I was up at 6:30 and the mowers started at 7:00. There were a few disgruntled campers this morning - I live with one. :)
Well it is August 31 and we have decided to stay here at Prairie Flower at Saylorville Lake through Labor Day weekend.
We stayed because we would have had to fill up with diesel if we left today, and I wouldn't put another fill-up in August's expenses. :) Just kidding - mostly. The other reasons were that we have a perfectly good spot, we didn't want to fight the Labor Day weekend crowds, and we still hadn't chosen a place to go.
So by staying a few extra days, and having only electric hook-ups I had to do two things this morning: fill the fresh water tank and dump the black water and galley tanks.
I suppose the smart thing to do would have been to just hitch up, go to the dump station, empty the tanks and fill up with fresh water at the same time. But now that I have convinced myself that using the blue boy is not so bad, hitching up and then setting up all over again seems like more of a hassle.
I don't know - the jury is still out on which is more work. The blue boy certainly takes longer. But there is something in my head that says it is silly to stow everything, hitch up, pull the rig around a circle, and try to put it back in the exact same spot. Maybe it's the fact that we had such a bad experience the last time we tried that (July 1 - You Gotta Be Kidding Me). :)
Blue boy it is - this time. First, I decided to get out my 100 feet of marine hose and stretch it to the nearest water spigot to fill the fresh water tank. Of course I was about 15 feet short. But my neighbor across the road, Glenn, came to my rescue and let me borrow a hose to get connected.
So while I was filling our 100 gallon fresh water tank, I got out the blue boy and carefully filled it for my first trip. Hey, I think I'm getting the hang of this.
Our neighbor Wes, Snackmaster, needed to dump as well, but he decided to hitch up and dump. It should be interesting to see which one of us gets finished first if we include his stowing and setting up time.
I rolled the tote over to hook onto the ball hitch on the truck bumper. Hey! Where's the ball? Okay, so either someone stole my ball hitch or the nut came loose and it just fell off as we were driving down the road. Since it is me we are talking about, I will assume the latter, but I will keep the next ball hitch in the tool box from now on just in case it was the former. :)
So I sheepishly walked across the road. "Um. Do you happen to carry an extra ball hitch?" Apparently I didn't use the correct terminology, because Glenn got out some tools and started to remove his entire Reese hitch assembly to let me borrow it. "Whoa, don't go to all that trouble, I just need the ball, not the whole thing. I just thought that you might carry an extra one." And in fact, he did. :)
I know what you are thinking. "The fresh water tank is still filling. I bet he flooded everything!" I didn't, but I don't blame you for thinking that. :)
So I got the fresh water filled, I took four trips to empty the black and the galley tanks and there were no disasters. I still haven't concluded which way is a bigger pain - blue boy or hitch-and-go. But neither process is a big enough pain, for us, to avoid nice campgrounds like this one because of the lack of sewer hook-ups. :)
But I will say this. Taking on the dumping responsibilities eases any guilt I might have about Linda doing all the laundry, and almost all of the cooking and cleaning. :)
Now that we were good to go for the rest of our stay, I got things sanitized, and I returned the hose and ball to Glenn, I turned my attention to where we are headed next.
I actually spent a couple hours figuring out that our next stop will be Backbone State Park about 170 miles northeast of here. It is about 30 miles from the "Field Of Dreams" movie site, there is a small lake and a trout stream, and it will make a good base for hitting a couple other state parks and natural areas.
After that, who knows? :) The tentative plan is to head across Iowa into South Dakota. But with our slow pace, we may run out of time and have to head south before we get to experience the highlights. Campgrounds start to close in September as well, so we will just have to see how it goes.
I did all the travel research outside in my lounger while Linda worked on a bracelet beside me. The sky was bright blue, the temperatature was perfect, and our critters were entertaining us.
The little ground squirrel, now named Vinny, decided he was tired of being a ground squirrel, so he would take flying leaps off the railroad ties to get on our bird feeder. One hilarious attempt was "nothing but air" and had Linda bent over with laughter. :)
At one point Linda had Vinny about six inches away as she sat and talked to him. So Vinny, the dozen or so hummers (we had to put out a third feeder), and this handsome goldfinch kept our attention.
The afternoon passed as we sat contentedly. Then it was time for social hour next door with Wes & Jan (Wanderings and Side Trips is their blog). They are Escapees and part of the Class of 2005 graduating class to full-timing as are Glenn & Diane across the road. And we all have satellite internet and are posted right on top of each other on the Datastorm Users map.
We had a good group of full-timers, including Nick & Terry Russell (The Gypsy Journal) and a couple of wannabes. I think the wannabes, Cinda & Bill, were gonnabes by the time we all finished with them. :)
We enjoyed the apple and peach cobblers with ice cream served up by Jan & Wes and had a great time talking with everyone. When was the last time you got together with a group of a dozen or so of your neighbors (strangers, mostly) and just sat around getting to know each other, talking and laughing? :)
After everyone else parted, we joined Wes & Jan in their Montana and got to know them better. What neat people! We shared stories and tips and talked for a couple hours. I think we made the transition from neighbors to friends and we called it a night.
Can you guess what the response was from all us full-timers when Bill & Cinda asked if any of us had any regrets? All together now: "We shoulda done it sooner!" :)