Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shenandoah Pkwy, I Assume The Views Were Spectacular?

Why do I "Assume" the views?  Because for most of the 65 mile trip fog hid the views from sight.  Then there was the constant drizzle, making much hope of getting some good pictures almost a lost cause.

I started with all intentions of driving the full 100 miles of the Parkway followed with more hours going down the Blue Ridge Mountain Pkwy as well.

By the time I had driven 65 miles of it, good enough.  I departed and got back on I-81 headed south.

Naturally by mid-afternoon the rain was gone and blue skies returned.  Too late now, I wasn't going back

I'll just have to be satisfied with a shot of the tunnel in the park, and a few other mediocre shots.

There were a number of deer wandering about.  Some with decorative ear tags and one was sporting a gaudy green tag mounted on a necklace around it's head.

I swear those Park Rangers have no sense of style.  Green tags with a brown coat... How gouache!

For now, tomorrows ride will be short.  I'm, within a few hours of my next lay over.  Big Stone Gap VA.

Way back in the hills deep in coal mining country.  More to come on that story.

High Class Cuisine At The Snow Village Inn!

One of the more special evenings of my stay at the cottage was dinner out at the Snow Village Inn.  Combined with a driving tour of the area we rounded out the afternoon at a quaint old New England Inn.  This is the kind of place you go to for special occasions.  Set up on a hillside, it provides commanding views of the far off White Mountains from it's large enclosed porch.

After placing our orders, I stepped out and snapped a couple pictures.  Imagine how nice it would look once the leaves fill out on the trees.

This being my last night at the cottage, I stepped out of my comfort zone and ordered portabella mushroom ravioli.  I like mushrooms and loved this dish prepared by Executive Chef Brian Anderson..

It wasn't convenient to snap pictures of the building from the outside so be sure to visit their website through the link at the top of this page.

Our server for the evening, I apologize that I forgot her name, was absolutely spot on with everything.  After our meal, even though there was little room for dessert, she recited from memory the longest list of decadent treats I've ever heard.  Complete with details as to their makeup, it was a shame her efforts were for naught.

The following morning, when we left to return to Boston, a lunch was packed and we enjoyed a picnic along the bank of the Swift River.

The water was clear and fresh as I'm sure it's source is up in the mountains where snow melt is just finishing up.

Finishing our lunch, it was back to Boston, and time to pack for the next leg of my journey.

Cheers, Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Cheers, where everyone knows your name.  If there was one show that connects everyone to Boston, Cheers would be it.  I once met Woody, but that was a different set, a different place.

Boston Commons, a park like setting, had people elbow to elbow.  Apparently the crowd is like this all the time.  Our drive by took place on the weekend specifically because this chaotic collection of humanity is supposedly much worse during the business week.  I can’t even imagine.

I’ve never experienced anything  like the results of “The Big Dig”.  To actually have multiple exit ramps and traffic offshoots all under ground is amazing.  Like the picture, it all flashes by in such a blur you have no time to consider which way to go.  It’s all done by reflex.  Without knowledge, you might just pop up out of the ground in some other city.

I’m just a simple old country boy.  Rush hour for me is when two cars meet at the same intersection.  A crowd is when you have to hold the door at Walmart for the little old lady you stepped around on the sidewalk.  This is just craziness here.

When asking the average price of a condo in these parts, I was told $1.2 million.  Good God, that takes a whole lot of hustling just to live.  I’m very happy with my $150 a month cabin, which makes a pretty good statement about how  I choose to live my life.  A whole lot slower than on the east coast.

While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time out east, and am very appreciative of those who gave me the opportunity to experience new places and some world class cuisine, it’s time for me to come back down to earth.

I’m starting my day with a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk.  Then I will continue south expecting to get into Virginia later this morning.  My next detour is the Shenandoah  Skyline Parkway.  I hope the weather clears so I can enjoy the views.  It rained all day yesterday, as I worked my way south around New York and other massively populated places I really had no inclination to see.

For now “Cheers” everyone.  I’m off to places where indeed everyone really does know your name.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pure New England, Lots Of History!

Today we toured the area around the cottage.  This being what Minnesotan's would refer to as Resort Area, it was amazingly similar to what we have back home...Except for the architecture.

Here it's pure New England.  Many quaint old farm houses dating back to the 1800's.  The  original home added onto most times 2-3 times.  Eventually linking the residence to the barn structure.

I guess people on this end of the country don't want to go outside to tend the animals any more than I would during cold winter months.
We visited the Remick Farm Museum.  It's a working farm that was gifted to the city after two generations of Remick Doctors passed on.
The most striking feature of this farm, and most other homes in the region, are the stone fence lines.  When the land was first cleared for farming, glacial ruble had to be dealt with.

The most effective way was to stack the many stones along property lines, not only establishing a border but fencing in livestock.

The lichen and moss present indicating it had been many decades back in history that this tedious and hard labor was accomplished

.While some fields had been picked clean, others contained boulders too large to move.  The cows would just have to graze around them.

The farm is closed on weekends so we just wandered in to take these pictures.  In reality it's still an operating teaching farm that allows the public access to what life on a small colonial farm was like.

We continued our tour, seeing a number of picturesque churches and scenic vistas throughout the afternoon.  All very interesting and enjoyable to see as well.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cabinating: What You Do At The Cabin

It's kick back and put your feet on the coffee table time.  Back home we call this "cabinating".  A time when you clear your mind of all worries of the world, and just enjoy your surroundings.

Time at he cabin, or in this case the "cottage", where there is no clock, or calendar.  I'd say no cell phone or computer, but then this isn't my cabin back in Minnesota.

We have everything, cable TV, internet, and phone service.  It's still cabinating though because the phone number is a closely guarded secret. I wouldn't be surprised if the ringer is disconnected as well.

The wood stove has the nice red glow of simmering embers, and the warmth of the fire is just now reaching the far side of the ling room.

We can sit back and look out across the lake at a distance mountain.  I was told the name, but now it escapes me.  My sister informed me that she and her  husband have hiked to the peak.  I think I'll pass on that endeavor.

Even a canoe ride seems risky.  The view not to long ago was of ice and broom ball participants.  I can't imagine the water has warmed that much.

It's funny how different regions of the country use different words for the same thing.  Back home we have a cabin.  Basically a second home complete with running water.  A small shelter in the woods is most often referred as a hunting shack.

Out here on the east coast they have cottages.  The same thing, a second home usually complete with most amenities.  That hunting shack I mentioned, here it's a hunting camp.  I would think a camp is a clear spot where you can post a tent but no, here it means a building without running water.

The one thing that's important is what you do at either a cabin or cottage.  It usually amounts to very little, and is geared at clearing ones mind.  This activity I have personally declared to be cabinating!  Anyone who disagrees can come up with a word of their own.  Nothing's carved in stone when it comes to relaxing.

Portsmouth New Hampshire, Talk About Scenic Seaport!

 On the way to the "Cottage" we took a short detour into the town of Portsmouth.  There was a quaint little seafood restaurant that we were told was a must do place for seafood.

The River House, planted in the center of town, right at river's edge, didn't disappoint.  From their enclosed dining porch the view out over the harbor was amazing.

Right next door a couple of tugboats were moored, waiting the next call to duty.

Across the harbor two back to back bridges merged to appear as one.  The taller one being for automobile traffic and the lower one for rail.

All around the harbor were mechanical cranes of various sizes and descriptions.  Barges move throughout the area, and likely our lunch arrived fresh from the ocean earlier in the day

My choice for lunch was a fresh lobster roll with a cup of yummy seafood chowder.  It was all very delicious.

One must remind themselves that you're paying for the freshness of the product and of course the view.  By mid-west standards the price of the meal was a bit above average.

With no regrets we enjoyed a special sampling of local seafood.  Well worth the expense and a worthy stop on our journey to the cabin...I mean Cottage.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Going To The Dump: A Big Deal In My Family!

It's Spring!  Finally, time to clean out the basement, and pick up the yard.  As a kid, every Spring it was a big deal, load up the junk trailer and haul the junk to the dump.

In the old days, recycle, reuse, and similar concerns just weren't part of our vocabulary.  We were just poor, so an opportunity to pick up goods that we could make use of just seemed prudent.

That in turn meant trips to the dump often had us bringing home more than we dropped off. Why let perfectly good items be buried for eons by the bulldozer at the end of the day.

I worked for a recycling center for a few months 10 years ago.  Often I brought home furniture pieces that only needed to be stripped and refinished to become very useful and much appreciated household items.

Today, while visiting relatives in Boston, I find out recycling is a way of life out here too.  Surprisingly suburb residents have to transport their own household garbage to the recycling center...Not really a dump!

Their reusable items are set aside, and available to anyone at no cost.  COOL!  As can be expected in more affluent areas, what one person considers waste is most assuredly someone else's treasure.

In a past visit my Sister retrieved the above step stool, a mandatory item for her to reach things stored in the upper cabinets of her kitchen, and a blender that was complete and just like new.

As a serious past enthusiast of similar programs, that's where the Minnesota part comes in, I stayed within the limitations of my one man RV.

I found a perfectly suitable ceramic coated tee pot and a couple hardback books of interest.

Mary wanted me to bring back a gift for her, little did she realize it would be recycled, and reused!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Worcester MA, Next Stop Boston!

Up with the Robins this morning. Yesterday was a bit exhausting.  I could tell by the road map I wasn't going to like New York, and it didn't let me down.

With highways being a jumbled mess on the map, I decided to put my fate in the hands of Garmin.

The goddess of navigation, my electronic lady friend that shows me the way.  Sadly though, she is only as smart as the fool who determines the parameters of how they want to go.  (That's me!)

I had instructed my constant companion to avoid toll roads at all costs.  Well, like the obedient servant she is, that is exactly what we did.

Taking me off a perfectly good freeway, I-84 headed north through New York, she directed me to exit toward some obscure place called Bear Mountain road.  I spent the next 2 hours driving like I was in a rally race of Grand Prix quality.

For those familiar with Duluth MN it was like driving the Skyline Dr. at 50 mph with traffic being bumper to bumper both ways.  Damn near white knuckle material with many steep embankments using only blue stone boulders as a guard rail.  One minor slip up and off you go into oblivion.

Naturally by detouring off the main highway I bypassed what I thought might be the last truckstop  before my destination.  I wasn't planning on arriving until late Wens. at the earliest.  Ooops!

Luckily I survived, but didn't enjoy, this supposed scenic route drive.  Sadly, it still took me across a toll "Bridge".  The navigator only gives you the option to avoid toll roads, it doesn't understand what a toll Bridge is.

No matter, this morning I'm on a quiet rural 4 lane with a sedate 50 mph speed limit. I've got about 4 hours to get maybe 30 miles down the road.  This is almost relaxing!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Neat Architecture In The Hills Of Pennsylvania

Brookville, if you judge it by the exit ramp you've got it all wrong.  After choosing my roost for the night, the local Flying J, I had time to kill before bedtime.

Actually I was so damn tired I had to quit driving so it was only mid-afternoon.

For whatever reason I decided to check out this little mark on the map and see what it had to offer.  I almost didn't make the effort since the street heading into the business district looked to be going straight for the sky.

I had to remind myself that this is hill country.  When it was first settled people congregated down in the protected hollows.  To get down into the low land, first you go up and over the high ground.  It's a narrow winding road that is also a regional main route.  Of course that means bumper to bumper traffic and at 3 P.M. any thought of parking to take pictures was impossible.  Cars all parked on the diagonal to maximize what little parking there was.  Not an empty space to be found.  I drove the 3-4 blocks and went back to my roosting spot for the night.

It was a short visit but it amazed me the quality of this little burg.  Like stepping back in time to the late 1800's, everything spotlessly clean and freshly maintained.  Though they all looked like new construction in an old time style, you could tell the whole center of town had been meticulously maintained throughout time.

 Every shop, every Victorian house, all looking crisp and inviting.

I made my plan, before leaving in the morning I hoped to get some pictures.  At seven bells this morning I headed back down the winding little road.

This time all was quiet, I could have my pick of parking spots.  I had no problem collecting some nice shots of brick store fronts, sandstone churches, and brightly colored Victorian houses.

Then it was back on the road, so here I am taking my first break of the day in another little intersection named Milesburg.  Pretty much a truckstop, a McDonald's, and access to I-80.  That's where I'll be shortly.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Who..Me Speeding, Sorry...Not Me!

Tailgating a semi, not the best time to be uploading pictures to the internet.  Don’t let the picture spook you, I’m not quite that stupid.  I snapped the shot while we were stalled waiting.  Traffic backed up for miles.  Some poor soul kissed the center barrier and spun around in the middle of the freeway.

I stopped in Galion Ohio for a quick bite to eat and free internet at McDonald’s.  Had a really strong connection so I got all caught up with things.

As I cruised across Ohio I passed the exit for Ohio State University.  That’s Kent State, where the National Guard shot up a bunch of peaceful war protesters back during the Vietnam War.

Hell to be so old today’s young adults probably have no idea what went on back in those days.

Right now I’m sitting in a Flying J in Brookville P.A.  You can sure tell I’m not in the Mid-west anymore.  Traffic is really busy, all the time.

Tomorrow I’ll be giving my Garmin Navigator the real test.  I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay tolls, but the highways are such a jumbled mess out east I’ve decided to just plug in and let the navigator do its job.  It will exclude toll roads, so I’m counting on it getting me through.

As I pulled out of a wayside rest an unmarked smoky fell in behind me.  Of course I saw all those cute little antennas on the trunk as I came out of the rest stop.  I’ve got 3 ways to tell what my speed is.  Standard analogue speedometer, a digital readout on the dash, and my Garmin also tracks speed.  You can bet I was locked on the speed limit.

After about 10 minutes he got bored and spun around to harass those on the west bound side.

Those Windmills Are Hypnotic

Morning, day three, up with the roosters!  Slept right up to 5:30, figured it was time to get going.   No breakfast until I put in some miles.  Dawn was spectacular, tried my best to capture it while I was driving.

Noticed an Interesting phenomenon while I was driving in the dark.  It was obvious that electric power windmills surrounded me on all sides.  Numbering well into the hundreds, they took up the night sky right out to the horizon.  They all had one singular red beacon flashing away on top of the main mast.

I drove on for many miles, always with a quantity of these whirling monsters easily in view.  What amazed me was those red beacons I mentioned, they all flashed in unison.  No matter where I was, or how many hundreds of them I continually saw, they all blinked at the same time.

I imagine somewhere, in a dark little room there is a simple Delco automotive flasher unit clicking away.  Like the flasher on older cars, the one thing you can count on is sooner or later they fail.  One day, probably not all that far off, the world of red beacons steadily flashing all across Ohio will go dark.  I bet they have no idea where that little dark room is located, it could be anywhere in the state.  There’ll be hell to pay when the lowly parts changer just shrugs his shoulders and says “Nobody told me about it”.

Truckers Never Get A Break

Once again I’m all tucked in, though this time at a Flying J outside Fort Wayne IN.  First thing tomorrow I enter Ohio.  Today was the scenic tour through farm country.  It’s back on the interstate for the next two states.

I’ve been across both Ohio and Pennsylvania before…Some 40 years ago.  I wonder if they’ve changed much.   Back then I took the toll roads.  It cost me as much in tolls as it did in gas to get from Minnesota to North Carolina.  Of course that was 1971and the gas for the trip amounted to $65.  This current journey is calculated to set me back $550.  You can bet I’ll be avoiding toll roads this go around.

I don’t know if it’s the 10 years since I drove over the road, or the fact that I’m running northern states vs. southern in my trucking days, but I’ve really been impressed with the cleanliness of the truckstops.  All three major brands, Flying J, (which includes Pilot’s), Travel Centers of America, and Petro’s all have been spotless and surprisingly quiet at night.  Of course cars and Rvs are well separated from the commercial vehicle side.  Heck, on place had the glass door between the two  halves of the building tinted so dark you could hardly tell there was ½  a store on the other side.

I’ve never been to the far northeast of the country.  Looking at the map it sure looks confusing.  Way to many crisscrossing interstates and toll roads.  Thank God for my Garmin navigator.  I can program an intersection half way across the country and all I have to do is follow the line on the screen.  Wander off the path and the lady in the little black box is all over me until I get back on track.  Talk about nagging!

Once again I can’t post this until I find a McDonald’s located away from the interstate.  Irritating how the poor trucker can’t get a break on anything.  Stuck at the truckstop where nothing is free and most things are over priced.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Friendly And Clean, What More Can You Want?

Yesterday it was a two McDonald's small town.  Today it was a two car wash small town.  As I was coming into Fairbury IL I spotted a car wash on the left.  I was well past it and thought about going back to wash the Minnesota salt off my car.

I've never been one to "Turn around and go back", so I just figured on stopping in the next town.  Wouldn't you know it at the opposite end of town there was another car wash.  They sure do keep their cars clean in these small towns.

It was about the nicest, newest car wash I've seen in years.  Unlike the crappy old one out past the zoo in Duluth that more often than not just takes your money but doesn't work.  This little farming community can be proud of their well kept facility.  Modestly priced too!  About $3 in quarters had the van suds-ed, rinsed, and a coat of spray on wax.  Now I can look respectable again.

 Friendly farming communities.  Even their water tower has a happy face!

Rochelle Il, What stands out about this little mid-west town of about 20,000?  Mostly the fact that they don’t stand out.  It’s a simple small town, a 2 McDonald’s town, if you will.  Clean, friendly looking, if you can tell by appearance.

I pulled into the Petro truck stop last night about 6 P.M. It was early, but then who knows how much farther down the road the next decent place to spend the night would be?  It seemed like a great opportunity to check out the town.  Besides I couldn’t find free internet anywhere near the interstate.

In no time I found they had a 24 hr Walmart, and yes, a second McDonald's, where I was able to check my Emails.  Pitifully slow, but none the less free.

For my first night out I was extremely pleased with how comfortable my little van is.  It was a good choice to upgrade a step when I bought the mattress.  Slept straight through until 4 A.M.  Parked right alongside the big, well lit, Petro sign, my blackout shades did their job nicely.

Laying in bed this morning I was amazed at the number of trains I could hear off in the distance.  They couldn’t be but 10 minutes apart.  Certain noises never disturb me.  The sound of a far off train is almost reassuring.  It’s like a signal that’s all’s well.

Yesterday I admit, my desire to escape the cold arctic weather of Northern Minnesota had me with the pedal down and more interested in making miles than looking for quaint new places to see.  Today I try harder to get old habits of endless driving out of my system.  About 50-100 miles more, then I turn east on secondary highways.  Dotted with little towns every 20 miles or so.

Hopefully the weather will be as glorious as it was yesterday.  Clear blue skies, void of a single cloud.  For now dawn isn’t far off.  I think Two eggs and toast are in my very near future.  Petro was nice enough to provide my nights stay and a spotless rest room to shave and brush my teeth this morning.  The least I can do is patronize their restaurant.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Departure In Two Days... Time To Pack!

Back when I was hauling freight all over the country getting ready for the next long haul amounted to checking to make sure my credit card was in my wallet.  I might hit an ATM as I left town, but otherwise what few amenities or supplies I needed were already in the truck.

It's been a few years since I've journeyed more than a few hundred miles, and more like a decade since I did it in such confined quarters as a minivan.

This trip will be my "Initial Wandering".  Unlike excursions in my past, this time I don't have a time schedule.  Thank you retirement, I'll get there when I get there, and I'll be back when you see me pull into the driveway.  My path is basic, I'm headed East.  Once there I'll turn South.  When It's time, I'll go West, and when I'm done a turn North will be in order.  The rest of the information will be figured out as I go.

In the process there are relatives to visit, old friendships to renew, and new people to meet.  Filling out the itinerary will be side roads to explore, scenic routes to enjoy, and more photos to take than I can count.

When you get right down to it, there are many, many places in that direction that I've never visited.  That's the point, I want to see things.

When I was hauling freight for the most part it was with a 40' flatbed trailer in tow.  There was always a deadline to meet, and labor involved with handling the load.  It was always the shortest and fastest way between point A and B, with no thought put into enjoying a leisurely look at points of interest along the way.

No more, now I travel to my own  priorities.  Staying off the interstate, driving through all the little towns and small cities.  If an aroma coming from some off beat eatery catches me with the window down, you can bet I'll be pulling into the parking lot to sample some of their local fare.

So today I prepare.  Clothes rolled and tucked away.  Prescriptions refilled, and daily pill containers loaded.  Sadly as you age the need for medication increases.  I need to keep ice in the cooler more to keep my insulin at storage temperature than for perishable food.

My food supplies are simple.  Easy to prepare dry goods that need no special care, soups that only require adding water, and single serving meats that are shelf stable.  Canned goods are a good bet as well.  I picked up a couple smaller cans of Dinty Moore beef stew.  Just the right size to heat and eat with no leftovers.

I've never been one to have a fancy wardrobe.  Pocket t-shirts and jeans.  Like my cap says, "I'm retired, this is as dressed up as I get".  For the sake of comfort I've turned to suspenders so my belt is more for show than function.

I's a good thing I'm going alone.  Once I get all this stuff in the car I'll be lucky if there's room for me.  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Installing The House Battery The Correct Way!

Everybody knows the advantage of having a separate "house" battery when living in a van, RV, or even a car.  You can use your accessories with wild abandon, and when the screen of your DVD player goes blank you can still start the car and move on.

For now, my power needs are rather simple.  I hooked up two batteries as "house" batteries but decided the space taken by the second battery was invaluable, so I opted for a simple one battery system.

There are a number of misconceptions that often cause the DIY installer to go a bit overboard when hooking up extra batteries to their vehicle.  Most common is the concern that they need to replace their original equipment alternator with one of larger output.

This is totally inaccurate, because the amount of power that is being used while driving (excluding charging the house battery) really hasn't changed.  Upgrading the alternator will allow the battery to recharge faster, but is that really all that important?  Who cares if recharging the house battery takes 30 minutes or 1 hour if you're driving the vehicle while doing it?

The next often miscalculated installation mistake is the size of the cable running between the house battery and the original starting battery.  There is no need to install anything heavier than 10 gauge wiring going from the house battery, through the continuous duty relay, on to the starting battery.

Sure your starting battery is equipped with much heavier cable, possibly a 2 gauge or even larger.  The reason is, it's operating the starter.  The starter is the heaviest drawing item in the whole vehicle.  Your house battery will never draw that amount, unless you install a bypass switch to allow the vehicle to start using the house battery.  Not something that's needed if your starting battery is in good condition.

Using 10 gauge automotive wire, protected with a 40 amp auto-resetting automotive circuit breaker, is the appropriate way to supply recharging power to your second battery.  In fact, this is the way it will be installed if you take your vehicle to a certified RV dealership and ask them to install it for you.

For my needs, a smaller wattage inverter is more than adequate.  The only appliance I foresee using is my laptop computer.  For this, I purchased a 450 watt model from Sears for about $75.  One nice feature is it can be used simply by plugging into a standard 12VDC outlet... A cigar lighter, which is commonly fused for 20 Amps.

I have no need to run heavier cables from the second battery to this inverter, though if I chose to use my 1,500 watt inverter it would be a different matter.  If I was planning on installing a microwave oven, the larger inverter would be required, as well heavier cables between the inverter and the house battery.  For that reason it's recommended you install the inverter as close to the house battery as possible.  Long cables means voltage drop, and electronics don't do well running on low voltage.

Here again, let me restate that no matter what you're running off as large an inverter as you want, this in no way affects what size wiring needs to be installed between the starting battery and the house battery.  10 gauge wiring is the correct way to do it.  The only time the starting battery and the house battery are connected together is when the engine is running.  At that point you're only recharging the house battery.

Earlier I mentioned the continuous duty relay.  It's purpose is to connect your house battery to the starting battery when the engine is running, only for the purpose of recharging your house battery.

Because I used 10 gauge wiring I do not want to run  a microwave, or any other heavy drawing equipment, while the engine is running.  The charging wire is protected by a 40 amp circuit breaker so no damage can result, but there is no point repeatedly going beyond what it is designed to do.

The continuous duty relay is only activated when the ignition is turned on, so for the most part it is only energized when the engine is running.

On my particular vehicle, the Dodge Caravan, I am supplied with two 12 VDC power outlets down near the floor between the front seats.

The continuous duty relay requires very little power to turning on and off (energizing the electromagnetic coil within).

It was a simple matter to hook up a power plug to the relay and plug it into the port that is only energized when the key is on.

No digging around in the fuse panel looking for a source of power, I simply plugged it in.  Now everything about my house battery is automatic.

I can run my computer, or the 12 VDC portable fan I will be using for ventilation.  All done without damaging my new Dodge Caravan.