Life on the road isn’t all rainbows and puppy dog tails . . . Well, sometimes it is!

Wednesday, July 20

“What’s this?”

From the side window of the Best Little Trailer I see a horse trailer backing into the field next to our campsite.  Bridget and Reggie bark indignantly while hopping around, eager to bust outside to confront the intruders.

“Hello?  Hello?” a female voice calls.

I step to the open door of the BLT with the yapping crew at my ankles.


“Hi,” the woman dressed in riding gear begins.  “Is it okay if we park here?  There are three of us.  Usually we park up there but someone is camping in the middle of that space and there isn’t room. ”

“Oh, yeah, I know where you mean.  Sure, you can park here.  I hope you don’t mind if I take some photos.  I like to photograph horses.”

“Oh, good.  We’ll be back from our ride and outta’ here around noon.”

P1120951Three horse trailers move into the field and the women prepare the horses for their ride.

Meanwhile the crew is going nuts.  A spotted dog trots toward our camp and I holler over to one of the women, “I’m going to let my dogs out so they’ll calm down.”  She nods and tells me her dog is okay.

P1120947Reggie, of course, darts right over to the strange dog, takes a sniff, and tries to play.  Bridget demurely stands back while evaluating the situation.

P1120948This dog has no time for fun and frolic. 

There is work to do!  There are horses and people to guard, as well as a trail ride to supervise!

P1120950I avoid taking photos of the women as best I can, placing my attention on the horses.  Rarely are the women apart from their steeds.  I do manage a few shots.

P1120945It’s a beautiful morning for a ride. 

Soon the horses are saddled up and the women and their chatter disappear up the road.


“Well, that was a fun surprise for us, wasn’t it?”

~ ~ ~

I don’t think I’ve shown you my new, handy-dandy air compressor!

My old one died several months ago.  I ordered this VIAIR Air Compressor the last time I placed an order with Amazon.  It came in a nice, zippered case with neon lining.   (Note:  I’m not sure it still is sold with the case.)


I like it because it has an easy-to-read gauge, taking the guesswork out of how much air is going into the tire.


Only 50 pounds!  I knew that tire was low on air.  Now, how much should I add? 

I look on the sidewall of the tire on the BLT,  but the print is too tiny for me to read the recommended psi, even with a magnifying glass.  Of course, I don’t remember what the guy who put the tires on said about the inflation!


Here’s the 12-foot extension cord I bought at the same time I bought the air compressor.


I plug the cord into the PTV’s cigarette-lighter-style socket and then plug the air compressor’s cord into that.  This allows the compressor to reach the tires of the Best Little Trailer without me having to drive the PTV up close and risking running over the blue mat or its stakes.  I turn on the PTV’s engine, turn on the compressor, and let the compressor bring the PSI up to 60.  I go around to the other side of the BLT and do the same for the other tire.

Thursday, July 21

The cool, morning air wafts over my keyboard from the open window at the back of the BLT.  I’m sitting at the little table, happily typing up a blog post.

What is that smell?  Is that propane?


I jump up and hit the reset button on the propane alarm. 

I test the knobs on the stove to make sure the burners are turned completely off.  They’re fine.

P1120985Uh-oh.  This is not good.

I hustle the crew out the door, leaving it open to air out the BLT.  Quickly I open up the cover over the propane tanks and close the open tank.

Darn!  A propane leak.  All the bouncing I’ve put the BLT through lately has taken its toll.

I turn off the refrigerator.  I check that the heater’s knob wasn’t knocked into an “on” position.

I plop into my camp chair with a bottle of water in order to assess our situation.

Well, fortunately the fridge is nearly empty.  There’s nothing of any value in the freezer.  Just an old bag of Chinese vegetables that I want to throw out anyway.  The crew’s chicken is already cooked for tomorrow morning so it’ll keep if I don’t open the fridge’s door.

What to do? 

P1120989Nothing.  My typical response to a problem.  Some people dive into action.  I sit.  I take another sip of water and ruminate.

Call it procrastination, call it denial, whatever.  I call it “letting the problem percolate a solution.”  This keeps my stress level down.

What a pain.  Take the BLT to a repair place?  Yuck.  I’m certainly not going to buy one of those cans of foamy stuff and crawl around trying to find the leak. 

Gee, I hate the styrofoam-cooler-and-ice routine.  Oh, well . . .

Friday, July 22

I open up the propane tank long enough to make a pot of coffee and then I close it again.  I give Bridget and Reggie their breakfast and we go outside to greet a new day.

Hmm . . . . What to do?  What to do?  It would be so nice if the leak is in or near the heater, rather than the refrigerator. 

Wait a minute!  Wait just a gall darn minute!

“There’s a cut-off valve!”

I dash into the BLT and pull one of the big storage cabinets off the fiberglass channel that covers the wheel.  I open up the channel and there it is . . . . the sweet, little, red handle on the sweet, little valve that cuts off the propane flow to the catalytic heater.


The yellow line goes to the Wave 3 catalytic heater.  The copper line goes to the fridge.

I close the valve.

Dear God in heaven, let the leak be at the heater.

I open up the propane tank and turn on the refrigerator.  After a couple minutes I go back inside and sniff and sniff and sniff.

No propane smell!  No propane alarm blasting!  Oh, thank God!  I can run the fridge!  I don’t need the heater until next fall!



“C’mon, crew! Let’s go to town and buy groceries!”



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Day Hiker Backpack
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