Friday, November 05, 2010

The Way Home

I am now on my winding way home. Crossing the Mississippi, which separates Wisconsin from Minnesota, is awe-inducing. The Father of Waters is not one river but a winding series of channels, each of them vast.

I quit early the first day because the wind was buffeting the bus all over Interstate 90. I figured to wait it out and that it would be calmer the next day. It wasn't. So I had to hang onto the steering wheel and tough it out.

It soon became clear what the problem was. For a hundred miles before and after Albert Lea, Minnesota there are huge wind farms. The great towers with their immense blades stately rotating would daunt even the wildest of Quixotes.

The fact that they were there meant that I wasn't experiencing a storm. It is always windy around Albert Lea. It is also unrepentantly flat for literally hundreds of miles.The wind abates with the flatness in western Minnesota and South Dakota. The country becomes gently rolling and that is enough.

I had a fun errand of sorts yesterday. I finally figured out how to get into the constricted space in front of the driver's seat of the RV.

I took a needlenose pliers, a flashlight, and a box of fuses and went through the interior fuse box, fuse by fuse. Some were the wrong sizes for the slots they were in and one was burnt.I replaced the burnt one and put the correct capacity fuse in each slot (the rating is printed next to each fuse slot).

The burnt one I replaced was for the emergency flasher which had not been working. Now it works. It made me wonder whether the cruise control, which is on the steering column next to the emergency flasher switch, might be on the same fuse. If it were, fixing one would also be fixing the other. Today in driving on Interstate 90 in South Dakota I checked the cruise control and HOOHAA!! It works!

This is a bigger deal than it sounds. Since I left at the beginning of September I have driven this beast almost six thousand miles. And it is far less effort and stress to drive with cruise control than without it. My life for the next six weeks just got considerably better. And every time afterward that I drive it.

I am a happy camper.


  1. So if you are headed home and going through the north state, do stop in. I will save a spot in front of our house for you. Right now Bidwell Park is glorious, millions of multi colored leaves falling around you as you ride your bike. We take Lucy to pre-school on our bike and go through a fabulous whimsical forest of cork trees.

    As glorious as New England? No, but we won't have to shovel the snow in December. And January. And February. It's a trade off.

  2. I will be hiking in Death Valley and then home. But now that the bus is so much more functional and less of a pain in the ass I will definitely visit you more often.

    Here in the Badlands in South Dakota, the few trees have long since lost their leaves and stand around being black and dead-looking. Trees without leaves seem somehow pointless.

  3. Gee I would think they would be all points......:<)