This was an unexpected boon docking trip to Pittsburgh in mid June, 2005. We stayed in a church parking lot for 2 weeks.
|Tuesday - June 21, 2005
Since Saturday we have been boon docking in the parking lot of Saint Theresa's Church. In the pictures below you can see the church off in the distance and to the left the apartment complex where both of our Mother's live. What caused this to be an unexpected trip was my Mother breaking her hip about 3 weeks ago. My Sister has watched over my Mother through the surgery and the first few weeks of recovery, and now we are taking over while my Sister takes some time to visit her daughter in Maine.
So here we are on the first day of summer trying to make the best of boon docking. So far the weather daily temperatures have not been oppressive......with temps only reaching the high 70's to low 80's with low humidity and a slight breeze. The overnight lows are going into the high 50's making for very comfortable sleeping. Since we have our dog with us we had concern about the temperature inside the motorhome but so far we have not had to run the generator for the air conditioning. This evening I did run the generator for about 2 hours to charge the house batteries. For showering we use the facilities in our mother's apartment building and thus far this has been very convenient.
|Friday - June 24, 2005
We have been away from home nearly a week so we needed to find a Laundromat. Our first choice was a location on West Run Road but to our surprise that Laundromat was closed on Fridays. So we headed over to Duquesne Village hoping to find something there and we lucked out. It's good that we did this first thing in the morning because the Laundromat was already very, very warm and temperatures in the Pittsburgh area are forecasted to reach 90 degrees today. I heard on the radio that the temperatures in Pittsburgh have not reached 90 in over 2 1/2 years.....figures it would happen while we are here. When we return from the Laundromat I'll be sure to check the oil level in the motorhome generator since it will certainly be needed today so we can run the air conditioning.
Thus far our daily schedule has been filled with constant activity from the time we get up at 6:30 am till we go to bed at 10:30 pm. We have thoroughly cleaned my mother in-law's and my mother's apartments, run errands and visited my mother at the nursing home twice each day. We have both been non stop from sunrise to sunset.
Before we left home for this trip my right leg was giving me some pain. As it turns out I think I twisted my leg on an amusement ride when we all went to Hershey Park a little over 2 weeks ago. Based on the symptoms of pain and swelling I suspect I have torn the meniscus in the knee. If this is true it will more than likely require surgery when we return home. I called my doctor at home and he wants to see me immediately when I return home. In fact, he wanted me to return home now so that proper attention could be provided, but I explained that we were here in Pittsburgh to provide care for my mother that just recently fell and broke here hip. He suggested that I limit my activity, ice the leg, get a knee brace and take Advil....all of which I'm trying to do when time permits. I'm disgusted with the thoughts of possible surgery.
Well, the laundry is just about dry so I'll bring this journal entry to a close and will make another entry soon.
Up until today the weather here has been perfect....ranging in the high 70's to low 80's each day and then dipping into the 50's at night. With weather like this it has not been necessary for air conditioning until today. The temperature did climb to 90 degrees and being parked on a black macadam parking lot made it necessary to run the generator from noon until around 10:00 pm this evening. So far on this trip I have run the generator a total of 12 hours. Later next week I'll take the motorhome to the gas station for a fill up so I can determine how much gasoline the generator consumes per hour. According to the genset owner's manual, it should require 0.8 gallon per hour. I'll be anxious to see the actual usage.
|Sunday - June 26, 2005
Yesterday we brought my mother home from the Lawson Nursing Home. She was very glad to be back into her apartment. All went well until 5:30 pm and that's when the power failed in the apartment building. Fortunately the power came back on around 7:00 pm and for that I was extremely thankful. Diana stayed in the apartment with my mother overnight just to be sure she was OK.
To help keep carbon monoxide fumes from entering the motorhome I went to Lowes and purchased two 3" diameter aluminum flex hose. Each hose can expand to 8 feet in length. I simply slipped the hose over the genset exhaust pipe and routed the hose vertically along the ladder on the rear of the motorhome. This worked out great....no more fumes in the motorhome.
Today is another very hot, hazy and humid day. Around 10:30 am I went to the motorhome to start the generator and was greeted with a surprise. The generator would crank.....but would not start. I had to remove the spare tire which is mounted above the generator so I could get access to both spark plugs. I remove the plugs and cleaned them. This did not solve the problem....still cranked but would not start. I checked the owner's manual for the trouble shooting suggestions which included, spark plugs, air filter, gas filter and choke adjustment. I tried the engine again and this time it sputtered and finally started. I was relieved because I'm not certain what we would have done if the generator did not start. We turned on the air conditioning and I reinstalled the spare tire and decided to leave it alone for now.
|Tuesday - June 28, 2005
At 7:00 am this morning I was busy getting ready to change the oil in the generator. Since we have been here the generator has logged a total of 52 hours of running time. The weather continues to be hot, very humid and abundant sunshine. We have not yet had any ran although each day isolated thunder storms have been forecasted.
While changing the generator oil I decided to also replace the 2 spark plugs to see if that would help improve the ease of starting the generator. Around 10:30 am the heat of the day was starting to build so it was time for the air conditioning. I was able to get the generator to start right up but I still think there may be some other problem with the generator. Hopefully the generator will continue to start when needed and I will replace the generator fuel filter when we get home. The only other corrective measure would be adjusting the choke or the carburetor and I won't do that right now unless absolutely necessary.
Diana and I continue to spend the bulk of our day providing care for our mothers or running errands for them. However, last night Diana and I took a short walk up to "the park" where we would go when we were teenagers. We stopped at an ice cream shop on Main Street and treated ourselves to and ice cream cone. The ice cream shop used to be a soda fountain back in the early 60's and we would often hang out at this location. But now it has all changed.
Later tonight we are going to meet a group of high school class mate that we have not seen for over 35 years. We are both looking forward to seeing old friends again.
|Wednesday - June 29, 2005
It was a real treat to meet with four of our high school classmates from years ago. We shared lots of old stories and gossip....and had endless laughter the entire night.
Diana & I drove out to Century III Mall today and did some Christmas Shopping. Then we returned to my mother's apartment to help her with her rehab. Our current plan is to head home this coming Saturday.
|Thursday - June 30, 2005
Because of the hot and humid weather we have continued to run the generator daily for approximately 10 hours se we can use the roof air conditioner. A total of 67 hours have been accumulated on the generator over the past 6 days so I thought it would be best take the motorhome to the nearby gas station to top off the tank to see how much gas has been consumed by the generator. After doing the calculation I was able to determine the generator is using 0.48 gallons per hour so that equates to $1.05 per hour when paying $2.19 per gallon. I'm very pleased with those results.....about $10.50 per day to have air conditioning. Not too bad.....especially when I expected the generator would use about twice as much gasoline and we could not have gotten by without the air conditioning for Rebecca our miniature schnauzer.
|Friday - July 1, 2005
Normally I don't listen to the radio very much and it's most unusual to listen to AM stations. But, for the past 2 weeks while here in Pittsburgh I thoroughly enjoyed listening to WJAS 1320 and KQV 1410 for several hours every day. WJAS features music from the 50's. Each night at 10 pm I would tune in KQV to listen to shows such as Sherlock Holmes, the Great Gildersleeve and the Twilight Zone....originally broadcasted in the 1940's and 50's. I wish I had these stations back home because it was a real change of pace listening to these stations. I'll miss them when we return home.
Speaking of returning home we will be leaving early tomorrow morning. On the way home I plan to stop at the Flying J in Carlisle and gas up and also to fill the propane tank on the motorhome. During this trip I've learned that running the refrigerator on gas uses very little propane.
Yesterday a friend of ours called to tell us we could have tickets to the Phillies baseball game on Sunday night and I quickly jumped on the opportunity. They play Atlanta and I expect it should be a good game with a large crowd in attendance. We will leave home early and enjoy eating dinner at the ball park in one of the very nice restaurants located in the outfield. Should be a nice time but I think there will be lots of people in Philadelphia because of 4th of July activities.
We had some spare time today so we drove around Munhall to take some pictures of places we "hung out" when we lived here as youngsters some 45 years ago.