-Mart to pick up some necessities, including some more coolant to make up for our leakage in the last couple days. After which, we will get back on the road, heading south for warmer climes. We'll be fueling today at the Flying-J in Carmel Church. Fuel is $.04 cheaper in Wyethville, on I-81, but it's several degrees colder in the Shenandoah valley that here on the coast side, so we will stay this side of the ridge, retracing our December route as far as Richmond, then swinging southwest towards Charlotte and Atlanta.


  1. Hey,

    Where do you think you'll be stopping on your way towards Charlotte and Atlanta? I live in Hillsborough, NC, just west of Durham, NC and would love an opportunity to meet you if it works out.

  2. Enjoyed our brief time with you. Thanks for your generosity in sharing the evening and answering our many questions. Your RV is amazing! Sorry to hear of the coolant issue.
    Safe travels until we meet up again.

    Randy and Pam

  3. @Lance: We'll be passing through Greensboro more or less on US-29. I'm afraid that's as close as we'll come to Hillsborough.

    No particular schedule, but we could be on the outskirts as early as tonight. I tend not to post an update here until the following day, so check our "where we are" link on the home page to see where we end up tonight.


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