The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #52 in MD,VA,WV,OH,KY,IN,IL,MO,IA,NE,SD,WY,MT,ID,WA & OR 9/24/00
3588 miles this trip, odometer now 70,644 total, miles this year 18470.
From Boise, Hi Everyone!
9/1/00 Started my trip to Little Diamond RV Resort in WA, it sure felt good to be on the road again. I didn’t need fuel but I stopped at the new Royal Farms Station just south of the MD border on Rt.13 to top off. I knew it might be the last time I would pay $1.35 for fuel. My navigator Gus, wanted to go north and then west but I had a hunch the fuel prices would be higher up north so I told him I wanted to visit my brother Gerald in Gladstone, MO, just north of KC. I also had one more Honey Do item to check off at my sister-in-law Virginia in Va. Beach, Va. So after visiting my daughter Jenny and her family on the Eastern Shore of VA I headed south. When I got to the toll booth for the bridge tunnel I see the gal had already rung up $18 as my toll and she said “$18”, I said “No! $13” and we started arguing, she must have pushed a button because a young cocky security guy shows up and said “Your toll is $18.” And I said “No! my toll is $13.” I could see he was agitated and after a little more argument he said “pay the $18. and park over there and come to the office.” I said “I can do that” knowing that I would get my $5. back. When I got to the office I see that young officer in a dark control room talking to a big burly Lieutenant, I started in the door and the Lt. motioned for me to stay out. In a few seconds he came out to inform me that I would pay $18. I informed him that many times in the past I had paid $18 and was ripped off for the $5. He informed me that they do not rip off any one, there may be an overcharge but no one has ever been ripped off. I was beginning to enjoy this and I could see that he was agitated. I Told him “in your book it may be an overcharge but in my book it’s a rip off, not only have they ripped me off but every motorcycle rider gets ripped of for five bucks by paying the same toll as a car”. He was about to blow a fuse, I told him to check with his supervisor, that I have had this argument before. He went in his office and after talking on the phone I heard him tell the young officer to go out to the booth and get my five bucks. I thanked them both for their cooperation as I took the five bucks and headed out the door.
I hope none of you other GMCers back down and pay the $18. I am getting them all trained, the $18 toll is for a tandem axle - duel wheeled truck with 10 wheels. The $13 toll Is for a car pulling a trailer, 3 axles 6 wheels. I arrived in VA Beach and finished the Honey Do item and had a short visit before turning in to get rested up for a long day.
9/4/00 About 4:45 a.m. I headed west on I-64, traffic was light, had a little fog in the mountains and we got some heavy rain around noon in WV. The weather cleared up in KY but as I came west the traffic picked up. The price for fuel each time I filled up was $1.49 I saw some for more but none for less. 9/5/00 About 2:30 a.m. I park in front of Geralds house and shut down to get some rest it had been a long day. After a breakfast and a short visit I headed north with a real stiff tail wind on I-29, destination Coleridge, NE. After crossing the river into NE it looked like I would not have enough fuel to make it to Coleridge. I stopped at a station that I had filled up at the last time here and then found the price in Coleridge about a dime cheaper. This time the price here was $1.52 so I put just enough in to get me to Coleridge. Got to Coleridge and the price was $1.57, I had enough to get to Yankton, SD and hoped the price there would be lower. I ate supper and then went to check in with my ex-boss Marv to get on his computer to check my e-mail and have a short visit with him and his wife Jackie. They were just finishing supper and Jackie asked if I had room for a piece of Banana cream pie, I always have room for a piece of her pies. I spent the night in the park and headed to Sioux Falls, SD in the morning.
9/6/00 I stopped in Yankton for some $1.49 fuel, I see the price was the same for unleaded plus 89 octane so I filled up with 89 octane. As you will find out latter, this was a mistake. I enjoyed a good stiff tail wind all the way to Sioux Falls and arrived at the Sioux Valley Hospital at lunch time, just what I wanted. The hospital cafeteria has outstanding food for a fraction of the cost any where else. If you are ever in Sioux Falls, by all means go to the Hospital for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I made an appointment to get my defibrillator checked at noon on Oct. 3 and then headed west on I-90. The temperature kept going higher and it got up to about 100 and the engine started to stumble once in awhile. I have never had a vapor-lock problem but this sure acted like that was a possibility, it was then I remembered that 89 octane fuel had some alcohol in it. My fuel was about half gone so I decided to get fuel, there were billboards advertising gas for less at the next exit. All three stations wanted $1.62, if that is gas for less I don’t want it. I went back out on the interstate and the engine was stumbling more all the time. At the next exit I see a crude sign saying Gas, Rocks & groceries, it was a dumpy looking place. I didn’t need any rocks or groceries but I sure wanted some gas. When I pulled up to the pump the price was $1.49, as I was filling up another RV pulled up and I guess he was wondering why it was taking me so long. He came walking over and I apologized for taking so long, I just wanted to squeeze as much fuel in as I could. He told me that he also pulled off at the last exit for gas and he didn’t want any of their gas for less. The real shock came when I went in to pay for it. I gave her my discover card and I praised her for having a decent price for gas and she told me that there was more to it, because I had taken more than 20 gallon she was giving me a three cent per gal discount. Now why aren’t there more places like that? I got back out on the interstate and the engine was running like a new one on that $1.46 gas. So I now know better than to put high octane fuel in when it’s hot, even if it don’t cost any more.
When I got to the exit in ID where Gus told me to exit and go north, they were resurfacing the outside lane and the exit was closed. I zoomed out on the map and found a Flying J truck stop not too far ahead. I needed fuel and it was getting late so I pulled in there and parked for the night. Next morning I had breakfast filled my tanks and told Gus to take us to the Little Diamond RV Park. Gus must need glasses as he missed the correct road to take us to the RV park. Just before we got to the park, he told me to turn left and go north, off to the east I could see the mark on the map indicating where the RV park should be. The road went north and curved around to the east and he told me to turn right on a local road that would take us south to the park. The local road turned out to be an old abandoned logging road, it was impassable. I continued on and the road curved around to the south and back west almost to the intersection where Gus told me to turn north and there was the road to take us into the RV park.
I was the first GMC to arrive but soon I was meeting old friends and making new friends. The rally was great and the catered meals were outstanding, the seminars were interesting with good information. As I was walking back to the coach one evening I was visiting with a gal, we had both noticed a shortage of birds and thought it strange. After I got to my coach I realized that we were almost up to the Canadian border, fall is almost upon us, so I reckon the birds we were looking for were by now half way to Mexico. I hope to be joining them soon.
When the rally ended, I told Gus to take us to Mount Hood in Oregon. I’ll be darned if he didn’t want me to leave on that old logging trail, I had to set a via on the road going south to set him right. Had a nice trip in Washington but when we got to Oregon Gus found a shortcut that was a disaster. He called it a scenic route, if you like to look at tree trunks, it was scenic. The pavement ended and the washboard gravel road was so narrow that if I had met a bicycle, one of us would have had to backup. If I had trouble up there I would not have been found till spring.
Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits.

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


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