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Life in the rain forest

My foray into tent camping was briefer than I expected. Thunderstorms in the northeast made a second night of tenting impractical, and so I was left with three options: (1) Find a motel; (2) Drop in on a friend's house; (3) Drive straight through, 750 miles.

The Honda Fit was performing beautifully, it was a nice day, and so I decided to just keep on drivin' ... With the engine breaking in, the fuel economy kept rising. Toward the end, I got one tank averaging 48 MPG (all highway, no A/C), and the next averaging 42 MPG (all highway at 65 MPH, using some A/C). Woo-hoo! I think we've found balance for the 9 MPG we get while towing.

After my decision to plow straight through, I got calls and emails from friends along the way. Don and Amanda, who courtesy parked us last fall in Connecticut, offered their couch, and I also got a call from Brad (who we camped with in the Florida Keys last winter) offering space in his Airstream in southern Virginia.

Both offers came too late, alas. By 8:30 last night I was crossing the Lake Champlain Canal and entering Vermont, and at 9:30 I was home -- which means, I was once again with my family and our trusty Airstream parked in the driveway. It's true, home is where you park it. And Eleanor, Emma and I been apart too long. I doubt I'll let another two weeks separate us in the future.

The dominant feature of the day is thunderstorms. Every two hours another one blows through, bringing pea-sized hail (not large enough to dent the aluminum) and a deluge of rain. Our Airstream is very clean on the outside, since the thunderstorms keep giving it baths. It's a real contrast to the months we spent in the southwest where water restrictions kept us from washing the trailer. Here, we can't seem to get dry. With the humidity and rain and the happy birds chirping above in the trees, it feels like we are living in the rain forest.

The deluges come on so suddenly we don't have a chance to run to the trailer and shut down the Fantastic Vent, but fortunately our center vent has the "rain sensor" feature and it shuts itself down at the slightest hint of rain. This feature has saved us a couple of times today. It may be that we have to rely solely on our two vents that have the rain sensor, during the summer thunderstorm season, and keep the manual vent closed.

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