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Friday, January 27, 2012


Yesterday was an exhausting day at Melinda's home...painting from 8:30 am til 5:00 pm with 30 minutes out for lunch with hubby, A.J.

A.J. and I enjoyed a pizza dinner together (his treat) while Melinda took her group of 13 girls to Cheer Leader practice.

Exhausting in that the outside face of the deck railing stretches a full six feet down, requiring me to reach over the top of the railing to try to paint. I did not succeed. The final 14 inches were beyond my reach, leaving a challenging task to figure how to get paint onto the vertical 1.5 inch slats without getting the deck itself splattered.

My fist barely fits between the slats. Painting will require sight-unseen paint application while lying on my stomach. I may have to remove every 4th slat to stick my head out to see what I am doing.

To keep paint away from the deck face, I have designed and had constructed a thin steel plate which I plan to drive under the edges of the two opposing slats, effectively covering the deck face.

It will be a time consuming uncomfortable effort, but feel I have come up with a reasonable system. We shall see.

and, the wood is rough-cut acting like a sponge soaking up the initial coat. A second coat of paint will definitely be needed.

Oh, such fun.

Today, I am sore and stiff from yesterday's contortions...I did, however, complete the entire third story railing with a first-coat, which consumed 1.5 gallon.

For today, I have driven SPIA to Wanchese (village) on Roanoake Island, where the new fully aluminum welded basket has been installed. It can be removed by loosening four bolts. It looks excellent. It will hold two spare propane tanks plus a small gasoline can. This basket will make it possible to trek across the wide expanses of Montana and North Dakota.

I have determined that it is best to delay departure from the Outer Banks for another four to five weeks, making a new departure date of approximately March 01, 2012. This will still allow for a August 15, 2012 arrival at the Peace Arch South of Vancouver, B.C.

Installation of the basket took about 2 hours. I arrived at Karen & Craig's home about 2:30 pm this afternoon in Columbia, North Carolina. I stopped in at the Food Lion Supermarket in Columbia, picking up some chips and sweets (Craig has a thing for sweets). Today being Friday makes this evening "Chile Nite". Look forward to Karen's chile. Karen is a certified Chef, making her cuisine something special.

My room was ready and waiting for me. A large soft queen four-poster bed; a mirrored desk (on which this update is being written), a dresser and closet. One window looks to the West, offering a panorama of the Scupppernong River with the Sun setting over the distant Appalachian mountains.

SPIA gave me a scare yesterday as the motor temperature pegged out HOT. Turning on the heater full Hot, the temperature came back down. Believe the thermostat spring - probably the original from 1987 - lost it's tension, refusing to open to allow cold radiator water to circulate.
On my drive today, the temperature stayed in the "normal" zone. To be on the safe side, I stopped in at NAPA Auto Parts where I purchased a new thermostat and radiator cap.

The cost of my custom-designed basket - including installation - was $351.00; $50.00 UNDER the how often does that happen !

Taking the day off tomorrow. Karen and Connor are travelling to a science project. Craig, Noah and I will be staying close to home.

Will give me time to take some photos and test the new basket.

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