Monday, March 31, 2008

One of My Favorite Days, Monday

What a day we had today. I got to attend Steve Ferguson's session this morning before coming back to open the "store". I hope I get time to attend another one or two this week. Missed all of them in Iowa. We closed down at 5 pm today but had a couple come in the coach after hours to discuss things. That is just fine with me. Sam was a little cranky though as she was taking a nap when the knocks on the door came. She had a fine day herself. Seems she is given so much attention by our friends here that she thinks she can come and go as she pleases. Teri found her at the hotdog stand this afternoon begging for bits of the folks' hotdogs. She is not the least bit ashamed to beg for people food. I give her trailmix at night but she does not get many table scraps. I think one reason she is living such a good life at 12 is because we keep her on the same brand of dog food all the time.
We have another ice cream social tonight. Am hoping to get some pictures of folks here then. That is one way I am assured that the people can be caught, everyone loves quality ice cream. It was difficult to take photos while working today.
The weather has been perfect so far. I just noticed my face really tanned good today. The sun was bright so I kept my eyes squinched all day. Lots of white lines near my eyes that saw no sun. It has been a bit nippy every night here but we have good heat. I think there is a chance of rain on Tuesday. We will deal with whatever comes our way. In Iowa last fall we lost two days of work because the wind was so high we could not untie our goods. Am thinking we will not have that problem here.
Some more coaches pulled in today so I will try to track them down and take pictures. It is more about the people behind the coaches that really tell the stories, but I know people love to see nice looking GMC coaches.
Teri and I are supposed to give a talk Wednesday morning. She is all worried about it but I told her I can talk to any group for an hour. 10 minute talk and 50 minutes of answering questions is my thought. I want the audience to hear what they are interested in so why not let them ask us things and we can explain how we did it. What we do is not what many folks want to do so I can listen and learn from the audience as well. I always figure I know a little about most things but not much about any one thing. That lets me cover lots of stuff in a short amount of time. Teri wants me to sit down and put together an outline to hand out, why? I can't follow one anyway. I am a retired Parole Officer. All my career has been "spur of the moment" decision making. That is why I just fly by the seat of my pants and take care of things as they arise. Teri is organized, I am not, as I have told you before.
Well, I had several folks come up again today and talk about the blog. I am thrilled that folks actually enjoy reading about our travels. Seems everyone here knows about our coach fire. Gives a good entry to our fire extinguisher buisness. Only have 2 engine compartment extinguishers left and one of those is supposed to be sitting in our engine box. These things are great insurance and we only pay the premium one time.
Thanks for riding along today even though we did not travel many miles. Come on back. I may have more pictures to post after the ice cream social. Hope you enjoyed both entries from yesterday, with two different sets of pictures. Until our next ride, take care and keep all of the preventive maintinance up on your rv.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

WOW, Lots of Classic GMC Coaches

Some photos from today. We snuck out early for church services and grabbed a few shots. After supper tonight I took off and shot some more. There are some very nice coaches here. I hope to get photos of some owners soon.

Here is where we attended services this morning. About 20 minutes from here.

Our friends, Yvonne and Bob. We have really enjoyed their company for the last couple weeks. Bob got the caddy engine and tranny rebuilt down at Jim's shop in Fremont while we were there. Bob does his own work but was caught out from home when his new engine gave up the ghost so he had to have the help of the boys at the shop. A week and they were back on the road. They live in Minnesota.

What a group. I just do not believe any other group of motorhomers can be as nice and friendly as the GMC owners. Folks are always ready to help each other when a problem arises. One fine group. I hope to have the camera in my pocket tomorrow as friends come by. I want yall to see pictures of our friends. As I have said before, Teri and I are very blessed with friends.
Thanks for asking about our grandson today. He got to go home this evening. We are so thankful. He lives in Logansport, In. We sold fire extinguishers today and gave out a lot of information. Probably some of the best insurance we can have with motorhomes as fire is what ususally takes a coach, not an accident. Jim had lots of folks at the table buying and asking questions. We are glad that we get to help him at the rallies. He is a nice honest guy and we like those sort of folks. Several came by to talk about the blog. As I always say, it is nice to hear from folks that follow and ride along with us. Sam was a popular dog today. She got lots of petting as she wondered about the crowd. I just left the coach door open and she came and went as she pleased. She minds us really good.
Come on back when you have time. Monday is Ice Cream Social again. I can't wait.

Our Trip To Santa Rosa

These are mostly shots of the bay area as we left. Had some showers that day, Friday.

San Quenton

4 hours to drive 90 miles. The traffic was something else.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Santa Rosa With Sun

Still no photos. I absolutely did not have time to shoot photos today. We were busy helping Jim Kanomata get everything set up and then selling parts and talking with customers. We gave away a fire extinguisher tonight. The money raised went to the Western States GMC Club. The big convention s.tarts Monday. This one is Western States. Lot of our friends came by to say hello today. We will see many more of our friends tomorrow and Monday as they all arrive. I had several folks come by to introduce themselves and say they are regular followers of this blog. I love hearing from those who ride a long with Teri, Sam, and me. If you wish that you were here but couldn't come, we will miss you. Several chose not to come, I am sure, because of the fuel prices. I am sure that the high prices of fuel is going to kill a lot of things that we all enjoy, not to mention raising the prices of our necessities. Maybe the oil companies can see fit to help us all out soon. I don't think it is so much the price of fuel but the way they did it, all of a sudden. Wages will not increase to keep up so we are all suffering.
Teri and I will take the camera to church with us in the morning. That way as we return we can get some photos of all of the motorhomes that are here. I want pictures of our friends too as they come by our booth. Teri and I are so blessed with good friends.
Tonight was our first ice cream social. We do not eat cheap ice cream here at these gatherings. I waited all day for the ice cream. Ooooh, my 2 owls were so good. Then I came home and had supper. See, when you are as old as I am you can have dessert first if you wanna.
One of our grandsons, in Indiana, is in the hospital. Has pneumonia. We are praying that he can be fixed up soon and back home with his two older brothers. Ryan is 3 years old. Keep him in your prayers please.
Oh, the sun was out today and the weather was just really nice. A little chilly but not bad. Was comfortable outside with long sleeves. No wind. We got lots of hugs too. We love hugs from friends. Just warms us up inside.
So, if you are here at the convention and have not come by yet and introduced yourself, you have a week. Teri and I love making new friends and visiting with our old friends.
I promise, pictures on next blog.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Santa Rosa In The Rain

We made the move this afternoon. 4 hours and 90 miles in bumper to bumper traffic. Whew, glad to get here. Rained the last 25 miles. I hope it quits. Just overcast right now. We went out to eat with Jim and Grace Kanomata and Ken Burton. Had a great dinner in a chinese resturant. Came back and got the coach hooked up. We will move over to vendor's row in the morning and get everything all set up for the week. Was raining too hard tonite to park in the grass over there so we are in the rv park behind with a whole lot of other coaches that look similar to our's. Sam is resting. She will not sleep when we travel so she is resting good now.
The guys at Jim's shop came knocking this morning. Wanted our coach back to the shop. They put on another new steering part, to go with those they installed yesterday. Today it was the steering coupler shaft. This coach drives like a new car. I can not believe it. Donny and Alonzo are the best at assessing a coach and fixing it like new. They really took good care of us. We enjoy being there at the shop so much. Wish we lived closer so we could be there often. They do seem to enjoy Teri's cooking about as much as I do.
Teri took some photos today but I did not get a chance to look them over. I think she took one of San Quenton as we passed by. I will get some posted next time. This is a big convention out here so I will have lots of pictures from here. We have a couple of seminars to do, our first. Teri has really worked hard to make it interesting for folks. I know it she will do good. I'll e her sidekick on stage. She is very organized. I just fly by the seat of my pants on stuff like this. I can talk to anyone for at least an hour.
See you soon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Long But Fun Two Days

Most of these photos are for our GMC friends. We have been busy for the last two days. This morning we had 10 extra coaches parked around here, I am talking coaches with folks sleeping in them. I had some fun yesterday getting them all parked.
Here is our coach on the rack, we made it up there today.

Early morning, today. Sam was right in the middle of the crowd in the office.
A few of the guys swapping lies this morning.

WE patched the hole first thing this morning, at least the bottom side. I thank Ken Burton and Ken Henderson for helping me. Look, no mufflers.

From two mufflers up fron to one in the rear. Alonzo was our worker on the exhaust. He is quite the guy here in the shop and knows way more than I can ever hope to learn about these coaches. He has a family and his wife is teaching their two year old daughter to speak 3 languages in a ddition to sign language. Alonzo is very interesting to visit with. He is also an ex marine.

This is a photo of the fuel senders I am building. Not a good photo but I did not have time to set it up right for a photo.

These photos are of Donny taking my right front end aprt to replace a lower ball joint and rear seal on the wheel bearing.

Donny hard at work.

A shot while Donny was getting parts.

Bob was one happy guy today. He and Donny got the coach going and now he is concerned about it being a bit dirty. That means the engine and tranny are in place and it passed the driving test. Great job these guys did on that coach. I am glad that I was here to witness this job. Teri and I were able to meet two very nice folks and we hope to be long time friends with Yvonne and Bob.

Here is the man of the evening, in my book. After Donny helped Bob finalize everything on the caddy he came to help Alonzo with our coach. Here he is with the ball joint out. Reminded me of a dentist holding my teeth that are no longer in my head. After Alonzo finished with the relay arm and idler the two of them checked my ride height and greased the coach. Donny and I took it for several test drives as I was having a problem with the engine running like it should. Donny spent some valuable time, in my book, with me today. I learned a lot from Donny. It was a good day for me with these guys. They pushed to get our coach on the rack last night and first thing this morning. I really appreciate that.
Walt Halley worked on Jim's dual turbo setup most of the day and got it running. I enjoyed working with Walt late this evening. He had his laptop hooked to Jim's engine and reminded me of a doctor diagnosing a bad appendix and then fixing it. Some more to do in the morning but I have lots of faith in Walt's ability to have this thing off and going in the morning.
Like I said, long but very fun two days. Where else could a gearhead like me have so much fun? Only at a shop like this with guys like these. Teri also worked all day long inside the office. Sara Halley helped her this evening getiing some final things done for Jim before the big rally. It was a good day.
Thanks for coming by. Come back as you have time.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Wooowee. I thought yesterday was busy. Nothing compared to today. We have 5 new coaches here tonight. Lots of company here at the shop. I do not know who or what may be worked on tomorrow. I hope I get mine on the rack soon.
Take a look at the mountain this morning. Layer of clouds just sitting there. Very pretty site we have out our front window.
Looks like we will just bite the bullit and run the 3 inch exhaust using one muffler at the rear of coach. That will quieten down the living area while we travel. Walt and Sara Halley just pulled in and came for a visit. They brought some stainless stuff from Tom Hampton.

Take a look here. Teri and I have a new friend. Neville Clare from Australia flew in this morning. He has two GMC coaches. He was very interesting to visit with.

Here is a picture of the automatic fire extinguisher for the engine compartment. If you have questions, stop by and visit us at the rally or shoot me an email. Have one smaller for the Onan compartment. Prevention is the name of the game here.

Donny on top and Bob under the coach. Getting the new engine and tranny installed today. Hope to fire it up Wednesday. This will be a tire smoking coach.

This is the last shot of the day, just before we quit. What do you think???
It was a busy day. I helped the guys around here some and tried to supervise Donny and Bob while they worked. I got a little greasy so Teri thinks I worked hard while she was visiting with Yvonne this afternoon and doing our wash. Let her think it. I might get some special treat for the grease all over me. ha.
It is cooling off here a bit this evening. Sam and I just finished our trailmix. Teri is playing cards with some of the folks that came in this afternoon. Feels good to just sit and watch some tv. I need to get our car washed soon. It is dirty. Sam has got to get a bath. She is past due and it is easy to tell it. Maybe we can accomplish those things Wednesday. We hope to get the coach on the rack in next day or two. We just kinda got to wait and let folks get their's in and out first.
Have a great evening and thanks for the visit. As always, we appreciate you stopping by.

Monday, March 24, 2008

This Place is Hopping

This was one busy place today. First picture is of the coach before I cleaned the outside up. It was dirty after sitting in the desert so long and had bugs all over the front. One dryer sheet and a little water took the bugs right off. Got it washed up some and polished part of it during quick breaks today.

Second picture is of another Missouri coach that came in for a little work. Donny worked on it most of the day.

An important part of every day here, lunch.

Donny pulled the axels and replaced leaking boots. Take a look at the boot they are using now.

The excess is trimmed off after tightened.

Teri grabbed a picture of one of her favorite springtime arrivals. Oops, got an extra picture of a dirty coach in here. Sorry about that.
We had lots of calls and have folks coming in all week. A Colorado coach arrived this evening with a miss in the engine. Sounds almost like a valve to me but I am not a real mechanic, just half a shadetree kinda guy. I hope that is not his problem. Still have Bob here getting that hotrod Caddy going. Teri and I ran to the grocery store this afternoon. She cooked one fine supper for us and Jim tonight. In addition to calls we had several emails. Bunch of folks are needing appraisals at the rally. Mention my name and get one at half price. Now that is a bargain. Don't forget to hit the website and download the form and fill it out then fax it to us.
We have lots planned for Tuesday but I am hoping I can finish polishing on the coach and sometime this week get the car cleaned up good. Maybe sometime this week our coach will hit the rack. Got several things I want checked before we pull out of here.
Will try to get you some better pictures tomorrow. All I could do was take ones here today as I was here all day long except when we ran to the grocery store. Did not think you would care to see pictures of the ice cream aisle. That is where I hang around waiting on Teri when she shops.