9/28/2019 Blackwell Island Coeur D’Alene, Day 18


We lounged in this morning listening to NPR, first news then wait, wait, don’t tell me. As I rose to make coffee, Ellen practically shouted, “It’s snowing!” as she grabbed her phone.

Snow has continued for the past two hours.  Temperature has dropped from 44 to 41 and while snow continues to fall, it will not accumulate on the ground.  Coeur D’Alene temperature is not expected to fall below 34 over the next few days. I’m sure snow is accumulating Montana’s mountains and high country.  Monday’s drive should be spectacular.

We made a good decision not to push on yesterday.  We’ll hunker down here through Sunday.



Blackwell Lake RV

I took the long walk to the office to pay for another night here.  Mist was eerily steaming off the lake.  “Well the rain turned to snow”,   three of the “usual suspects” were at the counter as I walked in. “Yep” said the older fellow.  Mark said, “We call this sleet here”.  “I grew up on the east coast. What we’d call sleet was freezing rain.  To me this is snow, but it’s not accumulating”.   I was paying for another night at site 120 when Mark piped up, “You’re right, sleet should have ice in it.”  That surprised me.  Not that I was right, but that Mark saw the need to check on sleet.  I was not looking for an argument, though Mark might have been.  The walk back with wind driven snow in the face was not pleasant.  I’m enjoying the snow storm, you can have the wind.

Today is one of those days best spent with a warm cup of coffee or tea, a scone or croissant, and a good book or movie.  “I wonder how much of yesterday’s LP fill we’ve consumed?”, I thought.  We don’t run heat overnight unless the temp drops near or below freezing.  The tank showed 1/2 indicating that we have between 1/2 and 2/3 left.  We ran the heat yesterday afternoon, yesterday evening, and this morning and consumed over 1/3 of the tank. Electric head is loud, but “free”.  I switched to electric heat.  It’s not that LP is expensive, just that we should conserve what we have.

Weather influences local channel reception.  I had to re-scan the channel lineup for any reception. ABC and NBC dropped out.  We’re getting an old time movie channel, MeTv, that’s showing a 50’s western.  I saw Paladin go by when changing channels for local news earlier.  Thirty years ago in similar conditions I’d be in a small tent in my sleeping bag keeping warm with a cup of instant coffee.  Should I break camp and hike on or enjoy the relative comfort of my bag.  The Beast has all the comforts of home wherever we park her.  Camping indeed!

Morning temperature has held at 43.  Tomorrow’s high is forecast at 38, low at 34 with snow all day.  As the skies clear, the highs increase and the lows decrease until the cold front moves through.  Monday’ night’s low may be 27.  Great conditions for roadway black ice in the morning.


Morning Mist on the Lake


We watched local TV channel news and scanned channels for a good show.  We saw trailers for the last episode of SUITS that played last Wednesday.  “Did we see this episode?  Did we actually miss it?”  Crap we probably missed it.  There was nothing on local channels and nothing on DirecTv.  What’s recorded?  Ohhhh, suits.  Wait isn’t this, “One Last Con”,  the last episode?  Our PVR recorded the last episode of suits for us!  We settled in to watch an hour of one of our favorite shows with huge snowflakes falling outside.

A Closet Light

“Honey do” lists are no fun, right? In my case my wife has relatively few “to do” items for me.  Mostly they’re things I’ve said I’d like to or “will” do.  Last week Ellen mentioned her closet in Li’l Beast has no light.  She cannot see a thing in the closet early in the morning or at night.  I said I’ll install a closet light. 

Yesterday at Ace Hardware I looked over the various led lights.   There were AAA powered puck lights all with an on/off switch.  There were a few strip lights also with an on/off switch. There was one led strip with a open/closed sensor. That light did not run on batteries.  Cool.  I took the last one off the rack.

Overnight I considered my options for powering the light in a closet without a power outlet.  Clearly I’d have to splice into power from someplace, but where?   In the 2015 View, the closet is on the push out.  The push out has a power outlet. The best (only?) solution would be to tie into that outlet. 

Today around 3 pm I decided to have a look see under the back settee that houses the power outlet. To my surprise there’s a box screwed into the side of the storage area that encloses the outlet.  Could this box be removed and what did it hide.  With four screws removed, I felt lucky.  The box slid out revealing romex enclosed in plastic conduit.  Easy Peasy, I’ll tap into this wire.

To route power to the closet I’d have to run a line from a new junction box, through the side settee, and into the closet.  The thing was, Ellen stores a bunch of stuff in that bench seat.  Time to pull the table, pull stuff from storage, and see how to run the wire.  Ellen was not thrilled to have the table top on the bed, the table’s pillar in the cab, and most of her storage placed atop the table on the bed.  My work area was clear, but Li’l Beast was a mess.

Next to see what I face under the bench seat.  Inside the left Settee sat another box.  WTF? Four screws later I was looking at a heavy duty electric setup inside a well built box.  It’s unusual to have anything well built in a motorhome.  I can easily bore holes between the closet and my power tap and run Romex.  I’ll need some sort of conduit to protect the wires from chafing as we drive.  

I had enough information to do the deed.  Ellen was frustrated with the mess. I suggested I take Lyft to ACE Hardware, get what I need, come back and make it happen.  The alternative was to put all the stuff back only to take it out and put it back again later.  She was not impressed with that option.  I made a list of necessary items knowing I’d have one shot at getting this right today.

Lyft, ACE, Lyft, “home”.  It went well except I could not find low cost plastic conduit to protect the romex.  I chose a short length of garden hose.  “That should work.”  It is amazing how long it takes to do anything when working in tight quarters.  None of the steps were difficult, though each took some bodily contortion, effort, and occasionally whacking the head.  I decided to install the light and run the wiring for the light first; to get everything in place for tying into power.  The last step would be to power up the new circuit.

How many time did I crawl, stoop, or lie down only to get up and get “the right” tool or fitting. Drilling, screwing and unscrewing, pushing & pulling, re-installing covers, three hours later I was ready to tap into power.  I had tools everywhere, on the sink counter, in the sink, on the floor, in the storage spaces, and in the closet.  Two breakers cut power to the outlets.   Power off, install junction box, route wires, with power back on the closet lights came on. 

Success, it works! Close the closet door & the light goes off.  Open the door & the lights go on.  Out came the vacuum.  Cleanup went quickly. I put my tools away and Ellen re-organized the storage. It looks as if nothing had happened, though I’d been busy from 3pm to 9pm.



Closed, Light Off


Open, Lights On

We had a late dinner. I crawled in to bed expecting to read for half an hour.  I was asleep in minutes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *