Saturday, May 28, 2016

May 28, 2016 - Quick Update

We got up this morning and checked the weather at "Environment Canada". It appears the mountains we need to go through to get to Liard Hot Springs will get 20cm to 30cm of snow at Stone Mountain and Muncho Lake.

It looks like we may need to spend another night here at Fort Nelson.


Snowing in Fort Nelson

Friday, May 27, 2016

May 27, 2016

May 27, 2016

We made it to Fort Nelson, BC. The drive was easy and uneventful other than it rained lightly all day.

On the way up to Fort Nelson we saw our first bear of this trip.

It has been very cold and rainy here but we ventured out to the visitors center and the Fort Nelson  Heritage Museum. The last time we were through here in 2014 we skipped the museum thinking it was a tourist trap. However, it was really cool. We watched a 40 minute video on the construction of the Alaskan Highway and waited for Sierra to take us on a private tour of Marlin's "Marl's" antiques.

Marl came out to greet us and gave us a private tour of his antique cars. He ran up his water pump for us. It was hilarious!


Sierra then took us around the other buildings and the old Fort Nelson Generator.

Tomorrow we head to Liard Hot Springs. The weather calls for rain and snow on the mountain passes. I am not looking forward to driving this rig on sloppy slippery snow.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 26, 2016

We made it to Dawson Creek, BC Mile Zero of the Alaskan Highway!

The trip up to Edmonton was uneventful other than the GPS and signage were all screwed up. I have two complaints.

1. We purchased a new Goodsam GPS with lifetime updates. It was updated just days ago. None of the roads we on it.

2. Glowing Embers is a Goodsam campground and the roads on the GPS send you to a non existing road. We ended up on the wrong highway with no over passes to turn around. We ended up going miles before we could get back to the correct direction. Very frustrating.

Even after the frustration, we made it.

The trip up to Dawson Creek was perfect! There were very few problems with the roads. We are going to re-provision today and get started to Ft. Nelson in the morning.

Our "Griswald" shirts.

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016

Just a quick update: We have been running some hard days due to extreme wind. We arrived in Shelby, MT today and will cross into Canada and up to Edmonton tomorrow. This route is a deviation from our original plan due to worrying about the fires. It appears that the mandatory evacuations have been lifted.  But we will stick to this change.

We were able to get two spots in Burning Embers RV Park for tomorrow. They said they were pretty full due to the evacuations.

From there, we will pause an extra day in Dawson Creek and then start up the Alcan.

So far the trip has been great considering the mechanical issues and the freaking wind.

A few final pictures from Mount Rushmore:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 17th through the 19th

Monday May 16th we got to the KOA and immediately went up to Mount Rushmore. It was exactly as we left it 6 years ago.

The 17th of May was really dedicated to dealing with our coolant leak. We got up pretty early to break camp and hook up the Jeep. After we sat at the Freightliner lounge for a while waiting for them to take a look at the motor home, we decided to go get lunch at a local diner. Food was ok. 

When we got back to the Freightliner dealership, I noticed the back engine hatch was open. I walked around, but did not see anyone working on it. I asked the service desk what was going on. They indicated that the factory over crimped a coolant line to the EGR. Unfortunately only one of the Cummins certified techs could work on it and he would not be able to start until around 4PM. The good news is they found it!!

We spent the afternoon re-provisioning and ran up to Camping World to pick up some of those refrigerator bars to keep the food from sliding toward the doors.

We headed back to the dealership to pick up the motor home. While hooking up the Jeep, Chris had the drivers window down. I powered it up halfway and it just fell down. This is now the third of the four power windows that broke.

After duct taping the window up, we headed back to camp. Immediately, Chris made an appointment at the Jeep dealership for the next day to get it fixed. Ironically, the day before we left on this trip one of the rear windows broke. The first one was fixed for free a few years ago by Jeep, but the dealers in Ft. Myers and now in Rapid City say the Technical Bulletin has expired.  $350.00 each… Ouch!

On the 18th, we went to Crazy Horse and drove the lower wildlife loop of Custer State Park. Prior to the loop, we stopped in Custer for lunch at the Buglin Bull. Of course I had the Bison Burger.

It was nice to see all of the bison, deer, antelope and of course the Jacks and Jennys.

There is a new visitors center half way the is absolutely beautiful.  We watched a 20 minute video of the State Park.

What a great day.

On the 19th we got up early to run the Jeep to the dealership to get the window fixed. Ironically, the Jeep dealership is right across the street from the Freightliner dealership. My brother and his wife Angel picked us up and we drove the Iron Mountain Highway and the Needles Highway.

When we were here 6 years ago, we did not drive the Needles Highway. Wow is it majestic and a little bit of a scary drive.

Sorry the pics are out of order. I will try to straighten them out when we have good internet.


Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16th update

Well we have been traveling for a few days north to the KOA at Palmer Gulch Mount Rushmore.

Yesterday, we woke up to really cold weather. As we started out the morning we turned on the cab heat for the first time. We stopped at a rest area about 125 miles from our start. I walked around and saw coolant leaking out of the engine. Not Good!. I called Freightliner who made arrangements for us to get it fixed in Rapid City.

We decided to drive all the way to Wall, SD so that we could get into the dealership early. As we were driving it warmed up at we just ran the fan from outside. We stopped at a flying J to fuel and there was not a leak. Still not connecting the dots we moved on to the campground at Wall. 

We spent a couple of hours touring the city then went back so we could get up early.

Got up this morning at 6AM and headed out running the heat. Chris called the dealership who immediately told us the could not get us in until the 17th after noon.  We pulled into a Loves to fuel and figure out our next step. The engine was leaking again. I connected the dots and figured it must be a line coming forward for the cab heater.

We decided to go to the KOA and get up early and head to the dealership. I sure hope it is just a loose line.