Saturday, June 20, 2015

On the Road Again....

     ♪♫ ♪  On the road again   ♪♫♪
Just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again  
On the Road Again

 Oh yes, I can hear the song in my mind.... and it is good to be on the road again but it is not all unicorns and rainbows....but then like seldom is.  There I go again getting ahead of myself. 
While I have posted this last week the posts were of catch up posts of my camping time with my gal pals, the Sisters on the Fly at the Farm Chicks Event (see the last 2 posts).  Along with that there has been a flurry of activities getting ready for this 2 1/2 month Mega Trip across the US and back. 

Hailey and I had our last minute Doctor visits and refilled meds and made arrangements for meds to be filled for us for the summer.   The Road Trek had another 'check up’ and had all her fluids changed a safety inspection and got a ready to go rating.  Our checks ups results seem to be the best we can get at our ‘advancing age’.  A new stereo in the RoadTrek to replace the original with a cassette deck,  would give us the needed tunes across the vast Midwest.

There she goes....

I placed an add on Craig's List for Lolita, at 9:00PM.   She was sold to the first person who looked at her by 12 noon the next morning.  Boy it was hard to see her drive away.  She went to a good home with new owners who have the skills to rebuild her to her former glory and then some.  I sold her for what I paid for her plus the cost of the axle and the solar and compressor refrigerator/freezer.  I hope the new owners are as happy with her as I have been.  And I can’t wait to see all the changes they make to her to make her their own just as I have to the RoadTrek. 

It seems I had been packed for weeks, adding a little this and that is as our preliminary test camping adventures allowed us to fine tune our packing and allow us to get accustomed to the RT.  Grocery shopping and waiting for school to get out was all that remained.  Then finely the day arrived.  School was out at 1:15 on Thursday June 18, 2015.  By 3:00 we were on the road with Willie Nelson playing loudly in my head.

It is good to  be moving again.   

First stop is one of our favorite trinket stop as you cross into Montana, the 50,000 Dollar Bar, a popular Tourist Attraction on the Montana Side of the Idaho/Montana border.  We added a couple of selfies before traveling on to meet up with another Sister on the Fly member, Jonnie.  She had posted on Face book that her mare had given birth to a new baby 2 days before we left....we needed a stretch break and she was just 10 miles off the highway.  So here is a pics of their beautiful setting and the new baby, Little Joe. 

Quite a wonderful spot to welcome the new day in a pasture with these two.

In the morning as we were ready to leave, I told Jonnie that I wasn't sure where we would end up as I was not to anxious to be in Yellowstone Park on the weekend with all the regular tourists AND the weekend folks.


 A short while after we left a warning lights on the RoadTrek... the ABS braking sensor came on and I could feel the engine lugging down.  We traveled slowly as I tried to access what was going on and get to cell coverage.  Just as after I reached cell coverage, the engine light came on to seek engine service.  As I moved to a safe location past a big curve (with traffic traveling 80 miles an hour as they often do in Montana) I could feel the engine loose power as I came to a stop.

I called for a road service tow and was towed to a shop in Missoula a short distance away.  The shop that the road service folks choose said they service motor homes but their primary business is semitrucks.  Once they saw my tiny motorhome (merely a van in their book) they declined to service it so the tow truck driver found another shop that was open on a Friday afternoon before Fathers Day Weekend.  By then it was late in the afternoon at the Firestone Shop and they were open on Saturday and Sunday with repairmen ready to work. Since the RT couldn’t move they allowed us to 'camp for the night at Camp Firestone’ and even hooked us up to electricity.

   Welcome to Camp Firestone....

 These guys were awesome.

They were done by noon on Saturday and I took it out for a test drive and right back to the repair shop.  It was still not powering up and when the transmission shifted it made a big clunking sound and the ABS sensor was still on.  Back to the shop for more advise.  The mechanic that worked on the RT has been a mechanic for 40 years.   Sunday, they would try for another part and pray that it would do the trick and send us on our way off to Yellowstone to arrive on Monday or Tuesday.  Go figure!

If that doesn't do the trick the  problem would reside in the transmission and we would need it to go to a trany shop which of course would not open until.....Monday.  What to do???? but wait and PRAY!

They did not advise driving it without further work to address the problem so Camp Firestone said....stay with us, use our electric and WIFI.  Other that a complete fix, how could it be better than that.  We will never know exactly what caused the problem, which came first the distributor problem, or the transmission problem.  Did I make it worse by driving the little distance to safety and cell service?  I can tell you this though, in the 2 1/2 hours I waited for the tow truck with my hood up, not one person stopped to see if assistance was needed.  It is a different world that we live in today, where people are afraid to get involved, it is just to dangerous.  I certainly am a believer in having good cell service and this experience certainly solidifies that belief.

So here we are tucked in for another night at Camp Firestone..... It could be worse....RIGHT!?!

I know that many people are fearful of being on the road solo.  Many people use that as an excuse to stay home in their safe zone and limit all risk.  I am not one of those people.  All life presents risk, and I believe you do all that you can to be prudent and plan for safety.  I will continue to do that in the future.  I had set aside a healthy budget for road repairs although transmission work can quickly blow a repair budget to hell.  Only time will tell the extent of the $$$ damage and then I will have to re access the remaining budget and go from their.  Life is always throwing us curve balls, the decisions about how we proceed remains with us. 

Another one of my life motto’s is,

                   There is plenty of time for PANIC, later when you have all the facts!!

My motto has served me well.....  I will keep you posted on how this evolves....

P.S.  If you noticed that some of these photos are of poorer than usual quality, you are absolutely right....the universe decided that this was a good moment for the act up.  Please forgive the quality until I can......A. figure out this gosh darn thing.....or
                                        B. get a new camera for this wonderful trip! 

Until then,

Happy Trails



  1. Here is hoping for a quick, cheap(ish) repair.

  2. Sorry this had to happen, but you have a great attitude!

  3. You poor dear, things will start to look up now. Glad for the helping hands by Camp Firestone!

  4. I read all the past posts and what a grand time with SOTF!

    Now for this part of your new journey a bump in the road. I don't care how much we look into before we leave something is bound to come up. Hope it does't destroy your budget to badly and you will be safely on the road again. best wishes

  5. Hope you find the problem, nice to hear your positive attitude. Good Luck!

  6. I just LOVE your attitude! Everything is a learning experience, whether good or bad. You handled yourself so well - and as far as driving it until you could get cell service, what else were you going to do? You're on the road! YAY! :)

  7. So sorry to see Lolita leave but you certainly did seem to get all your money back and had the use of her for that time. Hope I can do the same. Really sorry to hear your trip is starting off with problems. Hope they are minor and short lived. You do have a wonderful attitude. I have a hard time when things seem to be ganging up on me in the problems department. LOVE that picture of the two of you "and the journey begins". What a lucky granddaughter I just have to say it again.

  8. One thing for sure, things can only get better. Good thoughts coming your way