Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Dragging while draggin
It’s possible Al underestimated how really tired Patty was this morning. Pleasant Airstream dinner meeting last night but way too much garlic, combined with the usual sleepless night before leaving, some late night alarms and bumps in the night; she was draggin. We left at the stroke of noon with a revised plan. What about Coleman Lake in the Talladega National Forest?
We took the “back way” up 231, newly resurfaced and really quite pleasant. 140 miles and we were circling a nearly empty campground with level paved pads, water, electricity and HOT showers. It’s not your father’s National Forest any more. The managed pine tracts had been freshly burned last time we passed, but the green understory is back and well within federal standards. This for $8.50 a night and all the solitude you can fry up.
We lunched, kicked back for a while and took a slow walk around the lake. We had long chats with two of our neighbors; both live within 50 miles and consider Coleman Lake their special getaway.
“Where are YOU from? How did you hear about this place?”
Yesterday, reading of our trip ten years ago, it seemed a matter of a few paragraphs before our horizons brightened up. That may be a little over simple.
WEIGHT AND BALANCE
With a short driving day and a full “basic load”, we decided this would be a good opportunity to check our weight and balance. Volumes of Air Forums posts have been devoted to tweaking the trailer/tow vehicle interface and most start with a trip to the CAT scales for a detailed analysis. We, of course, thought we could make use of the scales at the multi million dollar Montgomery Farmers Market. This complex was built to replace the tin shed near the capitol offices which had provisioned politicos and plebeians Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for 80 years. Predictably, no one left the tin shed to patronize the new complex (which still lies resplendent under the windows of the Agriculture Commissioner who was stunned to find no one felt this Adobe and tile roofed edifice recommended its promoter to higher office.)
This being our village history, we still expected the scales to be manned and were pretty certain there would be no truck stop crowds.
Well, after waiting a while for the chick who had the keys to finish setting up the ad campaign for the Alabama NATIONAL Fair….
“Lots of cutbacks,” she confided, her hand covering the receiver. “Everybody has four- five jobs now…”
… she took our five bucks and told us our total weight was 12850 pounds.
“We were hoping to get the weight on each axel… ”
“Oh, they didn’t show me how to do THAT…”
WE PROCEEDED ON…secure in the knowledge that our couplings, tangential stress vectors, pinions, weight distribution bars and anti sway thingies were at least as put together as the Agriculture department.