Saturday, May 4, 2013

Westward Ho!

We have been in the Eastern time zone since October 3rd, or 4th, and here it is May 3.....7 months!  By Monday we'll be back in the Central time zone.

We stayed up to 2 am watching "Gettysburg", and were awake by 8 am.....or, more correctly...I was awake.  I quickly started the coffee perking, and got the cups out to pre-heat them as I always do, but the water out of the tap was just lukewarm.  Once, or twice a month the pilot light goes out on the water heater, and I have to relight it, so that is what I thought happened.  So, while the coffee was making I went out to relight the pilot light.  I could get it lit, but every time I released the button it would go out.  As I was doing this I remembered that last summer in late June this was happening, and I determined that the pilot light nozzle was clogged, and therefore was not putting out a big enough flame to keep the thermal coupling hot, so I decided to take care of some insurance work I had waiting for me, enjoy my coffee and then take out the nozzle and clean it again.

Around 10 I finished with my work, and headed back out to remove the pilot nozzle....cleaned it, and re-installed it.  I was now getting a bigger flame, but the pilot would still not stay on when I released the button.  Well, the next thing in the trouble shooting sequence is to replace the thermal coupling.  You will recall that there is a Home Depot in the same shopping complex where we are staying, so I gathered my dinero and walked over to HD to get a new thermal coupling.  They had just what I needed at 11 bux, so I headed back at a brisk pace to install it.  The removal and replacement went quickly, and the time of reckoning had arrived.  I lit the pilot light, released the button, and it stayed lit!  I love it when problems are easily fixed.

Like any sticks and bricks home things occasionally break on our coach.  Like at home I start the trouble shooting process and try and fix it myself.  95% of the time I can fix it without professional help.  Nevertheless, every time something goes wrong my first inclination is that it will be expensive.  I was thinking Friday, well I'll bet the water heater is shot and it will cost me $800 to replace it, and what are we going to do for a shower until then?  That's my nature, but I still revert to basic trouble shooting 101.....start with the simplest thing first and work up to the most complex.  The elation I feel when it is something simple.....which it is 95% of the time.....is amazing.

By this time it is closing in on Noon time, and we haven't rolled a mile yet.....no worries.....we were only driving 155 miles Friday, and that's about a 3 hour jaunt for us.  We quickly jumped on I-81 south back to I-70....the Walmart was about 4 miles north of I-70.    Eventually we hit the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which pretty much runs all the way to New Stanton....turnpike is another word for "this will cost you", and it did....$26.30 for about 90+ miles.  Usually paying tolls really irritates me because the toll roads are usually in worse condition than the non toll roads, but in this case the turnpike was in excellent condition with very little construction going on.  Additionally, by taking I-70 we avoided most of the climbing and descending we did through West Virginia and Maryland on our way down to D.C., so all in all it was a very pleasant drive west.  All the trees have leafed out now, and the country side that looked so barren on our way to D.C. looks velvety green now.

Eventually we came to a rest stop....on the turnpike they are called travel plazas.....and there is usually a gas station, and food service.  We decided to pull in around 2 pm to take a break which included a 1.25 mile walk around the complex, then for me a nap.  We got going again a little after 3 pm, and exited the Interstate again in Belle Vernon around 4:15 where TLE had found the mother lode....a Walmart and Lowe's right next to each other, along with a dozen fast food, and regular restaurants in walking distance.  I am using the Lowe's free WiFi to write this blog.




We quickly settled in, and around 5 we walked over to a local sports bar called Red Dawgs.....they have about 16 beers on tap, and TLE and I chose the Samuel Adams Summer Lager....a very smooth, unfiltered lager.  Their Happy Hour (1/2 price on drinks and appetizers) runs from 4-6.  We ordered some shrimp, and steak finger appetizers which ended up being our dinner.  The appetizers were out of this world delicious.  

Next we headed over to Walmart to pickup a few things, and then back to the coach for the evening.  We watched a few recorded shows (Revolution, Elementary and Person of Interest), and then went to bed with smiles on our faces.  What a nice, nice day

Thanks for stopping by!

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