10:03 – Barbara took off about 9:40 for a week in Brasstown, down in the far, far southwest corner of North Carolina. It’s about 300 miles and a six hour drive from here.
She did take along a pretty comprehensive get-home bag, with food, water, water purification gear, fire-making gear, knife, multi-tool, chainsaw, Coghlan’s Folding Stove with half a dozen 8-ounce sawdust/paraffin firestarter blocks, a decent first-aid kit, blankets and spare clothing, a .22LR rifle with 100 rounds, and so on. She also understands that it’s important to keep her gas tank as full as possible. Her Chevy HHR has a 16-gallon fuel tank, and gets at least 25 MPG on the highway, so in theory she has a range of 400+ miles. She plans to stop on her way down to refuel, and then to top off her tank as soon as she arrives.
For Colin and me, it’ll be a week of wild women and parties. Well, that and working on kit stuff.
12:53 – Colin is not a happy camper. He watched Barbara drive away three hours ago, and he’s been pestering me ever since. He wants constant action. I’m sure he remembers the days back before September 30th, when Barbara was at work all day long every weekday, but he’s spoiled by the fact that we’ve both been home pretty much all day every day since then.
Someone emailed me to ask if I’d be eating from long-term storage while Barbara’s gone. I thought about it, but I decided that I’m going to eat mostly sandwiches, packaged frozen foods, and so on. Barbara left me with a pretty full freezer, including a couple of Stouffer’s Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake meals.
Email from Jen. They start and run their generator for about a pint’s worth of gasoline the first of every month. They did that yesterday, three weeks late for this month, and found it wouldn’t start, even with ether-based starter spray. I told her my guess was that they’d been running it with gasoline polluted with ethanol, which is notorious for gumming up the carburetors in lawnmowers and other small gas engines. Her husband is hauling their generator to the local small-engine repair guy tomorrow to find out what went wrong and what he needs to do to fix it himself if it happens again. I suspect that it’d be a good idea to keep some carburetor cleaner on hand, and know how to tear down the generator far enough to clean the gunk out of the carb. I just checked pure-gas.org and found that there’s one place in Sparta that sells ethanol-free gas, or at least did the last time the list was updated.