Saturday, February 27, 2010

Part Timing in a GMC Motorhome

No pictures. Did not get much done. Too windy to lay on the ground to re install the transmission line. We have 2 weeks before we leave for Texas. I will get it on a sunny, warm, and not windy, day.
We plan to attend church services over the mountain, in Safford, in the morning. After services we will run over to Roper Lake for a quick visit with Kathy and Carl. They are there in their GMC and will pull out after lunch. Had hoped to run over in our coach to spend the weekend but the camp was full. they require two week reservations or come as you want, but it may be full. I am not driving 50 miles, one way, hoping to get a spot. Id rather camp in the desert to be honest with you, but I do enjoy meeting folks in rv parks.
I have helped a guy or two find a GMC to full time in. It is pretty easy for one person to live in a GMC. It is easy for Teri and me to live in our's for 4 months at a time. But, we could not do it full time. Teri likes having our house to go home to. I do too. If I were alone I would move into the GMC and just go. Being a full timer in a GMC would take some creative packing. I'd pull a car so I had transportation, leaving the GMC parked for a month or two at a time. Does not cost near as much to live in the GMC as it does at home if you are not paying high rv park fees. I could easily live all winter in SW Arizona and Ca. for a minimal fee for water and dump. It is harder in other parts of the US to do this. Not many good dry camping spots where you can stay for extended periods of time. Summers would be tougher as I would want to be north in cooler places. That would probably require 3-4 months of park fees.
Oh well, as I said, not much happening today. We have 2 weeks, from this coming Monday, til we take off across Tx. Got to start getting everything wrapped up. Will stop our mail forwarding service this coming week and try to find someone at home to pick up our mail until we get home.
Hope your weekend is going good. Thanks for stopping by. Reminder, check the tracker for WD0AFQ to see the GMC. Check for WD0AFQ-1 to see us run around in the car.
Catch you in a day or two. Nascar in Las Vegas tomorrow.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Over The Mountain

Oh yea, I had to make a trip across the mountain into Safford this afternoon. Click the photo up and have a look, just left of where the dirt dauber nest used to be. Oh yea, that is the piece of plastic line to my oil gauge that I left in. About 3 years ago we blew one of these and the glass engine cover saved us. I replaced all that I could get to with a copper line that JR Wheeler gave me. I spliced it in out under the hood, leaving a short piece of plastic running through the dash to the gauge. Well, not a good idea. It got so brittle that it just broke in two. I am getting real good at taking our dash out. Did it again today. This line broke. I started the engine and could not figure why I had no oil pressure showing. I knew I had pressure as the engine sounded good. I killed it and went out to look. This line was broken and the oil was pumping out on the ground.
Checker wanted 20 bux for an oil gauge "kit". Or, they had 8 feet of line for 9 dollars. I grabbed the nine dollar thing then went to Napa and got 3 barrels that crimp the copper so it does not leak. Why 3? Well, I dropped one in the dash. I knew I had better get 3 at 15 cents each. Glad I did.
We have oil pressure again. I replaced the broken speedo gear with a special one that Jim Kanomata sent me. Glad to have that done. Took me an hour to get it to pop in over the seal. I was too tired to install the new transmission line. I will have to lay in the dirt to make it fit. It is a headache job that should only take 10 minutes but those threads are almost impossible to start on new lines. I will figure an hour and then have to take a shower. That should stop the transmission from over heating.
I was having a problem with my fuel pressure gauge reading half when I pulled the headlights on. That was new. Also, the temp gauge would jump when I pulled the headlights on. I replaced the headlight switch yesterday and got a new knob for it today. Anyway, I put a ground on the back of the temp. gauge and stopped that problem. I grounded the dash in a few places but could not fix the fuel pressure gauge problem. So, I got under the hood and found my headlight relay harness ground. It did not look good. I cleaned it up really good. That did the trick. Now when I pull the headlights on everything works as it should. Had a loose ground on the back of the block that I also ran in with my fingers then put a wrench on it. Got to have good grounds.
Oh, don't let anyone tell you that the "higher ups" in Arizona are not on their toes. They realize that revenues are down. Not only are they closing most of the highway rest areas but they are also closing the camp grounds. And, they are putting troopers and cameras everywhere. Yesterday Teri and I passed, or met, 4 troopers in less than 20 miles. They were on 191 south of Safford. Drive the speed limit if you come to Arizona. They will get you if you speed. I make sure to set my cruise a mile or two under the limit, using our gps.
I had to stop and see if I could locate the cache that has been eluding Teri and me for a year. We pass it every time we go to town. I dug around there for 30 minutes this afternoon and still did not find the thing. We are not giving up.
Friday is here. The weekend has started. I will stay off the roads so you working people can enjoy your days off. Thanks for stopping by. We are really enjoying this winter out here in Az.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Tucson For The Parade

Teri and I left home about noon Wednesday heading for Tucson. Look at the snow. All of the mountain tops are snow covered. Our friends Kathy and Carl. We stayed in their beautiful home and they took us out for a great Mexican supper. Great friends. I was full up after the meal. Can you tell by the look on my face. Was just great. We failed to get pictures of the house but will next time. Carl and Kathy have a great place. You can hardly see any neighbors for all of the growth of trees and cactus. Very pretty. Most Midwesterners would not appreciate the beauty of the setting. I mean, rattlesnakes abound. Just another critter to Kathy and Carl.
I grabbed most of these photos for our grandson Colsyn. He is a true cowboy stuck in Missouri. I so wish he could have been with us for the parade. It was great.

No gasoline engines allowed. Longest parade of its kind. Look at the dress. Took me right back to John Wayne.

These folks are proud of their rides.

A horse pulled float. All of the floats were pulled by horses or mules. We had to watch where we stepped.

Look at this pair of horses. There was not an ugly animal in the parade. Can't say that about some of the riders.

We had about a mile and a half walk from the car to the parade. Was not bad but I kept thinking about the return walk after leaving the parade.

Oh, it was tough but I made it. Sun was very bright and the temps were warm.

Our oldest granddaughter, Kelsey. She is Royalty from Duncan and was invited to ride in the parade. What an honor. Teri and I are so glad we could participate, just a little, and see her ride that horse.

Tucson is where we were. Some of the long walk, went right through here. I think I have seen this neighborhood on Cops.

We stopped at Roper Lake on our way home and Teri grabbed this shot of Mt. Graham. Does not look real, does it?

Oh yea, we did some geocaching on our way home today. It was easy to grab the ones today. One year ago yesterday we started looking for a particular cache in Solomon, Az. We worked on it again today but still could not find it. Someone found it Tuesday. Seems everyone finds it but us. We go by it everytime we go over the mountain. Really bugs me. I am going to take someone with us and see if they can help us locate it before we leave the area.

There you have it, our last two days. Living in a GMC motorhome is great. We get nice winter weather and can travel places in our car for over night experiences. Thanks, Kathy and Carl, for taking us in last night. Was great visiting, just like when yall came to see us back in October. Friends are priceless.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

And Then There Was Snow

We are about 3600 ft. above sea level here. Yesterday we got rain all day. At 4,000 ft. it was snow. It was really neat this morning to look around in a 360 degree circle and see snow all the way around us. I had my camera but there was no way I could get a picture that would even come close to showing the beauty. Halfway back from the post office I could see it all the way around. We are in a hole here, if 3600 ft. can be considered a hole. Such a pretty sight and the sun was out just glistening off the shiny clean snow.
Well, our tow check was in the mail today. I was glad to see it. Signed it and it went straight to the bank, in Mo, via US mail. Pray that it arrives safely. I wish I could deposit it as fast as I saw a check come out of there last week. How can one write a check in one state and have it withdrawn the following day, in Mo? Wow, that was fast. When I was a kid in college I lived in Arkansas, my bank was in Mo. I knew on Wednesday I could write a check and it would not hit the bank before Saturday when I was there making a deposit. Not today. When it leaves our hand it is a goner.
Wednesday ride with us to Tucson. WD0AFQ-1 on the tracker. Our oldest grandchild, Kelsey, is riding her horse in a big parade in Tucson on Thursday morning. I sure hope it is warm. Teri and I are staying the night with Kathy and Carl tomorrow. That will get us up and to the early morning parade in time.
We will have parts here waiting on us Thursday so I can hopefully finish the things on the coach. I think I have the time consuming things finished. We may take it out for a test weekend on the road Friday. May be dry camping, which we are prepared for.
Hope everyone's week is going well. We are enjoying our time here in Eastern Az. Won't be long til we head out across Tx. for the Houston area. I am pretty excited as Jim and Grace Kanomata hope to meet up with us in Lordsburg. We will travel I-10 across the state. I have never done this part of Texas so it will be new territory for us.
Check on us Wednesday and Thursday if you have time. For the GMC folks, I put a bunch of pictures on the photo site, this afternoon, of our stay at Miguel's.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rainy Monday

It rained all night and is still raining here at 230 pm. Needless to say we have done no geocaching. I washed Teri's car Saturday, in the rain, so I am not anxious to get out on the roads with it today. Need to check the mail for the towing check but I am not driving to town in the rain today. Hoping the sun will pop and Tuesday is a better day. It never rains in the dessert, does it? Seems like rain has followed us everywhere this winter.
Even though we are far from Southern California we continue to vist with our new friends, via internet. Where would we be without friends? What a joy to travel and make friends along the way. We are not talking about aquaintences but lifelong friends. Teri and I have been traveling in this old coach since Sept. 06. Every trip out we make new friends. I was very surprised to make so many friends in California. We see the news and never is there any good things coming from that area. We are forced to think the way the news casters want us to think. I don't like it. Southern California is portrayed as a "war zone". I am sure the midwest is portrayed as a bunch of country bumpkins. Let me say this, Southern California is so far ahead of the rest of the USA when it comes to Race Relations. I love it. It makes no difference what color a person is or how their accent sounds the people in Southern California take you right in. I will admit that there were a couple of days that I was not completely comfortable around the shops near Miguel's. But, almost like a light switch was flipped, those guys just took us in. We became a part of the community. Teri and I could walk into any shop and feel right at home. Most of the owners were of Mexican decent. Extremely friendly once they got to know us. I miss them already and can't wait to get back out there next winter.
Most of the time a smile gets one in return. That is not always true though. I laugh when Teri comes home telling me how she made someone be nice to her. It is funny. Too often when we encounter someone having a bad day we too will frown and go on. When I feel good, that is most of the time, I enjoy also trying to get a smile from folks. I can get upset but I don't like doing that. Teri is good to keep me calm but sometimes if I am upset enough I can see it rub off on her.
My dad pretty much broke me of "temper tantrums" when I was a little kid. I never enjoyed his 2 inch belt hitting my bare butt. So, if smiling made dad happy, I could do that. I think I am a fast learner. As a Parole Officer I often saw grown men thow little kid fits. It was hard for me to keep from busting out laughing at times. What a waste.
Oh well, we need wars I guess. Nothing I can do about other folks but I can control myself, most of the time. Life is good and the sun will shine.
Just rambling today.
See yall on a sunny day.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tax Day

Whew, glad to have that over with. Teri and I did our taxes this afternoon during the race. Race was rather boring anyway. I always dread doing our taxes. Those guys used to hang it on me every year. It got so complicated that I had to pay Rick to do them for us after the feds sent me a letter that I owed them 750 more bux. Shoot, I mailed the check, with no questions, the following day. I wanted no part of a federal penn. My grandfather did time in a federal joint down in Atlanta. I think he took care of all of the family as far as doing time is concerned. His was not tax evasion, he was a moonshiner. They broke him of his trade. When he got out, he moved his family from Alabama to Arkansas and began farming. Made a very good, legal, living.
So, with that over I can get on to more important things, like geocaching or something. I am waiting on 2 parts for the coach. Will be a couple of slow days here so will see what we can find. Maybe we can locate that treasure over in Solomon that has eluded us for so long.
Sure was good to see our friends at church today and tonight. We left planning to be gone only one Sunday but I think we missed 5.
No pictures. Didn't figure you would be interested in our tax return. Will get some this week and post.
Just talked with my youngest brother, Matt, over in Monroe, La. He makes good money but is working on getting debt free. He has found a second job taking work orders for all kind of little jobs. They pay anywhere from 100.00 on up. Just depends on the job. Most are trivial, replacing a board in customer's tv or running a computer cable for a store or buisness. Little stuff like that. He is going to work with me to see if I can get on board and maybe pick up some gas money. Sounds pretty good.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as Teri and I did.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Snow On The Mountain

Look at this. I got it all hooked up and the dash is back together. Getting closer to finishing things up. Got a speedometer gear coming that should be here in a couple of days. That will get my cruise control back in order. I think one of the transmission lines is going to need replacing. That is not a bad job just a headache getting the threads to start. Got a kink and flat spot. I think it is not letting the fluid pass enough and causing the transmission to run hotter than it should. We will see. Just sitting here relaxing this evening, eating the last of the chocolate candy that we got in Quartzsite. Got my headlight buzzer going again. I am bad to leave the headlights on and run the battery down. I have this buzzer that comes on when I turn off the ignition and the lights are on. Don't forget to turn them off with it buzzing. I put up a new led light in the bedroom for Teri. It is a big one that I got before we left Mo. and just did not get installed. It is nice and will light up the entire bedroom. Mounted it next to the Fantastic Vent and grabbed 12 volts right there. The light fixture has a built in switch, making an easy install.
The day started off nice and sunny. About noon the sun left and I could see rain and snow coming our way. We are at 3600 feet. All we got was rain. The mountains behind us are 500 ft. higher and got covered in snow. Late this afternoon the wind died and the sun came back out. Stayed cool til dark and started warming back up.
Will attend church with our friends here in Duncan in the morning. Got to hurry home and catch the race out in Fontana. Should be a good one if the weather is decent.
Hope you have a great Sunday. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Oh yea, I am getting closer. Did another 8 hours on the coach today. I think about 4 more and I will be finished and ready to hit the road.
Found this little baby flat spotted when I pulled it this morning. Maybe I can get one pretty quick. That will get my cruise control back to working. Not really concerned about the speed accuracy as I use the GPS for that. I had to make another trip into Safford for a different gauge. The one I had was going to be really difficult to get through the firewall. Now I have a nicer looking one that matches the other gauges and it was cheaper. This one is electric. One more wire and I will be done with that. Already have the sending unit mounted in the intake manifold, the long wire run, and the ground. Just need the ignition wire hooked up and I am ready. I know where the wire is so won't take too long.
Got my digipanel parts from Jim K today and that was fixed.
Not a pretty picture, is it? I will be glad to get it all wired up and back together. Maybe in the morning. Oh well, can't move the coach until I get the speedometer gear anyway so no real rush.
Saturday is upon us. Life is getting better for me here as I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once I get the coach back to where it needs to be Teri and I can get on with geocaching and visiting our friends around here.
Have a great weekend. Thanks for keeping a good check on Teri and me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Our Trip Back

We met a lot of Nascar haulers. I was able to get a few pictures but not very good. I was driving and trying to get the pictures too. Teri worked on some of them to improve and get the black spot out.

We stopped in Quartzsite and fueled up. Teri got this one while I was checking the oil. We then hooked the car to the GMC for a ride over and through Phoenix. Unhooked it again to get over the Superior/Globe mountain. She drove it on home from there, another 100 miles. Teri was tired when we got home. So was I.

The GMC really ran good. No complaints. I think we have an engine and transmission that will last a long time.

Lots of cactus out here. This was taken just east of the Phoenix area before we hit the mountain at Superior.

While in Quartzsite, at Lowe's, Pablo's truck pulled in for fuel. I asked Teri to get a picture. She does not care for the guy so she did not take one. I kinda like watching Juan Pablo getting roughed up out on the track. Oh well, next time.

These guys were on the move from Florida to Fontana. Wish I could be there Sunday. We were there last Friday while geocaching. Miguel said he is going to the race. Have fun and think about me here at home watching on tv.

I took this picture as we were getting out of the mountains in California, just after dawn. It is a shot in my driver's side rear mirror. I thought it came out pretty good.

Lots of these babies out here. These were close to Palm Springs. Sun was just coming up.

This shot pretty much sums up my day. Worked on little things all day. Got more to do. Here, the temp gauge went bad. I got a new one today and will install tomorrow. 80 mile run over the mountain to get it. Speedometer is next chore. I have got to have cruise due to my bad right foot. Was not much fun yesterday without it. I have traced it to the transmission. Hoping I can replace something to make it work. Will get in touch with help tomorrow, for advice. I have got all good parts to the transmission so it has to be in there.

That is pretty much it. Was a good run across two states. GMC ran great and the transmission shifted good. No complaints about that.
Hope you are having a good week. Friday is here. I thought I had really gotten up early this morning. Then, this afternoon, Teri figured out that we had not reset our clocks. It was 10 am when I got up. So what?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Made It

Teri and I rolled out about 6 am California time. We drove 550 miles and arrived here in Duncan about 5 pm California time. Not bad as we spent a good bit of time not rolling when we would stop for stuff. Was in Safford for an hour at Walmart and getting gasoline and lp. I think I have some pretty good pictures. I will post them Thursday. I am too tired tonight to put them up. The coach ran good. Most of my gauges were out, including water temp and speedometer. Will check on them in a day or two and see if I can make them work again. I use the GPS speedometer anyway but we have no cruise control without the speedometer. That is not good. It seemed like the transmission pan temp was a bit warm a few times. I can stop that when I get my external cooler hooked back up. I have a Mazda RX 7 cooler that will go in line. Already have one in line for the engine oil. They have 170 degree thermostats in them so they are bypassed when not needed. Will have special lines made to mate up with my new transmission cooling lines I put on before we left missouri.
If you rode with us, via the tracker, thanks. Was a good ride. We unhooked the car at Superior. That is a bear to climb towing so I just took the car off and Teri drove it over.
Life is great in Duncan, Az.
See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We Will Return

We just want to share some of our new found friends with you. Now you can see why we will be making this an anual occassion. Roma and Reuben gave us a key to their home. We grew to love this couple right away. Such good people. We will be back and they are coming to Mo. More


And, just a great circle of friends we have established here.

Reuben is the one that took a day and drove us all around the LA area. What a guy. Very giving.
Anyway, just wanted to share these folks with you. I have already put lots of pictures up of the shop owners around Miguel. I promised them today that we will be back on a regular basis to visit them, on Saturdays when they all eat together. The shop owners just seem to take a liken to us and were available to help us with anything we needed.
See you on the east side of the mountains.

Ready To Roll

All is good and we should be rolling in the morning. Here is the GMC getting ready to come off the rack under its own power. Miguel manuvering this thing out toward the road.
Off we go. Miguel and I drove 30 miles or so. All seems fine. We put a fan clutch on when we got back. I had a spare one in the coach.

Recognize this guy? His best side.

Teri and I have said our goodbyes. We met lots of very nice shop owners here. Miguel treated us great and we hate to leave but the time has arrived. The car is packed and ready. GMC is setting on go. We should be out of here early in the morning. teri will follow me for a ways in the car before we mate the two together for the long haul.
Before I forget, my good friend Joe Simon knew the car right off. He emailed me and said that is a Facel Vega. Correct. He did not get the year. It is a 1961. I will still get his lunch when we get together. It is not an American car but it did have a Mopar engine in it. So, it was kinda American. A foreign body threw people off I am sure. Anyway, 1961 Facel Vega. Million dollar car when finished, I am told. Second one this shop has done for a fella. The body shop is adjacent to Miguel's shop.
I guess some wonder if we really had as much fun as I let on. Yes. I am sure I have had more fun living in Miguel's shop than Teri but it has been fun. The only non fun, besides the bill, was the closer we got to finishing the coach the earlier I had to get up. I will tell you, when we get back to Arizona I plan to sleep til noon for a couple of days.
Gotta go. Thanks for all of your prayers and concerns. We are rolling in the morning. Watch the tracker, WD0AFQ.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Update, Getting Closer

If you can get this one right, I will buy your lunch. You see this hole?
This was in it. Miguel got me on the roof of a customer's coach. We pitched this old air conditioner off and onto the blacktop, just Jim B does it. Man, I could not believe it, splat. Oh well.

This came out of a customer's coach Saturday. 1800 bux to repair it. The fella opted for a new Generac. I can't say that I blame him.

Getting ready to bolt the axles up.

Holley is on.

So, there is where we are now. It is after 4 pm Monday. The day is about over. Just wanted to let you know where we stand now. Won't be long now.
Work on figuring out what the primered car is. Should keep you busy tonight.

The Day After

Yes, is it the day after the Daytona 500 or the day after Valenitne's Day? Both you say? You are correct. I thought that was a poor race yesterday. I saw the last 78 laps. This Sunday it will be here in Fontana. I hope we are back in Eastern Az. come Sunday. We will see.
I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day with your sweethearts. Teri and I did not spend any money this year on each other. With the bills coming in on the coach we decided all we needed this year was each other. We shared a very good day together. Last night we were with about 15 others at our friend's home. Over there until about 11 pm. I had a hard time getting up and going this morning at 8 am. Tonight we have another date with our friends. We are looking forward to it.
What year is this little beauty? I was a little kid when these came out. There were some with 409 cubic inch engines that would really honk. Here is another one that rolled into the upholstery shop this morning. Do you know the year? My dad had one of these. I drove it when I was 7. In fact, I hit a walnut tree with it at 7 years of age. I learned to drive early so I could help on the farm. 7 was a bit young but I did it. There is 10 years between the two vehicles. that should get you going.

There is going to be fire in the hole soon. Ryan is working on it today. Miguel is trying to get a Jasper engine to idle properly. I am glad Jim K. got this engine for us. It idles great, or did on the test stand with a carb. I see no reason for it not to do the same with our fuel injection. One of these days I plan to upgrade our Holley analog fi to a newer unit that is now available for these coaches.
That should be enough for this morning. It is almost 11 am. Time to get out and about. Sun is bright and it is really warm. Right at 80 yesterday and same is expected today. We may need the air conditioner in the coach when we pull out of here in a day or two.
Have a great week. Monday is one of my favorites.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Daytona 500

Oh, we hurried straight home from right here this morning. I wanted to catch as much of the race as possible. 12 noon here is 3 pm in Florida. Hoped to catch half of the race. It is now 2 pm and I have not seen one lap. Seems the track has a hole in it and the race was stopped at noon, California time. 78 laps left when we got here. Oh well, I see they are rolling again now.
Temp is 80 here.
Enjoy the race, I am gone. They just dropped the green again.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Busy Saturday at Miguel's Shop

Miguel was hopping all day. It is after 7 pm and he and Ryan are still working. Just finished this install. Here is Ryan checking his dad's work.

I like this. Sounds good and runs good. If I needed a generator I do think this 4800 would be the one I would get. Pretty quiet and runs 2 air conditioners. Miguel says 1/3 gallon an hour.
I have been here long enough to see this truck go from a totalled rig to this. It looks sharp. Belongs to the body shop owner next door.

Frank on right and Dave in center. The guy on left was our cook today. We had catfish tacos. Mmmm, my kind of grub.
I went with Frank to test drive a truck this morning. Ran the thing out of gas right in front of a station. A guy on the sidewalk helped us push it to the pumps.

The 41 Pontiac on the rack in Frank's shop. Has bags on it. I know it has got to be a rough riding vehicle. Engine trouble so Frank will tear it down. Also needs better motor mounts welded in.

Wrapping it up. Ryan worked on our coach til noon. Then they had too much other stuff they needed to get done. That is ok with me. We will get out of here one day this week.

Teri spent the day with friends. She had the camera so I missed getting pictures of our lunch and some vehicles that came by, 62 Chevy short bed and 62 Ford Falcon. Teri got lots of pictures but I have not looked at them yet.
I could not find the Nationwide race today. I have the Sprint Cup race marked. Will head straight home from church. Maybe I wont miss too much of it.
We continue to enjoy our time here. Had a great night last evening with our friends. I think our bed sleeps better though.
Catch you tomorrow. Happy Valentine's Day.