I’m sure you all have been wondering when this post would happen, well at least I hope you have been. While I was chairing the UVMCC National Rally I really didn’t have time to post to the blog and then we started our trek back home and got busy with making sure RC was ship shape enough to make it home. What? Ship shape? What was wrong? Well let me tell you.
We got to Grand Junction, Colorado the day before the day before (two days) our Rally was to start so we stayed over night and headed out on Thursday. We headed out on Hwy. 50 towards Creede and I remarked to Fran that these folks in Colorado wanted to make us feel like we were in the old west as the road was like a wash board with great big, stomach churning lifts and falls. A few moments after this comment we hit two huge ones. The first one lifted us to the top of the spring throw and when we hit the second (within 25′ of the first) we bottomed out very hard and I thought I blew a tire. We moved from the “slow” lane to the passing lane and then within a foot of the ditch in the middle of the road. I managed to regain control of RC and move it back across the road and off to the side. I said to Fran, “no problem, I just blew a tire. I’ll change it and we’ll get back on the road”. After getting out of RC and going to the drivers side I could easily see that the tire wasn’t blown. I went to the front of the coach, got down on my hands and knees and couldn’t get low enough so I got down on my stomach and realized I had broken the A arm! This my friends was a catastrophic situation. The driver’s side front wheel turns independently of the rest of the steering wheel and not in the same way as the other front wheel. Here’s what it looked like.
The next 6 hours we spent on the side of the road getting a tow truck that could tow us back to Grand Junction. We found a fabrication shop in Grand Junction that was willing to “look at” RC and determine if they could help. We got back to their shop 20 minutes after they were to close, but they stayed til we got there and when they heard my tale of woe, i.e., that I was chairing the Rally and had to get to Creede for the beginning of it because I had all the “stuff” for the Rally, they drove us to the airport to pick up a rental car and kept the shop open until we unloaded RC and filled up the Nissan Sentra that we had rented. With their help we finally go to the Rally in Creede at 11 PM. The following morning the Rally went on without a hitch, except that RC was in a shop back in Grand Junction. I got a call from them by mid-afternoon and they had already repaired the coach. What a great crew at DW Metalworks. I hope I never have to use them again but if I’m ever in Grand Junction I can assure you I will drop by and drop off a pie or cake or something nice for their efforts.
Those in the Ultra Van Club know how serious of a situation this was as they don’t make the A arms for these vehicles anymore and they are cast out of aluminum so not just anyone can weld them. The Lord was really looking out for us on this trip and in this instance specifically. Here are some photos of the repair.
Relatively easy day today we just felt with 1,700 foot chasms, dinosaurs and an 8,300 foot pass to climb (we started at 6,000 feet).
The 1,700 feet chasm was actually Flaming Gorge Lake which is 91 miles long and is spectacular from 1,700 feet up which is where we were. What a great morning jaunt before heading to Colorado. Take a look at some of the trees, especially the one with the lighting strike down it, the one in the second picture.
After leaving the Gorge we went thru Vernal, Utah and then on to the Dinosaur National Monument and got “up close and personal” with a Stegasaurus. This monument is in an area that houses the remains of multitudes of fossilized dinosaurs.
After this and lunch we finished the day by driving over Douglas Pass at over 8,200 feet and then down the other side to an elevation of 4,445 feet! What a feat for RC and what a drop as well. Now in Grand Junction for the night and in Creede tomorrow for the National Rally.
We started the day in Idaho and ended up in its neighbor to the south (Utah) but had to go thru Wyoming to achieve this goal. Huh, you say. Yes, you see The Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is south of Green River, WY which is east of Utah, oh, never mind, just look it up on the map. It is beautiful and will have to come back someday when we can spend more time and explore. But as for this trip it is just an over night stay with the quaking aspen rustling in a gentle breeze. No picture because you can’t see them rustle.
On our way here we did stop in Kemmerer, WY for gas and saw the 1st JC Penney store which is now an antique store but has some old memorabilia from back in the day, here are a couple of pics.
Also in Kemmerer we started talking about Libby’s sore leg. She was playing with a dog in a park in Pendleton and afterward started limping. Just as we finished the Riverside Vet Clinic appeared in front of us, WE STOPPED! I went in and the Doc was between patients and could see Libby immediately and it turns out she pulled her right rear ACL! This means surgery when we get back home. The Doc assured us she would be ok til then just no chasing balls or squirrels.
Until the next post we will leave you with a sad RC as it sits crying it’s eyes out because the space on either side of it was supposed to be occupied by Bella and Mini but both had to cancel leaving us as the lone NW reps.
Yep, you have to stay here ‘cause it’s the only game in town!
The owner of this RV Park also owns the Chevron gas station in front of the park and the Taco Time and A&W Root Beer shops in the gas station and a huge parking lot beside the gas station that they rent to a construction company.
Nice view though.
Headed to Flaming Gorge, UT, hope it’s not on fire though, see you later.
- We’re three days into the National Rally trip and we’re in Glenns Ferry, ID. Would be further south but stayed an extra day in Pendleton to pick up some supplies from our co-host as he will not be coming on the trip. Stopped at the handy Walmart to pick up some supplies
- As you can see from the pic quite smoky over here.
Got to the Three Island State Park on the Snake River. Once there we met up with a couple of Jerry Mello’s friends. Jerry was supposed to be with us, but his brother is very ill and the Mello’s went to the Bay Area to be with him. We stood in and had a great conversation with Pam and Monte. They are on their way to Salt Lake City and we are heading further east, along the same route Neil and I took when I crashed his Barracuda (still sorry Neil).
We will be in Wyoming tomorrow more to come then. Hopefully, cough, with less, cough, smoke!
We are still on the road, tonight in Lodi at the Flag City RV Resort just off I-5. We stopped about 3PM because of the rain. It has been pelting down and just after we stopped the sky opened up. Glad we stopped when we did!
We are looking at weather and tomorrow will be either one of two routes, I-5 straight up to Oregon or the coast route on 101, it all depends on the quality and clarity of the road as of 8 AM tomorrow.
Here are some shots from the road yesterday as we left Palm Springs and today as even Libby was ready to get off the road.
Good morning sun, goodbye Palm Springs
This is the view all along I-5 from the Grapevine in the south to Sacramento in the north. BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, but beautiful.
At a gas stop Libby had had just about enough! She is ready to be home.
Last Night at the Catalina Spa and RV Resort
We are nearing the end of this trip and on the final day of this trip I have had to turn down two offers for the Righteous Coach. Yes, you read right, two different people wanted to buy RC! One lady at the Vintage Show came thru RC twice in one day and then asked if we would sell it, we said what we would sell it for and she didn’t blink. I told her I would call her after the show and I did. I actually talked her out of buying a vintage RV of any kind because she doesn’t have the mechanical skills necessary to handle the potentiality of problems, if they occurred. I did recommend a couple of alternatives for her which she said she would pursue. The second offer came as I went to lunch with Duane and Jan St. Clair, friends from my foster parent association days. The guy pulled up beside us on the right side and gave us the thumbs up and asked about the coach. About a mile of following us he pulled up on the left side and asked me to take his phone number and call him about selling the coach. I told him I would but haven’t called yet. I will do that today and tell him the bad news, it’s not for sale.
Today we will be having an early dinner with cousin Brenda Lewis and her husband Truman and my Uncle Tim (haven’t seen him in over 55 years! After dinner it will be back to the RV park for one last dip into the park’s hot springs powered hot tub. We will be on the road for the next several days and will keep you posted on our travels.
The Monkey, the Monkey, what about the Monkey? Ok, the Monkey. The Monkey came into our lives quite innocently and thru a good deed I did for its creator. The Monkey is an inanimate object that holds the elixir of taste overwhelming proportions! The Monkey was created by Deadhead Rum and contains a bottle of dark chocolate infused rum, yummmmmmm! I hope I will have some left when I get home so you’ll be able to try it if you come to the Sumner Jones home. I came by it by doing a favor for the distiller. They were at the Vintage Show giving tastes of their rum and at our welcome dinner giving larger samples, wink, wink. Their pot was not heating the water fast enough to keep up with the demand so I offered our little 16 oz. quick heater. It saved their day and was a lucky deal for me because I got a bottle of the rum for free. Here are a couple of pics of me and my Monkey!
Carl and his Monkey
Carl and his Monkey are in the House!
From the time we arrived in Palm Springs until now it has been non stop BUSY! We finally finished the Vintage RV and Trailer Show and are now relaxing with our friends in the Catalina Spa and RV Resort in Desert Hot Springs. I have added some photos below and will add some more later today but we have to get ready for a visit with my friend Duane St. Clair from the foster parent days. Jerry and Patty Mello are here at the Resort with us as well as Steve and Trisha Ruth from Arizona. We will have some fun over the next few days, may even finish the Monkey (more about that later).
Here are a few pics;
What a cloudy day in Palm Springs looks like!
Our hotel swimming pool in the early AM.
RC and the Gang with his new sign.
Libby, Fran, Carl and RC at the Show
l to r; Jerry and Patty Mello, Heather and Dan Berlant, Brian Goldin, Fran, Libby and Carl kneeling. The Ultra Van Gang at the show.