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Monday, March 18, 2013

POST 1083; MARCH 18, 2013; COLUMBIA, NORTH CAROLINA



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So nice to be sleeping in my big four-poster familiar bed again...dining on super home cooked food - Karen is a master chef -, and spending time with old friends.

Decided to take this morning off...did just absolutely nothing...but enjoy the boys going off to school...the light drizzle dimpling the serene waters of the Scappernong River...just a short stone throw from my upstairs window...and snuggling back into the feathers for 2.5 hours after a grilled ham sandwich lunch.

Craig spent hours cleaning out his backyard store room...Karen grabbed a shovel and attacked some weeds in her flower beds...both making me feel guilty.

So, I bit the bullet and attacked SAM.

Removed SAM's Solar Panels, Controllers, Switches, House Battery, and ripped out all the wiring I so lovingly installed so many years ago...yes, it has been nearly four years since I designed and built SAM's self propulsion system.

Stripped of all her finery, SAM looked naked and forelorne. 

Using existing extending twist poles, Velcro bracelets, and existing Solar Panel adjustable supports, built a new rectangular frame for SAM.  Over this frame, I fashioned a rain cover using SAM's original oilcloth coverings[

.The rectangular frame incorporates a "second" handle bar...raised about 6 inches above the factory designed handle, giving SAM access into our tent at night and a second push / controlling handle for more convenient pushing geometry...i.e., do not have to bend when pushing as in SAM's original design...allowing me to stand straight when pushing and walking.

Loaded up 3/4 of SAM's provisions to verify form and fit, took SAM for a quick tour around the town of Columbia. 

She is now light as a feather, has room for all necessities, and is impervious to all but the strongest downpour and gale-force winds. 

Built two bakealite shelves into SAM's hind quarters for storing her stove and food items. 

Push comes to shove, SAM could be loaded ready for the road within an hour.

Craig says I have not yet worn out my welcome, so have no definite schedule to once again follow the Sun into the far West.

My digestive system seems to have quieted some during the past 24 hours, relieving some nauseous feeling I endured the past couple months...sure hope it remains so.

Is now evening...and dark outside.  In the morning, will clean up the awful mess I created on the front porch - SAM's work area.  Then I can pitch in to help Craig and Karen do some yard Spring cleaning.

Tomorrow hope to post images of our "new" SAM.

Will also pursue adding a "Donations" Button.  Must admit to a a bit less stamina and energy than when SAM and ME started out three years ago.  A little pampering would be most welcome.

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