Friday, May 14, 2010

Laugh or cry, what’ya gonna do?

As soon as I snapped awake Friday morning at 4:30am, I knew something wasn’t quite right. It was cold, not cold enough to see my breath, but cold enough to make me not want to get out from under the covers. It’s not supposed to be this cold in here. I got out of bed and fiddled with the thermostat … nothing … checked the stove pilot light (the easiest one to get to) and it was out. OK, no problem, I’ll just switch propane tanks and have heat again. I grabbed my jacket from the closet near the door and the flashlight tumbled out of the closet hitting the floor with a “squish”. WTF? Deal with that later. I flipped the switch on the propane tanks, went back inside, and noticed the entry mat seemed wet. Not now, cold, want heat. The pilot light won’t light. Stove won’t light. Out of freakin’ propane. Fine. Whatever. Why’s the floor wet?

OK, left bathroom faucet trickling into the sink last night in case lines tried to freeze last night. Bad idea. Turn off faucet. There’s water all over the floor and the commode is full of water. WTF? Back outside and checked the hose going into the trailer. Not frozen. I’m confused. Turn off all the water from outside. Checked the discharge hoses and those ok, jiggled them and nothing seems stuck. Oooh look, water dripping from bottom of trailer. Cool. I yanked out all the rugs from the trailer and slung them over anything that would hold them. Water still dripping from bottom of trailer and water seems to be going away on floor. Why is the commode full? Step on pedal … nothing.

Back outside to kick at the discharge line. Grey water discharge open. Black water looks open. Back in the trailer commode still full. Check black water discharge, check level, it opens and water whooshed down the line. WTF? How did that get closed? Back in the trailer commode empty now. Water on floor from black water tank … connect the dots … bathroom sink goes into black water tank … learned something new. So water on floor from black water tank … gross … thank gawd I really haven’t been using that much.

No mop, no sponge, don’t want to mess up all my towels, and store won’t open for an hour. Trailer cold already, might as well open all the windows and screen door. Back outside to turn the water back on. Heck, it can’t hurt anything at this point. I still have power YAY. Coffee maker works.

No propane, gross floor, whatever. It’s chilly outside, no wind, no clouds, nice and quiet, I have coffee, and the truck fires right up. No problem.


Eventually the store opened and I picked up a sponge mop and more cleaning supplies. The propane station wouldn’t be open until later on in the day. The trailer got a thorough cleaning and ended up cleaner than it was the day I brought it to Rawlins. I’ve learned an important lesson about conserving propane. If I don’t have an immediate need for hot water, leave the hot water heater off. It only takes an hour or so to heat up and stays warm for at least the next 12 hours. The gas can be kept off to the stove and oven. Why would I need that on if I’m not using it except for a couple times a day?

The guys at the propane station are cool. I talked to one person there about making a 60’ hose to connect to the propane lines here at camp. A 3/8 hose will run around $200. That will have to wait until I find out if it’s OK to tap off the BLM’s propane first. Propane out here is cheap. It cost about $23 to fill both of my tanks. It was that much just to fill one tank on Pocatello. After 3 tanks, the 4th tank is free. As long as I don’t get stupid and leave the hot water running 24/7, my propane should last a while.


Other than a rocky start, it was a good day. Everyone has to do a driving test here. It’s more fun than a DMV test. We drive straight up the sides of hills on primitive roads forwards and backwards. If they wanted to make the test interesting they should have used my truck. Their trucks are newer models, fully automatic, and pretty cushy. On the way out of the building to get to the truck, we had to make a detour to grab a couple apple fritters from the donut shop here.

Today was a good day.

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