Sunday, July 5, 2020

Eutaw, AL: COVID-19 Unfolding, Part 888: My First Love, No Fireworks

The view from Chez P, Love's Truck Stop. Eutaw, Alabama. July 2020.

NOTE: My COVID-19 posts are all over the chronological map for now; I'll number them down the road. 

I slept at a truck stop for the first time.
It was Love's.
It was the 4th of July (aka Independence Day, All Countries Matter Day, and All July Matters Day.) There was a full moon.
The earth did not move under my feet.
I neither saw nor felt fireworks.

But I slept well, comfortably, and safely.

I did buy almost a tank of gas for a higher price than I could have found elsewhere, and I did spend about $7 for chunked cantaloupe, several peeled tangerines, and hard-boiled eggs.

Love's staff were friendly and masked. There was a plastic shield between staff and customers at the registers.

The restroom was very clean.

If I'd wanted to shower, I could have, for $12. This doesn't seem all that unreasonable, as apparently, once I'm in there showering, I can take as long as I want, and apparently, have plenty of room, and very clean surroundings.

There was a massive parking lot for trucks behind Love's. This lot allegedly included an area designated for RVs, but I couldn't find it. I was glad I could overnight in a space that I'd describe as in the store's front campus, but on the side border of the front.

The view from Chez P, Love's Truck Stop. Eutaw, Alabama. July 2020.

Notes on my Chez P amenities: Air conditioning

At an Arkansas rest area several weeks back (en route from Missouri to Texas), I thought, ooh! I'll run my a/c all night for lovely, safe, interior comfort!

But ohhhhh. I couldn't lock the doors with my key fob while I was inside AND the car power was on. And being the only overnight occupant at this rest area, I sure didn't feel comfortable sleeping alone with my doors unlocked.

I did some research on how to lock the doors when the power was on, and I learned:
  1. No, you can't do that. 
  2. Yes, you can, but [mumble, mumble, some technical explanation that sounded hard]. 
So, while at Love's, I gave this situation Much Deep Thought because it was hot and muggy outside, and although I like my two window screen stockings, they are great for keeping out insects, but terrible at letting in a breeze.

The Deep Thought made me wonder if I could reach over to the driver's seat from my back-seat bed and manually push down the lock button. I executed on same. And it worked! Well, to tell you the truth, I don't know 100% that it worked, but I heard the sound of all doors locking. And I found that I could not open my back door.

Do I know for a fact that someone on the outside of my car cannot open any of the doors? No, I do not. Because I was not about to ask a Love's stranger to help me test this.

Nevertheless, because I was in a very public place with lots of light, I decided to take a risk. I let the a/c run ALL NIGHT. And I was comfortable! In fact, it was grand!

I consumed 50 "miles" of gas to run the a/c, which translated to less than $3 in gas for the night.

Notes on my Chez P amenities: Toilet

When I first installed (heh) my toilet in the well behind the driver's seat, I set it up so I faced the window behind the driver's seat.

The night before my Love's tryst, at the Arkansas Rest Area near Greenville, Mississippi, I had changed the toilet orientation so that my rear (heh) faced the window behind the driver's seat. Such a simple change, but it made the approach logistics from my bed so much easier, and I seemed to have more foot space. A second night in this new arrangement confirmed its superiority over the original set-up.

However ......... I need a better solution (get it?) to rinse out the toilet's urinal and funnel to eliminate lingering urine odors after I've disposed of the liquid. Neither vinegar nor bleach alone do the trick. I suspect I need a good water shower via a large-ish spray bottle, then a funnel wipe-down with a disinfectant wipe, and then finish with a vinegar or bleach splash.

Notes on my Chez P amenities: Curtains

The curtains I finally figured out and installed just before the Arizona shutdown (before it re-opened prematurely) - working as designed.

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