Friday, February 1, 2019

Delaware - Day 31

Trap Pond State Park
Thursday, 31 January 2019

I heard on the morning weather report that road salt doesn't work when temperatures fall below 20° so, while it was still dark, I was a little apprehensive about the road conditions.  When the sun came up, though, I could see that, despite the forecast to the contrary, there hadn't been any snow or other precipitation overnight.

And it has been sunny today, which is nice.  It's deceptive, though, because when I stepped outside to check the propane level, I got blasted with extremely cold air.  Today's high was supposed to be no more than 23° and the wind chill was expected to bring it down to the teens.

Time before last when I filled up the propane tank, the guy told me these heaters stop being efficient at temps like these.  He urged me to go to Walmart and pay $75 for an electric space heater.  I didn't bother to explain that, between my critters and me, there's zero extra floor space or, in fact, any place I can safely set up something like that.  But the inefficiency helps explain why the heater's been running at least half the day and I can barely keep the internal temp above 60°.

Before I came to Delaware I read that there can be quite a difference in both precipitation and temperature between the northern and southern parts of this state.  Once I got here, I couldn't believe it - this state is so small and so flat, how could there possibly be much difference, I thought.  But now that I've spent a month here watching the weather reports I can say that, though I don't know what makes it so, it's actually so.  The north is noticeably colder and wetter than the south.  Ninety miles apart!  Weird.

In the middle of the afternoon I set out to pick up my puppies.  It's lucky I'd listened to the morning TV news (relatively local) because one person noted when he drove to work he'd heard a thump thump and it was his tires that had gotten misshapen during the cold night.  Lucky because when I started driving I too heard an odd sound, though not a thump thump, that I finally figured out was my tires.  Because of that I drove pretty slowly at first to give them a chance to come back into shape, which they did after a while.

I was driving on one of these country roads where there wasn't much color because of the fallow fields and frost and suddenly a Cardinal flew across in front of me - a sizzling bright spot of red in that landscape.  It was great.

The dogs were as glad to come home as they'd been to go to day care in the first place.  It's so much quieter while they're gone that I'd missed them.

On the way back to the campground I stopped to get yet more propane.  The heater had been running so much these last 2 days that I was down to 1/4 tank left.  With tonight's forecast at 20°, I was afraid we'd be scraping the bottom of the tank by morning.  Crazy, but I used 6 gallons of propane in only 2 days, and the inside temp never got above 65°.

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