The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #28 in MD,VA,NC,SC,GA & AL 3/22/99
2,385 miles, odometer reading now 33,720.
From Alabama, Hi Everyone!
First I have some good news! You can recall all the trouble I have been having with the tranny in the motorhome. Before I started this trip I had made a round trip to Jenny's from Jeff's about 150 miles. The tranny would not shift out of 1st till I put the lever to 2nd, then it would shift to 2nd, when I put the lever to Drive it would shift to 3rd then right back to 2nd. I thought I was going to have to drive it to FL in 2nd gear to get it worked on. I read an article in GMC International news letter about fixing a starting problem by adjusting the ignition switch. I have had starting problems so I tried adjusting the switch, it didn't help so I removed the ignition switch thinking I needed a new one. After I got it off, I tested it and decided to see what it looked like inside. I took it apart (this is not supposed to happen) and found the contacts very dirty. I cleaned it, greased it and put it back together and low and behold, not only did it solve the starting problem, so far on this trip the tranny has worked like it did back in 1976 when it was new. Don't ask me why or how it fixed the tranny problem, I can not think of any thing I did that would effect the tranny but for those of you driving a GMC, if you have a tranny problem like I had, try replacing the ignition switch before you blow a big wad of money at a transmission shop. For those of you who want to clean and grease the switch, I'll take some pictures and write up the procedure when I get some time. If you want, give me a call and I'll tell you some dos and don'ts.
A little more good news before I get to the bad news. When I got to the toll booth for the bridge tunnel, the attendant asked me how many wheels were on the back of the coach, I told him four and he said $13.00. That was the first time anyone asked that question and I was always charged $18.00. It looks like I was ripped off to the tune of $5.00 every time. but no more!!
Now for the bad news, my lap top computer has a virus and I am unable to use it for navigation. Let me tell you, that is hell!! I used to have an anti virus program before Windows 95 but it fell through the cracks. I tried to down load one from the Internet in VA Beach but couldn't so headed to Jack & Karen's, Jack works with computers every day. The virus blocked our every move to eradicate it so I ordered a new computer and will reformat the hard drive on the old computer if the virus will let me.
Now for some adventures, the trip from VA Beach, VA to Jacksonville Beach, FL went well with perfect weather and a tail wind. I saw the first sign of spring shortly after I got in NC on I95. It was a big flock of robins, a hundred or more they were on the roadside resting, eating and waiting for the temperature to get a little higher before going further north. I guess I can say that seeing motorcycles is also a sign of spring and if I saw a hundred robins, I saw thousands of motorcycles. I heard there was something going on at Daytona Beach, FL and this is where they were headed. There were singles, doubles and groups riding. They were hauling them in trailers, in pickup trucks and big trucks. It reminded me of I 90 in SD near Sturgis last summer. Several motorcycles were pulling trailers, one was unique, I followed it for a long way and finally caught up with it and as I passed it I see that the trailer was a coffin with the handles on the side and with two wheels and a hitch. I looked for the car with the pallbearers in it, not seeing it I figured that this was his camping trailer and there was no dead body. I have to admit that a coffin would sure beat a tent and sleeping bag. I suppose he had some type of ventilation in it so he could close the lid to keep insects out and for rainy days. The traffic was heavy and very heavy.
After ordering the new computer to be delivered to Niceville, FL I headed to Sarasota to load up with oranges and grapefruit and this leg of the trip was a disaster. I left Jack & Karen's in the rain and it rained all the way till I got west of Orlando, FL sometimes light, sometimes hard, sometimes very hard and sometimes VERY VERY HARD but always rain. The traffic was very heavy. The motorcycles were still going also, the first part of the trip was on Friday and this was Sunday with thousands more motorcycles in the rain and lots of accidents. After going past Daytona Beach the motorcycles were going and coming till I got almost to Sarasota. Heavy traffic, heavy rain and these inconsiderate eastern drivers make for lots of accidents so there were delays but I made it to Sarasota before dark and didn't have trouble reading street signs like I did when I got to Jacksonville Beach after dark without Gertrude or Gus to guide me. I'll sure be glad to get them back on the job.
I had a nice visit with Dick & Janet and headed to Bill and Marilyn's at Niceville, FL. The computer was to be delivered here and I should have my navigators back for the trip to Lake City, FL the weekend of 5-7 March.
I had good weather for the trip to Niceville and found Bill struggling with his first computer. It always makes me feel good to find someone who knows less than I do about computers. The last person who made me feel this way was my great-grand daughter (3 years old), Bill was a little better than her, I'll give her about a year and like all kids, she will know more than I do about computers. I got the new computer just in time for the trip to Lake City, FL, I got the navigation programs installed in it and put Gus in charge as Gertrude still don't have good maps for cross country travel. I had a problem with Gus falling asleep, every ten minutes I would have to ask him a question to keep him awake. After I got to Lake City I had time to set up the new computer so Gus would stay awake. It was a good GMC rally in Lake City, good friends, good chow and good weather and as always I learned more about the GMC and more about computers.
The tranny is still working like a new one and when I tell people that I fixed it by overhauling the ignition switch they look at me like they think I'm not playing with a full deck. I can't figure it out my self but I'll accept anything that works. I now have a new problem, sometimes when I stop for fuel and try to start the engine I find I have lost all electrical power to the instrument panel, lights and starter. I traced it up to the fuse panel behind the glove compartment. I took the glove compartment out and wiggled some wires and got the power back so I'll have to look for a bad connection there, so far it has never let me down while I'm driving. I wonder what will be next.
I left Niceville, FL and drove to Lillian, AL just west of Pensacola, FL and stopped at my GMC friends Bob & Hunter McCarthy. Bob has his backyard all set up with 30 amp. power, cable TV, phone line, water & sewer connections. That's better than most RV parks. I'll try to get this letter sent from here and then head to Alabaster, AL where my niece Sue lives with her two children.
Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits. 3/12/99

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