Greg (the solar guy) told me that I needed a bigger inverter. The one I have now cannot handle running the microwave or two heaters at one time. We are looking at about $1600. I'll just put it on my Xmas list. He also told me that all I needed to do was reset the inverter and then all will be back to status quo. The problem is that to do the reset, I have to lift my bed up and prop it up. Then I have to remove about six screws and slide some paneling around. At this point, I will uncover the inverter and push one little black button. As I've mentioned before - I am not mechanically inclined. It was a challenge to figure all this out. But I persevered and got to push that little button. I also found a giant drill under the bed. I think it is sort of like when a doctor operates on you and forgets something inside of you when he sews you up. I had to find a post office so I could send it back to Greg.
|This is what it looks like under my bed. I hope somebody knows what they are doing there|
Saturday it finally sort of stopped raining in the morning I went to Greenbelt Park, a park that is in northwest DC and is managed by the National Park Service. So, it is a national park, but it isn't a NATIONAL park. I think only Congress can decide if something is a NATIONAL park or not. The rest of the day was spent trying to get everything together to get back on the road and napping. And napping some more. Life on the road is hard.
Sunday - I'm outta DC. I was heading to see some friends down in southern Maryland. But first I had to do the obligatory sightseeing.
Fort Washington. One day, ol' George was sitting on the front porch of Mount Vernon, overlooking the Potomac when he thought to himself, we need a fort right across the river from where I'm sitting to protect Washington DC from being burned. And his word became a fort by the name of Fort Washington. Imagine that. Interesting that out west, it seemed like all I was seeing was pueblos. Now it seems like it is all forts.
Fort Washington had an interesting history, but I swear the main focus of all of the exhibits was all the types of guns and cannons that were used during it's history. Towards the fort's latter days, they had something called an Endicott cannon which could fire seven miles and it would get raised up on a platform, fired and then the platform would lower under ground so they could load the cannon again. There must have been some reason that this was more efficient. Interesting as all that was, one of the things I found really fascinating was this:
|A solar powered trash compacter - cool, huh?|
|Light at the end of the tunnel........sorry, couldn't help myself|
Thomas Stone Historic Site - Thomas Stone was a mild mannered lawyer who was one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. His homestead in Maryland became a historic site because it is the only homestead of one of the signers that is still pretty much intact from when Tom Stone lived there.
Some of these NPS sites have hundreds and hundreds of visitors a day. There are other sites where they might be lucky to have one or two people show up in a day. Thomas Stone Historic Site is one of the latter types of NPS sites. What this means is that these highly trained park rangers might have a little free time on their hands. I had my own personal park ranger talking to me for about two hours as he told me story after story of the Revolutionary War and also Tom Stone. It was really fascinating and entertaining but finally I had to tell him enough. My head was spinning.
|Thomas Stone's house was having it's first major renovation so I didn't get to tour it|
Onwards to visit Phx and her husband JAG. They live on an old farmstead near Chaptico, MD which consists of about three buildings. Chaptico used to be a thriving town, established in 1653, but the British burned it to the ground sometime along the way. The farm used to be a tobacco farm back in the day and the old tobacco barns and tobacco stripping sheds are still there. The house is a magnificent old house built in the late 1800s.
Phx and JAG fed me some really strange and wonderful food that I had never had before. As an appetizer it was Padrones.
These are small peppers (about 5 cm long), with a color ranging from bright green to yellowish green, and occasionally red. Their peculiarity lies on the fact that, while their taste is usually mild, a minority (10-25%) are particularly hot.
|Deep fry in olive oil, when you take them out of the oil, they shrivel all up. Add sea salt and then take your chances. It is like playing Russian roulette - will I get a nice mild one or will the next one take your head off with the heat?|
They made an old Scottish dish called Rumbledethump. Boiled cabbage, onions, mashed potatoes and cheese all baked together. The ultimate comfort food.
It was lovely catching up with the two of them and visiting their own personal Tieland
|How they really are |
It was a blast - thanks guys