Sunday, January 28, 2007

Winter Camping

What have I learned from winter “camping?” Carla Lynne, take note!!

First of all, everyone was right – even with a furnace, a pop-up (or fold-down, depending on who you talk to) trailer does NOT hold heat! When the temperatures are ranging from +4 º to -4 º, the only place that is actually heated is right in front of the furnace, which Peanut found out about, quickly. The air above it and around it is mildly warm. Get away from there and the air ranges from chilly to down-right frigid!

No matter how warm or cozy you can get in a bed, it takes TIME for the bed to warm up because the air UNDER the bed is frigid. So you either have an electric mattress pad, a ‘space blanket’ (un-found to date), or an electric blanket. A heating pad for your feet does not warm up your shoulder area. We had none of these!

No matter how warm and cozy you are in bed, it takes courage to get OUT of bed!

A 20 gallon propane tank lasts around 24 hours if the furnace is running non-stop, which it will, as the thermostat is set away from the furnace area.

A refrigerator keeps things cold, but does not keep things from freezing.

Little puppy feet get cold and not even a furnace will warm them sufficiently, so says the little puppy – a blanket on a lap or way under the covers of the bed is MUCH better!

People are kind, no matter what the world says. When a stoic husband says “enough,” people will bend rules to allow you to sleep in a building that has a “no sleeping inside” rule.

Toothpaste DOES freeze, but will thaw out under hot running water (inside a building, not inside a trailer that has no hot running anything!).

It is not against the law to wear sweat pants under a period-correct dress ... well, at least until you are done futzing and putting down a trailer.

On a non-winter camping note, it bodes well to bring some reading material! Or a movie to play on the lap-top. Or some music CDs to play during the slow times when we are in the trailer!! None of that was thought of ... duh!!!

Now, enough said about what is learned! On to the details! We got to the building where the Winter Trade Fair was being held and were early enough to park right next to the building and plug the trailer’s electricity in. The first night was fine – it was only about 20 º that night. The second night was cold, as it got down to 10 º. But within an hour, it dropped to 4 degrees. The wind was something fierce and it was -20 º chill factor.

The rules were: no sleeping within the building, no dogs. We had brought Peanut and planned on leaving her in the trailer, in a warm crate with a blanket over it, during the day. That way we could have her after hours and she could be with me. (This was a decision that sister Candy and I came up with – Candy said Peanut would be too unhappy staying at her house without me.)

I brought Peanut in with me while we were setting up. Julie, the head of the organization, met and cuddled with Peanut and said “after school children are gone, she can come in.” The head maintenance man met her and said “if maintenance, tomorrow, fusses, tell them *I* said she could stay." We put her little basket next to me and many times she was asleep with her blanket over her head and no-one knew she was there.

When Norm said “enough!” because of the cold weather - he was tired of getting out of bed and freezing - Julie said it was fine with her that we could sleep inside if security didn’t mind. Security, in the form of one of the trades people who slept inside as guard at night, said we could if we waited until after everyone was gone and got the bed put away before people came in the morning. (I can’t tell you the name of the town, the name of the building or the name of the security guard or I would have to shoot you!)

As far at the Trade Show and School Kid’s day, things have been going very well. It’s been great to see people we know from other events and meet new people (like Julie and un-named security guard). I will send pictures later on. Right now I don’t have internet service. I am writing this at 7:30 am (yes, THAT early!) on Sunday. I will send it when we get home. I have had internet service if I have my computer sitting on the fridge in the trailer. Not on the table, on the fridge! But I ain’t a goin’ there to send this! Not no-how, not no-way! You’ll just have to be patient until I get home tonight!

As I don’t have cell phone service in South Dakota (oops, shouldn’t have told you the state!), so I’ve been communicating with family over the internet. I have heard that home has gotten some snow and much blowing and is almost as cold as we are, here in the un-named city. There is supposed to be snow again tomorrow, so sister Candy wants me home TONIGHT so she doesn’t have to care for slow-laying chickens any longer.

Florida was 68 degrees on Friday night, poor babies!!! Other than that, that side of the family is doing well. Seattle is NOT flooding, NOT having ice, NOT having hurricane winds, and new grand-puppy Remy (have I mentioned him?) is doing well.

Rapid City was 53 º on Thursday afternoon and not a drop of snow in sight.

So now the sun is up, I think Norm wants me to bundle up again and we’ll put the trailer down. We have freezable things inside the building, under our table (if they haven’t frozen, already), and many things in the truck. Norm says we will NOT put the trailer up again until warmer weather, so anything we will want or need will have to be put in the truck for the trip home.

We will be done about 4:00 today and it’s about a 2 ½ hour trip home – make it 3... I’m sure we will stop for a warm bite to eat on the way home... or maybe not ... I don’t want to leave Peanut in a cold truck!

Like I said, pictures later – probably tomorrow. I will not have much energy tonight to do much more than bring in freezable items (and the laptop), post this and head for a WARM bed!!!

It will be a beautiful, crisp, cold day. You have a beautiful, warm day!

ps ... Just found out that it was -13º this morning. Thank GOODNESS for caring friends!!!

1 comment:

happyowl said...

Oh My! You and Norm are a lot stronger than I would be!!!! I am so glad that they let you sleep in the building and bring peanut in.

Is this the last "trip" for awhile? I hope so, at least until it warms up a bit.

Sounds like you had a lot of fun and I can't wait to see the pics!

Jump into your warm( and comfy) bed tonight and ENJOY!

Brightest blessings