It feels just a bit surreal as we pulled away from the house this morning. A full year of planning, searching for costumes everywhere we went from Tempe, to Taipei. Always on your mind…. "That hat would look great on the playa covered in dust" This past week, was the major push. 140 gallons of water, enough food to feed a small army, 100 pounds of propane, 400 otter pops, the list goes on and on.
It is 92 degrees, and we are heading through the desert towards Las Vegas, locked and loaded. Last year when we left Phoenix for Black Rock CIty it was about 118 degrees. This is nicer for sure.
Our first stop will be the Red Rock Resort. It is there, we will meet up with Eric and Audra. Tomorrow morning, we will leave early and drive the 8 hours to Reno.
Once we land in Reno, Mike should roll in about the same time, and that will be the crew.
It is very exciting, albeit a little surreal. My stomach hurts, but I am pretty sure that is because i haven't eaten anything since yesterday around 5:00 pm. Or maybe it's the nerves….. nah… I am hungry.
We stopped at a place called Ike's in Wickenburg, and had a great lunch.
Back on the road, everything was rolling quite smoothly and then the whole rig started swaying back and forth as we rolled down the highway. Allen was driving and pulled off the highway pretty quickly. When we got out of the truck we could smell rubber burning, and sure enough, we had a flat tire on the truck. We unhooked the camper and pulled the truck further off the road so we could change the tire safely. 25 minutes later, we were back on the road and heading to Vegas again.
It's amazing how much easier life is when you have cool technology. I hopped on the iPad and found a Discount Tire store near the hotel we were heading to, and found their phone number, They had the tire that we needed in stock and we plugged the address into the GPS. We got there and they were slamming busy. It was Friday afternoon and they squeezed us in. We got rolling again with four brand new Michelins and headed straight to Costco. We bought a shopping cart load full of supplies and then went to the hotel to meet Eric and Audra.
We all hopped in taxis and went to a Sushi place with the crew from the show Eric was supplying gear for. It was a fun way to end a day that turned out to be a bit stressful.
Saturday morning, we got rolling around 8:30 am and with an additional 200 lbs of supplies on the back of the camper, it was running a bit odd and drifting back and forth. After about 50 miles, we pulled over and shifted the load around and transferred a decent amount of weight to the front of the camper. This made a considerable difference and we pressed on.
We had great weather all day and didn't have any rain on our drive. It took about 10 hours to get from Las Vegas to Reno and it felt really good to pull into the RV park. We hooked up the camper to power and water, and did a little bit of organizing before the four of us went to the casino buffet restaurant for a good dinner.
Mike Steighner had flown into Sacramento from West Palm Beach Florida and then rented a car and drove to Reno. We finished our dinner and Mike called to tell me he was just driving into the parking lot of the hotel. Once, we hooked up with Mike, I started working on the water system for the camper.
The water gauges that show the capacities of the fresh, black, and gray water for the camper aren't always very accurate, and the black water tank even though we had opened the release valve was still showing 2/3 full.
I connected a fresh water source to the Sani-flush connection, and filled the black tank. Once it was full, I pulled the release valve and much to my dismay, not a lot of water came out.
This could be a real problem. Tomorrow we are heading out to the middle of no where, and it seems as though we have a clogged black water tank. Allen came over, and after talking about it a bit, he got under the camper and started pushing on the tank from underneath. The tank is pretty ply-able, and that seemed to help a bit. We used the sani-flush again and refilled the tank. After going through this process a few times, we were able to clear the clog, and empty the tank. The gauges showed an empty tanks, and the last time we flushed the tank, it emptied quickly, so problem solved.
All in all, better to deal with this at the RV park where we had a dump station and water supply, than out in the desert in the middle of nowhere, with neither a water supply or dump station.
Allen, Mike and I relaxed for a little while outside. The temp was gorgeous, probably a cool 73, and no humidity to speak of.
We chatted for a while, and about midnight decided to call it a night.
Tomorrow morning, we will get Dry Ice and Regular Ice, and then head 90 miles north to Black Rock City.