Tuesday, April 29, 2014

All Wet

It started raining again late this afternoon.  During a lull in the storm a few minutes ago, I went out to use the bathroom (ours is just too small).  It started raining again as I finished up.  I stood in the doorway watching the rain.  It was only about 100 feet to our RV, and I figured I could dash over there without getting too wet.  I stepped from under the eaves of the roof into the rain, and found that it was actually very light.  I said to myself, "Oh, this isn't so bad."

Literally, the second the words, "this isn't so bad" passed my lips, it turned to a torrential downpour.  In traversing the remaining 60-70 feet, I was soaked to the skin.

Under the Weather

It started raining in the early hours of last night.  Our roof amplifies the noise of the rain, which is what woke me up.  Then the thunder started.

Our dogs, who are all brave enough to chase off the toughest intruder, are scardy-cats when it comes to thunder.  One boom is all it takes for them to start barking up a storm (pun intended).  I was mostly trying to console Cutie, our big dog, because when she gets started, the others are uncontrollable.  She curled up n back of my legs, her normal place to hide.  Soon, though, that wasn't good enough, so she climbed over me, and crawled up the edge of the bed until she was right in my face.  Which she started to lick.  That made her feel better for a few minutes, but a sudden crash of thunder had her running for the window to bark away the storm.  I got her calmed down, and she curled up behind my legs again.  From then, with every roll of thunder, I was wrapping my legs around her to keep her quiet.

The storm finally ended just before dawn, when I managed to get about a half-hour's sleep.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Dog Day Morning

On our way to the store this morning, we stopped to let an old Bassett hound cross the road.  He got most of the way across the street, then turned around, and came over to visit us.  What a friendly dog.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Our Travel Plans Backfired

We stopped in Texarcana to have my good friend Huck do a tune-up on the engine.  He was there when we arrived, and started work immediately.  It was late, though, so he came back Tuesday morning to finish up.  He did an excellent job.  The engine was purring nicely when we drove away.

That, however, only lasted as far as Shreveport.  The engine started to run rough, with the occasional backfire.  It got worse by the end of the day, when we crossed into Mississippi.  The next day, it was gradually worse, until we arrived in Florida, when the backfiring was almost constant.  We had stopped several times to try to find a mechanic to fix it.  What we found was that RV repair shops don't fix engines, and truck repair shops tend to specialize in diesel.

When we arrived in Florida, I checked over the engine to see if I could determine the problem.  It was, as I thought, a loose spark plug wire.  We put it back, and the engine runs fine again.  One of our neighbors crawled underneath just now to see if I had seated it correctly. I hadn't.  It's fixed now, though.

Here's the troublemaker

Our Ongoing Journey

We pulled into Mississippi last night, after 9pm.  We were trying to at least make the state line, because it was half the trip, and the more travel we completed yesterday, the less we would have to do today.


We spent the night in a rest area just east of the river.  Gas at the nearby station was $3.39.  This morning it w a s $3.42.  They must have known we were coming.


There was a beautiful view of the river from the rest area. Unfortunately, we left before dawn, so I couldn't take any photos.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Brief Pit Stop

We have always gotten bad gas mileage on our rig (5mpg).  It was something we just had to live with. Until today.  We hope.

My good friend Huck (whom I just met) offered to do a tuneup for us.  We arranged to meet him in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Texarana (on the Texas side).  He started yesterday, but circumstances (and bad automotive design) forced him to stop and resume this morning.  It took another five hours, built finally everything was done.

With great trepidation, we started the engine -- and heard a cacophony of squeaks and thumps.  The squeezing was one of the fan belts, which he tightened back down for us. We ne err learned what the thumping was.

We had been hoping to resume our journey first thing in the mourning, and now it was after err 4pm, and there was still more to do.  Kazumi and I decided to leave everything as it was, and fix the remaining problem in Florida..

But first, a test drive, to make sure everything else was working fine.  We were not even out of the parking lot when all of the noises disappeared.  No thumps, no squeaks, nothing.  Just the smooth hum of the engine.  Even some of the body rattles are gone.

We ate quite happy now, and cannot thank Huck enough.  Later, we will see how much this improves the mileage. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Green Here

Looking around, I see lots of grass and trees.


I am so glad to be out of the desert!

I'm Tired!

A man pulled up alongside of us, beeping his horn.  He shouted something about tire tread, and pointed to our trailer.  Pulling over, we saw that one of the tires on our trailer had ruptured (and was gone), and the rim on that side was ruined.


Luckily, he knew of a nearby tire place. We limped over there, and found they were able to help.  However, they didn't have the 14-inch rims we needed and so replaced both sides.  (On the bright side, we now have a spare for the trailer.  An hour and $300 later, we're aback on the road again.


Snow Must Be Rare Here

We've barely gone ten miles, and have already seen three accidents. All of them on bridges.

On the Way

Hitting the road again.

We work up early (5) to compete the last-minute preparations.  The car was already on the dolly, and the hoses were put away.  All we had to do was tie a few things down and put the power cable away

In the freezing cold and snow.

That's right, Amarillo decided to send us off with a mid-spring snow storm.