It’s Tuesday morning and we’re in the final stages before departure. These days, leaving the house resembles a NASA countdown. The longer we settle in to the house, the harder it gets to organize everything and launch the ship. Right now one of the Mission Control officers is running down her final checklists, while I’m about to go clear the launch pad. Our backseat astronaut is still in Rest Mode. I’m hoping that departure will be on schedule at about 10 a.m.
Eleanor did a bunch of curtain work in the last few days, which I’ll document later as part of the Airstream renovation. As planned, she washed the existing curtains, then sewed new fabric over them with extra width so that they’d close more easily. They look much better and give better privacy at night. She also added some new elastic tabs to some, where the factory had scrimped a little too much.
I probably never mentioned this before, but our Mercedes GL320 gets about 1,500 miles per gallon. Unfortunately, that’s not the diesel fuel economy, it’s the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) I’m speaking of. The car was serviced and the DEF tank was topped off right before we left for Alumapalooza in May. That was about 8,400 miles ago, so the car is due for another service in 1,600 miles. We’ll actually get back with about 2,200 miles on the car this time, so I’ll run a bit over.
To avoid the risk of running low on the DEF, I added 4.5 gallons yesterday. The dealer will fill the DEF tank when the car goes in for the 10,000 mile service, but they charge $9 per half-gallon for DEF (which they call AdBlue) plus a service fee, which means it costs about $200 to have them fill the tank. I buy the DEF myself for a total of about $45 for the entire tank, and pour it in myself. When I go in for service, I make a point of telling them I already took care it.
Our biggest problem today seems to be that we have far too much refrigerated and frozen food. Eleanor pre-cooked a lot of stuff so we’d have quick and convenient meals while we are towing and during Alumafandango. But now she is going to have to get creative in order to get everything packed. We may resort to temporary refrigeration using a portable cooler and some ice packs, until we’ve managed to eat down our supplies. So I expect to be well fed for the next couple of weeks.
I plan to blog at least every other day as we are on this trip, including daily blogs from Alumafandango. But if you are want another perspective, you might want to check out a few other bloggers who are currently on their way to Alumafandango (or will be soon). These include:
Kyle Bolstad: WhereIsKyleNow
Dan & Marlene: Mali Mish
Kyle & Mary: Channel Surfing With Gas
Kevin & Laura: Riveted
Deke & Tiffany: Weaselmouth