Saturday, June 19, 2010

Electrical troubles

We arrived in Peachland yesterday and pulled into Dwight & Bobbi Kirkwood’s yard.  Their yard is gorgeous but I sure don’t envy them the work they put into keeping it the way they do.

They very kindly parked us in their bus barn which comes complete with water, sewer, wifi and 30 amp electrical.  Some other friends are here, parked next to the guest house where we were parked last fall.  We hooked up and then joined them for a Mexican dinner so it wasn’t until about 10:30 when we returned home that we discovered we had no power.  I did some cursory checks and decided that it could wait until morning so we ran the generator for an hour or so and then went to bed.

This morning I started troubleshooting the problem and made a classic troubleshooting error.  I didn’t start at the beginning and I assumed that the problem had to be on the bus because Dwight had been parking his own coach here and had parked other friends here in the past.  When I finally broke out of that mindset the problem was very simple.  Somewhere along the way the 30 amp plug had the hot and ground wires reversed.  That’s not an unusual situation on older 15 amp installations and I should have checked that first thing before even hooking up but I didn’t.  It ended up taking the whole morning to diagnose and fix the problem but we are well powered now. 

We left Al & Camiel’s place on Thursday but we don’t travel very far anymore.  We got as far as Crazy Creek, east of Sicamous on Thursday but that is only 375 km which is roughly half of what we used to do on our slowest days and 1/4 of what we once were capable of. 

We stopped at the top of Rogers Pass just because we always stop at the top of Rogers Pass.  That kind of attitude is a big part of the reason we don’t get many miles in the rearview mirror anymore.  I love the story of the discovery of the pass.  Pierre Berton wrote a lot of schlock in the course of too many books with too few original ideas but his story of the building of the CPR is a classic as far as I am concerned and should be required reading for every Canadian.  The story of the stubborn Scot who was convinced that there was a southern path through the Rocky Mountains is one that has stuck with me since I first read The National Dream probably 40 years ago now.

The hot pools at Crazy Creek beckoned and we succumbed but we won’t likely ever go back.  The pools are not much more than really hot swimming pools.  For some reason we were expecting natural pools.  They were plenty expensive for what they provided and the campground was poorly laid out.  I don’t think there were 3 level sites in the whole park and they all were perfectly suited to a converted Volkswagon bus.  Of course in that case the sites were long enough to park 3 rigs end to end but if you tried to get into a site with a rig the size of ours the roadways were simply too small.  It looked to me like a campground laid out by someone who has never used an RV.

Similar to Rogers Pass, Mara Lake holds a mysterious power over both of us so we timed our departure from Crazy Creek such that we could stop scarcely 20 minutes later for lunch on the shore of Mara Lake.

Our kids and everyone who has ever spent time with us on Mara Lake will recognize the location in the photo.  The first time we arrived at the old tree leaning over the water with a frayed rope hanging from it we were very nervous about letting the kids jump.  Fortunately we did let them jump although at first we made them wear life jackets.  As they got older the kids told us that the life jackets rode up and hurt them when they hit the water but they never let that stop them from going back for more and soon we relented on the life jacket rule.

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