As I mentioned before, I’ve never camped before or had an occasion to use a laundry mat. So today’s lesson was on doing laundry on the road. This is the laundry room and bath house. It’s innocent looking enough with nice landscaping and fresh paint on the exterior. I knew it was a coin laundry so I gathered all my quarters and stuffed all my clothes in a reusable shopping bag, because there’s no way to fit a laundry basket in there anywhere, and I headed off to wash some clothes. There’s 2 washers and 2 dryers and none were being used so I didn’t have to wait.
I carefully read all the signs and looked over the washer. All seemed in order so I loaded in my clothes and started shoving quarters in. It started right up and I thought “that was easy”.
However, drying the clothes and the next round of wash presented new challenges. Here is the sign that is posted on the washing machine. Now nowhere does it say quarters only so for the second load I started shoving in dimes and nickles which of course didn’t work. So back I went to dig up some more quarters. I raided the piggy bank, yes, I have an actual piggy bank, dumped out my purse and went through my wallet. I managed to come up with another $1,50. Since I had already put 2 quarters in, I should have had enough for a load of laundry and another round in the dryer. As it said. each quarter gave me 10 minutes. So back I went.
First, I had to dig out all the nickles and dimes I had shoved in that were now all jammed up in the coin return part. So I wiggled a twig around in there until I got them all out. Then I put in another 4 quarters to go with the two actual quarters I had already put in and nothing happened. I put in 2 more quarters thinking it had been too long and it was punishing me for using all those dimes and nickles. Still nothing.
I took a break from the washing machine and checked on the dryer. I had put in 2 quarters which according to the sign, should have given me 20 minutes. My clothes were still soaking wet. But I had put all of my quarters into the washing machine and had nothing left for the dryer. My clothes weren’t washing or drying at this point. I gave up and went to my neighbors to get help. Linda and George were very nice and had fallen in love with the dogs. I had been sitting over there chatting before I began this adventure and they were still outside. George came and took a look. He got the washer going. Turned out it was operator error as I didn’t pull the knob to start it I just kept feeding it quarters expecting it to start on its own I guess.
Then on to the dryer. Well, even though the sign clearly says 10 minutes for every .25 cents what it really means is you must put in $1.50 before it will do anything at all. I told George I put in 2 quarters last time and it worked and he said there was still time on it from the previous person. But now I was all out of quarters. Linda was kind enough to give me the $1.50 to get the dryer going which solved the problem until the washer stopped and then I needed another $1.50. I had to go to the store for more yogurt for the kids dinner and I was going to get more quarters then but you couldn’t leave the campground with clothes in the machine so I borrowed another $1.50 to start the dryer again when the other load was done and then headed off to the store. $6.00 and a couple of hours later and I finally have two completed loads of laundry. Wow, that was exhausting!