Monday, October 24, 2011

America’s Lifeline

I can’t quickly find any sources to tell me what percentage of US goods move across I-80 but it has to be a significant share.  I-80 is apparently the second longest interstate in the system and from what we’ve seen the past couple of days the truck traffic has to be at least equal to the passenger traffic. 

Last week we left Yerington a day later than I had originally intended due to a problem with one of the data panels on the installation.  As it turned out the panel that I replaced failed as well but it failed in a less problematic manner than the original panel so we ended up leaving with the job not 100% functional.  That’s an ongoing problem with bleeding edge technology although I think there are also some QC problems that need to be dealt with in this particular situation.

We left Yerington around noon on Thursday and then made a detour into Sparks, Nevada when we hit I-80.  I had ordered some vibration cushions (rubber bushings) for our new generator while we were in Salt Lake City.  They were waiting for us in Sparks so we picked them up and then ran a few more errands.  Since we were in the trucking district at Cummins-Onan I picked up some 40 weight oil for the noisy part of the bus.  Its getting increasingly difficult to find single weight 40W oil which is the spec for 2-stroke Detroit diesels.  I’ve had pretty good luck in Cenex farm supply stores but so far haven’t seen any on this trip.  The Cummins-Onan shop was next door to a Detroit Diesel shop so I figured it would be a safe bet that Detroit would have oil for their engines and I was right.  I’ve got single weight oil in the boat as well but so far have been able to buy it at the Walmart in Duncan.  The spec for the boat however is 30W and that seems to be a little easier to find than 40W.  The bus goes through 40W fast enough – I’d hate to see how fast 30W would run through it.

Friday afternoon found us in southern Salt Lake City parked on our favorite RV site, a Walmart lot.  It wasn’t the easiest Wally World to get to but once we were there we were very comfortable for two nights.  We did unhook though and parked the bus in two head to head stalls.  On Saturday we took the trucklet downtown to the Mormon library and spent the whole day there. 

Marilyn continued her search for her long-lost aunt, to no avail as it turned out.  I had compiled a list of data that I wanted to find source confirmation for and I was very successful in that regard.  To my surprise however I also found a huge number of begats that I didn’t expect to.  (you know – Ed begat Earl who begat Frank, etc.) I expected that the begats that we have put together would likely exceed whatever the Mormons were aware of and that their usefulness would be more with regard to sourcing birth certificates or church records to confirm (or disprove) information in our files.  That turned out to not be the case.  Part of the benefit of searching from the Mormon library is the huge number of private databases that they have access to and some of those were very helpful in identifying people that we previously didn’t know about.

I was also able to verify and in some cases correct information that we have collected over the years.  I wish I had done a better job of annotating my genealogical data so that I would know where the erroneous information originated.  In some cases I found what I would call contradictory information so I simply noted that in my files.  In other cases though the contradictory information was clearly correct.  When the priest records in the church register that near the end of December he baptized an infant while we record the birth as early January I think its safe to trust the priest.

Ultimately I simply ran out of time.  I think I could spend another 3 days before I would get to the end of what they have available online and from there I would then move to the microfiche and paper records which they have available.  It turns out however that they have electronic access available to us from Duncan, BC which is about 20 minutes away from where Gray Hawk is tied up so I will for sure spend some time there this winter.  If I can get caught up with what they have available online then I would be better prepared to make use of my time in the main library.

Yesterday (Sunday) we hit the road again and got as far as Laramie Walmart last night.  We were pretty late getting in and left early again this morning so that we could be here in North Platte, Nebraska before the guys at the research station went home for the day.  After we arrived I had time to get us set up and then to meet with the guys at the station.  It looks like I will actually have help tomorrow so things could progress rapidly.  Its rare enough that I get help that it is worth mentioning.

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