Monday, August 1, 2011

All but done

I wore some of these guidebooks out: West Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and parts of a dozen other states.   We covered 9,747 miles and averaged 17.5 mpg.  We saw four great lakes, all but Ontario, and spent the most time on Superior and Michigan. Turned out to be more than a summer's worth of lake viewing. I rank the sand dune shores of eastern Lake Michigan the highest overall, with the allure of the coldness and blueness of Superior a close second.

As I took my last RV park shower, I thought of my next bath in my own home, how there would be absorbent mats to step on, water pressure that was familiar, move around room that was comfortable. My last RV shower wasn't bad. Any RV park shower with a dry floor is pretty high ranking. I thought back over the summer to a perfect 10 bathroom, in Ohio Amish Country, near Berlin, with a private bath setup that rivaled the Houstonian, including fancy rain shower heads. I took a long shower there. In contrast to the Amish country bath, I declined to even go into the bathroom in Hot Springs, NC. And of course, I remembered the Kohler bath showroom, where I wanted to crawl into one of their display tubs but was pretty sure I was supposed to keep my clothes on and look. I am looking forward to my next shower. I'll be able to leave the shampoo in the tub and hang up the towels on a rack and leave them to dry when I am done. And the spongy bath mat is going to be divine.

It has been a summer consumed by thinking about water, from the lakes to the flooding rivers to the drought at home and to the water bill waiting for me there. I'll be fighting with the City, explaining that there is no way my mostly empty house used 35,000 gallons in June. I've been calculating. That would mean leaving a faucet running outside 8 hours a day all month long. Something to look forward to, being greeted by a brown crackling lawn (I left instructions not to try to save it) and that water bill. Traveling in the RV, I am very aware of how much water we use: I fill our 35 gallon tank twice a week. There's another 200 gallons a week in showers outside the RV and maybe 100 gallons on two loads of laundry. Daisy drinks three gallons a week. I cannot get from those numbers to 35,000 gallons in a month. Should be fun negotiating.

What a contrast, between brown blistery Texas, suffering its worst drought since 1925, and the verdant green landscape of the Great Lakes states, with their rolling farms and little lakes everywhere. There's no doubt I had better scenery this summer than my friends in Texas. But soon I'll be joining in the prayers for rain and begging for a hurricane too. It will be good to be home.

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