Thursday, April 30, 2009

You Meet The Nicest Folks Traveling In A GMC Motorhome

These are two of the nicest folks Teri and I know, Donna and Roger. They treated us like we were related to them, no, better. We had such a great time with them. Last night we went to the nicest resturant. We forgot our camera, just take my word for it, the food was great. I ate so much catfish I was about to pop. The Black home is a regular bird santuary. Roger even speaks their language. They have more flowers in their yard than a nursery. Roger has the right idea, dig, plant and you never have to mow that spot again. I like his thinking.
Thanks Roger and Donna for such a great visit. We will never forget this one. A shot from the front drive of their home.

On the road this morning. Just getting into Nashville.

We breezed right through about 1130 am. Traffic was light here compared to the rest of our trip. I can not tell you how much truck traffic is out here. Lots of goods are being moved somewhere.

This was Nashville. See how light the traffic was. Its great to be retired and driving on a weekday. Everyone else is at work I guess.

We did not get many pictures on the ride over but Teri did grab this one. The guy was checking us out as we were doing the same. I saw several old cars driving in Knoxville. The traffic was a nightmare in Knoxville at 4 pm today.
I was aggrivated because our trackers would not work. The WD0AFQ tracker is working now. I don't know why. The bug tracker, WD0AFQ-1 never would work right today and still won't. I will monkey with it later.

These guys are good. Here they are doing Rocky Top. They did mostly Bluegrass but a little country. Our host here had these guys out tonight for our entertainment. It was great.

So, even though you could not ride along with us today, due to no tracking system, we did make it to Bean Station. Was a great day for a ride through the mountains. 250 miles from Roger and Donna's to here. Had a great supper and entertainment. Lots of visiting and now to rest up for more tomorrow. This is great. I hope that you experience just a little of what we do through the pictures. The old GMC never missed a beat. What a coach. We could not even feel the bug back there. It was as happy as a lark just riding along. I think Teri, me, and the bug are heading out for some geocaching pretty soon. I found her looking up some sites when I came back to the coach tonight. Should be a great weekend. Will have more pictures as we enjoy ourselves here.

Come on back when you get a chance, the more the merrier.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Great Day for a Ride

Update on the tracker.
I have the bug working. Type in WD0AFQ-1. That is a zero. I must have an antenna problem with the GMC tracker. Sorry about that.

I hope you got to ride a litte ways with us today. The tracker left us out on the highway. I got to reprogram that thing before I hit the sack tonight.
Great day. Truck traffic was very heavy on I-40. We made 250 miles in 4 hours. Landed in Burns, Tn about 130 pm. Roger and Donna have treated us really well. They have a very nice place out here in the hills.
We will roll about 9 am and go til we hit Bean Station. That's about another 250 miles.
Roger and Donna took us out for supper and sight seeing. What a time we had. Teri and I left the camera in the GMC. We really wish we could share some of our sights with you but just can not do it. Will have some pictures in the days to come.
Sorry so short but I need to get some things before I hit the sack. Roger refuses to let me back out into the coach. I am going to sneak out shortly while he is talking to Teri.
Hope everyone is doing ok. Follow along if you can.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hey, Let's Roll

Alright, we are just about ready. I got the tracker in the motorhome tonite so yall can ride along with us. I still need to vacuum the coach. We will turn the refer on in the morning and load it up tom evening. This refer cools down fast from a hot start. Need to stop on the way out of town and top off the lp tank. We will use very little but may dry camp and need it to run the refer with. Also the on demand hot water heater runs on lp.
Last night our 3 year old, almost 4, grandson was over. His plan was to spend the night in the motorhome, so he and I did. The bed slept great. We only had one little monster trying to get in through a rear window. One we slew that one he was asleep and I was back to watching tv up front. Also had the internet going, just like being on the road. We no longer plug the coach in while in the driveway due to the solar system. It keeps the batteries up to 100 %. I needed to put a drain on them so last night was a good time to run all of the electronics along with the water pump and lights. We slept with two fans running all night.
Early this morning, I am talking 630 am, I could feel this little guy breathing on me. Then I heard, "grandpa, grandpa, time to get up". I just kept lying there then I heard this magic word. "Grandpa, I need to poop". Oh yea, I was up and he was out the door. I watched him come inside the house then went back to bed. Later I found that Teri was still asleep when he came to the bedside and told her the same thing, so she helped him out. I can let a lot of words pass right on by but when a 3 year old says he needs to poop, I certainly hear that.
Alright, just a few tidy ups tomorrow and off we go, on Wednesday morning. We plan to stop this side of Nashville at our friend's, Roger Black's place, for the night. At least that is the plan right now. Will drive on into Bean Station on Thursday. Ride with us if you can. If you can't, check our progress when you get time.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

VW Baja

Ok, here is what I did today. My old beater is getting neater. Long way to go but I am working on it. My brother is working on my new doors. Got to get the upper hinge pins pushed out so I can get my mirror pins in there before we mount the doors. Look to the lower left. That is one of the new valve covers that went on today. Aluminum and finned. Should do a little to help keep things cool back there. Also, they look good.

Here you can see a bit of both of them. I have 1000 miles on the engine build now so it was time to check the valve clearance. They were all tight. I set them to .006 clearance. That should do for 3,000 miles, then I will re check them. I could not take pictures of the actual work as I was home alone and the camera was with Teri.
Next project, besides the doors, is to re index the rear torsion bars so the car will have a little more lift in the rear. I do not want to drag the low sump oil pan off on something. Need to cover that with some kind of skid plate.
We plan to tow the bug on the upcoming trip. We rarely drive far from the coach on short trips so this should work fine. It is about half the weight of the Vibe and the GMC never knows it is back there. You can see the new permanant tow lights that my brother and I fixed up on the rear bumper. Now all I have to do is hook up the car and plug the lights in. Well, I do have a tow brake that I use but that takes 2 minutes, tops, to set.
Teri and I took the bug over to one of our daughters' place this afternoon. Of course all 3 grandkids wanted to ride in the bug. So, grandpa made 2 trips to make sure all three got a ride. No back seat so I can strap 2 in the passenger seat at once. We always have fun with the kids in the bug.
That's it from Dexter, Mo. this afternoon. Mid 80's here today with wind and it felt great. Teri just went out to finish up some yard work so I better get out there and watch her, ha.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hey, Its Friday

How do you like this one? Oh yea, GMC Motorhome owners are almost all hotrodders, or classic car folks. We love to do the Tim Allen, toolman, thing. "Soup it up". Look at the smoke coming from those front tires. I love smoking tires from a 455 frontwheel drive GMC coach. No other tires have the same smell while "smoking". A friend of mine had a GMC dragrace rally this past weekend. Several coaches were there and made the run. I am thinking Pinks needs to do a show on us one of these days. Pinks is a dragracing show on Speed Channel. And, for those of you that don't realize it, the GMC Motorhome holds the land speed record for the fastest motohome on earth. These rigs will scoot if you shove the pedal down. That is just a pretty sight. I love it, can you tell? Now you know why I have fuel injection, headers, and a 3 inch stainless pipe all the way out to the rear bumper. Not to mention the 355 gears and that special grind camshaft. Oh, what about my variable MSD timing contol? Oh yea! If I pull out in front of someone, I can move out of their way in a hurry. I am notorious for slowing down when I see a coach coming up behind me right before a mountain climb. I really enjoy it when it is a big diesel pusher. Let them pass on the flat. Then, just as we start up the mountain, here I come. I am coming around, move over. I love it. I guess you know now why we had that fire climbing up the mountain pass in California. I was passing a bunch of pushers trying to catch a class C with a Ford V-10. We made it, and we were smokin, but wrong kind of smoke that time. Always bring your fire extinguishers and have them real handy. Saved us.
Anyway, it is Friday. Why do I care? I don't. but, I know that many of you do and I am happy that you have made it another week closer to where I am. It is great not having to get out on weekends. I like Tuesdays. No one on the road but us old whitehaired folks. We have the roads all to ourselves on Tuesdays.
So, have a great weekend and come on back as you have time. Teri worked cleaning the inside of the GMC today. I will get it vacuumed this weekend and wash the outside and off we will go. Lots of pictures coming, soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Almost Ready

If you have followed along with us for very long you might recall that last September we had a problem. We were on the Colorado River, California side, and the coach needed a laxitive. Without repeating that story I will say that I was able to pry the gate open. I have an electric black water valve and the handle pulled out of the valve. Motor worked fine. Anyway, today was the day to fix it, in my own driveway. You see, I do not enjoy dumping the black tank with a 3 inch hose. I like clean and easy much more. This is a picture of the setup. Notice the 3 inch valve in the rear. It stays closed all of the time unless I need to use the three inch hose. Picked it up in Oregon for 5 bux.
So, here is how it works.
I have what is called a maserator. It does the work for you. I have a 3/4 inch hose that stays attached and is stored in a tube up under the GMC, along the driver's side frame. When it comes time for this little task I pull the 15 ft. hose out, stick in the hole, hit a switch that opens the gate. Then, I hit another switch that starts the motor, maserator pump. Wait 3 minutes, come back turn off the motor, turn the 12 volt gate motor on, to shut it, and I am done. Just pull the hose out of the hole and stick it back along the holder along the frame. All finished and no gloves. Can do it with white shirt and tie.
All is fine and good as long as it works. It all works after my personal attention to it this morning. I carry a spare motor just in case I burn this one up. Also, I do have a 3 inch hose in case of some kind of emergency.
In these pictures you can see just how all is mounted. If you look hard you can see the new gate sandwiched in there just ahead of the little 12 volt motor. Way over there you can see my rear mounted muffler. No more floor fires. This one has a heat shield on it so it does not heat up the floor.

So, there you have it. A real laid back guy like me can perform some tasks that would cost an arm and a leg to have done. This does not have to be a nasty chore either. I had the tank all cleaned out so was no dark water coming from it. That is a must. Also, never crawl under a vehicle without blocking it up first. That is a big no no. A few wrenches and in an hour I was done and all cleaned up.
As I have mentioned before, I do not like camping. If I can not live as comfortable in the rv as I do at home, I ain't going. We have everything in this coach that we would have at our house. Got satellite tv, internet, hot water, convection microwave. If you can think it up, I got it. More accessories in our 35 year old coach than most new ones come with, and a tip top solar system to boot. Of course, I am not going anywhere without my personal chef.
Have a good Thrusday. I am now ready to sit back and watch the Dave Ramsey Special tonight on Fox Buisness. A nationwide townhall meeting, live. This should be good. Dave is an upbeat guy and he will be answering a lot of questions from concerned citizens tonitght on the present economy. Tune in if you have time.
One day closer to hitting the road.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just About Ready

Oh yea, the GMC is really smiling today. We got it all greased up. I hate that chore. It takes little time but oh how messy. I crawled around under the front end and got that part done in 10 or 15 minutes. There are about 13 or so fittings up there. I hope it is 13. I need to double check the book. If it is more I missed a couple. Went to jack the rear end up to grease the bogies and my 6 ton jack would not work. I tossed it into the trash and headed to town for a new one, 28 bux. Got home and rasied it to finsish the job. There are 4 grease fittings back there and the coach must have the wheels off the ground to do it properly. We also had a friend over and he gave Teri some tips on fixing our floor, the one with the big hole in it. Have not had it home since the fire but when we get back from this trip we will rip out the front living area and fix that and do a few more things while it is all torn out.
So, that was it for today. Did have my 5 year old grandson over this afternoon, Colsyn. He is quite the story teller. So funny to get him to tell stories. He may be a professional performer one of these days. Someone told him that John Wayne died. That did not sit well with me but he asked me, point blank. I could not lie. Dog gone it. I had so much fun getting him gifts from John when we are in Arizona. Another grandma popped his bubble. Oh well, I guess 5 is old enough to realize that your hero is already gone.
Thanks for stopping by. I was on a mission today so did not have Teri take pictures. Will get some soon though. Have a good rest of the week. Weather here is perfect right now.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Still No Pictures

And, the tracker is not working in Teri's car. I suspect a blown fuse. She will be home in a couple of hours and I will see what the problem is.
BUT, I do have grease under my nails today. Spent the whole day working on the GMC. It is almost ready to hit the road again. There is a big ole smile right across the front grille. Hey, I told you these GMCs talk to you. Well, they listen too. Our's knows we are getting close. Took it out for a short spin and filled the tank with fuel. Got a big check list here with everything marked off except for a grease job. I need Teri to help me with that so we will do that tomorrow. I got more things done than I had on my list. Once I get to tinkering I always find other things that need taking care of. We have a transmission leak, I hate any kind of leaks on a vehicle. I did clean the grease off of the bottom and tightened up some bolts. I can not stop it but I know I got it slowed down. Seems the back pan is leaking and I do not think that gasket can be replaced without pulling the transmission. So, I will live with it a while longer and just keep it wiped off the bottom of the pan. May put a piece of cardboard under it to keep it off the driveway. I am constantly checking the fluid level. Rarely do I add any to it so the leak is not much. Just looks bad. I feel that a clean transmission is a happy transmission. Same with the engine so I did some cleaning on it while I was lying on my back.
See, I am getting better, 2 days in a row now.
Hope everyone is having a good week. It sure is nice to be able to go to Walmart while everyone else is at work. Get right in, get my stuff, and check right out. Retired life does have its little perks.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Alright, Alright

I keep getting these emails checking to see if I am ok. Russ even thought maybe he should send flowers to me.
Teri is up in Northern Indiana with our daughter and her family. I can't find my broken camera, that works sometimes, the pink one. Wanted to have some photos to upload but none today.
Weather was great here today. Mid 70's. After church I rewired the headlights on the bug. Installed heavier wires and a relay system. Now I have some bright headlights. I have been needing to get that done but just kept putting it off. Even installed a battery box that I picked up at Walmart last night. Now the battery is covered. It rides inside the car, under where the rear seat used to be. We now have a tracking system in the bug too. Got the oil changed in it Friday. So, I have done a few things while Teri has been away.
When Teri gets back we will start doing a few things to the GMC to get it ready for our upcoming trip to Tn. and Ky. We will be on the road for ten days, or so, exploring the mountains over on the east side of those states. Have not done anything to the coach since I pulled it in the driveway over two weeks back.
Teri is supposed to head home in the morning. It is a 400 mile trip for her. You can ride along if you want as she has a tracker in her car. I have WD0AFQ as the call for that tracker. The one in the bug has a -1 after the call if you need to see me running around Dexter, ha.
We have potluck tonight after services. I know the older ladies will feed me good. I have almost cleaned up every meal that Teri cooked for me before she left so I am glad it is potluck tonight.
Well, I better start getting cleaned up for church. We will have some pictures to upload next time. I can not figure out what has happened to the pink camera. I am now waiting for these cameras to drop below 50 bux before I buy another one. Teri is kinda stingy with her's and took it with her. She is afraid I will blow it up. Can't say that I blame her with my luck and cameras.
Hope everyone has a great week. Come on back in a couple of days. I will have Teri take pics of me working on the GMC, ha.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Back at the House

Here are a few reasons that we need to stop in Dexter, Missouri every now and then. Teri and I have really been blessed with grandchildren. They are all pretty well behaved when they come see us too. I think they are afraid grandpa might follow through with the threats of a spanking, and, he just might.

Teri and Danielle shortly after we arrived home. Little Tyler met us in town as we unhooked the car and rode shotgun in the GMC with grandpa the rest of the way to the house.

That is Teri on the roof. Saturday was such a nice day. She cleaned the gutters. Then she trimmed the hedges. You can see in this picture that they needed it. Did not get a shot after they were done but they look so much better.

These have been trimmed and Teri is raking up the debris. I took the lawnmower and mulched everything up and mowed the yard again. I hate burning stuff so we mulch all that we can. My cousin had mowed the yard on Wednesday, just before we arrived home. I have nice family that take good care of us. Anyway, it had grown more so while mulching the yard waste I mowed it again. You can see the trees are still pretty bare but they are budding out and we will have green leaves on the trees that are left standing after the traumatic ice storm a couple of months back. Looks pretty bad around here with all of the broken trees.

To the left of Teri is a Walnut Tree. It is on the neighbor's property but drops walnuts on our house. It needs to be trimmed or cut down. They clog our rain gutters.

Those hedges have now been trimmed up. That Teri is a worker. I have not mentioned it but my back has been all out of whack for the last three weeks. Today it is better. No excuse for Teri being on the house though as she does this every year. She is afraid I will fall off. My right foot is fused so it does not work too good on the slope of the roof. I am her cheerleader and helper on the ground.
So, we are in Dexter for a few days. Teri is heading to Indiana in a couple of weeks to see our girl and grandkids. When she gets back we will take off for Eastern Tennessee and Kentucky for a few days. I think we will tow the Baja this trip. I am guessing 1100 miles or so round trip.
Hope everyone is doing ok. I did not intend to wait this many days to post but we have been doing a few things around here. Saturday was a nice warm day in the mid 70's. Sunday the temps dropped. Today it is 55 degrees at 2 pm.
Well, Seems that Teri wants to head to Walmart. Guess I will go with her. Come on back when you have time. We will be into something. If you are traveling and get near, call us and come by. We can park another GMC in our driveway.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No Way

I am here to let it be known that there is absolutly no way anyone can travel and see this great country any cheaper than by an rv. Besides that, how many lifetime friends can you make while sleeping at the Holiday Inn? Teri and I left our home in the GMC a year ago last Christmas. We came home twice by car but the GMC only returned home today. During that time we spent 10 months living in this coach, meeting new friends and revisiting old ones. I think Teri and I have more friends than we could ever count. Life is absolutly great in an old GMC motorhome. The coach never let us down in over 7500 miles. Oh, we lost a starter and a wheel bearing but we had advance warning and nothing lost. I am telling you this GMC talks and we listen. What a dependable rv it is.
Here we are leaving Ken and Elaine's family farm in Georgia yesterday. Said our goodbyes and on the road we went. 600 miles to Dexter was our destination. This was a great get together in Georgia with very good friends.
Southwest Georgia is beautiful and rich with history.

These folks take pride in everything they do. All of the old buildings are well maintained, like this courthouse.

Coming into Alabama.

As you can see, it started raining.

Dropping down into Birmingham from up on the 1100 ft. mountain top.

As noted in yesterday's entry we spent the night at my cousin's in Hamilton, Al. Was exactly half way. I was glad to get there as the rain was messy and really dirtied up the coach and car. Here we are as we were leaving about 9am this morning. The wheels are not shining as they were when we left Georgia the morning before.

Oh yea, we got in some geocahcing this morning. It was such a pretty day. Teri just had to get in some hunts and exercise. I stayed in the coach and plotted our next hunt.

Woops, I loved seeing her jog I posted it twice. She was happy as she grabbed this one very quickly.

Here she goes for the second one, just up the road near the Ms. state line. Found it too.

I was nervous here as I had little shoulder to keep the GMC out of the way of traffic. I hurried Teri and we did not get this one. Will grab it next time through.

Oh yea. Mississippi has a nice dump station at the state line, in the rest area. Got that thing all cleaned out good so I won't have to do it at home. I was a happy camper here and Teri grabbed another geocache while I did the dirty work. Actually there is no dirty work with the pump I have on the GMC, no gloves needed. and no mess.

Coming into Mo. across the Big Old Mighty Muddy.

The River was full.

I love crossing this river but I loved the Mo. State Line sign more today.

And, here it is, the GMC back home. It was glad to get back to it's parking place after being gone for so long. The Bug was happy to see us, see him smiling? I put the battery in the Bug and it fired right off. We took him to church tonight. The Vibe was so dirty from the Alabama rain I did not want to ride in it. Will wash it tomorrow, and the GMC.

10 months out of 15, living in this old coach. It was great. What was really fun was yall riding along with us. The little red car is parked at home too but it wont stay long, neither will the GMC. We have a trip that we are planning right now. Will be heading to eastern Tn. and central Ky. very soon. I think the VW will go this time.
On this trip we saw things that we never invisioned. Before last week SW Georgia was only a spot on the map that we really did not know for sure existed. It does. Plan a trip to the Plains area. Do some geocaching there. You will never regret it. Take an rv, much cheaper than a motel and you always know who slept in your bed last night.
Stay with us, we got lots of stuff going on.