The rain came down. Yesterday's weather seems determined to wash the east coast into the sea, and each of us couldn't help but wonder if we were in for more. We woke up where we were staying in Rehrersburg, PA, and the rain hadn't let up an inch. In fact, the drops were getting thicker, and the air inside the bus was cold enough for us to see our breath. We were forced to huddle under whatever blankets we could throw together, and that still didn't keep us completely comfortable. This was an unusually dreary day, but at least the bus was behaving itself.
I would like to point out the operative word here in the last sentence is the “was.” Our plan was to spend some time at the Liberty City Science Center in New Jersey, but apparently our engine had different plans. After being on the road for a couple of hours, we started to lose power again. According to my Dad, the engine trouble the day before was due to our diesel filter, but now our veggie oil filter was all blocked up. He replaced our used filter, but there was something else keeping us from maximum throttle. So, we pulled into a Love's truck stop and got large hot chocolates while we figured out the next step. We decided to do a quick engine oil change, and soon realized that due to the temperature outside, quick was not an option: the viscosity of the oil was so high that we could only pour in half cup increments every thirty seconds, or the funnel would overflow. The flip side of this slow drip was that we got to eat a nice hot lunch of soup and Shane's world- famous wraps.
Following lunch, we did a quick meeting of the minds and agreed that this precipitation just about had us beat. In a multi-stage effort to rally against the damp, we bought ponchos, snacks from Trader Joes, and called off the Liberty City Science Center visit. As the last part of this plan we got in touch with another of my Dad's old students and then drove to his house. Fortunately, we are now indoors and quickly drying in the company of friends!
Even though the engine is a great hot object, we were not able to harness its waste heat for the inside of the bus, because the air and moisture whooshed in from the undercarriage.
I just heard that there is a flash flood warning until 10:00pm tonight too.