Even though you didn’t notice that I have been missing, I have now returned. After weeks of cleaning the house, I was so sick of it that I ran to my camp in the Adirondacks. Unfortunately, this camp is almost totally off the grid.
To prepare myself, I loaded up my laptop, purchased a new cell phone and a Jet Pack, packed our Hot Spot and brought our two marine batteries and battery charger in case it was needed. I emptied drawers of 1/3 shorts, 1/3 capries and 1/3 long pants with matching shirts but, of course, no jacket because it was very warm. I stayed until day before yesterday.
It was very strange, but beautiful, up there because I was totally by myself most times. When I got there I proceeded to hook up one of the marine batteries to the camper to run the hot water heater, furnace, and water pump. As a short lesson to all those who have not had to hook up batteries + (positive) does not mean that it is a wonderful thing. What it DOES mean is that you will positively get burnt if you put the – (negative) wires on that side. – (negative) does not mean bad news. It means that it is not hot and you must put the black wires on that side. After hooking up the wires, going into the camper and realizing that I couldn’t start the refrigerator, I went out to check if the wires were loose and smelled burning plastic. This was the plastic around the wires that was turning into goop. Running into the camper, I grabbed the pot holders and switched the wires thus I know: + (positive) means positively hot. I then went in and started the fridge, went out and turned on the water tank and started the hot-water heater. There are three little hoses in this and you have to remember which one to hold the lighter on because that one is the pilot. You also have to remember how to work the dial. After a little trial and error, it started.
Meanwhile, Karla and Sam were screaming that they had to go quick so we had our first walk. Having been told that a huge bear had been sighted around our camper and that they had released nuisance bears up there it was a very short walk. Back to the camper, unload the car and try to call home to say I was safe and sound. However, since it was a cloudy day, the phone kept cutting off and I wasn’t ready to use the Jet Pack which was advertised as having your very own hot spot. Wrong. I did finally get the Jet Pack, which had no instructions to work with my cell and the laptop but you still had to be out of doors to use them. Also, since there are large power lines up there the batteries of everything are sucked empty within a day so my car was continually running to recharge them because the Hot Shot didn’t want to work at all and when I tried to charge the cell with it, it just sucked the rest of the charge out of it.
Since coming home, I have been running around in heaven just turning off and on lights and have never left my land line or computer.
Of course, as we all know – I don’t cook. However, after one month of practice I can fry eggs and toast bread on the burners of the stove and heat soup. My sister came up, we went grocery shopping and I learned that if it is 10 for 10 you don’t have to purchase 10. We also went to the laundry mat and after stuffing six washers we both learned that there are three different sizes of washers and it probably would have been easier to use the big ones. AND they do not take Canadian coins.
Rich, a newly made friend in town taught me that if my cell goes completely dead that you have to use a wall plug to reset it, that even if you recharge the Hot Shot for 24 hours it still won’t work and that that horrible noise that your car makes when you are backing up and that you are petrified is the transmission or transmission joints is really the fact that you are backing up and scraping rocks while you are doing so.
Of course things started going even more south when the temperature started dropping. I did know that if I used the furnace that it would wear out the battery within a couple of days so I got out the Mr. Heater, went into town and purchased all of the little green gas bottles at Stewarts (and by the way, I am now very proficient at filling a gas tank). At $5.00 per bottle I found that if you light three kerosene lamps at a time, they will heat the trailer just as well.
During the days I worked a little on my historical duties, read and napped. Oh, and tried to catch that dang frog who knew exactly how long my arm was so it could get out of reach. I really wanted to catch it and turn it into a prince but perhaps next year…
I’m proud that I did it by myself because it was lonely, cold and, at times, pretty scary. I could have used more support from here but regardless at the time, I had to do it for personal reasons and I think that I know that I can take care of myself now if needs be. I don’t have to stay here if I don’t want and I found that there are certain people that I can count on to hold on to the other end of the rope if I fall. There are those that feel that I shouldn’t have gone up there on my own but I feel that since I didn’t take unnecessary risks and no bears ate me or the dogs that things went pretty darn well.
I sure did miss the computer though!
Now, I feel a craving to go turn on and off some lights and the furnace!
Oh! And one more thing….you can do it, too.