Monday, February 7, 2011

Weird Start, Slow going, but Steady Progress

Currently in a hotel room in N. Carolina. What a long strange trip it's been.

We'd originally planned on heading out Saturday morning. Good thing we put it off a day. While the morning started off clear and sunny, clouds moved in quickly in the afternoon. By the evening, we had a strange mix of heavy snow combined with thunder and lightning with strong winds. That ain't right. We would have gotten caught in that on the road. Glad we waited.

Sunday, everything was buried in heavy snow. The town plow piled up brand new 3 foot snowbanks in front of the truck and boat. Eventually got everything dug out enough to hitch the truck to the boat. Between the snow, last minute packing issues, and winterizing the house, we didn't hit the road until 1:30 in the afternoon. Very late start for us.

Slow going in the road. In New England, there was enough patchy ice on the road to keep our speed way down. Even on clear Interstate highway, I generally kept our speed around 62. It's the sweet spot for fuel economy and trailer handling.

Speaking of fuel, prices have gone up a fair bit when I wasn't looking. Regular readers know that most of the time the old truck runs on waste vegetable oil. I've been insulated from the rise in fuel costs. Well, this trip there was a little problem with my waste veggie. Behind the snowstorm was an Arctic chill. The vegetable oil had almost solidified. It poured like cold molasses, which is to say, not at all. Tried to pump it with a gear pump but blew a fuse. Okay then, I thought what the heck, I'll just buy diesel. That was a shock. $75 didn't even fill both fuel tanks.

The next time I needed fuel was around Fishkill NY. Diesel was even higher priced there. I came to the conclusion I would have to get some veggie into the fuel tank. It took most of an hour, but by searching out the thinner oils and pouring off just the very top of the jugs, I was able to fill about 3/4 the veggie tank. Fortunately, as we got further south, the oil got easier and easier to pour. Have yet to buy more diesel.

We aren't in any hurry, but this has been one of my slowest trips south. Besides the snow, ice and pulling a trailer, the little dog needs the occasional rest stop. We'll get there when we get there. Had hoped to get further south, but was tired to the point of hallucination. It was time to stop and get a shower and couple hours rest.

The snow has finally melted off the boat. There as a good 3 - 4 inches of caked on ice, and the cockpit was full of snow. It really didn't start melting off until the middle of VA. There was still some snow in the cockpit when we stopped for the night. It is nice to see there was a fine little sailboat under all that ice. Could use a good cleaning to get off the road grime.

About to head across the street to the Waffle House for coffee and hash browns. Seems that in the south there's always a Waffle House across the street. It's one of the ways I know I'm in the south. That, and finally thawing out.

My lovely wife just talked our friends in northern FL. If all goes well, we should be at their place tomorrow.


  1. Stay safe and take plenty of pictures. Where in northern Florida are you bound for?

  2. Yes, be safe. Like you said "when we get there we get there". No hurry, just enjoy.

  3. No heater coils in the WVO tank? That would cure the pour point problem, after warming up on diesel...

  4. Treesong, I must admit, I'd bad at pictures. Gainsville area.

    Dizzy. Taking it easy is what I do best.

    Mayberry. Yes, the tank has a heater coil, but it's getting the veggie in the tank that's the problem.

  5. Glad you're traveling safe, Dad! :)

  6. I'm starting to get concerned, here it is Thursday and no word from our trailer sailor friend since monday. Hope all is well.