It’s been raining for what feels like years here in South Carolina. So rather than binge-watch yet another series of something on the iPad, I decided to see how many different things I could do in or around my Alto to pass the time today.
1. Reorganize the electronics stuff
After a while, the cables and connectors and plugs take over the space in my bottom bin. Today, I sorted through them and realized that, no, I really didn’t need four USB-C to USB-C cables. Or three USB to micro-USB cables either. I also had time to take the plugs and cables and test out which combination the Verizon hotspot really likes. If it doesn’t like the combo I use, it does “slow charging” which means hours and hours of trickle charging. Turns out it really like the charger that came with the T-Mobile hotspot I got in December. Go figure. The other plugs and cables went into the Goodwill bag. (Also, two points for noticing the nicely stowed masks on the left side of the photo.)
2. Clean out the junk drawer
Yes, I really do have a junk drawer in the closet. It holds everything from pen refills to cleaning cloths, bookmarks to post-it notes. When I don’t know what to do with something, whether it’s a random screw that turned up or a little shell I like, I put it in the junk drawer. But, after six weeks of doing that, it was clearly time to get control of things. Now it’s all pretty neat. See that round little wooden box? My friend Steve made it and it’s perfect for storing all those random screws and plastic whatevers that show up in the Alto. I know at some point, I’ll see where the screw got loose from or I’ll need that plastic doohicky and they’ll be waiting for me in that little box.
3. Move sites
I actually wouldn’t recommend this one as a rainy day activity. The first part went well. I backed up onto the hitch on the second try (yay) and off I went, having endured nothing more than a few sprinkles. Stopped at the camp office to pick up a package and my new site tag. By the time I came out, it was pouring. Ran to my rig, shoved the package and me inside, and watched the water stream down my windshield while I checked Dark Sky: rain for the next hour. I really couldn’t sit in the parking lot for an hour, so I slowly drove the half mile down to the South campground. Backed right into the site on my first try, in the pouring rain. I’m going to give partial credit to my new rearview camera installation, with a lovely HD-quality monitor, for helping me tuck my Alto into its new home.
This site has water and electricity AND a connection to dump my gray and black tanks. But… that dump connection is at the very back of a very long site. Yikes. I’ve learned a few tricks in the last four years, so now I get out the dump hose and stretch it out full length, with one end at the dump connection and the other end about where I need the Alto hookup to be, then back up till the hose can reach both connection and Alto dump point. It took me years to come up with this trick (mostly because I don’t have full hookups that often).
Level and chock the Alto, unhitch, fill the fresh water tank and then I scooted inside out of the downpour. I was thoroughly wet at this point, despite a rain jacket, so the fast propane heat of my Truma heater went to work warming me up.
4. Put up more hooks
Working outside in the rain leads to wet clothes. Lots of them. Jacket, long-sleeved shirt, sweatpants, socks. And that’s just this round. The previous round of wet clothes (warm jacket, trousers, socks) from the morning walk was still drying. Clearly, I needed more hooks. Dug around in the bag of command strips, velcro, and other such oddities and found two more hooks. Two is better than none. Found a place to mount one in the bathroom and one on the wall by the front settee. Now I can dry all the clothes 🙂
5. Move that second shoe rack
By the time I moved sites, I had two pairs of wet shoes. The Truma heater vent near the door is great for drying shoes, as it turns out, and I had one shoe rack there just for that purpose. I had a second shoe rack in the bathroom, but decided it needed to move since the bathroom doesn’t have any heating vents. Now both racks are near the vent and my shoes are drying out as I sit here typing. (Note: these are actually called towel racks by Command Strips, which makes them. I got mine from Amazon, they make them in silver and white.)
6. Sneak in a short walk
Dark Sky, the weather app, said I had 20 minutes before the next bout of rain. They were wrong. I had 23 minutes, 18 of them on the beach. So nice to get outside and stretch my legs, feel the cold (42F) breeze on my face, and realize that I should have grabbed the mittens before I walked out of the Alto.
7. Hang the new bathroom shelf
Remember that package I picked up at the camp office when I was moving sites? It had a new shelf for the bathroom in it. So I spent some time figuring out the best place to put it and then sticking it up on the wall. It’s another Command Strip creation; they really do a good job of making useful little things and Command Strips work really well on most surfaces of the Alto (outside and inside). The toilet paper holder with a little shelf perfect for holding a phone is not a Command Strip thing, but it’s still pretty useful, stuck to the wall with a big strip of 3M adhesive stuff that came with it. (Here’s the link to it on Amazon.)
8. Admire the big rig next door
It is a BIG rig. I feel like such a baby RV next to it. I can’t imagine driving something that big, and with a jeep towed behind it, no less! My Alto is definitely the right size for me. (Also, now you can see how far back the Alto had to go to get that dump connection right.)
9. Write a blog post