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Monday, December 12, 2011

I Really Did Pay Attention in Fifth Grade Science Class

Strange things were happening last night, not only to us but to some things inside the Journey.  When we went into the Super Walmart in Laramie, Wyoming last night, I began to get a little worried.  I found myself very tired and was having a bit of trouble breathing.

 I have to watch my breathing closely because of repeated bouts of pneumonia I've had during my Coast Guard years that left me with some lung damage. The feeling I was getting seemed like I was again coming down with pneumonia.  Marti and I went back to the Journey, where I laid down and took it easy.

In the bathroom, several bottles of soap and lotion had leaked all over the place, it was a mess to clean up.
In the kitchen, we had an unopened bag of potato chips that popped open.  Marti figured she had crammed one to many items into the microwave to store while we travel and popped the bag.

I was pretty tired so I went to the bedroom and climbed into bed.  The Select Comfort Mattress (which I can't stand, but that would take up the whole post) felt like a rock.  I looked at the gauge and it read 100, I normally set it to about 55.  Looking at the other side gauge and it too read 100.  What in the world?  I let pressure out of both sides to the level we like and tried to sleep.  Sleep took a long time to come because I couldn't get a full breath.  In the morning, I woke early and still felt some difficulty in breathing.  Even more interesting, Marti said she was having trouble getting a full breath, too.

Being the intrepid travelers that we are, we pressed on anyway and hoped for the best.  I turned on my GPS and as I was scrolling through the settings and found that we were at 8500 feet in elevation.  Duh!

For us living at or near to sea level and then finding ourselves high up in the mountains, no wonder we felt some shortness of breath.  And the bottles of lotion that leaked, the popped chip bag and the mattress over inflation were all related to the increase of elevation and decrease in air pressure.  Stuff I learned in the fifth grade science class, and for some reason (Oldtimers?) I didn't remember any of it.  I was thinking maybe Murphy had returned and was haunting us.

We did another longish day, 537 miles, which we enjoyed.  The scenery in Western Wyoming and Utah were beautiful, the camera doesn't even come close to capturing the beauty.  With the snow in some places, it added an additional dimension of beauty.




Tonight we're at another Super Walmart blacktop boondocking.  It is in Brumley, Idaho.  We missed seeing the scenery in Idaho so far because it was dark when we rolled into the state.  We did see an interesting road sign, it said:  "Sandstorm Area.  Do Not Stop In Road".  Wonder what that's all about?  I guess we'll find out in the morning.

Tomorrow, we are going to try and contribute to a campground for the evening.  We are very close to our goal of Astoria, Oregon and the granddaughters, so we thought a night at a campground to rest a bit, clean up the inside of the Journey and even do some laundry will be a welcome change from all the other nights we've spent "campgroundless".  That is, if we can find one that is open this time of year.

Now it's off to bed.  I'll probably have to re-inflate that #*%^@&* Select Comfort Mattress...

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


25 comments:

  1. That's odd! We absolutely love our Select Comfort! IF I am off it, I'm sooo eager to get back to it. Have you played with the different levels?

    About half way through your post, I said altitude! The same thing happened to us as we headed west last winter.

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  2. I've heard about the altitude inflation. I've been wondering if you're having trouble keeping up with the time zone changes too. I know I would.
    Syl

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  3. I think I missed that lesson in fifth grade!..good for you for finally figuring it out!!..soon you will be back at sea level!

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  4. I had more trouble with the time zones than the altitude but then we drove slowly into it. LOL

    I see you are getting soft what with ONLY 537 not 550 miles AND a campground! :-)

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  5. You mentioned the 8500' level yesterday in your blog so that was the first thing I thought about. I can't remember learning about that in 5th grade but can remember learning about it when we went through scuba diving certifications.

    Take care ... the end of your route is near. At least it is for now.

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  6. Our ketchup exploded which made me realize that altitude can really do a number on things. And we were moving slowly through the changes. A night in a campground can really do wonders for you so I hope you can find one open. You're almost there.

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  7. Be sure to drink lots of water. Altitude change sneaks up on you!

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  8. I feel your pain. Altitude starts to bother me at exactly 7000 feet. Then my blood pressure, which is normally quite low, begins to go up. I went to the doctor (for Shingles) in Telluride, CO (which is at 10000 feet) and my blood pressure was 168 over something. The nurse looked alarmed, but I assured her it was just the altitude. And remembering to let air out of the mattress before going over a pass is a nuisance, but we don't want any explosions.

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  9. Living in Washington State, we made many trips from sealevel seattle, over the passes to the eastern part of the state. Just got used to lowering the pressure in the bed before travelling. And opening those 2liter pop bottles, a real challenge :-)
    Journey39n

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  10. I experienced the effects of higher altitudes many, many years ago while traveling with my parents. I especially remember shortness of breath while we were hiking.

    Luckily your mattress didn't blow out. Hope you were able to save the chips for later enjoyment.

    A campground stay and some R&R will be nice. Hopefully you'll be able to find one open. Enjoy and safe travels.

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  11. You can just blame 'Altitude' for forgetting your 5th grade science. That is a lot of pressure on your unique brain ;o)))

    Safe Travels and Happy Trails....

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  12. Yikes..don't blow up the bed! (unless you want to..haha)
    Getting closer..yay!

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  13. Altitude will sure play a number on you. The highest we've been is 14000 feet at Lake Titicaca ... but we arrived there gradually from 9000 feet and did OK on a hike. We'll have to remember to let the air out of our Select Number ... we absolutely love ours and would hate to have it explode :-)

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  14. I am with you Paul on hating the mattress. JB loves ours and well I don't. We have heard of them exploding with the altitude change so be careful.

    Safe Travels
    Brenda

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  15. wow when I started reading..first thing that came to mind was 'altitude'...and its a long time since I've been in grade five ....our latest MH had an air bed..and we were quick to change it out on moving day ...we wanted our own mattresses from our traded in rig...the last thing I wanted to deal with was air beds...we have a nice new mattress on our bed with a nice thick memory foam on top I wouldn't trade it for the world. Glad to see some readers opinions on the mattress...sounds like we made the right decision with ours....trave safe you two...it won't be long you will be with family again :)

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  16. To me that sign means stay out of that area in the spring. Nothing nastier than a sandstorm.

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  17. The quickest way to solve your mattress problem is to NOT let any air out of it :) Of course, the ensuing explosion might damage more than the mattress!

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  18. Altitude can sure play some tricks on you. :)

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  19. Yupper the altitude always effects those things ~ even my soap dispenser drips out soap!!! messy to say the least! Have fun & Travel safe
    Donna

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  20. Juat for the record I do love the air mattress, but seeing as how we are now only spending about half the year in the RV Brenda will get her choice at least 50% of the time.

    You have had great weather for your late season crossing of the continent and I know seeing those Oregon grandkids will make it all worthwhile.

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  21. Thanks for refreshing my 5th grade science. Not having to deal with to high an altitude where we are, I never would have guessed it. Know at least I will remember when we make that trip someday. Enjoyed the post.

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  22. We have lived at 7,200 feet above seal level for 5 years now. Our first full time RV Journey will be back to the East Coast - much of the time at sea level - I wonder if there will be any effects from that? I guess I'll be adding air to our mattress and our bags of chips will be come crushed from the sucking in of the bags. Finally my BP may be where it should be!! :>) LOL

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  23. Sorry, I thought this was funny:) As a aircraft pilot and having a wife very sensitive to altitude, we are always aware of these changes. while traveling in the western mountains, we always adjust the pressure in the select comfort bed before travel.

    You will notice that things like chips made in Cape cod will have very inflated bags in the mountains:)

    Enjoy the rest of the trip:)

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  24. That elevation change thing can really mess you up! Glad you figured it out before you took yourselves to an emergency room! I love the Astoria area. I hope you have a very great time there with the grands!! Oh, if you come through the Monterey/Santa Cruz area, you are welcome to camp next to us here at Manzanita Park. (Hookups free) You can explore around the area nicely from here. levonnegaddy@hotmail.com

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  25. I know of a trucker that had to take a shipment of potato chips from CA to the east. It was a special rush order. But, they made him go thru southern AZ and he had to scale there and in TX to prove he went south. They didn't want any elevation popping open all the bags.

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