Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Her Maiden Voyage Pt. 3: Lessons Learned

In the (thankfully) final installment of the MaxFunCan's shakedown cruise, The Captain and I sit down to make a list of Things We Learned to make the next thirty trips smooth like butter.

  • Bring sugar for The Captain's coffee.
  • No matter what diet you are on, not having s'mores is not an option.
  • No matter how rustic the surroundings, high-def TV seems to fit right in.
  • No matter how high-def the TV, you need a cable to hook up to the cable service.
  • Bring a tool kit. You can't always count on a ranch hand for tool-borrowing.
  • Don't feed the wild life. Unless they are bunnies.
Um, it was wet.
  • If the furnace doesn't run, don't turn on the stove burners right by the furnace thermostat.
  • Get a little electric space heater, (a) in case the furnace continues to be finicky, and (b) to have quiet heat at night. (The furnace is really loud!)
  • If you want hot water from the electric water heater, you have to push the secret button.
  • Before you open the cap on the black (poopy) water tank, make sure the valve is in the closed position (hard won wisdom from The Captain).
Hey! The Sea Ranch RV Park is a ranch! Look! Horsies!
  • When camping in the Pacific Northwest in the spring, get one of those dehumidifiers. Or two.
  • When camping in the Pacific Northwest in the spring, bring more towels.
  • And hooks for wet rain coats.
Hey! The Sea Ranch RV Park is Not Sea Worthy!
  • Bring a Christopher Moore book for The Captain (he likes them! he really likes them!).
  • Snuggling in a small dinette-turned-couch, watching the director's commentary of Young Frankenstein while the rain and wind pelt the can around you is illogically and uncannily...fun.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Her Maiden Voyage Pt. 2: In Hot Water

I wake up to a calm Easter Morning at the Sea Ranch RV Park. I see a white rabbit without blemish outside my kitchen window.

The Ranch is known for its flock of wild, moochy rabbits, but I still feel oddly blessed. 

Later I see this marmalade one. It wants a treat. I promise it a graham cracker at our next meeting.

We left the electric water heater on last night, hoping to wake up to hot water. Yesterday, we thought we were just being impatient when no hot water had run through the tap. This morning we learn that we have more to learn.
The French press coffee is good this morning. For me. Drew tries to drink his coffee without sugar (which I forgot to bring), but doesn't make much headway.  Twenty-seven years of marriage, and I still don’t think of sugar as a coffee ingredient. 
We try a few more tweaks to the holding tanks to see if the water heater might look kindly upon us, and leave for the beach. 

We choose the sole window of opportunity, weather-wise, to enjoy a mostly-dry beach walk. We stop at the Cannon Beach Bakery on the way back because you have to. 
When we get back, ready for our showers, the hot water is not.
I give up and head for the communal showers. I undress, hanging each article of clothing carefully on the hooks, as the floor is wet and there is no stool or other dry space. After finding that the shower stall I chose has only scalding hot water, I wrap my towel around me and carefully move each article of clothing to a new shower stall hook, then my shampoo and soap, and try again. The shower nozzles are all mounted at my eye level, which means I have to assume the “chair” yoga position to wash my hair. Good for the glutes, I guess. The floor is wet, and I have no shower shoes (assuming I would be taking a shower in my comfy trailer), so I balance on one foot as I dry and dress one foot and then the other. I come back in a less-than-Christlike mood.
After a call to a friend who is a veteran trailersman, we have some hope. Drew borrows a Phillips screwdriver from a Ranch hand, opens up a secret panel, and opens a bypass valve that had been closed in winterization mode. That shouldn’t have been like that. There will be hell to pay. I say on Easter.
Drew, not wanting to tax the grey water tanks any more than they have been by all the futile water-running in the hopes of hot water-finding, goes to take a communal shower. He comes back to tell me that if I had gone to the OTHER side of the building, I would have found new, individual shower rooms with all the amenities that the other ones lacked. I open a bottle of wine.
We turn on the hot water. And behold the burning water floweth from the tap.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Her Maiden Voyage

It was snowing in the coast range. If The Captain had known it would be snowing in the coast range, he probably would have bailed on this shakedown cruise, but the weather people said the worst of the storm was over. Not that The Captain is afraid of snow. Don't start putting THAT idea in your noggin. But he was a little nervous about how the barely-capable Ford F-150 would do pulling the trailer. The MaxFunCan.

It was raining at the RV Park. Pelting down rain. The kind of rain that is fixing to become snow just 30 miles east of here. We set up the MaxFunCan on a strip of asphalt surrounded by what is, after the storms of last night, a grassy pond. This is the first time for everything Can-related, so there was a lot of unwrapping new hoses, reading directions, and trial-and-error.

However, trial-and-error did not work on the furnace. We followed the directions, and the supplemental directions given by our trailer salesperson, which included turning on a gas stove burner to make sure the gas was reaching the furnace (helpful, since the burner was at least emitting some heat). After a few hours of futile technical assistance by the kind RV people, we took a break, turned off the burner and watched some Buffy the Vampire Slayer via Netflix (well duh, the RV park has wi-fi). After not more than ten minutes of undead-booty-kicking, the furnace kicked on by itself. We are thinking that turning off the stove burner, which was directly under the thermostat, might have had something to do with the furnace's rise from the dead.  Or it could have been Buffy.

Success! The rain is pelting, we are hungry, having missed lunch in the excitement of the action, so we hit the town (Cannon Beach), Mo's in particular, as it has beach-front windows, and we can experience the anger of the Pacific without any weather-related pain. I recommend the bouillabaisse.

So why isn't the Northern Oregon Coast a tourist bonanza?

We ate dinner to the dulcet tones of the profoundly Tourrette's-inflicted birthday boy sitting behind me. "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck-fuck! Fuck!" Ah, the Children of Tourrette's. What sweet music they make.

We came "home" to a warm can. And the voyage continues...