We’re off to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Hot Springs, South Dakota.
I’ve a collection of documents with me, but I’m not optimistic that I’ll obtain a driver’s license in one trip. I walk in and I hear, “rvsue! That’s you, right?” It’s Ron and his wife Elana, readers of this blog and the ones who told me I didn’t have to get my license in the county of my so-called residency. That saved me a lot of gas and time. Imagine bumping into readers of my blog down at the DMV!
Well, it did take two trips, but I got my South Dakota license!
Yesterday evening the remote meter read zero amps. This morning at 9 a.m. the remote meter indicates 29.76 input from the sun with 14.07 volts at the batteries, but still zero amps.
I do a diagnostic with the meter and get “error code 4.” The meter manual cryptically states a code 4 as HVD. Ooooh. An HVD! Of course! Everyone knows what an HVD is!. I look into my crystal ball and determine that HVD stands for High Voltage Disconnect. The manual further states that it would reset twice at ten-second intervals after a decrease in voltage. This didn’t make any sense to me because the meter is still registering zero amps after a nighttime of darkness. Why didn’t it reset? It’s frustrating not to have any option to fix the problem, just wait for a reset that should’ve already happened.
So I put the situation out of my mind and motor on down to the DMV.
On the way out of Hot Springs, I pick up a hot, rotisserie chicken and a container of rainbow sherbet. Back at the campsite’s picnic table, I fix two paper plates with the chicken skin and the back meat for Bridget and Spike. We feast together, leaving only the breast meat for tomorrow’s lunch.
I open up the PTV to check the remote meter again.
Lo and behold, the meter reads 3. 67 amps! Yay, now I can get online and catch up on my blog and the comments and . . . Uh-oh . . . My laptop is dead! I can turn on the power button, but the screen stays black. Much button pushing and turning on and off doesn’t help. Enough is enough! I shut it off and open a book.
Later the crew and I walk over to join Larry and Virginia who are sitting outside their fifth wheel.
Soon Dermot, a retired professor of neurophysics, joins us. He’s an interesting and obviously very learned man, originally from Ireland. He arrived yesterday and set up his tent in the campsite next to us. Dermot has great empathy for the plight of the Lakotas who live on a reservation about an hour from here. It’s called Pine Ridge. For the past ten years or so he has worked with the Lakota people whom he greatly admires for their spirituality.
A couple arrives in a pickup and they join the group. They’re fellow locals and friends of Larry and Virginia.
We stand facing west to watch smoke rise from beyond the treed horizon.
Virginia reports that an RV caught on fire near the top of a hill about 6 miles east of Edgemont. The last she heard the fire has burned 100 acres. The setting sun glows neon orange. Larry says that’s because of the ash from the fire. I’ve never heard of that effect. We all agree it’s a spectacular sunset.
Virginia also tells us there’s been a spate of road accidents involving fifth-wheels in the area. Today three people were killed and a fourth person critically injured on Highway 79. A car leaving the Flying J pulled out in front of a pick-up towing a fifth wheel. “People think we can stop on a dime! We can’t. The fifth-wheel pushes the truck forward.”
Shortly after dark, I excuse us.
The crew and I walk back to the BLT. Spike and Bridget settle in for the night while I lie on the bed and read. By the time I’m ready for sleep, I don’t hear any more voices over at Larry and Virginia’s.
Well, it’s been a good day for us. Mission accomplished on the South Dakota driver’s license. I don’t need to get a new battery or find a solar repair shop. Boy, did the crew enjoy that rotisserie chicken! In the morning I’ll try the laptop again. Maybe it will fix itself, too!