Week 12: Our Toughest Week Yet
At three months in, we had our toughest week yet. Monday started off with an early afternoon phone call and bad news about Dom’s grandfather. Around 11:30 AM CST he had passed away from Covid-19. He fought hard but ultimately lost the battle. Dom made phone calls to all the necessary parties to see what needed to be done and when. We both requested the next three days off work to be able to get everything taken care of. After work we spent time outside discussing the whole situation and next steps. We were heart-broken that we could not be there. This loss of the last grandparent was a tough blow. We were facing the loss of the last family member in a generation and that realization was hitting us pretty hard.
On Tuesday, while Dom continued to make phone calls and be available to his mother for anything that was needed, I worked on putting together our bike check video to help lift the mood a little. Working on anything to do with Create Your Own Adventure makes us happy and we needed a little light of joy in this very tough time. Once the video was completed, it did exactly what we had hoped it would. Watching a video that we’ve been wanting to make for the last 3 months brought us a little spark of happiness. We released the video early to Patreon and later to the public. I also finished writing and posted our week 10 blog and I started writing about week 11.
Wednesday brought a much needed walk with our friends from down the street and their puppy, Pepper. The Adventure Pups love getting to walk with other puppies and we got to spend some time talking with other adults. We walked for about a mile which is one loop around our current campground. When we got back to the RV, we cooked burgers outside and spent more time just being together and processing our current situation.
On Thursday we decided to do something a little different from what we’ve been doing the last few years. We took the Adventure Pups for a walk in the woods. We usually go biking every chance that we get. We decided that what we needed was time to talk to each other, which biking isn’t great at facilitating. We enjoy biking but we needed more time together. The puppies loved it! Drac got to play in a river, digging up small rocks, chasing leaves and walking through the water which was only knee high to him. Tripp likes being able to smell all of the smells available. Drac wrote Pupdate #3 detailing their adventures. When we got home, the puppies got wiped down with some baby wipes to clean them off as they didn’t get too dirty on our walk and then we sprayed them again with the flea and tick spray and let them dry in the sun. Afterwards I brushed them with the flea combs to look for any new buggies. Not one flea or tick was found on either dog, what a great success of the treatments that we chose to keep them safe.
Friday, after work, we took a long walk around the campground to discuss more about Dom’s grandfather as well as our travel plans. We talked about when we could travel to see our family in New England and where we might stay. We don’t know when the states will start opening up again for us to be able to start traveling but, we are hoping by July. So that is when we planned for. We hope that there will not be a huge second wave of infections and another shut down.
Saturday brought a deluge of rain. We planned a day inside, relaxing and watching movies with the puppies. Our plans were derailed during a small let up in the rain when we decided to empty the black tank. A small amount came out before the stream turned to a trickle and we knew immediately that we were in big trouble. We tried adding pressure with the black tank sprayers but to no avail. We were just adding more water to an almost full tank. The pressure of the full tank was still not enough to dislodge the clog though. We were lucky to have our friend walking by during this and they stopped to say hi. We told him about our situation and he offered some advice and possible solutions along with use of a stronger liquid solution that he had. We added a double serving of Aqua-Kem and tried again. Nothing was working. We decided to give it more time to work and finally laid down with the puppies in the big bed to watch a movie. We got to see the newest Vin Diesel movie, Blood Shot. We enjoy his movies and this one was no exception. After the movie and in the rain, Dom went back outside to try the tank flush again. This time it worked. We were able to empty the tank and let the clear water run for about 15 minutes. Success! We set the tank up for the night by filling it ⅓ up and adding a double serving of the tablets that we had been using to help really clean everything out with plans to drain it again in the morning.
Sunday morning we woke up, had some coffee and breakfast then went back outside to clear the tank again. We were met with exactly the same situation as yesterday. Some water came out and then the stream slowed to a trickle again. We were baffled even more than the previous day. We tried to add pressure and movement with the sprayers. We got no results. Dom ran to Walmart to buy Pine Sol and Calgone to make a solution that our friend told us about and we had previously heard of from other RVers. We mixed up a gallon of the Pine Sol and Calgone with water and added that to the tank as well. At this point we were getting worried. We were not sure if we were creating a chemical bomb in the black tank and nothing was working. Under a lot of stress we decided to let everything in there sit and have a chance to work while we waited. We gave it a few hours, same as last night. This still didn’t work and we couldn’t think of what could possibly be in there to even create a clog since we hadn’t used the black tank overnight. After fighting with it for the majority of the day and letting it sit for about 3 hours without results, we went back to Walmart to buy a plunger and pipe snake. We came back to the RV and tried the plunger first. It did nothing. We next tried the snake from the drain end. I held the black tank drain hose under the drain pipe while Dom used the pipe snake, he fished it up the drain pipe until he hit something. He moved it around to see if he could dislodge whatever it was blocking the drain pipe. We had a little success and reattached the hose. We knew that not enough water had come out though so we disconnected the hose again and used the snake farther up the drain pipe. He fished around until a large amount of water came out. We reattached the hose and let it go until very little water was coming out. We disconnected the hose again and fished around until the back tank sounded empty. We reattached everything again and filled up the tank to ⅓ again and added about a ¼ gallon of Pine Sol solution to let it sit all night and the next day. We planned to repeat the drain of an unused tank on Monday after work.
We really had wanted to rest on Sunday and be able to continue to process the death of Dom’s grandfather. This was not possible with the trouble we had with the black tank. It was a time sensitive issue that we weren’t sure how bad it would get and what kind of help we may need to hire if we couldn’t get it cleared ourselves. Monday was the scheduled burial and we were trying to figure out how we might be able to attend through video conferencing. We spent the rest of Sunday night discussing the options and possibilities available to us.
Calling this a rough week is an understatement. We are hoping that next week will bring happier times while we continue to process what is happening. We will discuss travel plans next week and try to get outside and get some exercise. See you next week!