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10 October 2010 @ 09:36 am
went to Louisiana separately, returned with shelter  
On Wednesday morning, October 6th, I realized it was not really practical to go through Louisiana onn my way back from Ohio. The goal was to pick up the shelter I left in Louisiana in January.

So, I decided to just go to Louisiana separately, and I left that very day, at about 1 PM.

I got back late Friday (October 8th). The distance each way was about 730 miles.

The shelter has lots of cosmetic damage that will be easy to repair. (I will take some pictures and post them when I get time.) It had fallen down from the place in the tree where it was hidden next to the bayou, probably because a severe storm sometime in the last eight months strained the branches. The only thing that was lost was the brown tarp that covered it, which probably blew away.



I am actually very pleased with how the shelter held up. I would have expected that if it fell, there would be more significant damage. But mainly the paint on both the inside and outside surfaces failed completely, acting almost as a glue while the panels were folded flat against each other. When I unfolded the shelter, almost half the paint just peeled off, sticking to the paint on the other panel. There were two very minor dents, and a few lengths of tape that failed on two or three of the joints.

I expect that I can fully repair the shelter in about five hours.

Also, I have determined exactly how I will use the shelter on the boat, when I fold up the tent soon and prepare the boat for the coming late fall and winter.

Yesterday, Saturday, october 9th, I designed the final additions to the boat that will allow the solar panels to tilt toward the lower sun angles and to be up off the deck, freeing up that space.

There will also be 2-foot high side panels enclosing the deck on the front and sides with gates both sides and a gate at the motor in the very front.

I bought all the materials yesterday and will start working on these additions this morning after I post this journal entry. Then I will fold the tent and place the shelter where the tent is after repairing the shelter.

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So, now I will go to Ohio and back without a side trip to Louisiana, and I am tentatively planning this for about two weeks from now.

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Things have continued to go well for me as the weather has gradually cooled off. The water is clear and rising to healthy levels, and almost every day is bright and clear with lower humidities.

Ghost is much more active now that it is cooler, especially in the mornings, which start out with temperatures in the mid-50s now. When the deck is fully enclosed by side panels soon as I described, he will be able to romp safely over the entire deck and roll and chase the limes we play with as balls. Meanwhile, while I'm "in port" like now, I take him for walks on the leash.

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Almost two thirds of the distance to my destination in Louisana was within Florida, since I went to the top of the peninsula and then traversed the entire panhandle to Pensacola and Mobile. It was quite a pleasant drive both ways, especially when I was off I-10 and on lesser state highways. Many of the small towns were quite attractive, and there were several very long stretches of nothing but forest land with no houses or other buildings. I have been learning about Florida's "conservation lands" program which was started in the early seventies, and which has created many long connected greenbelts, making it possible to map routes like this where I don't need to constantly pass through sprawl and tacky stretches of billboards. I also drove past the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, which must be very large because it reminded me of driving past OSU on High Street.