Saturday, November 10, 2018

Connecticut - Day 8 - Marlborough and environs

Totoket Valley RV Park
Thursday, 8 November 2018
today's route
Leaving the campground in west central CT early, I spent the first hour and a half, driving the puppies to day care in eastern CT.  Today is Gracie's first day there, and I'm hoping both of them have good days so I can bring them back.

The drive seems longer than it has to because CT Public Radio has spotty coverage around the state.  They've got repeaters in four or five places around the state, but I end up spending a moderate amount of time picking voices out of static or not finding a station at all.  I would have thought folks in CT would be educated and more interested in public radio programming than this indicates.  Oh well.  I'm just visiting.

My plan for the 4 hours without the dogs was to head to Marlborough, a village where my husband Pete was born and raised.  I visited there once or twice with him in the '80s and I was curious if his house was still there.

My itinerary took me along state routes through small old towns and villages.  Scotland was the newest, incorporated in 1857.  Windham was the oldest, incorporated in 1692, which was a while ago.  There I found that I could not only travel on back roads but there was actually a road named "Back Road," and if I went down it I'd find Beaver Brook Pond.

Canterbury, where the day care is, was incorporated in 1703.  I drove through Lisbon, 1786, and Columbia, 1804.  You can tell where original settlers were from by the place names.

Marlborough itself dates back to 1803, and I feel confident Pete would never recognize the place.  When he lived there in the '40s and early '50s, it was so rural he and his siblings went to a one-room schoolhouse.  The family had so few neighbors that Pete was able to hunt small game in the surrounding area, even as a child. 

The family was poor; Pete was born at the tail end of the Depression, the 5th of 6 children.  His father worked at a bell foundry; his mother lived for her version of fundamentalist Christianity.  Their house burned down to the ground when Pete was young and, not being able to afford rebuilding, the family converted their barn into a dwelling; Pete's mother still lived there when I visited in the '80s.  Reasonably, that building is gone now, replaced by a very nice-looking ordinary house surrounded by neighbors.

I drove down that road and made a couple of turns and found the street named after Pete's grandparents.  Their house was still standing when I first went there, but I don't remember it well enough to try looking for it now.  I was a little surprised this road hasn't been renamed - such an unusual name and I know none of his immediate family stayed in the area after his mom died.

I stopped for lunch at a little restaurant in town that had a "pizza" sign, but I was so early, everybody there was still eating breakfast (served all day).  But I'd been up since soon after 2 AM, so by 11:00 I was ready for lunch.  They not only agreed to make me a pizza but also to serve me a beer to go with it.

I'd never heard of this beer before but saw a sign they had saying it's from America's Oldest Brewery, so thought it worth a try.  It was pretty good.  From Pennsylvania.  Sorry I missed it when I was there in April.

And the pizza was great.  It's been a long time since I had one that wasn't Lean Cuisine, so this was a real treat.

Along my rural route, I passed a sign for Easter Seals Camp Hemlocks and looked it up later out of curiosity.  www.easterseals.com/  It sounds like something wonderful for the people with various disabilities.

I went through Willimantic and was seriously surprised by its trademark frog bridge.
And for an explanation of this thing, I'll refer you to this website.  It's actually kind of interesting.  www.kurumi.com/roads/ct/br-frog.html

Connecticut state routes have something I've never seen before: curbs.  These aren't city streets or interstates.  They're 2-lane rural roads, and they all seem to have curbs.  Now this is actually a big nuisance for me, because it makes it almost impossible for me to just pull over to let other cars go by.  I'd be having to mount a curb to get off the road and mount it again to get back on, and I'm certain I'd have problems keeping the RV from tipping over at least once (once is too often).   And I can't for the life of me figure out why they do this.  It doesn't seem to be for funneling storm water into a drain.  They aren't high enough to prevent erosion of the land next to the road.  I can't see a function.

I found myself on several real hills, with signs on 2 of them warning of a 9% grade.  This is eastern CT, too, nowhere near the Berkshires or anything.

I heard a disturbing story on CT Public Radio about prejudice against blacks in Vermont.  Here I'd been thinking nice thoughts about VT, but there's apparently some very bad feeling there.  A black woman who has been serving in the VT legislature resigned recently because of the very serious and very ugly threats against her and her family.  Their incarceration rate is off the charts compared to their percentage in the population.  Very unpleasant.

Among luminaries from Connecticut that are mentioned on roadway signs, count the following: George W. Bush in New Haven https://www.nytimes.com; Walt Kelly, creator of "Pogo" in Bridgeport; Al Capp, creator of "Li'l Abner" also in Bridgeport; Katharine Hepburn in Old Saybrook; Roger Tory Peterson, preeminent bird watcher, in Old Lyme.

Both dogs did well today, maybe partly because the day care didn't have that many dogs there.  I've noticed that before.  If you ever want your dog to have extra attention at a day care, take them on a Thursday.  I've seen that at every day care I've been to, and it apparently holds true here too.  They told me Gracie seemed nervous so they kept my 2 dogs together most of the time, but I'm guessing it's because it was all new to her, and that she'll relax over time.  I'll take them back on Monday and we'll see.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Connecticut - Day 7

Totoket Valley RV Park
Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Today we've got lots of sunshine.  Yea.  Despite the great viewing weather, though, I spent the day at the RV park.  I've been increasingly desperate to get some laundry done and just haven't had the chance to use the machines here or find a laundromat somewhere else.  (This place has washers and dryers, but no showers.  Go figure.)

It rained really hard late yesterday and overnight, so there was plenty of water on the ground (thank goodness for my rubber boots), but the sun helped dry things up at least a little.  I think it was supposed to be up to the 60s today, but the wind's been blowing pretty strong, and the wind chill makes it feel a lot colder than that.

I decided to let the dogs stay outside for a while on the long leashes - till Dexter managed to get himself wrapped around the bushes behind the RV and even Gracie got wrapped around the picnic table, so I brought them inside.

But I did manage to get the laundry done - yea! - and the dog beds shaken out and the floor swept and the windows cleaned (that was a serious project, with a week's worth of grime and mud on them).  So now I feel better about dealing with whatever comes next.

Both dogs go to day care tomorrow.  Just for half a day, and I'm not sure what I'll do with myself for that time.  But I've seen very little of the state yet, so I'm sure I'll find something.

You know, I keep saying everything's far apart here, but I think that's not what my problem is.  In Rhode Island, I could drop Gracie off for a half-day at day care, and there were plenty of places for Dexter and me to go and still be back in time to get her.  I would never have dreamed of trying that in the other states I've been in, but that's what I've been trying to do here in CT, and that's not working. 

I guess this is why neither of the dogs has gotten day care before RI - distances just make it not possible and still see other things.  I think I'm going to need an attitude adjustment.  But I also think what I need to adjust to will depend on whether they both do well tomorrow.

Connecticut - Day 6 - quest for propane

Totoket Valley RV Park
Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Election Day!!  Everybody vote!!
Thank goodness I'm old enough to be allowed to vote by mail (one of Texas's voting weirdnesses).  And thank goodness I've got a great brother who got my ballot to me in plenty of time to get it marked and back again by the deadline.  I don't know how other people who live on the road do this without nice brothers.

Anyway, today my main goal is propane.  I'm once again down below ¼ tank, thanks to the really chilly weather we've been having, and I don't want to wait.  Maybe it's because it's been, not just chilly, but also damp - all this rain and cloudy sky - that's making me feel so cold so much of the time and want to turn the heat up.  And it's not just me.  The dogs feel it too, even Gracie.  And my little thermometer tells me it's in the 50s inside when I get up in the morning, even though I leave the heat on at night, just so Dexter with his thin coat won't get too cold.

So with all that, I'm using up propane a lot faster than I did a month ago.  And now I'm in a new state and need to track down a propane supplier.

An internet search found lots of suppliers, but it turns out they're supplying for home heating.  I finally looked up Tractor Supply stores, where I've had good luck before, and the first one I called said sure, they could take care of my RV.

They were only about 5 miles from the RV park, down a road I'd already been down so no trouble finding them.  But when I got there, they told me they'd lost their connector that allows them to fill up RVs.  They suggested a gas station they said wasn't too far away that they were "really pretty sure" sold propane.  I decided to take a chance.

Of course, when I tried to follow their directions, I couldn't find anything they said - neither Long Hill Road nor the Bishops Orchards the road was supposed to be just after.  So I turned around and went back to their long route directions, and it was a lot longer than they'd said but eventually I found Long Hill Road and a gas station at the corner.  They said it was Eddy's Four Corners Gas Station, and of course there was no sign at all that said any of those things.  But there was a sign saying we sell propane, so I figured that must be it.  And they did sell it to me.  Nice guys.  Totally local place with full-service gas pumps.  Didn't know there was still any place like that.

Then I went down Long Hill Road to see where it was supposed to come out that I couldn't find and got lost.  It's just a local road, not a state route or anything, and I finally pulled into a parking lot for the local soccer field.  The dogs had been waiting impatiently for a walk, and we managed to get one in before it started raining again.

Thanks to my little hot spot, I was able to check the internet to figure out where I was and where I wanted to go to get to the grocery store I was aiming for, and sure enough, I got there.  Then it really started raining.

But the dogs claimed they wanted another walk and I figured, sure, I've got an umbrella, and it's better to walk around the grocery store parking lot than to walk yet again in that small area at the RV park.  So we did.

All that took me till 2:30.  It's incredible how much time it takes to wander around lost, and then get found, and get errands done, and walk dogs.

I'm sure it's partly the shortening daylight, and the move off daylight savings time, but I think it's also because it's been a while since I've gotten a full night's sleep - but whatever it is, I'm ready to go to bed around 6:30.  I've started just expecting it and planning around it.  The dogs and I eat supper around 4:30 or 5 every night now.

But I still get up really early, so my day's not really shorter, it's just structured differently.

Connecticut - Day 5 - eastern CT

Totoket Valley RV Park
Monday, 5 November 2018
today's route
We had to get moving earlier today than usual so I could drop Dexter off at the day care, and have time to do a few things with Gracie and then pick Dext up again and still get back across state before too late in the afternoon.  

Now, without daylight savings time, the sun's coming up at 6:30 and going down just after 4:30 and, on rainy or overcast days (which we've been having a lot of), it's getting dark early, and I don't want to drive in it.

Day care for Dexter
We left the campground a little before 8:00 and didn't get to the day care till after 9:15.  Most of that was on the interstates, and I only ran into one traffic jam - at a construction area.  That's all driving, and I'm already tired when I'm just dropping him off.  But I have hopes of it doing him some good, even in the half-day I'd signed him up for.

To the beach
Gracie and I went straight down to New London and, once again, I found a town with well-marked streets!  Not just signs on street corners but also signs showing where a road was going when it went around a curve.  Huge help in negotiating a strange town!  I hope all of CT is like this.

I passed a Haitian 7th Day Adventist Church in New London.  Not something I would have expected to see.

Because of the great street signs, I had no trouble finding the beach - Ocean Beach Park - and also had no trouble seeing the large signs saying NO DOGS ALLOWED and, underneath, ENFORCED YEAR ROUND.  Not very friendly, I thought.  I was really disappointed but still needed someplace to walk Gracie, so we turned down a residential street and had a nice walk until it started raining.  I really need a raincoat.

In that residential neighborhood, I saw 2 black birds - either a raven and a crow, or a crow and a blackbird (that kind of size difference) - flying around with the small bird chasing the large bird as if protecting a nest which surely it wasn't at this time of year.  But anyway, they were flying around this HUGE tree completely covered in bright yellow leaves.  It made a lovely picture.

Day care for Gracie
It was already after 11:00 by this time (it takes so long to get anywhere in this state), so I went straight down the highway to the day care near the KOA I thought might be good for Gracie.  But once again, I was disappointed.

They keep all the day care dogs outside all day long; in bad weather, they bring them inside if they've got enough kennels for them - but it was cold and rainy when I was there so I'm not sure what constitutes bad weather.  

Plus it looked to me like most of the kennels were full of boarded dogs (barking their heads off at high decibels - hurt my ears), so I'm not sure where they'd put the day care dogs even if they decided it was bad weather.  Plus plus, they only had one worker in the yard where they had at least 30 dogs, so I'm not sure how they'd be able to handle a problem if it came up.  

Everything was clean and all the employees seemed to like the dogs, but I was not impressed.  It did not at all look like a good place for Gracie.

I walked Gracie around their large outer yard (in the rain) and by then it was after 12:00.  I was supposed to get Dexter at 1:00 and had no idea how long it would take me to drive from there so decided to get moving.

Country road
I took Rt. 49, which runs right by the KOA so would be my fastest route to Dexter's day care.  AAA has designated Rt. 49 as a scenic drive - I don't know what it's like when most tourists would be driving it, but this time of year it's gorgeous with beautifully colored leaves all along.  It runs through an almost entirely rural area with a few villages scattered here and there.  I guess the villages are what would have been a day's travel apart, way back when this area was first settled.  Plainfield, for instance, the closest town to the day care, was incorporated in 1699, which is a while ago.

When Rt. 49 hit Rt. 14A, I went west toward Plainfield and saw a stand of completely bare birch trees.  I wouldn't have known that's what they were except for having seen them in New Hampshire (with a road sign saying that's what they were).  And I saw an entire hillside that was all red, from the leaves.  Really pretty.

Back to Dexter's day care
Here I was once again disappointed, because they reported he had nearly ignored all the lively dogs they'd introduced him to and focused almost entirely on the people.  They had concluded he was a people dog and couldn't believe it when I told them he absolutely wasn't.  With him, dogs are first, food second, people third.  But that was definitely not what he'd been showing them.

Of course, while we were standing in the waiting area talking, another dog was greeting its owner and Dexter suddenly decided to growl and lunge at that dog.  The staff were stunned, not having seen anything like that all day.  I assured them that's one of the reasons I had brought him to them, that kind of behavior.

I said I wanted to try him again on Thursday, and I wanted to bring Gracie too.  The main person, Darcy, was reluctant to take Gracie and finally explained clearly what I'd missed before when she was describing their program - that they have gun dog training classes every day, which involves gunfire every day, and Darcy was afraid it would trigger Gracie's PTSD and maybe send her over the edge.

Of course, I don't want that either, but I'm not sure gunfire would do it.  I haven't heard gunshots very often, either in Austin or on the road, but they don't seem to bother her as much as thunder does.  

Besides, I think she's getting her fears triggered every day all day anyway.  I can't guarantee I'll never again accidentally drop something on the floor within 4' of her, or that loud noises won't ever happen again, or that I won't make a sudden move that she's not expecting, or that I won't get mad and speak sharply to either of them ever again - or any other of the thousands of tiny things that trigger her fears.  It seems to me gunshots rank way down on the list - way way below bouncing balls.  And she's got to have more exercise.  They both do.

So they'll take them both on Thursday for another half-day, and maybe the 2nd time Dexter will act a little more like himself, and maybe the staff can figure out how to get some exercise into both of them.

The drive back

Prudence Crandall
The day care is technically within the village of Canterbury, though it's out a long rural road.  In Canterbury at the crossroads is the Prudence Crandall Museum.  I looked it up and really  do wish it were still open - but sadly, closed until next spring.

Prudence Crandall (born in Rhode Island) has been designated Connecticut's Official State Heroine.  She was a teacher here, then opened her own boarding school for girls in 1830.  In 1831, a young black woman named Sarah Harris asked to be admitted to the school, but when Ms. Crandall allowed her in, quite a few of the other girls' parents pulled them out.  Ms. Crandall then closed the school and reopened it in 1832 as a school for girls and young women of color.  She managed to keep it open until 1834, when the serious violence from the townspeople made her fear for the safety of the students and teachers, and she closed the school and left the area.

In response to her opening her school, the state legislature passed what was called the Black Law, making it illegal to admit black students to a school.  Ms. Crandall was arrested and jailed under that law, and had 3 separate court cases brought against her.  Those court cases were cited by the US Supreme Court in its ghastly Dred Scott decision in 1857, as well as by that same court in 1954's Brown v. Board of Education.  (Nobody should consider the Supreme Court static.)   About 4 years before she died, the CT legislature tracked her down in Kansas or wherever she was living and gave her a pension, as a gesture of apology for what they'd done to her with the Black Law.

There's a statue of Prudence Crandall and Sarah Harris in the state capitol building.  None of the internet photos say I can use them but, if I can go to the capitol, I'll take my own photo.

The Last Green Valley
I passed a sign on the highway saying "The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor."  I had to look this one up too.  It's a chunk of eastern CT plus a little of Mass. that's still rural: 77% farm and forest, they say.  It's the last swath of dark night sky between Boston and Washington, DC.  I don't know how long they'll be able to hang onto it, but it's a really pretty area now.

Other thoughts
In Connecticut, the highway exit numbers correspond to the mileage.  Thank goodness.  That's the way Texas does it and, having now spent time in a batch of states that don't do it that way, I have to say that in this, even if not much else, I'm with Texas.  And Connecticut.

I saw 2 dead deer along the highway.  In different places.  So sad.  And lots of dead other animals along all the roads.

CT drivers aren't particularly polite, I can tell already.  They aren't interested in letting anybody in ahead of them anywhere.  It's not just me in the RV - I've watched them not let regular cars in at merge areas.  And they drive really fast.  Maybe it's because the southwestern state line is practically in New York City, and everybody is either from New York or drives into New York.  I don't know but it's sure a contrast to the polite drivers in the rest of New England.  But I haven't given up on the state yet.

Connecticut - Day 4

Totoket Valley RV Park
Sunday, 4 November 2018

Totoket, by the way, is pronounced tow-TOW-ket.

The weather has been very changeable, but we've mostly seen rain and/or overcast skies.  Sunbreaks have been lucky occurrences and, though I keep hearing sun predicted, I keep on not seeing it. 

I'm not getting morning weather reports anymore because I can't get any kind of TV reception here, though I don't know why.  I'm just a few miles from New Haven, only 40 miles from Hartford, and not all that far from New York City.  It seems like I ought to be able to get a station from somewhere, but the only one I can pick up is so completely pixilated, there's no point in it.  I'm having to rely on the radio or the internet, neither of which seems to be much help for weather.  I'm hoping for better at the KOA - at least it's closer to Providence where there's a good strong TV station.  In fact, I think the KOA, not far from Mystic, is closer to Providence than it is to Hartford.

So with the rain, this RV park is very muddy.  There's not much space where I can walk the dogs: the entire trailer park is off limits, and all I'm allowed to do is take the dogs behind a barn through a little green area by a marsh to a larger green area beyond the trailer park.  It's fine for short walks but not much for distances.  The dogs are just not getting any exercise and are becoming really uncomfortable.  Makes day care even more important, but that's so far away (in distance anyway).  It's not just that I have to get up early to drive the 1½ hours to get there, but that I also have to plan on driving that same distance back again in the afternoon.

The fact is, I'm just not comfortable in this RV park.  It's perfectly safe, all the people I've met have been very nice.  There were 3 vehicles with Texas plates here in one night - amazing when you remember there are only 15 spaces.  I talked with one of the families (they were traveling with 3 school-age kids) who said they're from College Station.  I could see the man was about to explain where that is but I jumped in and said I was from Austin, which changed the conversation direction.

I'm having to change my focus for Connecticut.  In other states, I've been able to choose what I wanted to see, find a place to stay relatively near those things, and go there, until I decided to move somewhere else.  In Rhode Island, everything is so close together it almost didn't matter where I stayed because everything was easily accessible.

Connecticut is the 3rd smallest state in the Union, but it's 4½ times the size of RI, so nothing's as accessible here as there.   And I'm also here in the north - it's southern New England but it's the northern US - with winter coming on, and everybody here is making winter preparations.  That's why no campgrounds.

There are scenic areas I'd like to see in northern and western CT, and historic sights to see in central CT, but just getting there takes a lot of time, let alone seeing it and getting back again. 

Plus I don't think I have much choice but to address Dexter's behavior issues.  He's a very high-energy dog living in a very small RV with a face that proclaims him to be a breed that isn't allowed many places.  Gracie's own issues seem to compound Dexter's, and she isn't really any more comfortable in this living situation than he is.  But I hope I've found a place where Dexter can get help dealing with his energy, and I owe it to him - as an obligation I accepted when I adopted him - to try to get him that help.

With all this swirling around in my head, it's no wonder I've been having trouble deciding where to stay, but I've finally made up my mind.  I'll stay here for the week + 3 nights I'd originally agreed to, which has me leaving here on Sunday the 11th, and then stay at the KOA for the rest of the month.  I'll see what I can of this part of CT while I'm here, and once I'm established in the KOA and get the dogs established in day care, I can figure out how to come back over to see things if I want.

I've found a day care very near the KOA that might be good for Gracie, so after I drop Dexter off tomorrow, I'll go check it out.  And because I want to give Gracie something nice to do while Dexter's playing, I'll take her down to New London where there's a public beach.  I hope it allows dogs, but since RI beaches allowed dogs after Sept. 30, I'm kind of counting on it here.

Connecticut - Day 3 - New Haven

Totoket Valley RV Park
Saturday, 3 November 2018
today's route
I needed to refill a prescription, so I called it in to a New Haven CVS and decided to take a look at the city while I was there.

The first thing I noticed is that New Haven has clearly marked all its streets!  What a concept!  Street signs that are legible and at every corner!  I wondered if that would just hold for this one town or if all CT towns did that.  So even without a decent map I still found what I wanted to find without trouble.

New Haven is completely a college town: it's full of Yale University.  Yale buildings are everywhere, throughout the town.  It's a big school and, as far as I can tell, it's taken over the town and moved into buildings - either those already there or those they built - all over town.

Sadly, I found all the parking meters were the pay-by-phone kind, which I can't do.  Too bad because I found several spaces that would have accommodated my little guy that I couldn't take advantage of.

internet photo
I wanted to go to Louis' Lunch, recognized by the US Library of Congress as the Birthplace of the Hamburger Sandwich.  It's this tiny tiny place in the smack middle of town and, as far as I can tell, they're still serving their hamburger sandwich exactly like they started serving it in 1895.
my photo

It's 2 slices of white bread, a very thick chunk of meat, and you have the option of getting an added slice of tomato and/or a slice of onion.  That's it.  No mayo or mustard or ketchup.  Chips (in bags) and potato salad (in styrofoam cups with plastic forks) are extra. 

You order at a counter and hope you can find someplace to sit down.  There are 2 tiny booths on one side, one largish round table on the other side (I saw 3 separate parties sit together there), a few built-in single booths with tiny tables built in at the side of the bench (like in college lecture halls), a few stools by a shelf about 6" wide, one table in a back room pushed against a wall so only 2 or 3 can sit there, and that's it.  Every wood surface is so thoroughly carved with initials that there isn't a square inch of wood in the place that isn't carved.

I was glad I'd asked for mine to go.  I also asked for an extra patty to take to the dogs, which delighted the staff, aka owners, who gave it to me for free.  It was actually pretty good.  Certainly was a lot of meat and the dogs were very happy.

We were parked in that lot you can see behind the building, where I wasn't supposed to be (cars only) but the elderly lot attendant let me in anyway.  When I went in, the lot was nearly empty, but when I left an hour later it was full.  Glad I went early (11:45).

I didn't even get lost getting out of town, thanks to the street signs.  New Haven looked just like a New England college town in November should look and it was delightful.

Once back in the RV park, I did my best to deal with the lack of shower.  I boiled water on the stove to wash my hair and then did the same to take what used to be called a sponge bath.  Very unsatisfactory, but at least I'm a little cleaner.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to decide what to do about a place to stay for the month.  I've checked every campground I can find on the internet (CT having given me zero tourist/camping information) and there really are only 2 open this month - this one in central CT and the KOA in far eastern CT. 

I called the KOA and they explained they've winterized only a few sites, which are in their expensive section but they're reducing the rates a little for everybody.  It makes the KOA $2.75 more expensive/night than this RV park.  On the other hand, this RV park makes a reduction if I pay a week at a time, which is what I've already done for the first week, which makes them significantly cheaper than the KOA, but without showers and 1½ hours away from Dexter's day care. 

The KOA will make a reduction if I pay $825 for a full month, but they add on an electricity charge per kilowatt.  On the other other hand, they do have showers and they're much closer to Dexter's day care.  I just can't decide what makes the most sense.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Connecticut - Day 2 - RV trouble


Totoket Valley RV Park
Friday, 2 November 2018

today's route
Last night when I took the dogs out for their bedtime walk, I noticed a lot of water around the RV and couldn’t figure out where it came from.  After I finished with the dogs, I checked the water hose and found that, for some bizarre reason, the campground’s water source, which I had plugged into the regular outlet to get water to my inside faucets and toilet, seemed to be also filling my water storage tank, and it was so full that water was running out of the tank.   So right away I turned off the campground’s water and for the night just used my now-full water storage tank and water pump.

But that really worried me – as far as I knew they weren’t supposed to be connected at all.  There are 2 separate entry points, one forward and one aft, for putting water either into the storage tank or directly into the faucets.  And they have them separated because they are separate systems, as far as I know.  

The water storage tank is under the front bench seat, and the water pump is under the rear bench seat (no reason at all for them to be separated like that, but they are), so I opened up both bench seats (tearing the cabin apart at bedtime) to be sure the water tank wasn’t leaking into the cabin (it wasn’t) and that the pump hadn’t shaken itself loose again (it hadn’t), so I was relatively comfortable using them, but this water problem absolutely has to get fixed.  

Then first thing this morning (meaning at 10:00 when all the shops open for Saturday business) I started calling and found a place that was very responsive to my concern and figured out how to work me in today, tomorrow being the tech’s day off.  Actually, they wanted me there in an hour – hour and a half at the latest.  And I’d already looked up online directions that said it’d take me an hour to drive it, which I knew meant it’d take me longer than that because I always go slower than other people.  So I had to leap up and batten things down for a highway drive and get myself dressed and the hoses and cords unplugged and race off down these unfamiliar Connecticut roads.

I did actually make it in just over an hour – necessity being the mother of additional speed – and found myself the object of a great deal of curiosity because nobody in the shop could figure out why my RV was doing what it was doing.  They tried to replicate the problem, but of course my RV acted perfectly while experts were watching.  They kept tracing the water lines, trying to figure out how on earth the feed could get crossed like that.  

What they finally came up with was that maybe the RV park’s water source was pumping at a much more powerful rate than any RV’s system is designed to take and that extra power was messing with the valve in the water pump that allowed the lines to get crossed.  I’d heard that some campgrounds had too much power in their water and months ago I’d bought an inexpensive little pressure adjuster, but it always leaked and – conservation minded as I often am – I just couldn’t stand to have all that water drip on the ground, so I stopped using it.  The shop guys sold me a better one for only $5 and told me to use it from now on.  They said to keep an eye on my water tank and, if it happened again, they could replace the valve inside my water pump that might have gotten weakened.

Really nice folks.  They encouraged me to let the dogs run around in their garage while we worked on the problem and were just nice in every way.

And they ordered new mud flaps for the ones I’m missing, so I’ll probably be going back at the end of the week to get those installed.

And then as soon as I got out of their neighborhood, I turned the wrong way on the right road and ended up on an interstate I’d never heard of going somewhere I couldn’t figure out where and doing it at very high speed.  Drivers on Connecticut roads drive very very fast.  Finally, I got off at a mall and spent quality time with the map, and then went to get back on that interstate and found out I couldn’t keep going east.  If I wanted that interstate, I had to go west which is where I’d come from. 

 I stopped again and spent more quality time with the map and decided I’d go back west to the road I’d gone the wrong way on and go back the right way.  Which I did.  And finally got back to the campground.  That detour added a full hour extra to my drive.  And I didn’t even want to be going anywhere today.  I wanted to spend several days trying to figure out what I wanted to see in CT and how long I wanted to stay in this RV park that had the 2 big drawbacks and so forth.  I didn’t get back until 4:00.  Much much later than I’d hoped.

About a half hour after I got back, the repair place called to see what was happening with my water.  Everything was fine but I had to confess I’d only been back a short time because I got lost.  But it was really nice of them to call and check, I thought.

I have to say, though, that if I have to get lost in Connecticut, I was lucky to do it in early November.  At least I had beautiful foliage to look at.  The colors seem farther advanced here than in Rhode Island because I’m now seeing whole hillsides that are yellow.