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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Grueling Commute and Recycling Water

It's a beautiful Tuesday morning in High Cliff State Park... and I just drove Steve over to his shop on the grounds.  It's a grueling 1.6 mile commute one way, and on the way back I saw 2 deer and a fox yesterday!   Can't get better than that, can it?

For now I will drive Steve over and back so I can keep the Tracker on site in case I want to run somewhere.  But after Steve finishes all the paperwork and certifications this week with the DNR, he will have a Ranger truck to run around in for work.

It was a busy day for him yesterday with tons of information, getting keys, tours of equipment and meeting employees.  Tomorrow he gets to hire a worker from a group of applicant interviews too.  There is also an extensive network of volunteers that help keep this park in it's great condition, so he is going to meet a lot more as the days go by.

But all in all, it's a good fit and he is thinking this is going to be a very good job.

On the other hand, I spent most of yesterday steaming, photographing, tagging and listings some more socks and rugs into my Etsy shop:   http://kareninthewoods.etsy.com 
I have a cute little ironing board that I use for the socks...  I had a little assembly line going for getting more socks ready for the upcoming seasonal shopping for the holidays.  Folks start buying my socks by September already, so I have to get more done.  I also started listing some of my rugs on Ebay too at a set price.  Maybe reach a different range of shoppers and deplete some of this inventory.  Right now I have the entire back of the Tracker loaded with finished rugs, as well as some in the basement compartments of the motorhome.

Sipping coffee here and contemplating the upcoming day.    I think I am going to do a few loads of laundry.   Yes, we have a washer and a dryer in our motorhome.  It's made by Splendide and came with our motorhome.

It's all in one unit-- it first washes the load, then if you select the right button, it will go right into the dry mode.  We learned though that it is best to let it stop after the wash cycle, and take the wet clothes out and shake them a bit and put them back in before going into the dry mode.  Otherwise they are plastered tight to the drum from the last rinsing spin cycle and get wrinkled if dried in that position.   Most times we just take the clothes out wet and hang them up on hangers to dry.  I have a wooden drying rack to set in the bathtub too for holding our "unmentionables"  ....

What is interesting in our Safari motorhome configuration is that the washing machine water does NOT go into either the black (toilet) or grey (sink) holding tanks.  Instead, it comes directly out the drain pipe.   If we were in a campsite with a sewer connection, that is not a problem.  It just runs and drains out the pipe through the drain hose and into the hole.  

But... in this campsite we do not have a sewer hookup.  No problem though, because we have a special drain cap that goes on the end of our pipe.  On that cap is a little threaded section that a garden hose can screw onto.  I run a thinner (waste) hose off the drain cap and drain the washing machine run-off water into a big tub we keep on hand.
 (I just ran out and took some closeup pics of it)

The washing portion uses about 6 gallons of water, and then about 5 gallons for rinsing.

Now here is where it gets interesting.  I am going to RECYCLE the washing machine water!   I am going to use a pitcher to scoop it out and wash the dogs!!!    So today they will get a bath....  with washing machine water to wet them down, add some bio-degradable doggie shampoo to suds them up, and then pour pitchers of the rinse water over their heads to rinse them off.

Before the "grey water police" start commenting on this subject... take note:   This is a heavily wooded site with plenty of shrubbery to absorb the water without it becoming a problem of any standing water.   Much like the campers a few sites down with their portable solar shower bags and portable shower stall alongside their popup, or the tenters next door dumping their dishpans of water into the shrubbery, or the ones gathered at the water faucet across the road doing their dishes and rinsing their clothing out.  This is a common practice in this part of the country, and we also see it done out west and in the desert too.

Maybe I will take some pics, if my hands aren't too wet.

We are staying here at the park till Thursday.  (also this site is reserved for the weekend so would have to move anyhow)  Then we will drive the motorhome towing the Tracker right up to St. Mary's hospital in Green Bay.  We have permission to stay overnight in the hospital parking lot the night before Steve's outpatient surgery.  And then again afterwards we can wheel him right out to the rig and he can recoup in the lot again for the night.  Much easier than cramming him into the Tracker after a spinal block surgery for a long agonizing 30+ mile ride home.  He had the same surgery on his other knee 16 years ago, so he kinda knows what to expect.   Will get the pain pills filled ahead of time, and he still has his crutches from the last surgery here in the motorhome.

For the weekend we might buzz over and see our friends Paula and Mel, and "moochdock" in their driveway.  Kinda playing it by ear right now.

We will see how long he needs to stay off it, but knowing him, he will be up and about in no time.  The surgeon seems to think Steve will bounce back quick because he is young, healthy, lean and in good shape, and used to walking and bending and moving for his job.  He said a few days and all will be fine.  Steve goes back for a post-op appt. on August 27 to remove stitches and for a "return to work" paper, so we will see how he does early next week.  He might be at his desk in his office before we know it.

Well, my coffee is cold, and water heater is hot and ready.  Guess I will start the laundry!



  1. Il wish the best for Steve.

    The way you have the setup for laundry is great!

  2. Good luck to Steve, and a quick recovery as his doctor expects. Enjoyed reading your blogs, especially the recycling of the wash water to wash the pups. That's one thing about people who travel; they are innovative and make good use of everything.

    I have heard that soapy water keeps plant killing insects away.

  3. Just don't use any bleach in the wash water. You don't need faded doggies!

  4. Thanks for responding to my post on your site situation. I had forgotten about Steve's surgery. Hope that goes very smoothly. Also, hope you can move into a hosting site (and hosting job) real quick. Is the park open all winter or can you stay even if it is not open? I know that not many are. You would make a wonderful host in addition to getting your site for free.

    1. Yes this park is open year round, though they do shut off the water in the main bath and shower building. If you want a flush toilet, you have to drive down to the office! LOL but they do plow out some of the campsites, and also have cross country ski trails that Steve will be grooming and overseeing the plowing of lots and roads within the park. We are not yet settled on what we are going to do for the winter and how much vacation time Steve will use up to get us out and south for some of it, and see if we are going to rent a seasonal cottage by the week for the rest or just tough it out in the rig. Last winter was very mild in Wisconsin and it could be done. As I said.. we will see...

  5. It seems like every few years brings an improvement in surgical procedures, and I hope this time will be be a quick recovery for Steve.

  6. Once again, very clever, but we all have come to expect that of you. Recycle the water and wash the dogs. Way cool! :c)

  7. Got a kick out of your 'gray water police' comment. I used to have the 'West Coast Police' after me sometimes about too many photos in my posts. Steve will probably breeze right through that procedure with a minimum of trouble. Medical technology these days is nothing short of amazing.

  8. Just found your blog again! Live it and dreamin of adventures like yours! Maybe someday! Good luck w surgery and after!


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