"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Electricity Learning Curve

I'm about 100km east of Thunder Bay and treating myself to a night on full hookups with access to wi-fi and a laundromat. Ah, civilization.

I've been boondocking since I left Ottawa on Thursday morning and, let me tell you, that has been full of brutal lessons that left me feeling quite disheartened on Saturday evening, but which were learned well enough to allow for a 180 degree mood shift by the following evening.

The most important of these lessons is: MIRANDA'S BATTERY SENSORS CAN'T BE TRUSTED. The sensors claimed right up to Saturday evening (and beyond) that the battery was operating at full operating capacity. When I finally realised that this wasn't the case, the battery had reached such a low level that I couldn't even get the generator going. Saturday evening, I had no lights worth mentioning, no hot water, no refrigerator, nothing. It was very cold and damp in the rig and I was miserable. I went to bed really early, got on the road even earlier the next day, go the battery topped up with the driving, and spent the evening boondocking with the generator running, giving me lights, hot water, a refrigerator, HEAT, and the ability to watch a movie. Lesson learned. If you're not driving that day, run the generator at least an hour.

The second lesson in electricity is that my inverter is my best friend (even though I called it horrible names on Saturday, poor thing!). It lets me know when battery power is too low to run it. If that's the case, the generator gets run ASAP.

The third lesson in electricity is that I really hate running the generator. It's very noisy. But it's not a gas guzzler and it means I get all the comforts of home. I'll get used to it.

Saturday night, as I laid there in my bunk, snug and warm thanks to flannel PJs and a feather duvet, I listened to a song on my iPod which really put things into perspective for me. It's called 'Painting Pictures of Egypt' and this is the bit that stuck out:

The place I was wasn't perfect, but I had found a way to live
And it wasn't milk or honey, but then neither is this.

Yeah, I'd rather be in a well-insulated bus with a million solar panels and a satellite dish for getting online, but, at least, I'm not working 8 to 4 at a desk and going home to the ghetto. This isn't a vacation or a dream. It's reality. And reality isn't perfect. But it sure can be great.

The next post will show that I still had my sense of humour come Sunday!


Bast said...

A lesson I learned the hard was was to visually inspect water lines before hooking up water. I'll never forget water GUSHING out.


Raven said...

Oh, the memories that brings back....