The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #74 in ID,UT,AZ,NM,CO,NE,SD,IA & MO
10739 miles this trip, odometer now 22760, total miles this year 28530.

>From Gladstone, MO, Hi Everyone!

Well I'm Back on the road again, I left Meridian & the Boise area headed south hoping to find some warmer weather. When Kerry & Leanne Tandy from Montana got my last letter saying I would be going to the GMC Western States rally, Kerry suggested I meet them at an RV Park in Glendale, UT and caravan down to Prescott, AZ. I haven't done any caravaning because with Gus to do the navigating and no copilot, I get from point "A" to point "B' a little faster than most others, so this will be a new experience for me. The first leg of my trip only fifty miles put me in Mountain Home Airforce Base. My plan was to get some refills for some prescription drugs. The plan didn't work out but I had two days to kill to get in sync with Kerry's schedule to be in Glendale, UT on Sunday night, so I stayed two nights at the RV Park on the AFB as it would cost less than the one in Glendale.

I hit the road at 6:00 AM Sunday morning and my luck was with me. I knew there were some Flying J stations North of Salt Lake City. When I got to the first one my trip odometer was showing 300 miles so I pulled off to fill up, I see the Flying J price was $1.31. But on the other side of the street was a Walmart station with a $1.25 price so you know where I got gas. The gal at Walmart said they had the price marked down 5 cents for a Grand Opening price for three days only. So my timing was perfect. When I got South of Salt Lake City the Mountain ridge east of the interstate was white with snow and I could see the lower valleys extended with man made snow so I guess they were still skiing up there. I topped off my gas tanks again before leaving the Interstate because the area looked pretty desolate and I sure don't want to run out of fuel. I checked into the RV park in Glendale, UT at 5:30 PM. It was about 7:30 PM when the Tandy"s showed up. After a short visit we hit the hay as I was tired.

Kerry was towing a car so he took the lead to set the pace. We had CB radios so we could keep in contact and I was supprised when he set a faster pace than I was expecting. He informed me that he would soon have to stop for fuel. I see the price was running above $1.50. I was glad that I had topped off before leaving the Interstate. I told him I thought I had enough fuel to get me to I 40 west of Flagstaff. He thought the price would be better in Flagstaff than points west. We were running on US 89 and I found it to be a very scenic route. There were a few grades but they weren't too steep. One grade we went down could have slowed us down if we were going the other direction. We got to Flagstaff and I see the price of fuel was in the $1.30s but Kerry headed west. He said he was looking for a Mobil station. He had an American Express credit card that would give him 3 % off at a Mobil station. He finally found one, the price was $1.78, that's the last Mobil gas I will ever buy. When we got to Prescott the price was back in the $1,30s.

When we got to Prescott I took the lead as Kerry said he didn't have the campground pin pointed on his map. It turned out that I missed the campground on my plotting and had it a little west of where it was. I missed seeing the sign as I went past it but Kerry saw it just as he was going by. With the tow car behind he couldn't back up and he had to find a place to turn around. I turned around, pulled off to the side of the road and shut down to wait for him. When he came by I tried to start the engine and it would not crank. I knew that I had blown a header gasket on one of the grades and I figured that this could have heated the starter solenoid and it would crank as soon as it cooled down so I told him I would be in as soon as it cooled. It took longer than I thought it would but it finally started and I went in and parked it. After looking the place over I thought that I should find a place to park that would be closer to the activities and then those little voices said "NO DUMMY! YOU NEED THE EXERCISE". They were right, so I left it there and I got my exercise. I happened to have a header gasket with me so I put it on and this time I'll take the heat shields off and re-torque it after putting on a few miles and I think that will keep it from blowing out again. It sure is great to meet all my old friends and make new fiends at these rallies

The seminars are always interesting and informative and this time there were some very different ones. Bebe Pettit disassembled, re-assembled and answered a lot of questions about the GMC automatic transmission. Al Chernoff demonstrated and talked about some very sophisticated Cell phones, hand held computers and GPS units. Mike Cherry showed a collection of old and unusual tools. Ed Burner gave a seminar on safety considerations. Jim Kanomata had a seminar on Knuckles & Front Wheel bearings and the tools needed.

When the rally was over I headed North and East to Sioux Falls, SD to get my defibrillator checked. This was a very enjoyable trip, mostly because I had a brisk tail wind for most of the first day. I could run at the speed limit (75 MPH) and still get good mileage. The wind went down with the sun so I shut down about 9:30 to get some rest. I woke up at midnight and enjoyed the lack of traffic. The traffic was so light after I left Albuquerque, NM that I got lonely. It had been a long time since I could drive on an inter-state highway with the high beam lights on so I enjoyed that.

About midnight, just after I crossed the state boundary into CO it started to rain and they were hurting for rain. So if you live in CO and appreciate the rain, I'm taking credit for bringing it. It rained off and on till I was heading east from Denver. When I crossed the border into NE and onto I-80 I see I couldn't make it to Omaha till after every one was in bed. I got off the interstate at Grand Island and onto US 30 that angled N.E. to US 81. Just after I was on US 30 I damaged Nebraska's insect control when a bird tried to cross the road in front of me and when he see he wasn't going to make it he went strait up but he was too slow. He hit the windshield dead center in front of me, I ducked but it didn't help him. A short time later another one came from the other direction and hit the grill on the drivers side. He was still there when I got to Coleridge about 10:00 PM and shut down.

After visiting my friends in Coleridge I headed west to Wausa to visit my cousins; Elaine & Don Wakeley and Elno & Barb. Kinkaid. I started with Don & Elaine we had a nice visit but after dinner Don complained of a pain in his stomach. It got worse and Elaine and I took him to the hospital. I went on to Elno & Barb's and had a nice visit with them and when I checked back with Elaine she told me they had removed Don's Gaul bladder. So, good or bad, he no longer has any Gaul.

When I went to Sioux Falls to get my defibrillator checked. I fasted and went a day early so I could leave some blood at the lab for testing to help Doc figure out what shape I am in. After the lab drew the blood I headed north to Flandreau, SD to visit Bob & Marlys Drewes. They have been my friends since one of the first GMC rally's I went to. I found them with some other volunteers painting in a church to get it ready for a new Pasteur. I did some paint scraping to earn my lunch and dinner at the church.

Next day, my appointment went well, the Doc saw that someone had speeded the pacer in the defibrillator up from 50 BPM to 60 BPM to make it pump more blood, he asked me if I noticed any improvement with the higher speed. I told him I did not see any improvement. He explained that in fact it was pumping less blood at the higher pace. He told me that when the pacer triggers my heart to beat the heart mussels retract differently than a normal heart beat and it only pumps about 70 % as much blood. He set it back to 50 BPM and I did feel an improvement. He also put me on a new pill and took one pill away. I have to go to a lab in one week and have them fax the results of the blood test to him to see if the new pill is right for me. He did not agree with me that I need a mechanical heart with a 12 volt adapter.

When I got back to Coleridge I pulled the old GMC over the grease pit that I helped dig a long time ago at the Dehy. Plant. I pulled the starter to put the new solenoid on it. To get to the starter I had to remove the header heat shields so I re-torqued the header bolts. Those little voices were telling me to put new brushes in the starter while I had it off. I borrowed a pickup truck and went to a Napa store and got some brushes. Now that starter should see me to my grave. I had favorable winds both directions to Sioux Falls and back and when I got the starter back on, the grass was leaning south so I took off towards my brother's place in Gladstone, MO with a good tail wind most of the way.

Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits

Me & My Shadow & Gus on the road