The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #47 in NE,SD,WY,ID,NV,CA & OR
3,000 miles this trip, odometer now 62550 total miles this year 10,096.

From , Boise, ID Hi Everyone!
This was a very interesting trip, in fact it was downright scary. I guess it all started two days before I left Coleridge, NE. Strange things started to happen, my TV screen went blank, it is over 20 years old so I just figured it was time for a new TV. Then my computer screen went blank, I was still plugged into shore power and it was showing 110 VAC. The refrigerator temp. was warming up and the little voices were telling me that I better check this out. I checked my volt meter for the golf cart batteries in the back it only showed a little over 9 Volts, I turned the ignition key and the volt meter in the dash also showed 9 volts. I then checked the output of the DC converter that was supposed to be keeping all batteries charged and it showed about 6 volts. It looks like it had gone to hell and it was taking my batteries with it. I soon had it disconnected and out of the system. I found I could crank the engine by pushing the jumpstart switch but my electric fuel pumps would not pump fuel so I couldn’t start the engine.
It was time for coffee so I went up town and bought my friend Darrel Henry a cup of coffee and asked him if he had a battery charger. He told me he did, and said he would bring it right over. I soon had my batteries charged and was on my way to Sioux Falls, if I’m careful I can keep the batteries charged as long as I’m driving most of the time and I can look for a new DC converter on my way to CA.
Got to Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, the best hospital in the world and plugged into shore power in the parking lot for RVs. Went in and had lunch in the hospital cafeteria that is better than a five star restaurant, coffee costs .27 cents. Got my defibrillator checked and was told, those high priced pills they put me on has my heart working like a new one and my defibrillator is just going along for the ride, so it looks like I’ll have to stay on the high priced pills.
Next day I headed west on the short route to Boise, ID using Gus’s Map & Keith’s voice. Everything went well till we got into Wyoming, Gus’s map showed us going south to get on I-80 and Keith wanted us to stay on US 26 & US 20. I thought Gus had the best idea, take I-80 over the divide in case we get in snow. From Douglas, WY we headed south on WY 91, Keith kept telling me to turn around and I kept ignoring him. When he gets frustrated he some times stutters, he kept saying tu-tu-tu-turnaround, maybe he was getting cold as we were climbing higher. I should have listened to him when a sign said “PAVMENT ENDS 500 FEET”, I didn’t. I also didn’t listen to him when a sign said “ THIS ROAD NOT MAINTAINED OCTOBER THROUGH MARCH TRAVEL AT YOUR OWN RISK”, this was April and we were heading south, it has to get better.
It kept going higher and getting worse and I kept ignoring him, until we came around a turn and down a little draw and here was a giant snowdrift across the road. We were lucky we were able to do what Keith had been telling us to do for the past 50 miles. I could just see the smirk on his face and he stopped stuttering. We were about half way to I-80 and headed back the way we came, hadn’t gone very far and things went from bad to worse. The brakes gave out and the red brake light came on, it looked like the master cylinder was the culprit. I was a long time getting back to civilization in Douglas, WY. I spent the night in a NAPA parking lot, next morning I tried (unsuccessfully) to salvage the brakes with some brake fluid. I thought it was too damn cold to bleed the brakes here and I wanted to get to higher temps so headed west on US 26 with Keith in charge and no brakes. The tranny would hold her back going down hill and the traffic was light. As we climbed higher the sky got darker, the temp. went lower and there were some snow flurries, Keith was happy and Gus didn’t care, I wished I was down south on I-80. The temp. and weather fluctuate with the elevation. I know the weather was a lot better yesterday when we were wasting time and fuel on that awful road. We came to a place where Gus wanted to take a shortcut on a state road but Keith said “stay on US 26”. We stayed on US 26 even though the shortcut looked like a good road, I no longer trust Gus’s shortcuts. Keith was happy and Gus didn’t care. It was on the west side of the divide that the snow got heavier, visibility not so good, saw signs saying “OPEN RANGE ­ WATCH FOR LIVESTOCK”, “WATCH FOR FALLING ROCK”, “WATCH FOR ROCK SLIDES”, WATCH FOR SNOW SLIDES”,”WATCH FOR WILDLIFE”, “DEER NEXT 6 MILES”. They sure know how to make a person feel good when they have no brakes & poor visibility!
When we left Jackson WY and headed into ID, both Keith and Gus wanted me to take a shortcut, I had been on this shortcut a few years ago. Jenny was with me and pointed out this shortcut, instead of angling south it goes west. I was on it a short time and I’m in first gear with the peddle to the meddle, barely moving and I look back over my left shoulder and see those tiny cars down below the clouds like I’m in an airplane, no place to turn around. I definitely don’t want this shortcut today. I was glad to stay on US 26 and go the long way around, it was about here that the speedometer needle made some wild oscillations, clicked twice and was again steady but the odometer was no longer working. We made it into Boise, fueled up, went to Dave & Rita’s and shut down, it had been a long day.
Next day I had Dave press the brake pedal while I watched the master cylinder and found my problem wasn’t as bad as I thought. I guess that awful road in WY was so rough that a brake line from the master cylinder to the combination valve cracked. Had a new brake line made up, installed it, bled the brakes and I got my brakes back. Also got my shore power battery charger back after I installed a new DC converter. I will wait till I get to the rally in Ukiah, CA to get a new speedometer from McNeil if he shows up. In the meantime, I’ll keep a record of how far I travel using the driving computer that measures distance and fuel used between fuel stops.
The trip from Boise to Ukiah was almost perfect, had to run the windshield wipers a couple times. From I-80 both Gus & Keith said to take CA 20, a shortcut to US 101 just north of Ukiah. It went well and I saw some fantastic scenery. Got to the rally site and was disappointed, there were no giant redwoods. I found them after the rally when I headed north on US 101 and was able to get some pictures.


The rally was great, good food, interesting seminars and interesting visits with old & new friends. I’ll need more room to tell about my very interesting new friends so I’ll tell you about then in the next letter.
Keith did me wrong on the trip to Boise. When I loaded the GPS programs Gus was out of his head, I told him where I was and where I wanted to go and he came up with a whole lot of garbage. Places and things that happened a long time ago, it was worse than the time I lost some of his cards and he wasn’t playing with a full deck. I didn’t want to take time to sober Gus up so I put Keith in charge and we headed up into Oregon then over to Idaho. It was on the second day, heading east on OR #126, Keith told me to take a shortcut, when OR #126 went north, OR #242 went east, it looked like a good road so we headed east and up. The road kept getting narrower, with the double yellow center lines the only vehicle that could stay off the yellow lines would be a motorcycle. Soon there was snow on the side of the road. We got almost to the top of the mountain and there was a closed gate across the road. As I turned around and headed back down Keith kept telling me to turn around and go east. I hate shortcuts.
Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits.

Me & My Shadow, with Gertrude, Gus & Keith on the road.


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