2012-05-24 Thu to 2012-05-29 Tue – Memorial Day Week-end (From Atlanta, GA to Ellijay, GA) <approximately 130 miles north>
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I had a hard time preparing for this trip. I had many ‘house’ items to finish before leaving such as washing clothes and washing dishes. On my last outing, my 12-volt plug to the battery wasn’t working. The marine panel that I installed had blown the fuse when I installed the in-line fuses on the last time that I worked on the van. I didn’t realize it until the plug didn’t work. I usually use my fan on that circuit. So…. I investigated the circuit and found out that the fuse had blown. I thought that this would be a simple fix – WRONG. I took the old fuse to the store with me and bought a box of 5 fuses that I thought would work. The fuses in the box were just a little longer than the fuse that I took out. How did that happen? Aren’t these things standard? (Answer: NO) I took the fuse to an auto parts store and asked the attendant about a replacement fuse – same result. OK – there must be a special MARINE fuse or something that will fit this socket – problem is … I live in the city and there aren’t any marine stores around. The attendant in the auto parts store reminded me that there was a Radio Shack store a mile away that may have a weird sized fuse. SO, I trucked up to the Radio Shack store and the attendant pulled out a drawer of fuses and handed me one. It looked like the 2 that I had seen previously. I asked him to examine it more closely and that the new fuse that he proposed would be my answer to the blown fuse was actually a little longer than the old fuse. He looked more carefully — scratched his head and said “I don’t know”. I asked him if he had any 12-volt sockets for sale. He showed me one from the wall display that had 3 sockets on a fused line. It cost about $21, so I decided to REPLACE the Marine panel and the previously working 12-volt socket with a new one that had a standard fuse. I bought the new gadget and prepared for my trip to Ellijay – leaving on the next day. I HATE working on electrical connections to the battery, so I decided to “put-it-off” until I returned from the trip. I knew that I could probably hook-up to some electricity on this trip, so I packed a small electrical fan and an extension cord. (Yes, I could use the van battery and the 1500 amp pure-sign wave AIMS inverter – but, I thought that the usage power for the inverter would be more than what the fan used. AND – I’m still learning how much power both the inverter and the fan uses, so I would just use electricity for this trip — because, it was easily available.)
I left Atlanta on Thursday in order to avoid some of the Friday Memorial Day traffic. <Note: Anytime that you can avoid traffic in Atlanta, that is a “good thing”.> So, I met Karen after she returned to her camp host parking from her ‘day-job’. We had a great time talking and visiting. For the Memorial Day ¬†week-end cook-out, I had stopped at Kroger and bought some pork ribs and BBQ sauce. A camp guest, Jason, told us that his group had been coming to the campground for 15 years and that they would be smoking boston butt in the pavilion 55-gallon drum cooker. He said that we could add our ribs to their 8 boston butts and that he would cook them for us. So, on Sunday, cooking-day, I took the ribs to the pavilion, met Jason and he put them in the smoker for us. He told us that they would need to cook for 5 hours. His group assembled for supper about 5:00pm, and shortly afterward, I went to the pavilion and retrieved the ribs to the camp host picnic table area. Karen and Ken added some sides and we had a wonderful meal – Best ribs that I think that I’ve ever tasted! Jason, also brought us a plate of his meat with 2 kinds of BBQ sauces: one was a honey-mustard sauce and the other was a vinegar-ketchup sauce. Both were very good and had just a little ‘bite’. This meal was undoubtedly the highlight of the week-end.

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_BostonButtBBQ

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_BostonButtBBQ

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Bridge(CampgroundPavilion)

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Bridge(CampgroundPavilion)

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Bridge(Karen&Ken)

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Bridge(Karen&Ken)

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Campers

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Campers

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_CoosawatteeRiver

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_CoosawatteeRiver

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_CoosawatteeRiver1

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_CoosawatteeRiver1

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Ken&Julie

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Ken&Julie

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Ken&Karen

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Ken&Karen

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Ken

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Ken

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Pavilion

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Pavilion

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Ribs&PicnicTable

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Ribs&PicnicTable

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Ribs

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground_Ribs

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground-BridgeToSwimmingPool

2012-05-27_GAEllijay,CoosawatteeFishTrapCampground-BridgeToSwimmingPool

Ken left on Monday morning, and Karen and I read books and talked and watched a movie at night. (I had started reading the book “A Beautiful Mind” before the trip.) The weather was beautiful – with some rain threatening a little once. It’s beginning to get warm in the middle of the day (about 85 degrees Farenheit in the middle of the day) and the electric fan was really appreciated.

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Several days after returning to Atlanta, I decided to install the new, Radio Shack, 3-socket, 12-volt, power cord to the battery. Meanwhile, I had also bought a black boat battery plastic top that has a 12-volt plug from Wal-Mart on an impulse. (The battery box top has both a black and red thick wires and 2 fuses under the top. A waterproof 12-volt socket is included in the plastic molding.) I put the new battery top on the right battery, and the new 3-plug power cord on the left battery. I hope that the power usage is balanced some by connecting the devices this way. I took off the marine boat panel and replaced it with the 2 new 12-volt socket options. I have included some pictures at the bottom.

2012-05-31_GAAtl_VanConstruction(3SocketCord)

2012-05-31_GAAtl_VanConstruction(3SocketCord)

2012-05-31_GAAtl_VanConstruction(BatteryBlackPlasticTop-With12-voltSocket)

2012-05-31_GAAtl_VanConstruction(BatteryBlackPlasticTop-With12-voltSocket)

2012-05-31_GAAtl_VanConstruction(Battery)-TestNewSocket

2012-05-31_GAAtl_VanConstruction(Battery)-TestNewSocket

2012-05-31_GAAtl_VanConstruction(MarineBoatPanel)2

2012-05-31_GAAtl_VanConstruction(MarineBoatPanel)2

After returning from Ellijay, I saw a folding Picnic Table for sale on the internet. I couldn’t resist purchasing one and it arrived on the day that I was re-wiring the 12-volt sockets into the battery.

2012-05-31_GAAtl_VanNewCampingEquipment(FoldingPicnicTable)

2012-05-31_GAAtl_VanNewCampingEquipment(FoldingPicnicTable)

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((My Dad has a nickname for me and it is “Puddin”. He started calling me that when I was very young. I named my van, “Vanna White”. When I decided to start a blog, I wanted a unique name for my travels and the names “Puddin” and “Vanna White” came to mind.))