Floating, and Dealing with Bad BIM

Saturday found us at Upper Columbia Academy, for a good old fashioned camp meeting. I didn’t take many pictures of the school, because I’ve done some previously. [See Weekend with Bryan]

The scenery around the school is amazing… just lots of green and blue, with plenty of puffy clouds topping it off.

The meetings we attended were very good, and afterwords we had a little picnic lunch in the shade of some very tall trees. The focal point of the afternoon was a concert by Fernando Ortega… I was pleasantly surprised that in addition to being a great musician, he was really funny! A great sense of humor, and the gift of captivating storytelling made the event into far more than just a concert. We loved it!

That evening we went to Jeffrey and Brooke’s home and played games… super nice folks and a lot of fun! Jeffrey mentioned that they were going birding in the morning for Father’s Day. After he talked a while about their plans, I asked him if this was an invitation or just a description! He said we were welcome to come along if we wished (what else could he say?) and we accepted. We drove to the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, just about a half hour from our place. Brooke and their son Wyatt went for a bike ride, Jeffrey escorted Cherryl and I on a big loop through the park. I call my big camera, with the lens that makes it possible to “Shoot Birds”, my “Bird Repellant.” Out of respect for our friends, (or maybe just laziness) I left the bird repellant home… so you only get scenery pictures of this wonderful walk.

It was a fabulously beautiful morning, and we learned a lot from Jeffrey. With his help we identified 26 different species.

Great friends, wonderful scenery, and lots of nice birds… What a day!

It was so pretty I had to take yet another picture of the house and gorgeous sky.

Bad BIM! Bad bad BIM!

I’ve had someone comment that all I seem to do is maintenance on our motorhome. While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, I have had a pretty long list of things to get done while hanging out at the Kid’s place.

After I replaced the coach batteries with big Lithium batteries, I noticed that the engine’s alternator was not charging them as we drove. After a lot of testing, I proved that the alternator was putting out power, and was charging the chassis batteries well. It turns out my BIM is incompatible with Lithium batteries. Don’t you hate having Lithium intolerant BIMs? BIM stands for Battery Isolation Manager, and it keeps coach and chassis batteries separate most of the time, so one side can’t drain (or overcharge) the other. It only connects a battery bank to the alternator if it feels the bank needs charging, and since Lithiums almost always run at over 14v, the old BIM never felt obligated to charge them. So I got a new, Lithium-friendly BIM and had fun installing it. Next time we drive a ways we’ll see if it makes a difference. (Good BIM! Have a treat!)

On another Saturday afternoon, we planned on rafting part of the Spokane River with the family. As we were getting the gear together, we remembered that all the life vests were in the boat, resting calmly in her slip on Hayden Lake. We needed two vehicles anyway, to have a shuttle where we would take out of the river, so Loren and I drove out to Hayden to get the life vests. We were literally only about 3 minutes at the boat, then back along the dock and past the fuel dock to our car. I heard someone call out “Bruce!” a couple of times, but ignored it at first, since I know nobody near there. When I gave in and looked, there at the end of the fuel dock was Bob, one of my favorite long-time patients! Such fun! He said his wife Lauren would be bummed that she missed me – she was away for a few minutes. She came back in time, and we all had a nice chat. They were visiting family on the lake… Bob just saw me and called to me, when I was only at the lake for five minutes. The whole thing is just too amazing. Love these guys! Great fun! [Disclaimer: A LOT of my patients were my favorites. Don’t feel left out if we haven’t bumped into you at a lake or anything!]

We didn’t take all of their afternoon talking – we had family meeting us on the Spokane River. So we did make it to the put-in location…

The Spokane River flows westward, just north of I90. We got in right at the Washington – Idaho border, and floated/paddled just a few miles towards the city.

Ashlyn has some rather creative paddle board postures…

We finally got out of the river, but it kept flowing on towards downtown Spokane. There it shows off with some fun waterfalls, interesting bridges, and even a cable supporting gondolas over its width. I keep saying I’ll photograph that area, but haven’t gotten to it yet. But we really enjoyed our time on the river this time.

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