Continued from Part 1
Our first night actually was fine, even if short. The back of the bus faced the east, which meant that the sun streamed in through the trees in all the windows. The new bench-platform bed fit a queen-sized foam pad with room to spare, and the pre-made bedroll made putting the bed together easy. After a pot of espresso was brewed up on the stove, we started to unpack and find what we needed.
As a light rain started and slowly got heavier, I opted to put out our new (to the bus) awning, both to insure that we would have some dry area alongside the bus and because the awning had not been unrolled and exposed to a nice cleaning rain in over a decade. It came out easily and I was able to use a cloth and the rain-water to clean the supports of the dirt and grime it had accumulated in the under-building storage it had been in.
One thing to note here was that we were in our first extended-stay non-electric sites. Given that we’d be moving and wouldn’t be able to use the solar panels, I didn’t even bring them, and we opted to use the fridge (which had chilled on before we left and had been running off the inverter on the way down) as a cooler, opening it as little as possible to conserve cold. But it was nice. We still had lights with the DC when we needed them, and there was no buzz from the inverter.
The Ohiopyle Campgrounds were really nice. There were lots of little streams and big rocks. (Our dog liked nestling among them.) There were tons of trees and plenty of birds, though not many animals that we saw, though we were in one of the two dog-friendly loops. The other loops are not pet friendly, and you aren’t even allowed to walk your dog through them. If there’s a trailhead in one of those loops, you have to drive your dog there to take them on the trail.
And there was no excess light pollution after dark. It was really nice to be able to see the moon and stars amongst the clouds from our bed.
After a hearty breakfast, we set about some organizing. We drove down to Ohiopyle with the bench-platform in place, and the height of the platforms means that all of the plastic totes that we have used so far slide right underneath it. This is great because the open space is about 60 inches by 42 inches, which is a ton of space where the totes can’t bounce around in the far back of the bus.
One of the issues we had in arranging was that I haven’t yet built the under-counter storage, so everything was tucked away in the bathroom area, and we needed to be able to tuck it all back there the next morning, as we needed to take the bus to Fallingwater the next day (Two miles away as the crow flies, but eight by road) as we couldn’t leave our dog at the campsite and we didn’t bring a toad or chase vehicle.
As the day progressed, and the rain worsened periodically, it also became obvious that we needed better pre-planing. I had checked the weather and noted that it was going to be cold and grabbed winter gear (coats, gloves, hats, scarves), but not rain gear, and the weather was still relatively warm. Luckily the spotty rain cut out often enough that it wasn’t a big problem, but when our friends on a different loop stopped by and our son wanted to go and play with them, he didn’t have rain gear to take ‘just in case’.
(So, we’ve determined that we need a better pre-trip list, and currently everything that was packed away in the bus is now out for cataloging and sorting.)
But we were fine. We hosted the kids from our friends’ site (they had a total of five kids) as their son remarked that we always had good games with us. Boss Monster was the game of choice, and much fun was had by all (except the heros, of course). But we also had brought our LEGO Fallingwater set and our Pop-up Frank Lloyd Wright book, so they were seen as well.
And for dinner, we got to christen two new toastite makers on the fire! My wife got me one years ago, and last year my wife and son decided that if I was making toastites for everyone, I wasn’t getting to eat with everyone else. So they got toastite makers for themselves and I got to make three toastites all at once.
The night got down to 37F or so, but we were all pretty warm. Mixed in with our blankets and bedding were blankets of reflective mylar and faux-sheepskin that we tend to call ‘magic blankets’ for just how warm they are.
The next day was classes at Fallingwater, so we had to contend with packing up in the morning. And getting the bus there.
Continued in Part 3