The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #58 in TX, NM, AZ & CA 3/8/01
5059 miles this trip, odometer now 5359 total, miles this year 6254.
From West Covina, CA, Hi Everyone!
I had to wait for my mail to catch up with me before I could leave Texas and it didn’t get there till 2:30 pm, with a storm coming from the east I hightailed it west right after the mailman left. I filled up with $1.27 fuel before I left Terrell, TX I wonder if I will ever see fuel that low again. The trip went well but the traffic was heavy. I took a short nap right after dark then drove all night and if I hadn’t stopped in El Paso for breakfast the rising sun would have found me in New Mexico. I found that with all the traffic today, it’s better to sleep in the daytime and drive at night. Just me and my shadow and the eighteen wheelers, it doesn’t get any better than that.
I arrived at my nephew Mikes place in north west Phoenix a short time before Mike got home from work. I went across the street and checked in with Nancy and just got the hugging done when Mike showed up. When I was parking the GMC beside his house he said he smelled propane. I got my trusty soap suds cup and brush and found the leak as it was getting dark. I shut the valve off and fixed the leak the next day. I had smelled the propane a few times in the last two days and thought it was the holding tank stinking. Several years ago I had added a tee connection and a hose and fitting so I could use a portable tank for propane when I have the GMC up on blocks. I used pipe-dope on a close nipple between the two tee connections and it held till a few days before Mike smelled it. I messed up the close nipple getting it out so I put the new one in with Teflon tape. The pipe-dope must have just dried out; I will use tape on all propane fittings from now on.
Just like last year, while I was there Mike let me use his new car and he drove the old one. I was able to go to a RV parts place and get a new fluorescent light fixture to replace one that had gone bad before I started this trip. I also found time to connect the energizing cable to the alternator as someone told me that the self energizing voltage regulator would not allow the batteries to fully charge. I had a fifty percent chance to connect it to the wrong terminal and I did. This shorted out the battery and I had to charge it up before I could leave. After the battery charged up I stopped and connected it to the correct terminal and I drove for awhile and could see absolutely no difference in voltage readings with it connected or not connected. While driving in the daytime the voltmeter reads a needle width above thirteen volts, at night with the lights on it is a needle width below 13 volts. So I have decided to run with it disconnected.
Mike and I were invited on Sunday afternoon to Ron & Connie’s place (Connie is Mikes sister, their kids are Kristen, Bryan & Janelle) for a delicious steak dinner. Ron had barbecued the steaks to perfection. Also there were Mike’s mom and dad (my sister Norma and brother-in-law Bob) so we got to do a lot of visiting and it saved me a trip to Lake Havasu City to visit Bob & Norma. On Saturday I had driven down to Ron & Conies to visit with them and Conies sister Mary Lou and her children Dustin, Meggan & Daniel. I can’t believe how fast these kids grow up. Ron had a bag of grapefruit for me; I had run out of the Florida fruit so was glad to get a new supply. He also gave me about $1,000 worth of those high priced pills that he gets as free samples.
About 40 years ago I was told by someone that there were a lot of planes stored out on the desert at Litchfield Park, AZ. On this trip I found that Litchfield Park is a suburb of Phoenix and the airplanes are at Davis Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, AZ. That is where I headed on Monday to look for a cockpit canopy for the F3H Demon in Pensacola, FL. I arrived about noon and spent all afternoon trying to find someone who could tell me if there was an F3H in the storage area (a fenced in field of several acres on the base. Nobody seemed to know any thing about the planes behind the fence. I drove around it looking for a way in, I found one open unattended gate. I read the sign on the gate; Warning Secure Area and some smaller text telling me how complicated my life would be if I went through the gate. I hate complications so I did a one eighty and went the other way. I talked to an Air Force Sargent that knew a guy that knew a guy that could tell me if there was a F3H Demon on the field. I got his phone # and called and got his answer machine; I told him who I was and what I wanted and the phone # I was at. I would wait at that phone for a half hour. No one called so I checked into the overflow RV park for $3. The main RV park was full. The next morning I found the Navy & Marine Reserve building and they gave me the same phone # that I got yesterday. I told them that the guy wouldn’t answer his phone and they gave me the phone # for his secretary. I called her and she informed me that her boss was off for three days she got another guy on the phone who informed me that there were no F3H aircraft on the field. I believe that is the only aircraft that is not on the field. There are thousands of planes there, big ones, small ones, in between ones, giant ones and tiny ones, Navy, Army and Air Force Planes and Helicopters but no F3H Demon. I then checked the other Aircraft junk yards in the area to no avail before heading to Yuma, AZ to visit with my friends Duane & Marian Dreesen. He has a GMC that needs a lot of TLC to get it on the road; I Helped him with some of it before heading to San Diego.
Arrived in San Diego and checked into the Naval Hospital, like Portsmouth Naval Hospital, it has been replaced with a new complex. They forgot to provide parking for RVs and they don’t have the friendly attitude that Portsmouth has. I took one of my prescriptions in for a refill, every thing went well and I got my name in the computer. I then decided to see about getting my defibrillator checked this was when everything went to hell. The civilian receptionist told me I would need a referral from my Primary care Doctor. I told her I didn’t have a Primary care Doctor. In Portsmouth all I needed was a Military ID card and in 15 minutes I had my defibrillator checked and was on my way. She informed me that is not the way it’s done here and she went to get help. Then this female second class hospital corps-person showed up and started in about needing a referral from my Primary care Doctor. I knew what she wanted but I told I hadn’t seen my Primary care Doctor since I was in primary school and he died a long time ago. She didn’t find it funny and said I could find a Primary care Doctor in this Hospital. I informed her I didn’t see any point in seeing a Primary Doc as I was not sick. (I didn’t tell her I was illegally parked and didn’t have time to see a Primary Doc) When all I wanted was to get my defibrillator checked, she told me she would try to arrange it but they only checked defibrillators on Tues & Wed and asked for a phone # and she would call me. I gave her my cousins phone # and then headed there to await her call. It worked out OK as my cousin just had a renter move out of an apartment and needed some help getting it ready for the next renter so she put me to work. Tuesday morning I was in the office when it opened and met Lt. Sherry Jones who turned on the lights and took me out of the dark. She told me that some legislation was passed that says that civilians treated by the Navy will have to have a primary care Doc. just like an HMO so it looks like I will have to sign up for Try-Care Prime Gold and choose a Primary Care Doc. I did get my defibrillator checked and every thing was A-OK.
The evening before I left San Diego I was fortunate to spend some time with the most beautiful lady in Calif. and I’ll tell all the Beauty Queens in Hollywood they don’t have a chance when Megan comes to town. She is the daughter of my nephew Kelly Harton and his wife Annette. She is not yet a year old and was born with a full head of pretty hair and a beautiful smile. She is very tiny but I’ll put her up against any of them.
Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits.

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


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