Monday, September 1, 2014

Putzing with Thistle

Thistle is home.  We picked her up late Friday, just minutes before the shop closed for Labor Day weekend.   We are delighted to have her home so we can begin outfitting her for our first trip.  As you might recall, we had our accident when we were scouting out marine stores for useful gadgets to improve our traveling efficiency way back in early July.  We've been on hold since that mishap.

For the past two days, mostly happily, but occasionally grumpily, we have finally begun stocking the cupboards and learning the systems.  After almost two months in the shop we needed to start the generator and run it for a spell as recommended in the manual.  We also needed to plug Thistle in to charge the battery so the lights and other electrical amenities would work, like the sky light.  That turned out to be troublesome because the remote control for the skylight needed to be reset, which we needed to determine first before doing the reset which was a bit complicated, but is now done.  We still have a couple lights that will not turn on, and a heater fan we don't know how to turn off, even though the heater is not on.  No functioning water yet.

This is the space we're working with.  The wardrobe is lower left.  The upstairs bed is over the cab.

As Ed puttered and read the manual and tested and puzzled, I stocked the cupboards, added hooks, figured out spaces and delightedly fussed over a million details.   With only one small wardrobe we now have a workable plan of shelving, Pack-It Tubes, compression bags and shoe bags to make it ultra efficient and easily accessed.  I ordered more Pack-It Tubes and compression bags, which should be here early next week.  I'm thinking I'll make the shoe bags myself.  The fancy Eagle Creek shoe bags, at $17 per bag, seem too pricy.

Dishes are a good fit.  The plates we found at Good Cheer.  There's even a perfect spot for my French press coffee maker, in it's red cozy.  We have cups, glasses, plates and bowls for four.  No plastic because we dislike eating off plastic.  The black thing upper right is a built in safe for our credit cards, cash, and the like, plus a little travel clock.

Silverware and knives fit nicely.

Food will be modified and added to greatly, but the first pass is encouraging.    We assume we will shop often so we anticipate only  needing to carry a few meals.  We'll always be able to whip out cereal, spaghetti, soup, tuna sandwiches,  or make biscuits with supplies on hand.

When the back doors of Thistle are open there is one very blank white wall, the back of the bath, that, to me is screaming for something, but that something cannot be much more than 1/2 an inch thick.  But what?  Stickers of the places we travel?  No, that didn't seem quite right and Ed really disliked that idea.  We thought we could perhaps use this wall as a movie screen, but couldn't quite see that happening.  An amazing mural would be nice, but we didn't have the talent to do it ourselves nor the money to hire the talent.  Photographs of family and friends would be lovely but it's not a magnetic metal wall  and we didn't want to glue to it.  An idea both Ed and I liked was a large map.  It's ordered.  A laminated map of North America, backed with cork, will be mounted on this big blank white space. We'll trace our route with push pins, or little stick-it dots, so we'll have a nice visual of our travels whenever we open the back doors.

Another thing we will add to Thistle is an outdoor shower to the right of the big blank wall.   Thistle's creators had already planned for this so we simply need to order the apparatus.  It should be a quick install.  The  door to the right of that same wall is the back door to the wardrobe making access handy.  We'll rig up a curtain that will stretch between the two doors to give us an outdoor room for showering and changing.

We're impatient for the travel to begin and the preparations to end.  That said, the preparations are great fun as we put our heads together to solve the puzzle of life on board Thistle.


"Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living." 

 ~ Miriam Beard

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