We were thoroughly enjoying the low humidity and record fast drying time on everything!
|Tablecloth that I made from muslin and Mom stamped.|
I noticed how completely wet they were getting and had the brilliant thought that if I shampooed them and then threw the tennis balls in the lake, they would very effectively rinse themselves! It worked like a charm and we had nice clean dogs when it was all said and done, plus a little extra sand they picked up on the way back to camp.
We packed up camp and headed back to Hot Springs. We got gas and washed the car windows. Let me tell you pictures through dirty car windows don't work very well. My camera kept focusing on the dirty windshield. We stopped by the bank and got some quarters and then headed to the laundry mat and the super duper vacuums at the carwash. My proclamation was that the car should get cleaned out every three days. We didn't quite make that, so it was high time.
The van battery died when we went to pick up the clean laundry. There was a frazzled mother there as well, 2 young energetic children and another on the way. She was happy to let us use her truck for a jump start, except she couldn't get the hood open. She pulled the lever, and Jeremiah gave the front of the hood a stiff punch. It popped right open. Oh the joys have having old Chevy trucks!
Everything was dandy until we tried to start the car again after stopping at Ace Hardware and the Fall River Fiber (really neat shop, with bison fiber). Dead. Jeremiah walked to the auto parts store and they loaned him a jumpstarted box, so we could get the van to the store to check the battery. They decided it was an alternator. They could have one for us in the morning, so Jeremiah started calling around to try to find one in stock.
If you want to collect helpful farmers, just part your out of state plates in front of the auto parts store with the hood up. Several guys stopped and offered assistance. One gave us his number and offered to loan tools to put the new one in.
After lots of phone calls and talking, we decided to stay in Hot Springs another night and wait on the alternator. We picked out a campsite at the Elk Mountain Campground in Wind Cave National Park. It was another lovely campsite! To celebrate our early pitching of camp, I made chocolate pudding. It had been a long time since I had chocolate.
It turned out fairly well, except the eggs were a little chunky because I put them straight in instead of mixing them with a bit of pudding first. I was saving dishes. :)
We had mexican for dinner and I think that's going to be my new favorite quick camp meal. It is a bit of a trick to keep a bag of corn chips unsmushed in the van though. Jeremiah used a chunk of firewood that he chopped up in pieces to fuel the stove. There was a lot less soot accumulation than with twigs and such.
1,371 miles in.