By the time we reassigned temperature-control chores to the electric heat pumps yesterday morning, Ernie’s LP gauge was on E — which didn’t mean that we had no propane, but it did signal that it was time to replenish it, and a day sooner than we’d predicted.

And so we repeated the ritual we last observed on New Year’s Eve morning, 23 days earlier.

It’s not difficult — essentially we break camp, everything except actually packing up. We disconnect utilities on the outside and move anything on the inside that’d interfere with retracting the slides. The result doesn’t have to be pretty.

I’ll admit that it was good to hear Ernie’s diesel again.

On the other side of the campground, our host hooked up the supply line and proceeded with the fillup, which took longer than usual. When the motorhome’s vent hissed, indicating that Ernie’s tank wouldn’t hold any more, she shut off the gas, disconnected the coupling and read me the number.

“Wow, that really is a big tank,” she said. “Twenty-five even.”

It’ll hold about 30.

The per-gallon price was a knee-buckling $4.87. It had to be done, sure, but that’s over 80% more than we paid in Ohio last April.

Let’s go, Brandon.

I eased the bus back around to our site, managing (with Deb’s guidance over the radio) to park it pretty much where it had been before. Then I took charge of mechanical stuff — electric, cable, water, sewer, slides out, air dumped, pads placed, jacks down, coach leveled — and Deb re-set the interior, doing some cleaning in the process.

While putting our outdoor setup back in place I looked over at our pile of firewood, covered with a blue tarp, and it occurred to me that it’s been quite a while since we’ve had a campfire. I know it sounds odd, but it’s been too damned cold to fuss with building and tending a fire only for the ambience.

I stopped what I was doing and listened — Deb was running the vacuum inside the coach. She wouldn’t miss me. I gathered tinder and kindling, grabbed a handful of split oak and got a nice afternoon fire going.

I know, what we’re doing isn’t really camping (but “glampfire” isn’t a word). Still, few things in this life please me more than building a crackling fire and bathing in the smell of woodsmoke. Sunday afternoon was cool and the evening just chilly enough to make this campfire absolutely perfect.

It had a higher calling, however.

I tended the fire carefully over several hours, and as we finished dinner I was rewarded with a glowing bed of coals. I pulled out a pie iron, white bread, butter-ish spread and a can of cherry pie filling, and I made each of us a “hobo pie.”

I challenge you to come up with something so simple and yet so good. And that’s our style — hobo pies were a great nightcap to a productive day.

No, we didn’t make it to The Mountain yesterday. That, we expect, will be today.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB