Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Three Days on the Road

Holt, Florida – February 4, 2007

It’s been a cold two months, but we’ve seen some impressive scenery.

We pulled out of Arkansas on frozen roads of hard packed snow with very long icicles hanging from the RV. By the time we hit the Mississippi River at Helena, the last of the snow pack fell off the hood.

There’s a machine called a “Brake Buddy” in the Toyota. It senses when I apply the brakes in the RV and helps out by applying the Toyota brakes. Theoretically it reduces stopping distance 30 percent. I discovered that when the temperature is very low the Brake Buddy compressor runs all the time and drains the Toyota battery in about an hour, so we arrive with a dead battery. I’ve been leaving Buddy by the bed at night to keep it warm.

The other problem with Buddy was caused by operator error. There is an attachment for an “emergency breakaway” situation. I forgot to plug it in leaving Arkansas and every time I tapped my brakes Buddy locked up the Toyota wheels. Very disconcerting if you're being tailgated by a semi on a two lane road.

Another problem is the right turn signal on the Toyota has stopped working. I’ll get out the voltmeter this morning and see if I can trace the problem. This “rig” we live in is full of electronics and as soon as I figure out one issue another seems to crop up.

We rolled though the Mobile, Alabama tunnel yesterday afternoon and past the USS Alabama museum battleship. We drove over the long I-10 bridge near Pensacola, Florida. They are still rebuilding it. A section of the bridge was destroyed two years ago by Hurricane Ivan. One can begin to appreciate why it is taking so long to rebuild Iraq.

The temperature in Florida this week is forecast to range between a high of 70 F and a low of 50 F. Nice tennis weather. We’re thinking of spending the next winter in Florida.

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