Saturday, May 29, 2010

On the Way

Since leaving Olympia, WA, we have stopped in a county park in Sedro-Woolley, WA, a small RV park near Boston Bar, BC, and now another RV park near 100 Mile House, BC.   We have driven 1,300 miles from Park Sierra.

We have enjoyed beautiful views of the mountains, some snow touched, and rivers a racin'.  With weather cool and rainy, we have chosen to press on each day for fairer skies and more wild life.

One thousand miles still lies before us till we reach the Yukon Territory of Canada, and another thousand to Valdez, Alaska.

I should get Frequent Driver Miles.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Canada bound

Sittin' at a truck stop as I type.

Next stop - Canadian border!

That is all!!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Grievous Loss to Gourmands

Back on August, 30, 2008, I wrote an ode to O'Brien's Turkey House. See this post. 

We planned to stop there on our drive to Alaska.  Alas, Obrien's is no more.

Somewhere turkeys rejoice while tryptophan lovers rend their napkins.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Brakes fixed!

Technician just installed the brake gizmo.  We good to go tomorrow.  Lord willing.

In that vein, new lyrics to a gospel song
People Get Ready (Train to Jordan)

People get ready,
There's an RV to Alaska,
Plenty of baggage,
In this fulltime rig.
Cops don't give tickets,
In the Last Frontier.
Just keep a cruisin'
And watchin' for deer.  (or beer)

All you need is faith,
That the diesel is humming,
And no more breakdowns,
On the Al-Can road.
Now there ain't no room,
For no more tuna.
Open the campgrounds.
Cause we got a full load.

Original lyrics click here

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Brake Down Song

Busted down in Oly town,
Waitin' for a part
No, wait, this sounds too familiar.

Oh the weather in Oly is frightful,
Constant rain ain't so delightful,
But we got no place else to go,
We can't tow.  We can't tow.  We can't tow.

Cause the brakes are the latest to go,
Press the pedal and they say "No,"
Real big hills on the way to and fro.
We can't tow.  We can't tow.  We can't tow.

When we finally get outta here,
Breaking down sure is getting pretty old.
Watch the bumps.  Watch the cars.  Oh my dear.
And 'laska bound to be cold.

But we can't give up now after this time.
Turning 'round surely would be a real crime.
So it's Canada off do we go,
When we tow.  When we tow.  When we tow.

No snickering!


Brake Down

We spent two nice days in Olympia, WA, visiting fast friends in our former home.  Good food, good wine, good times.

OK, now on to Alaska!

Do I hear some snickering out there?  Feeling doubtful that we will leave unchallenged?  OK, OK.

We did leave.  Drove a mile out and found the trailer brakes uncooperative again.  Turned around and reoccupied our campsite.  So close!

I had already talked with Dexter Axle, the company that manufactures the brake actuator.  Jackie, the wonderful service manager there had offered to send us a reconditioned actuator for no charge!  So I took her offer earlier than expected.  They tested and shipped one to us immediately.  It should arrive tomorrow and a mobile RV technician will install it.

We will retry on Thursday.  No snickering!!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Song for our Latest Troubles

With more apologies to Janis J and Bobby McG

Busted down in Eugene town, waitin' for a part,
Slideout done slid out a bit too much.
Ain't the first time it stayed out, moved out but didn't move in,
Least it didn't hit a transit bus.

Awning hit the bus instead, moved out all on its own,
Surprise, surprise, surprise, it was to me.
Hit the bus so hard stuck in the back and wouldn't come out,
No more awning, no more shade, you see.
Don't ride in Eugene bus without AC.

Black tank gotta have a say, some dirty words for sure,
Poopy, poopy, poopy said to me.
Leaking out the top I see and smell it, that's for sure,
Ain't heaven sent the scent it sent to me.

Musta been bad stuff from former life I guess I lived,
Hoped I've worked off all of it by now.
Karma, karma, karma said the Buddha in his time.
All this grief is coming back to me,
Shoulda happened instead to Bobby McGee.


Brakes OK. Full steam ahead!

This AM I tested the brakes.  They work just fine.

Which is mostly good.  Likely a loose wire somewhere, which is easier to replace than the main gizmo (hydraulic actuator).  Hard to find the cause when it works, so on we go.

I'll call the acuator company tomorrow, just to make sure they don't know of some intermittent problem.

But my bicycle seat has not returned.  It probably found some normal person to live with and support.  I hold no grudge.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Brakes Again

We reached Olympia today.

Today's challenges - trailer brakes.  They stopped working again.  We had this problem two years ago.  Much effort yielded no results.  Then they started working again.  Till now.

Can't really consider an Alaska trip with unreliable brakes.   More fixin' effort ahead.

Oh yeah.  My bicycle seat jumped ship today.   Smart seat.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Now the Awning

"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that someone isn't out to get you."

Today we finally secure a repair to our slideout.  Fixed!  Other stuff repaired too!!  All is well!!

Two miles down the road, our awning takes a turn.  A ruthless table in storage slides against the awning switch, activating the electric motor.  Normally I turn off all the power to the trailer, just to prevent accidental deployment of evil objects.  Not this time.

The awning impales the rear end of a metro bus.  Whack!  No more awning.  No more bus air conditioner.  No more equanimity.

Then we learn a new twist on the term "ambulance chaser."  A representative of a lawyers group stops and gives us her card in case our insurance company tries to cheat us.  Ha ha ha!

Alaska drifts away a bit further.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Little Slide that Couldn't

Remember Black Wednesday from a few days ago?  Apparently Sunday felt jealous and formed an alliance with our slideout. The same one that underwent repairs less than two months ago.  Maybe "repairs" is too strong a word.  "Mangling" would better describe it.  OK, "Repairs and mangling."

Last Sunday, we depart Ashland, OR.  (We including Jenna's sister, who has visited but never traveled with us before.  Boy, did she get an education.)   Eventually take a break at a rest stop.  Extend a slide for room while we eat lunch. 

Break over.  Slide will not go in!  For you non-RVers, envision a trailer with a four foot deep room  extending from the side.  The driver's side.  50 miles from Eugene, where we can obtain repairs.

Having no choice on a Sunday, we set forth on interstate 5, hugging the fog line of the right hand lane.  Oh, did I mention that the trailer brakes stopped working too?  With 6% grades stretching before us?  More an inconvenience really, as the truck can stop the trailer.  But still.

I ask Jenna to use the computer to create fake tickets to the Policeman's Ball, just in case.  But we have no printer readily available.

After 30 miles, I pull into a rest stop for a break.  Fella walks over and offers to help push in the slide.  We make some progress, and now the slide only extends two feet.  Two miles past the rest stop, we pass a trooper in the median.  He does not notice the two foot protrusion.   Likely he would have seen a four foot protrusion.

W finally reach our destination for the night, the Valley River Mall parking lot in Eugene.  Next day we tow the trailer to a solar installer for a new inverter.  A Eugene policeman takes note of our protrusion, but allows us to carry on.  He does not ask about the Ball tickets.

Today we take the trailer to the dealer.  He says that we need a new hydraulic ram, the same part that the prior dealer installed two months ago.  Installed incorrectly.  Tho he did run our payment card through without error.

Now we wait for parts.  Hopefully arrive in three days (Friday) for installation that afternoon.  Then we can continue on our way north!  In the mean time, we will enjoy Eugene.

Too bad we have no grandchildren.  Such tales we could tell.


PS To the two readers who have taken to singing my Alaska song out loud.  One word - "Royalties."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Song for Our Trip to Alaska

You better watch out,
You better not cry,
Bears better be out,
We want a fish fry.
Jenna and Bruce
Are coming to town.

We're driving from Coarsegold,
Makin' the trip,
3,000 miles
On a road with lotsa dips.
Jenna and Bruce
Are coming to town.

We wanna see glaciers,
And get ice for free,
Mooses better be moosin',
Just like on TV.
When Jenna and Bruce
Are coming to town.

We're driving thru the Yukon,
We're driving thru BC,
We're driving up to 'laska,
For the sheep and bears to see.

Fish jumpin up in our boat,
Whales sayin' "Hi,"
Sun shining all the night,
Up in the sky.
When Jenna and Bruce
Are coming to town.

Don't wanna see skeeters,
Or even flies,
We 'xpect to see manna,
Falling down from the skies.
When Jenna and Bruce
Are comin to town.

We'll see the Borealis,
We'll chug down Moose Drool Beer (really),
We're driving up to 'laska,
Just to see the Last Frontier.
[Before it melts.]

You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better just move aside,
As we drive by,
Jenna and Bruce
Are comin to town.

And we mean it!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Black Wednesday

I believe I mentioned that we are going to Alaska this summer.  Tomorrow, actually.  Been getting ready for a week now...putting non-essential materials in our shed to lighten the load and ease our setup efforts during this very long trip.  Stocking up too.

Leaving tomorrow.

This morning, I discovered a leak in our black water tank.  For you housebound people, that's the place that the wee-wee and poopie goes before reaching the final destination in Washington DC, where lawmakers package it as legislation.

Oh, poopie!

The good news - it may only leak from the top of the tank, hopefully requiring a relatively easy repair.

The bad new - it requires repair.  Fortunately we planned on stopping at a dealer for other work.

But this will not deter us from our appointed trip.  Just another example that "It's always somethin'."


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

One More Week till We Leave for Alaska

One more week till departure for Alaska.  Unless something else comes up, or falls off, to delay our trip.

We have learned that Canadian customs officers make sure that you enter the country self-sufficiently, so as not to burden their social service network.  So we went to Costco yesterday.  Bought up enough toilet paper and tuna fish for six weeks.  They should not worry.

Tho we understand that they will search any truck or trailer with Texas plates like ours.  Lookin' for guns.  They be watchin' too many reruns of Dallas in those little inspection booths during slow times.  Don't they know that most US states now allow anyone to own any gun they want?  The whole country is going Texan.  Yee haw!

One more week.