Saturday 30 April 2022
WHERE ARE WE? Reston, Manitoba, Canada
It was chilly and windy when we woke up in the Walmart Parking lot in Bismark. The wind was howling, and it was coming straight from the North. We have watched diesel prices climb all day yesterday and today they all seem to be levelling out at $5.49 per gallon. Wow!! It will cost us $450.00 US to fill up. With the increase in price, it means that North Dakota and Manitoba are about equal in price except in Canada it will cost about $580.00 Cnd to fill up. Although that is the same amount of money, it hurts a lot more. Maybe it's time to trade off for a gas MH. US gas is only 3.99 a gallon. Anyhow the road was straight and not busy today.
One of the things I enjoy seeing north of Bismark are the big oversize cranes that are mining coal around Falkirk. They are supplying a large coal fired power plant.
It seems that the USA is smart enough to know that coal is probably one of the cleanest solutions to power generation after hydro power. We are aware that we have enough trees in this world to use up all the carbon we can produce and a little extra!! I know, I know we have to worry about climate change and global warming.....or do we? Its April 30 and I am wearing 2 jackets and there is snow everywhere and I am freezing. Tell me about this global warming again? No, better still, someone needs to show me that it is happening!! It will probably take a million years for us to see any effects from the minute emissions from a coal stack I think. Ok rant over.
A little farther up the road was the Canadian/USA border. We sailed through customs with no problems. Just a few questions was all. We joked about our dog Archie, and how we bought him from a rescue for 60 bucks, and we sometimes wonder if he was worth it. The lady was looking at our Arrive Canada app at the same time and broke out with laughter. She said "I suppose it was Archie that chewed up your Immunization Record?" We both said yes right away and started to snicker along with her. I asked her how she knew about that and she said the picture was on her computer!! She said its a wonder they accepted it on the app but said she thinks they knew what had happened. Lol. We can honestly say that we have never had a moments problems at any international border and rather enjoy the experience. If you got nothing to hide and show some respect there is no problem even if the dog chews your paperwork!!
Another half hour down the road and we were at our son Derek and Nicole's house. We are going to spend some time with them and celebrate their youngest son Lincoln's 2nd birthday. Its always fun hanging with the grandkids. We are so blessed with ALL of our grandchildren. Being away from them in the winter is one of the tough things for us but being with them in the summer makes up for all of that. A few pictures for the record of, oldest to youngest, Abby, Silas, Emma, and Lincoln.
Derek had moved his travel trailer so that we can park right up to his back step. How handy is that?
Well after a nice pizza supper we retired to our house on wheels. Archie is even pooped from all that travelling. We are too, so Goodnight!!
Friday 29 April 2022
WHERE ARE WE? Bismark North Dakota
After a great sleep last night, I was up at 8 am and checked on our UPS parcel. It said it was in Norfolk Nebraska ready to head for O'Neill. I grabbed a coffee and headed into the shop to have coffee with the guys. The people in DNJ Repair are good ole country folk and I just felt like I had known them for years.
We finished coffee and I had some breakfast and then the UPS truck drove in the yard.
Sure enough, he had our motor, and it was the right one to boot.
Nick got right to work on installing the new motor and within an hour it was ready to go. We fired up the MH and bingo!! The fan worked like a charm. The new motor is that silver thing way down there. We are so thankful for people like the Nicolite family who see someone in need and do everything in their power to try to help. Thank you so much for your hospitality and Nick for a job well done. And yes we will be back to visit one day.
We needed some fuel so we went into town first to get some. This was a good opportunity to test out the fan motor. It worked perfectly! The price of diesel had gone up from $5.09 when we went through here on Wed to $5.49 a gallon. Wow!! I only got $50 worth cause Gas Buddy says it is $4.69 down the road about 60 miles. That will be a saving of almost $60.00 on a 70 gallon fill. The country side here has been crying for rain and this morning they got an answer to their prayers. A nice soaking rain was coming down by the time we left and it rained most of the day while we travelled. Not a hard rain, just a nice light rain.
When we got to the Fort Randall Dam the flashing lights were on. They put them on when the wind is too high going across the dam and they direct you to take the "toe road"! It is down below the dam out of the wind. We were glad this option was there because we had been fighting wind for about and hour before arriving here.
Up the road we went and the wind subsided in about 30 miles. Nice big bridge just before Aberdeen SD.
Our drive today took us to Bismark ND. It was a long drive but we need to make up some time if we are going to attend our grandson Lincolns birthday party.
Along the way there were lots of snow banks in the ditches. Some of them are 4 feet deep!! I'm not sure I'm liking this!!
When we got to the Walmart in Bismark, there was a great big snowbank in front of us. Archie has never witnessed snow before, so tomorrow morning we will let him play in that bank. It will be fun to see what he thinks of it. We are glad we got back on the road and now its time to sleep. Goodnight!
Thursday 28 April 2022
WHERE ARE WE? O'Neill, Nebraska
Well, we got up early (for us) 8 am to get packed up and head a mile across country to DNJ Repair to diagnose our overheating problem. The mile drive didn't even bring the engine up to temperature and it was just about 130 F when we got there. Right away I was met at the door by Dennis who is one of the mechanics. He said Nick will be out in a minute and he will be working on my problem. Nick took a quick look and then he backed me into the shop. He and the owner of the shop, Dan Nekolite Jr. started discussing what it could be after I told them what had happened. We ruled out electric, we ruled out sensors, we ruled out leaked coolant and all that was left was the actual Hydraulic fan motor to blame it on.
We all agreed that the motor had to come off so we could check it out, so Nick got busy and took it off. It is in an awkward place so there was a bit of cussing involved.
It almost looked like there was a murder under there by the time Nick was done! Some of the bolts required a lot of persuasion because of what I think is the rust that we acquired by living 5 months by the ocean.
And there it was, the hydraulic motor that runs the fan and guess what? When you turned the shaft by hand it made a grinding noise and then it locked up solid. I'm betting we diagnosed this problem right!!
Now the big job was to find one and get it here. Most places they knew of that might have it were looking at 2 weeks to get it. I checked on the Spartan site and low and behold they have them in Mississippi.
I called to see what shipping was like and Todd the parts guy told me that Shawna the shipping girl would put it on UPS this afternoon with delivery Friday (tomorrow) morning delivery for an additional $165.00. With tax the cost of the pump will be about $630.00, Well, I'm game for that and I told him it better be here tomorrow!! We did check this evening and things are looking like it will be here in the morning.
With that all done it was time to relax. We joined the 2 hydraulic lines together so we could drive the MH out of the shop for the night.
We found a nice little grassy spot in the truck line for the night. They even have electricity and power and sewer here if you need it. How nice is that!! We certainly lucked out finding this shop. Come to think of it, we have been treated royally every time we have had to go to a shop in the USA. The only time we were taken advantage of was at Freightliner in our own city of Brandon MB. I will not go back there for sure.
We took Archie for a walk, and he got to play with the garage guard dog whose name is Pete. Pete is a short-legged dog too, so him and Archie got along for the most part.
Archie was going to give the cows what for until one of them moooo'ed. Archie bolted and wouldn't go near them any more, the little chicken!!
Sue and I went into town to pick up a couple things. They have a couple nice grocery stores here.
Then it was back home, supper and a sunset.
We ended the evening with an episode of Survivor!! Life is good! Hope yours is too. Goodnight!
Wednesday 27 April 2022
WHERE ARE WE? O'Neill, Nebraska
We had a nice tail wind for our trip today. We have been following highway 281 because it is a good highway surface wise, but maybe a little narrow in places, but for the most part you can carry on at 100 kms/hr. We cruised along and as we went farther north, the greenery started to fade, and we saw lots of trees with no leaves or maybe buds.
We crossed into Nebraska about 10 am and kept heading north.
Like yesterday, most of the towns had old west style downtowns, many of them with brick cobblestone streets. We had to slow right down for each town which is not good for our schedule but oh well, the scenery is worth more than the miles. We need to be home for a birthday party on Saturday and we have to do 450 kms a day to make it.
On about 3 o'clock we headed through O'Neill Nebraska and there was a lot of downtown construction and I had to be attentive to my driving. As we turned north out of town a buzzer went off and I looked down and the temperature gauge was pinned at 240F, and the low coolant light was on with the buzzer beeping intermittently. I immediately pulled off to the side of the road and went out to see what the problem might be. There was no steam or antifreeze anywhere and the engine compartment actually didn't seem that hot. The only thing that was odd was that the fan was not turning. hmmm. So, I went across the road from us to an ag dealer and asked if we could pull in there while I figured out what I was going to do. They were very accommodating and said sure we could, and we could stay the night if we needed to.
I wanted to get a mechanic to look at the problem with me, so I went on the hunt in the Jeep. Meanwhile a guy stopped and talked to Sue and recommended a mechanic to her. When I got back from my tour, I went to see him. I immediately said to myself, this is the place I want to be. He said he really didn't want to work on an RV but didn't want to see us in a jam either, so he said, bring it over in the morning. Good enough for me. I did a little bit of investigating thinking maybe a fuse blew but soon figured out that these fans automatically default to the on position if the power is cut. So that theory went out the window, because the fan was not running. Other research pointed to a failed hydraulic fan motor, or a failed wax valve. Once again, if the wax valve failed, the fan should default to running all the time. Oh well let's see what happens in the morning. The shop is a mile from where we are now so I will just drive the MH over there in the morning.
So, we are parked in O'Neill Nebraska at the night in a nice safe spot and will await morning to figure out our plan of attack in the morning. Hope your day was better than ours. Goodnight!!!
Tuesday 26 April 2022
WHERE ARE WE? Russell, Kansas
Woke up this morning to a chilly Motorhome. The temperature showed 3C and it felt like 5C with the wind chill. I actually had to put some socks on in my sandals, but I refused to put long pants on.
First things first, I stopped at the Murphy Station for fuel. Cheapest we have seen at $4.62 a gallon. So we filled up. $350.00, Ouch!!
Our trip today will take us 450 Kms further north. We are hoping to keep the average about 400 kms every day and that will get us into Canada Friday afternoon. We only have about an hours travelling once we cross to get to our sons place in Reston Manitoba.
We took roads less travelled all day today and even did a back road. It was paved but I'm not sure it had a number. The scenery is wonderful and some of the quaint little towns are like stepping back in time.
A couple water towers side by side caught my eye. One said Hot and the other said Cold!! I'm quite sure it is not true, but it makes you look!! Sorry for the bad picture but I was shooting from the hip!!
We drove for a couple hours and we decided a wee nap was in order. We stopped by the road in a little town called Kiowa. A couple hours later we were on the road again!!!
The green fields slowly started to turn to brown fields as we got further north. The winter wheat is not headed out here yet like it was in Texas and Oklahoma. Still warm though.
When I was in my teens, I used to come down here to custom combine winter wheat. I still have a little pill bottle at home with some of the red soil in it. Every time I see that soil here, I remember the good times I had as a kid roaming this country. I started coming here when I was 15 until I was 18. Those were the days.
Part of my job then was delivering the grain to the elevator from the combine. Long lineups of trucks at these big cement terminals. It all brings back good memories!!
We found a nice spot for the night at a roadside rest stop near Russell Kansas. I took a few pictures for the records.
We had a nice play with Archie chasing the ball. It is funny to watch him run with those short little legs. He was pooped and just sat in the window watching the world go by.
Sue and I spent some computer time doing emails and blogs. We have lots of things to catch up on in the next couple weeks.