Sunday, March 16, 2014
The long and twisted paths
My lovely wife and I were able to connect with a guy in Jacksonville who had some waste vegetable oil to spare. He sold me 10, 4.5 gallon jugs of good quality waste oil at 1.25/gallon. That replaces $4/gallon diesel. I was happy.
He was happy to meet another “greaser” nut. The young man just bought a van with the same make engine as mine. I was able to give him some pointers. He photographed my veggie conversion and was amazed at how simple it was. Too many “experts” on-line overly complicate these things. Many of them have something to sell. I was also able to give him some advice on how to simplify his oil collection and processing. His wife to be was pretty happy about that. Right now she avoids the garage as the things going on in there scare her just a bit.
Moving on into Georgia we spent a quiet night in a Walmart parking lot. It worked out. Quite a few RVs parked with us in the back of the lot, so that was a comfort. Our first night “camping” at a 24 hour Walmart worked out.
The next day we drove to Georgetown SC, checked out the dock walk and had dinner in the scenic downtown. Georgetown has a Walmart, but we were the only potential campers there and it didn't feel right. Over the years I've learned to pay attention to these things.
I did a little research on the Internet using the smart phone. There's a big PDF file that covers all the Walmarts where camping is definitely banned. Then I found an App for locating Walmarts with camping potential. We tried another store about a half hour up the road.
That had a better feel. There were some truckers parked in the back, along with a few cars with blacked out windows. Now etiquette dictates that one politely ask to stay the night. However, I was tired, it was late, and I'd rather get forgiveness than permission.
About 6 in the morning the dog insisted she needed to walked. Only then did I see the faded “no overnight parking” signs. Once the dog was set, we climbed back in the van and I went back to sleep. Might as well as no one tapped on the door in the middle of the night.
Later in the morning, as we were getting ready, one of our nocturnal neighbors stopped in to say hello. She liked our rig. She was living out of a Chevy Astro Van, full time. It had a porta potty, small sink, bed, shelves and storage. The lady works 6 months of the year in Canada as a paramedic. Her van is insulated for -40 temperatures and has a small propane heater. She turned the passenger seat around to face the back. All in all, it was a pretty efficient use of a small space. Of course, being a paramedic, she loved what we did with our decommissioned ambulance.
Our new paramedic friend confirmed that particular Walmart does not hassle overnight visitors. It's a regular stop for her. Years ago she used to live out of a big motorhome with her disabled mother. Now that she's alone, she downsized to the van. She also had a lot of questions about the sailboat. One of her occasional jobs is providing security at a marina. If she had a boat she could stay there for free.
Currently we are spending a few days at an actual state park campground. Since it's cool and raining, having access to electricity and hot showers is a nice thing. We've a good selection of DVD movies that we haven't looked at until now. There are plenty of things to do in this area, so we won't get bored.
It will be another week, at least, until we get home. No hurry, as winter is still in force in northern NH.