United States
Grass Creek

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    • Day 3

      Crazy Night- Battery Depleted

      April 19, 2022 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 45 °F

      I had a pretty crazy night. I had just finished eating dinner when the power flickered and all the plugged in appliances stopped. The portable heater stopped running, my phone flickered as the charging stopped. I looked at the battery panel, Inverter control and Balmar system and it was so low (<20%) that it had shut itself off. This happened to me once before, so I knew the only way to get it turned back on was to plug in to an electrical outlet. Only takes a second, but have to plug in. Well, it wouldn't have been such a big deal except that it was only 9:20 pm and it was already 37 degrees outside, plus I had no phone signal at all. I did have just under 3/4 tank of gas.

      So, I figured I had three options: 1) wake up Lindsay the kind host on the property with 2 small children under the age of 6 to see if she could move me to a non boon docking space. 2) turn the van engine on and off throughout the night to keep the van warm (but I wasn't sure how well this would work at freezing temps) or 3) drive to Ashville, find a place to plug in briefly and be in a place that has phone service and fuel.

      Now mind you, I was 8 oz of wine in and had just popped a muscle relaxer. Three days before leaving on the trip I went to the orthopedic urgent care. I had been having pain in my butt and hips for over 3 weeks, and the last week it was so intense that I couldn't work. I diagnosed myself with piriformis syndrome. I had 3 massages, 2 chiro adjustments, 2 physical therapy appointments, a myofascial release session, had iced and heated and stretched, and was taking ibuprofen. At the urgent care they did an x-ray which I knew was pretty much useless for diagnosis of what I had. They found a couple other things, but none the less, Dr agreed with me on the piriformis diagnosis and prescribed me a steroid pack and muscle relaxers...

      In my dilemma, I chose the third option... get to a place with more resources. I knew I only had 2 hours before the muscle relaxer would kick in and I wouldn't be able to keep my eyes open. I quickly buckled up the van for travel and set out back to town. There was no phone signal, so I had to go off my memory on how I got to this remote location. I found Hot Springs, but on a week night at almost 10 pm, the town was shut down. Now having phone signal, I pulled over to get directions to Ashville which was almost an hour drive away.

      So I headed off on the steep, curvy mountain roads in the pitch black of night, the only lights being my headlights. Sign says 8% grade, "okay brake 3 seconds every 10 seconds". Ears popping, runaway truck ramp, my screen displays "possible ice on roads"... I find a small town gas station that is closed, but I spot an electrical outlet on the front of the building. It's not secured to the concrete, so it's sort of dangling in place. I put my coat on and quickly jump out to plug in for a second. That instantly restarts the inverter, so now I'm charging as I'm driving.

      I roll into downtown Ashville at 11 pm. All I see are homeless men. I wonder how they will stay warm tonight. I just need to find a gas station, so I can top off my tank and then a safe, well lit parking lot to sleep in. I ended up in the Trader Joe's parking lot. I woke up every 30-60 min to turn on the engine or turn off the engine so i could have heat and recharge the battery. The heat or the cold woke me up each time. It wasn't a very restful night.

      Today, I'm just recovering I guess. Might take a nap. I joined The Joint recently so went to see the chiropractor here in Ashville. Thanks to a friend who gave me a Massage Envy gift card I have a massage scheduled for 3 pm.

      I spent an hour on the phone with tech support to find out how to work the automatic engine start up when the battery gets low... only to find out that this battery system doesn't have that option. I've done Ashville before, so today I will just rest. I need a good night's sleep.
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