The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #30 in MD,VA,WV,KY,IN,IL,MO.KS,CO,NM,AZ,CA,NV & ID 4/27/99
4,231 miles, odometer reading now 39,280.
From Boise, ID Hi Everyone!
It was cold when I left MD, headed south, and stopped at Jenny's to pick up my mail and pay some bills. When I left Jenny's, I stayed on the west side of the railroad tracks (a shortcut to Parksley) to go by the Post Office on the way south. I always go this way as it is shorter than going east to take route #13. I was on a good county road and it was on Gertrude's map, so I told her to recalculate the trip to put us south on the same road. Gertrude recalculated the trip for me to go back north and then go east to route #13. The road I was on intersects route #13 south of Parksley and is much shorter. I kept going south and again ask her to recalculate the trip hoping she would look to the south and see the intersection with #13. Nope! She again told me to go north, then east to #13. Now in my 74 years, I have known other people like Gertrude, smart people, and I can tell you that Gertrude is smart. This is her problem, like some of the other smart people I have known, as they keep getting smarter, they run out of room in their brain for all the smarts and have to make room for more smarts. They think they are so smart that they no longer need common sense so they get rid of common sense to make room for more smarts. They end up with several tons of smarts and not an ounce of common sense.
When I got to the bridge-tunnel, I decided to go into the administration office and get it settled as to what the fare would be. Again, they started harping $18.00 and would not listen to me till they saw that I was not going away. When they finally listened to me they had to agree that the fare should be $13.00. I then asked them to add the line; "RV with 3 axles and 6 tires" to the class 2 schedule. I was informed they had just had 25,000 copies of the schedule printed and that was not an option. They did take some pictures of my coach and said that the supervisor's office at each end of the tunnels would have copies available. So if you are driving a GMC, I ask you not to pay the $18.00 fare, save yourself $5.00 and ask for a copy of the schedule. If we can get all those old schedules used up they might add the line that I asked for when they get it reprinted.
I spent a few days in VA Beach, VA working on my computers and eating. I think my sister-in-law is trying to fatten me up. Gertrude was put in charge and I headed west in the rain. The rain let up as I went by Williamsburg, VA but started again, harder in WV. It stopped when I got into KY, but then a strong head wind came up. I stopped in Gladstone, MO to visit my brother Gerald and let Gertrude plan the trip the rest of the way to CA. I also wanted to let Gus plan the trip so I could use him if I had trouble with Gertrude. This was not to be, Gertrude had him locked out and I couldn't figure out how she did it. None of the four receivers I have would work for Gus but Gertrude worked fine. Finally, I loaded Gus back into the old computer and he was locked onto 5 satellites in a heart beat. I compared the two computers and found that the COM port 1 on the new computer was not configured correctly, Gertrude uses COM port 3. So after I reconfigured the COM port, Gus was back in business and I had to apologize to Gertrude for blaming her for locking Gus out. I guess I messed up the COM port when I was working on the computer in VA Beach.
I also had to help my nephew Dustin in Gladstone, as he had bought an old Ford ambulance and was converting it to a motorhome. It looked to me like he had a good deal but it needed lots of work. He also bought an old Harley Davidson Motorcycle with a sidecar. He figured that the sidecar would be like training wheels till he learned how to ride it. After he had it mastered, he could sell the sidecar and haul the motorcycle in the motorhome. I predict that the Harley will make a nightmare of his dream. I wish him well but I'll wait and see what happens.
As I left KC, KS and headed west on I 70, the weather map on TV showed rain for the east half of KS and good weather the rest of the way. We not only had rain all the way across KS, but also had very strong northwest winds (35-45 MPH with gusts to 55 MPH). At mile post 34 in KS was an 18 wheeler lying on it's side, blown over by a gust of wind. During this stretch, my fuel consumption was excessive, I was loosing power, I found that the rain and wind had blown water through the air duct to the carburetor and the paper air filter was wet and was restricting air flow. I stopped at a Wall Mart store and got two air filters and had no more trouble, till I got to CO.
In CO, I stopped at a truck stop to eat dinner and asked some truck drivers what I 70 was like west of Denver. One driver told me he had just came in from Denver and it was snowing there and I 70 west of the tunnel was snow packed, he figured the road would be closed by the time I got there. After eating, I put Gus in charge, headed southeast to Colorado Springs & I 25 to take me to Albuquerque, NM & I 40. I had gone about 4 miles and it started snowing. It snowed all the way to NM. About midnight it was affecting visibility and was getting slick so I pulled into a filling station to get some sleep. About 2 hours later, I was awake, the station was closed and it was still snowing. I moved to an open filling station and got a cup of coffee. I asked some snowplow drivers, stopped for coffee, how it was to the south, they said it was just a few miles to less snow but they didn't know how it would be as I went further south. I waited till a man and wife from Albuquerque, NM came in, they said I would have no trouble if I didn't get in a hurry. I was sure glad when the sun came up and the temperature got above freezing. Soon I was on I 40 and enjoying my kind of weather. I stopped in Kingman, AZ to eat dinner, I called my sister Norma in Lake Havasu City, AZ She told me I could make it there in about an hour so I headed south and got some visiting done before turning in. The next morning I went to a car wash to wash the salt off the coach, I then had my brother-in-law Bob help me fix some things on the coach, he has a complete shop and he made some things for me that I had been wanting for a long time. Had a nice visit, my niece Linda from Tucson was there also.
Gertrude was in charge when we headed across the desert while it was still cool. Stopped to visit my cousin Bessie in West Covina, filled a bag with oranges from her tree, then made a quick trip to Long Beach to see my new little grand niece Katherine, (8 months old) before heading north to Hollister, CA for the Western States GMC rally. I have again been enjoying the considerate drivers here in CA but the price of fuel is double what it was a few weeks ago in GA where those inconsiderate drivers were. It feels like my defibrillator is about to fire when I am filling my tanks and the pump shuts off at $50.00 and my tanks are not yet full.
The rally at Casa de Fruta was good, the RV Park was good, the food was outstanding, the seminars were interesting and the weather was OK. There were 104 coaches there. After the rally I headed to Boise, ID to visit my son Dave, via Cameron Park, CA to visit with Gertrude's boss. The trip went well, I'll tell you about it in the next letter as I'm running out of space on this one. It's raining here in ID as I finish this letter, and I don't need rain.
Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits. 4/27/99

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