We’re in Big Bend National Park in south Texas up against the Mexican border. It’s our first night here and we’re a little worried about our electrical system. We had to buy new batteries in Alpine when we were in Marathon. They weren’t holding a charge very long or taking a charge while we rolled (that’s the truck’s job). This begs the question: is our problem the batteries, or something else that is supposed to re-charge them? We plead guilty on two counts of battery abuse. The first was last summer in Yellowstone where we went six days without any kind of electrical hookup. The second was at the end of our stay in Kentucky when Big Dog turned off our shore power switch with her hinder. We didn’t notice until the lights got really dim and Kat and I simultaneously realized the odds of us both having a stroke at the exact same moment were pretty slim.
We bet on bad batteries. We’ll be in Big Bend three nights without any kind of recharge. Soon we will know.
We had turned in just before 9:00 to save power, and because there’s no radio, TV, cell phone, or internet. Boredom spawned the proverb “Early to bed, early to rise”. Otherwise, that’s good stuff for farmers, hunters, and newlyweds, but just plain stupid for modern retirees.
It’s now 1:00 a.m. and despite sleeping well for most of that lapse in time, I am awake for old man reasons. 12 volt batteries can’t power 110 volt night lights, so I felt my way to the latrine. You may guess from my choice of toilet terms that I am a by-product of the US Army, not Navy or Air Force. A squid would have been conditioned to use the term “head”. There is no such term in the Air Force. They either don’t go, or more plausibly, The Right Stuff just means they don’t talk about it.
Outside it’s pretty damn dark. The Moon Is Down (not his best novel, by the way). I’m seeing stars I haven’t seen since that high school fight with Johnny Griffin. Otherwise I can see very little. Mostly you listen. I hear Pink snoring softly inside the AirStream. It’s an audible but pleasant little snore. Kat snores very softly, or not at all. I’m awake and not snoring at this moment. Were I asleep I would snore something like a chainsaw idling. Kat insists it sounds more like one sawing through an 18’ live oak log. Congestion or drinking turn up my volume. Better stay away from those damn head colds. Anyway, I’m not snoring now, so “Shut * * Up, Donny!
It’s still dark. I tried to take a picture of all those stars but the damned flash keeps spoiling the shot. This means No Pictures in the Dark. My bad.