Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hello from Evergreen, CO

Hello from Evergreen, CO

Drafted Saturday morning,  October 18, 2014   (second  post of this travelogue)
Posted Wednesday November 12, 2014

Note:  Sadly, a few hours after I worked on this draft, we learned that our nephew (Michael Spring) had been killed in a tragic ATV accident.  He was a wonderful 35 year old man full of life and it has been very hard for us to even start to get back to our normal activities.  That said, I wanted to finish the documentation the rest of our trip.  The following is what I had prepared for posting with only a few added details.

Well, can you tell that I have writers block?  About my only excuse is that I was having fun at the Eagle rally and in Iowa and did not find the time to post another blog entry.

First I will try to catch up on Branson.  We went to two shows.  The first show was Mark Chesnutt.  That show was attended by most of the rally attendees.  We also went to see Mickey Gilley.  You may recall that we went to the Gilley show the last time we were in Branson (two years ago).  At the time he was in the fairly early stages of recovering from paralysis due to an accident in his home.  This time, his recovery was notably better.  In spite of his physical limitations, both shows were fabulous. 

One of the rally attendees did an excellent job of documenting the highlights on her blog:  (link)

Wednesday (10/8/14) we headed to Iowa.  That is about 400 miles.  We have done it in one day, but we chose to take a leisurely two day jaunt.  Good thing, as we encountered more tow dolly problems.  We ended up staying at a Walmart in the north Kansas City area so that I could work on the dolly.

Let’s catch up on the tow dolly problems.  Just before we got to Branson, my walk-around inspection revealed that we had lost an axle hub cover and most of the liquid bearing lube was lost.  We unloaded the car and Pat drove it the final 30 miles.  During the rally, I changed the hub covers to the Bearing Buddy technology which is used on many boat trailers and is a grease based system with zerks on the hubs.  I also had to change the disc brakes and have the rotors turned.  All seemed well until we got close to KC and got a low tire pressure warning on the dolly.  Fortunately it was a slow leak and we were able to add some air and limp to the Walmart.  I changed that tire with one of the two spares I carry.  Then, just before we got to our destination in Iowa, we got another warning.  The newly mounted spare now had a slow leak.  I changed that tire and we made it to Prescott, IA (our Iowa home away from home).  It turns out that the two spares that had slow leaks were the tires that had to be repaired on our last trip to Iowa (road grinding debris caused punctures in both tires on that trip - story here).  This time the tire shop determined that the small tire size coupled with the high pressure (90 PSI) caused the tire repair system to fail.  We ended up buying two new tires.

We had two fun events during our stay in Iowa.  The first was attending a play at the newly restored opera house in Corning, IA.  The “play” was really a musical related to Route 66.  It was a great show with fun music.  The restoration was well done – it is great to see small towns devote the efforts and dollars to retain parts of their history.

The other event was dinner at the Prescott fire station for fire prevention week.

During our stay, the weather was very cool and rainy.  Indeed, some evenings were cold enough I had to turn on the heater.

Bill and I worked on his daughter and son-in-laws motorhome.  It would not start and we finally diagnosed a failed fuel pump.  Unfortunately the pump is in the tank and the tank is huge.  We were able to remove the tank (with a lot of grunts and groans) and then drag it to the shop.  Bill got one of his tractors and lifted the tank so that we could drain about 25 gallons of fuel (about 200 pounds) from the tank.  We ordered the replacement fuel pump, but it did not arrive until after we left.  However, Bill and his son were able to install the empty tank  without too much trouble.  Once filled with gas, the motorhome started right up.

Our trip home was uneventful.  We left Iowa on Wednesday (10/15) and made our usual stop in North Platte and then drove to evergreen the next day.

That is all for this trip.

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