Ants, Plants, and Other Things Along the Journey (Journal 6)

Thursday, July 22, 2015

Where we were staying in Mississippi, we were parked on grass in the middle of the church’s front lawn where ants have set up homes. We woke up that morning to find that OUR home had been invaded! Not only did we have ants in the kitchen, but we had biting ants. Ouch! We vacuumed, sprayed, smooshed, and squashed as many as we could then made a trip to the store to get ant traps. Thankfully, that and leaving the area took care of our problem.

Before we left Mississippi, we decided to take on another passenger to make our number seven! When my brother took my grandma across the country on a road trip last Spring, they brought along a plant in the car. We thought it was a great idea, and though we have always had black thumbs when it came to taking care of greenery, we thought we would give it a try. We found an”air purifying” plant at the store, and brought it home.


Everyone in the family had their own opinion about what we should name our new family member, so we wrote down each suggestion and posted it on our Facebook page for help in choosing. The suggestions were Faith, Robert, Shonkole (pronounced Jon Call), Bye, Polaris, and Ope. It was pretty clear that Alton’s choice was the winner. So we would like to introduce you to the newest Prince—-Ope. Cute name from an ever cuter kid.


We made our way to Alabama rather uneventfully, except that Alabama the Beautiful does not have very beautiful roads. It was a bumpy ride.


The road into Tannehill State Park where we were going to stay for a couple days was beautiful and a little curvy. The Addy Wag did great though!



We picked a spot right next the the river and set up. While our trip there had been without notable incident, the set up process was not:

– Michael’s Story: A Very Smelly Incident (WARNING! Bathroom terms used without restraint.):

In case you aren’t familiar with the plumbing/waste system of a recreational vehicle, I’ll bring you up to speed. Everything in the Adventure Wagon (our pet name for our motorhome) is self contained. It’s equipped to be fully self-sufficient even without being plugged in to water, power, or sewer. There is a generator and a series of tanks to hold fresh water, gray water (shower and sink water,) and the black water (yep.) When you go for a while without sewer hook up, you eventually have to get rid of a few things in a couple of the tanks.

When we arrived at Tannehill State Park, near Birmingham, Alabama, I was glad that we had a site with full hook ups. We had power, water, and sewer available. As soon as we got the RV backed in and leveled, it was time to plug in and evacuate the tanks. I put on my rubber gloves (there’s usually some drippage), grabbed the sewer hose out of the outside compartment and knelt down to open the cap. Guess what happened! I got covered in poo!

As soon as I twisted the cap loose, a surge of urine and feces rushed out of the pipe and all over me as I was crouched in front of the access. I tried as quickly as I could to put the cap back on. However, it just caused the thumb over the water hose effect, and the poo pressure increased. Finally my noob brain remembered that I needed to close the valve, so I pushed it in immediately, stopping the flow.


Moments before the incident…

You see, there are a couple of valves down there for each tank. For some unknown reason the black tank valve was pulled out, and all of that smelly goodness was waiting just beyond the lid of the dump pipe. So nasty.

I took off the rubber gloves, making my hands the cleanest part of my body and hooked the water hose up to the spout. I rinsed off myself and the spot under the RV that had accepted most of the delouge. Then I walked around and knocked on the door of our home. Melinda smelled me as soon as she opened the door and wasn’t surprised when I asked for the shower supplies and some fresh clothes. I took a shower at the RV park bath house in those clothes and then threw them away.

Every new adventure brings lessons with it. This day I learned that you never open the lid on something potentially stinky without checking that the valve is still shut off.

More Tannehill fun to come!