This week we had more holding tank nightmares but I think we’re finally in the clear! We also had a great visit from my Dad, Sister and Nephew here in rainy Portland. Thankfully they brought the sun with them, for Saturday anyway.
Taking advantage of the awesome weather we went to the Saturday Market, an open air arts and crafts market located in Old Town/Chinatown and along the water front. The market has been around for about 41 years, established in 1976. It’s always a great place to take in local art, vendors and people watch. Dad even bought a painting from Jasmine Star an artist Megann and I have purchased from in the past.
Shanghai Tunnel/Portland Underground Tour
We met up at Hobo’s restaurant for the Portland Underground Tour guided by the Cascade Geographic Society. The society has been working to dig out portions of the tunnels that were filled in and analyzing the artifacts found during the process such as the boots of loggers that were Shanghaied and broken glass used to deter barefoot captives from escaping. The term Shanghaied refers to the act of abducting someone, drugging them and selling them to a ship owner as a laborer. This act occurred in port towns all along the coast. The tunnels were also used for other illegal activities such as opium dens. The tour we went on was the Halloween version including stories of paranormal activity in the tunnels. Thankfully, nothing freaky happened while we were there!
With visitors in town we of course had to hit up some food trucks! We went to the location of our favorite truck, PBJ’s Grilled. They are located at SE 12th and Hawthorne along with a handful of other trucks. I can’t even begin to describe the deliciousness of their Spicy Thai sandwich. We also enjoyed Belgian fries topped with satay sauce and smokey chipotle raspberry jam from Potato Champion and a Margarita pizza from Pyro Pizza. Both were delicioso!
This weekend happened to be the Portland Metro RV Dealers Fall show at the Expo Center. Since Dad is in the market for a trailer we decided to check it out. I’ve never seen so many RV’s in one place at one time! It was huge and included trailers, fifth wheels, truck campers, and class A, B, and C motor homes. Most were new, some were used. Me and Megann’s fave is Winnebago’s new version of the classic Brave! Also, if we’re ever in the market for a pickup camper again we’d love to have a Host triple slide version – wow. Poor Dad was overwhelmed by the options but learned just how many options are out there and now has a long list of options to consider.
Most of you know we’ve been having odor issues with our black tank, the sensors never read empty and lately it’s been getting clogged but we can fill it with water from the top end and it will get enough pressure to break loose and drain. Well, we had stumbled upon a company called All Pro Water Flow that uses high pressure water to clean out the holding tanks, feeds a camera up inside to see what’s going on in there and promises to get your sensors working properly again. We booked a cleaning with them for this past Monday. Unfortunately, Thursday prior our tank got seriously clogged and we filled it to the point of no return and it still wouldn’t drain! So there we were with a tank full of crap, four days until help would be there and company coming for the weekend. We had to take care of business ourselves! We knew we needed to snake it from the outlet but how to do that without having it all land on the ground when it broke free? Well, we sacrificed a cheap drain hose, poked a hole in the top side, hooked it up to the dump hole and fed the snake up in through the valve. And it worked! It took some fiddling to get the snake up through where it needed to go but it finally cleared the clog. So, this got us through until Monday when our hero Lon, the All Pro Water Flow guy arrived. He used a similar method as what we did using a hole in the connecting coupler to feed his water jet in. He used a couple different adapters that sprayed the water in different patterns to clean the tanks after they were drained. After the water ran clear our sensors read empty for the first time EVER and he fed the camera in to the tank to check it out. It appears that at some point someone left the black tank full and let it sit for an extended period of time. You could see a defined level line around the tank but all that was left after the cleaning were some mineral deposits (struvites). He recommended that we don’t use chemical treatments because they cause struvite development. He also recommended that we don’t use enzyme digesters which shocked me. He said they break down the waste in to a milkshake like consistency which clings to everything. He said basically you’re better off to not use anything if your only options are chemicals or digesting enzymes. We asked what we could use and he did sell a product but made it clear that it’s not necessary to use one but if we were concerned about odors this was the safest. It’s a probiotic culture and is supposed to consume odor causing compounds, combat mold in the gray tank and inhibit mineralization. We went ahead and bought a bottle of Tank Techs Rx. I hope our tank nightmares are over forever!
Our next weekly blog will be sent from California! That’s right, we’re making our way South to escape the winter and it can’t come any sooner. We’re tired of the rain and blustery cold wind.