10/16/00 - Onward to Columbus, OH
I spent a restful weekend at Willow Lake in Brunswick, OH. Saturday evening. As I contemplated my mechanical misfortunes on Friday the 13th, I learned that a camper a few sites down from me had to pack up and leave because she had just found out that her husband had died suddenly. Puts it all into perspective, doesn't it?
Sunday was reading, writing and yet another attempt at organizing. I'm beginning to realize that those month old PEOPLE magazines are actually meant for the garbage in an RV, not some nook and cranny for eternal storage.
Monday morning, I woke up extra early and stood outside, looking at the fog resting on the ground around me, tops of trees barely visible. The sun wasn't even up yet, but a warm, pinkish glow spread slowly across the horizon.
After taking a few photographs, I eventually unhooked from the site and rolled over to the lovely dump station. Have I shared the pleasant details of this experience before? It never ceases to amaze me what a major production it can be to dump your "black water tank" or sewage from the toilet.
For the non-RVer, quick lesson in RV living: When you arrive at a site at a full-service RV campground, you usually get what is called a "full hook-up" which means water, electric and sewer. So you hook up your drinking water hose to the spigot they provide and into the side of your RV going directly to your plumbing system. Then you plug in your RV's electric cord into their electric outlet right there at your site. Finally, you attach your sewer hose, about 5-6" in diameter, to your sewer pipe under the RV (mine is between the exhaust pipe and the rear bumper) and then place the other end into a sewer hole in the ground.
Some campgrounds only offer water and electric, while others are even "rougher" with no hookups which means you have to "boondock" or live off your own water supply in the "fresh water tank," hold your toilet waste in the "black water tank" and your used sink and shower water in your "gray water tank." The fact that I have all three of these tanks - not all RVs do - means that I am "self-contained" which makes boondocking pretty comfortable.
Anyway, if you do not have a sewer connection, you have to visit the non-user-friendly "dump station." A fairly clean dump station basically has no strong smell unless you are looking directly over the dump hole. The dump station at the campground in Megunticook, Maine was ultra clean. The dump station at the campground in Batavia was pretty clean. But the dump station at Willow Lake was not so neat and as I politely hosed down the concrete for the next user, I was splashed and sprayed with gunk from the ground. I was now a walking sewer.
I changed into a pair of jeans, but the smell was already permeating my RV, my world. Even the Berts were aware of the smell, looking for the chance to relieve themselves on my soiled pants.
Enough of sewer pleasantries. I was now on the road to Columbus, OH. The plan was that I'd visit the Webgrrls in Columbus, then backtrack to Brunswick where I'd get the carburetor and filler vent line in the gas tank checked out. The drive to and from Columbus would reduce the level of gasoline in the tank so the mechanic could lower it and check for the leak.
Driving, Shopping, Dining
Major construction on I-71 to Columbus. I passed Exit 131 suddenly and unexpectedly - that was where my campground was located. The next exit was 121 (?!) and as I pulled off the Interstate, I noticed Target in the distance. Like a moth to flame, I made my way to the shopping mall.
Vowing to stick to my budget (did I have a choice?), I drove past every single store - Old Navy, Barnes and Noble - and went directly to Krogers for food for the Berts. Then I gave the Berts a special treat: we went to Three Dog Bakery! The sign out front said "Dogs Welcome" and the pastries inside looked good enough for people to eat, but they were made for dogs. I found soft cookies for Ernie the Toothless Wonder and hard cookies in the shape of a heart for Chewie the Biter.
Then we headed to the campground. First we pulled into the State Park which was nice, but lacked the store/laundry setup of a private campground. So we pulled out and went down the road a little further to find Cross Creek Campgrounds. Flat, fairly tree-less, but it was all we needed for overnight. Once I hooked up the electric, I gave the RV a much needed vaccuum.
The restaurant, Max and Erma's, turned out to be at exit 121 by Target which was quite convenient. There about 7-8 Columbus Webgrrls at dinner plus a journalist from the Columbus Dispatch, their daily paper. We had a grand time talking about gender differences, and I finally checked to make sure the male reporter wasn't getting scared off or put off. He said he was fine, and then we all went outside to look at the RV.
I had thought I'd do some laundry upon returning to camp, but opted to go to sleep instead. Decisions, decisions.