Of the loose ends left at the end of this year’s Cabin Work Week project, the most anticipated was putting the final courses of cedar shakes on the Nurse’s Cabin. The shakes had run out too soon to finish, so once they arrived, Dave was joined by Christa from the park staff and Dan, a Cabin Work Week volunteer who had returned to serve as the new Park Host. Over three days, each row of shakes were cut to size and nailed in place, until the ridge was reached. The final step was to lay the ridge cap along the top. Once fitted, it was nailed in place and the crew stepped back to admire the job.
On colder days, Dave welcomed the opportunity to finish up some reports on this year’s project and begin the application process for next year’s grants. The follow-up meeting with Park Management went well and provided ideas for next year.
Waking up on a frigid morning, we were unsettled to see the temperatures were sitting at 21 degrees. We had anticipated some cold temps, but not that cold. Dave had scrambled the evening before to place small heaters by the exposed holding tank drains. Cathy had wrapped the fresh water drain in rags to insulate it as well. So, despite the unexpected hard freeze, all was well. Or was it? Cathy opened the fridge to find it unusually warm. Reading up on this in Google, she confirmed that the cold had stopped the refrigerant from circulating, shutting down the refrigeration.
The good news was that, since it was so cold outside, it was pretty easy to keep the contents cold until we thawed things out. Cathy turned the fridge off, and then we opened up the outside compartment. exposing the coils to a small heater, which warmed them up, so that they could cool the fridge down. It does seem a little upside down. However, we needed a longer term solution. The heater was too big for the small compartment, as was any heater we could find. We finally opted for a single plug and a small 15W appliance bulb. That kept everything warm (outside) and cold (inside) for the rest of our stay.
Since purchasing our new truck last fall, we knew we needed to make some adjustments to correct the way the RV rode on the hitch in the, now higher, truck bed. Also, we no longer needed the speicalized Sidewinder hitch pin that moved the RV’s pivot point back on our original short bed truck. The solution was to re-install the original hitch pin, which Dave had cleaned up and painted over the winter.
With the original hitch pin back in place, hooking up was much less sensitive to how precisely straight the truck and trailer were. And the trailer seems to disconnect pretty easily. However, we had one more purchase to make. There is circular plate that sits between the hitch and the pin, called a lube plate, that makes the RV ride more smoothly and disconnect easily. As its name implies, it takes the place of grease on the hitch.
We also took the time to ensure the truck was ready for the trip, rotating the tires, changing the oil and fuel filters as well.
On Thanksgiving morning, we hooked up and headed out of Pocahontas for the final time this year. We would be spending the day with Bonnie and Troy at their Thanksgiving table. We had spent the last couple of weeks saying our goodbyes, enjoying farewell dinners, enjoying some Cinncinnati chili with Rich and Stasi, and wishing everyone well as we slowly exited the park. We had squeezed in doctor’s appointments and shots and had a great birthday dinner with our grandson and his girlfriend. Adam hiked into the park to meet us on a beautiful fall day. It was a wonderful end to our stay.
Heading south on Black Friday, we weren’t sure a Wal-mart would be the best place to spend the night on the road. However, pulling into the one in Walterboro SC was pretty easy and not too crowded, although the story was a little different inside the store. By noon the next day, we had crossed into Florida, but were disappointed that there was no juice at the Welcome Center. Oh well. We were set up at Faith shortly after and greeted with hospitality as warm as the weather. Great to be back.