Monday, September 28, 2015

6-20 September 2015 Bear Problems, Home Repairs, Vehicle Problems, Road Trip

We were home a bit then hit the road again.  My mother is having the auction of my stepfather's stuff and a lot of household stuff as she downsizes.  That will be on the first weekend of October.  We had planned on being here a week early then decided to leave early and just take our time going to Kansas.

We had a few things to do at home before hitting the road but they didn't take too long.

One item was to fix the latch on the north door of the cabin.  The door and logs had shifted enough over the last ten years that the bolt no longer engaged the latch hole in the door frame.

I moved it down a quarter inch and drilled a new hole and it works like new again.

We won a nylon tarp from Survival Resources on one of their giveaways.  We love it but forgot to put some seam sealer on the middle seam.  I remedied that when we had a few sunny days to hang it outside on the line.  

We have one good apple tree left in the garden and it was loaded with apples.  Unfortunately, while we were gone a bear broke through the fence and had an apple feast.

I didn't mind him eating the apples as much as the damage he did to the tree.  Several smaller branches were broken and a couple of major ones like the one shown in the photo here.

And more damage to the same tree.  I hope he makes someone a nice bear rug this winter!

We decided to take our Dodge motorhome to Kansas and leave it at my mother's.  That way we'll be able to just go whenever we want and know we have a place to stay while there.  We could stay in the house but we had an extra motorhome laying around doing nothing so ... we drove it to Kansas to it's new home.
The Problem is that it isn't in that good of condition so we decided that if it broke down on the way we'd call the nearest salvage yard and leave it for them to dispose of.  So when we packed it we didn't put anything in it that we wouldn't mind leaving if it wouldn't fit in the car.  If it made it to Kansas we'd restock it with permanent items there.
We'll, it did come up with a couple of issues on the road but I was able to fix them with little effort or expenditures.

When we pulled into a rest area near Butte I noticed steam coming from the engine compartment.  The upper radiator hose was leaking near where it fastened to the thermostat housing.

It turned out to be a slit in the hose just above where the hose clamp was.  I cut an inch off the hose and reinstalled it and that problem was fixed.  Another hose began leaking the day before we reached my mother's but it made it there okay and there is no need to fix it now.

The reason we pulled into the rest area was because the windshield wiper blade on the right side quit working ... during a rainstorm of course!
There's a story to the W/S wipers too.  We replaced the wiper motor on the motorhome before we left on our cross country trip.  That wiper motor quit while we were on the trip.  We didn't want to buy another one because we didn't know if the motorhome would make it to Kansas or not so I took the wiper motor off my Dodge pickup and put it on the motorhome.  I planned on taking it off the motorhome when we reached Kansas (and I still do!).  So we were a bit leery of the W/S wipers anyway.
But it wasn't a problem with the motor this time.  This time the bushing holding the rod from the motor to the wiper transmission on the right side basically turned to dust.  Old age being the primary culprit.

So ... I cut off a section of wire from the wiring harness that wasn't needed and wired the rod to the rod going to the left side to keep it out of the way while the wiper motor was running.

Then we remembered a roll of duct tape we had laying around (we always have duct tape on hand!!!!).

I added a few wraps of duct tape for extra security then put the cowl back on.

I thought about putting the non-functioning wiper arm back on then decided not to.  We only needed the wipers a couple of more times on the way to KS.

One of our stops this time was at the crazy mountains in central MT.  After seeing the snow on them we debated whether we were crazy to go into them.

But go we did!  Susan did a winter of care taking at a dude ranch in the valley shown here.  They were 4.5 miles one way to their mail box and they walked it most of the time.

This is the cabin they lived in at the time.  There'd been a few changes over time but the cabin remained just as it had been when they lived in it.

Another stop we wanted to make and never seemed to have time was the Custer Battlefield at the Little Bighorn River.  We made time for it!  This is from the monument at the top of the hill looking to where Custer died

This is looking at it from the lower part of the hill.  Looking at it from a modern perspective it's hard to understand why the Indians felt it was such a great victory.  They wiped out those directly under Custer but were stymied by the rest of those under Benteen and Reno who held out until Terry and Gibbon arrived the next day.  Out of the hundreds of soldiers present the Indians only killed those under Custer's command, were unable to overcome those troops under Benteen and Reno and fled when they learned of the approach of Terry and Gibbon.
It was in essence, the beginning of their ultimate defeat.

Our next stop was Fort Laramie in Wyoming.  It's a great place to visit and see how the army of the time lived.  There were outhouses behind every building but this was the only well we found on the place.  Many of the buildings have been restored.  It was one of the better places we found to visit.  Scott's favorite toys there were the cannons and the well pump.

They had a hand cart on display similar to those used by the Mormans in crossing the prairie to Salt Lake City in Utah.  Original accounts state that they contained mostly provisions for the trip and very few personal belongings.  That would have taken some tough and motivated people to make that trip pulling a hand cart!

This was a replica of an 1870 era U-Haul.

The barracks in the background housed the enlisted men in the second story and the support personell in the lower stories (cooks, etc.).

This is where the troopers lived when not out "enjoying" the wide open spaces of the West!

Scott was really disappointed that we couldn't shoot the cannons!  I was too!

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