Wet again

Finally, we got some rain.

Heavy storms rolled down suddenly from the NNW after 2pm yesterday afternoon. Inches (plural) of rain fell over the next hour or so, flash-flooding our campground and other low spots in the Harrison area. Lightning struck close to us and the thunder was deafening. Temps dropped quickly from the upper 80s into the upper 60s.

By 4:30pm, the sun was shining on a major moat around our motorhome.

Judging by radar imagery, The Mountain didn’t get much of the wet stuff, if any, yesterday afternoon. It may have seen some of the rain that swept through last night. The good news is that the upper Buffalo and the headwaters of Crooked Creek took a direct hit, and the runoff will benefit us downstream in Marion County.

More of the same — scattered thunderstorms, that is — is predicted for four of the next five days. Our fingers are firmly crossed.

The grimy Canadian haze of the past couple of days was replaced, thanks to the rain, by a moody mist this morning. Though there wasn’t a shower in sight, low clouds hugged the shoulders of the Marion County landscape. Greens and grays were deep, dusty.

It turned out to be a day for spotting critters. Whitetail deer, sure — two on our way up The Mountain and one on our way down — but also the unexpected. Twice on the drive east we were buzzed by red-tailed hawks. A bald eagle crossed overhead as we descended into Yellville.

On the homesite, bugs that weren’t ticks, including a katydid for luck. A skink skittering among the rocks. Hummingbirds. Crows. A mating pair of cardinals feasting at one of our feeders.

Without a doubt, the focus of my attention today was trying to get our fifth-wheel’s fresh-water problem solved. I’d taken yesterday to clear my head, for the most part, and to fill it with tips from our mobile tech and the “hive mind” of fellow RVers.

I shoehorned myself up to my waist into the basement compartment — no small feat for a large human — pulled off an access panel, switched on my work light and gazed upon the fresh-water delivery system. It’s a maze of manifolds and PEX lines, the water pump and various electrical connections. If the hidden compartment had been cleaned (or even worked on) in the last 14 years, it didn’t show.

What I was looking for (and found, to the right of the pump) was the in-line supply strainer — a small bowl with a mesh screen inside. I’d been advised that the strainer clogging was a common cause of the issue we were having, and since it was easy enough to check, it might be a good place to start.

I worked my right hand into the cramped space, spun off the clear-plastic bowl and removed it. A little water dribbled out as I brought it into the sunlight.

The thing was gummed up beyond belief. Lifting the screen from the bowl and holding it up, no light passed through it. That’s definitely a problem, but was it the problem? There was only one way to find out — I cleaned it up, reinstalled it, and got ready to reactivate the system.

That included taping up a couple of bare wires in the pump compartment, along with repairing one of the main leads going to the battery-cutoff switch, which I’d inadvertently knocked loose. None of those were related to the original issue, but all needed attention.

I turned on the water pump. The hot-water tank began gurgling, so I was getting pressure. Repeatedly I bled air from the water heater using its relief valve, and I ran all of the fixtures — first they produced mostly air, then a mix of air and water, and finally mostly water.

We were back in business. We’ll purge the rest of the air from the fresh-water system by using it.

I buttoned everything up and slumped into a camp chair. If I’d had a cigarette, I would’ve smoked it.

Later I knocked out some not-so-critical to-dos — installing a guard that Smudge-proofs the screen door, and replacing the hold-open latches on two of the three basement hatches. I even managed to locate the main fresh-water drain, tucked behind the left-rear wheel.

It felt good to do a few things that didn’t matter so much.

I’m glad to say that this day is done, leaving me with knowledge and some success to build on.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB