August 1 to August 6, 2022 – The Hideaway
We thought we had finally made our annual summer escape to put behind us the heat and humidity of the southeast states from what remained of the summer of ‘22. Boy, did fate ever smack us on the back of our heads
After giving Miss Mosey her facelift, we made it as far as Tupelo, Mississippi. But on the 31st of July we discovered that our security system at the Hideaway had crapped out on us. That meant no access to security cameras on the property and no controlling the air conditioning system in the Shabin. Not feeling comfortable leaving the Hideway unprotected for an extended period of time we elected to turn around and head back to Florida to check things out.
Along the way we overnighted at the Gunter Hill COE campground just outside of Montgomery, Alabama. We stayed in the older section and had it all to ourselves.
We had driven 253 miles to get to Gunter Hill and at the end of the day, we all decided , Gabby included, we didn’t want to do that anymore. We still had 350 miles to go and no way were we going to do that in one day. So we elected to stay at Eastbank COE campground just outside of Chattahoochee, FL That was only 175 miles and much closer to what we consider a normal travel day for us. We even managed to snag a pull through so we wouldn’t have to unhook Pearl (our Ford Explorer) for the night.
And it didn’t take long for EJ to get into relax mode once we arrived.
Even Gabby got into the mood, surveying her new domain from the picnic table.
As part of traveling you get to see some cool things. Well cool for a guy, at least. It’s an old International Harvester Scout pulling a tiny little camper. It looks like this setup could go just about anywhere. We think there were 2 people in the camper because we saw two chairs and two bicycles, but we never saw the occupants.
Once we had found out the Hideaway security system was non-functional, I ordered a replacement for what I suspected was the weak link in our setup. Also, I had been borrowing EJ’s Royal Purple seat cushion for a soft cushy ride while driving and EJ let me know it was time to get my own. Actually it was my idea because I kept forgetting to put it back in her chair when I was done at the wheel for the day. Major husband points for not borrowing her cushion any more and bonus, I get a brand new cushion!
Anyway, before I wandered off on that tangent, the short story is that of all the things being delivered to the Hideaway, none of them were due tomorrow. Yay, that means we can stay at Eastpoint for a second day. Yay!
On August 5th, we left Eastbank and headed to Live Oak, FL where we had lunch at Big Wood Barbeque. We split a pulled pork plate and we were stuffed when it was all gone. As an aside, Big Wood allows you to overnight in their parking lot if you are a customer. Then we went to Publix and Lowes to stock up on some items for the week or so we’ll be back at the Hideaway.
We pulled into the Hideaway’s driveway at 4PM and the UPS truck pulled in right after us. Talk about timing. That was close!
While we were back, I wanted to tackle the one issue that led to the title of this blog. Right before we left on what we thought was this summer’s escape an unfortunate incident happened. We had read about this happening to other folks and thought there was no way that could happen to us. We are too careful!
Well, dang it! It happened to us too. Something that didn’t belong ended up in the black tank. Folks that RV a lot know just how nasty the black tank can be no matter how scrupulous you are about maintaining it. For folks that don’t know, let’s just say that everything that passes through your body ends up in the black tank. Yup! We’re talking poo and pee. And it coats everything! The walls of the tank and the mislaid object in it were covered in a brown greasy slime of poo.
In our motorhome, there is no way to access the interior of the black tank. The entry point (that’s the throne you sit to do your business) makes a sharp 90 degree bend and disappears into blackness. The exit point (where the contents of said tank gush out into the smelly white pipe that sticks up out of the ground) has two short 90 degree bends and there is no way I’m trying to stick my arm up there.
So for the last 3 or 4 weeks I’ve been struggling with how to attack this problem. We could leave it alone and hope for the best. But that means we might end up with a smelly load we can’t dump (legally of course) because the foreign object has blocked the exit point. Thinking it might be part of a solution I had ordered a 6 inch water tight access port like you see on boats before we left. But once on the road, I had no way to use it because I lacked the proper tools.
So back to the issue at hand. Here at the Hideaway I do have the necessary tools plus the attachment I picked up at Lowes on the way back here. I had decided the best way to approach for getting egress into the innards of the black tank was to make my own hole. A hole large enough to stick my arm in if necessary, but not so large as to create a structural instability. Also clearance was at a minimum which the normal tools one might use, saws, routers, drills, would not fit. But at the Hideaway I had a Dremel and I had just purchased a right angle attachment for it. Clearance issue solved!
And we got really, really lucky. The offending object ended up right under the new hole.
With the object safely retrieved and disposed of, the access port was installed, sealed, screwed and secured. Ready to hopefully never be used again.
Well, with that bit of unpleasantness out of the way it is time to enjoy the Hideaway. Several deer came by to play.
And of course, the obligatory cat picture to end this blog entry. Miss Gabby surveys the Hideaway from the safe cool interior of Miss Mosey. Did I mention it was hot and humid here in Florida?