Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Heading north

(Monday) Tonight we’re in one of our regular campgrounds, Wallymart in Hillsboro, Texas.  We had planned to get on the road tomorrow morning but decided that we could save one night’s rent and get an earlier start on the day tomorrow if we got hooked up today.  I’d have kept going a little farther north but the post-Christmas traffic kept getting worse the closer we got to Dallas-Fort Worth so Hillsboro seemed like far enough. 

We’re all stocked up with Cherry Coke now.  Not that anyone in this household drinks the crap.  I can’t imagine what it might taste like and I’m damn sure not going to find out.  However a friend in Regina appears to live on the stuff and his stock is running low.  So tonight I bought all that the Hillsboro Walmart had which was three cases.  I expect their computer will lock up tonight trying to figure out how any single fool could buy three cases of the crap.

(Wednesday)  Dunno what happened to Tuesday.  We just mainly drove until we got to Lamar, Colorado.  By then it was damn cold out and there was way too much snow on the ground.  They got a blast about a week ago now and a lot of it is still hanging around.

Today we met up with Jim in the parking lot of the Hobby Lobby in Parker, Colorado.  I gave him the Growsafe tools plus a big pile of miscellaneous parts, some defective and some surplus.  Meanwhile Marilyn was in her new favorite store stocking up on paint and special brushes that she doesn’t think she can get at home.  Then we headed north up I-25 again.

When we got close to Fort Collins I started noticing wind warnings on the overhead digital signs and sure enough almost immediately the wind started picking up gusting out of the west.  The signs said that the highway was closed to “high profile vehicles” between Cheyenne and the Colorado border so my expectation was that when we got to the border there would be a trooper with one of those cute Smoky the Bear hats on turning us and the semi’s off the highway.  I tucked in behind a Werner Transport van and told Marilyn I’d do what he did.  As we got closer to the border we started seeing lines of semis sitting on the on-ramps but my guide (and a few other hardy souls) kept on going north so we did too. 

All of a sudden I realized that the mile markers had started over and therefore we were in Wyoming.  Somewhere about that point I tried to listen to the highway information channel on the radio but it was so faint as to be useless.  Next thing we knew we were passing Cheyenne and still no trooper had appeared to tell me I couldn’t keep on keeping on.  So I did.  It was definitely windy and the wind would occasionally try to boss the bus around.  But the bus is pretty heavy and it tracks like its on rails so most of the time I just drove, albeit a little slower than I might have otherwise.  Going around Cheyenne we were able to hear the radio warnings and it sounded like the worst of it was behind us but that we would see some wind for the next hour as we headed north.  And that’s about how it worked out. 

Two truckers did violate the cardinal rule of trucking - “keep the greasy side down.”  We saw one semi trailer lying on its side south of Cheyenne and a UPS trailer on its side north of Cheyenne but I’ve seen worse wind in Lethbridge and nobody thought anything of it.

Tonight we’re in the Walmart lot in Gillette, Wyoming where I got to do some troubleshooting on the Onan genset.  Its been so good up to this point but tonight it absolutely wouldn’t fire.  After a bit of cursing I figured out that the run solenoid isn’t retracting.  For tonight I’ve got it unscrewed from its bracket so when it comes time to shutdown the generator I’ll have to go outside and push the governor down.  I expect its either a dirty connection or a loose wire somewhere.  I tried briefly to jumper it but mainly I was interested in getting power for long enough so the electric blanket would warm up the bed so I opted for the simple solution tonight. 

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