<P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">Well folks, I finally got the time to sit and compose a report on our trip out west this year. As many of you know I posted some along the way and included a few pictures. But here is the whole story. It?s funny now that I sit back and reflect on the happenings.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o><P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">Day 1...This all starts out on Wednesday September 19<SUP>th</SUP>. After packing everything we feel we will need, comes time to sort out the quantity of medicine I will need for the three week trip. So out of the bathroom comes all of my medicine bottles and onto the kitchen counter. I go outside to do something and while outside, Susan cleans the counter off and returns the bottles to my bathroom thinking I?d finished with them. Go back and grab what I think is all of them but unbeknown to me I leave one behind. Well about three hours down the road I ask Susan to get a pill out that I need to take?ummmmm they?re not here, can?t find them. After a short discussion and a few choice words about moving my stuff we decide they are left behind in Calera. OK no problem, get on the phone, call a friend in Vicksburg, MS (our first fuel stop 300 miles from home) and get the Wal-Mart phone number. Call my doctor and have them call in a refill. Good..done deal. While Susan is in Wal-Mart I look for a fuel pump?.none at this Wal-Mart nice. Good ?.across the street is a gas station with a diesel pump, only problem is that there is not enough room to get out after pumping. Look across the highway is a BP station. Well I know that MOST BP stations sell diesel, I head that way. Well the station is on a hill and in an attempt to maneuver up the hill (turning left, crossing two lanes of traffic) my trailer bottoms out. Now I?m stuck in the entrance with the trailer in the road, I set the brake, put it in park, get out and contemplate the situation. Well the leveling jack on the drivers? side is hung up and bent rearward slightly. I know that attacking the hill is out of the question and have to back down. I also know what the leveling jack will look like when I do in fact back up. Get in the truck and the truck won?t budge. Well I know this Cummins has the power, also know what the jack is going to look like when the Cummins has finished doing its job. You know it; I just folded the jack underneath the trailer. No worries it can be replaced quite easily (bolted not wielded on). Now I?m backed out facing eastbound blocking two lanes of westbound traffic and a concrete median immediately to my right, extending about twenty feet ahead of me. As drivers are so courteous, you think they would give me room to pull up and clear the median so I can maneuver into the eastbound lane. After I got out of the truck and stood by the door they finally got the idea and backed up. Now I continue up the road (a hill with a turn to the left) and pull into the rear entrance to the station and up to the pumps. After all of this?.NO diesel. Now I?m trying to back out of the entrance/exit and while moving some AH whips into the station right behind me honking his horn, as to say ?.well you know the kind! Tie the jack up with a cable and down the road we go, about two hours later?.honk..honk and the driver is pointing to the rear of the trailer. Yep the cable came loose, the jack is hanging, scraping the ground and I imagine sparks everywhere. I stop to retie it, and off we go.<o></o><P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">Day 3. Spent the night at a RV site, set everything up, and had a good night sleep. Next day after flushing out the ?Black Water? tank I rinsed the drain hose well. Decided to lay the hose in the bed of the truck (up against the cab) as it was wet. Susan..?is that hose going to be ok???me.?sure? Well everyone that has a pickup knows that if you have a scrap of paper in the bed of your truck, I don?t care if you run down the interstate at 80 mph it will work its way to the cab and remain there. Well not a 5 pound hose?next fuel stop..Susan ?where is the drain hose???so much for the hose.A stop at a Wal-Mart for a replacement.<o></o><P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">Day 4?look at Day 2..repeat with the jack, only this time I get the tools out and completely remove the entire jack, and off we go.<P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">What's left of the stabilizer jack<P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><o></o><P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">Somewhere along Day 6 we travel through numerous mountain passes with numerous areas that have signs ?FALLING ROCKS?, we never see a falling rock along our travels. Pulled into a RV park and the first thing someone says to me is ?I see you lost your AC cover?. Climbed on top and sure enough the AC cover is destroyed and the majority missing. During the removal of the remaining parts I come across what must have been a ?FALLING ROCK? about the size of a golf ball. Now the cover is removed and Susan is concerned about the fact that the AC is open to the elements. I tell her its ok and that the AC unit at the house is open also and that rain water gets to the compressor. She says ?it?ll be ok like the drain hose??<P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">Remains of the AC cover<P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><o></o><P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">Somewhere along Day 10 my brake controller light comes on while applying the brakes. Not the amber light but the RED one. OK bad connection somewhere. Spend about a hour checking the wiring with a test light I had to buy (left mine at home). NO! bad controller and only have trailer brakes if applied manually. Search for a replacement (same as the one installed) as the wire harness will be the same and it will be a plug and go installation. Got one and good to go.<o></o><P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">Getting ready to (and this is the one I hated the most) depart the RV park and planned to throw the garbage bag in the dumpster on our way out. Forgot the garbage, but thought about it a few miles down the road. OK next fuel stop dump in their dumpster, well at that stop they had the dumpster locked up?do it on the next one. No we didn?t stop for fuel before spending a night at a Wal-Mart parking lot. Now picture this garbage bag..full of food as Susan cleaned out the refrigerator that morning, sitting in the back of my truck, now picture that same bag after some animal climbs into the truck and has a heyday with it. You guessed it?.all over the back of the truck. Re-bag everything and off we go, only to find out that at the next fuel stop we arrive one garbage bag short. I hated that.<o></o><P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">Everything went well, that is up until Day 20. Pulled into a station for a fuel stop and while I was pumping diesel, a young gentleman walked up behind me (I saw him coming) and goes ?Sir, sir, I need help? I stop pumping and turn around to look at him while I answer. ?Yes, How may I help you?. ?Well my buddy and I are traveling from California to Jacksonville,FL. We have had car problems and have spent all of our money on an alternator and a tire and we need gas. I called my parents and they are sending money, but we are totally out of gas?. I ask him if he needs help or is he just begging?no I?m not begging I need help. I think for a second, and in the back of my truck I have a 6 gallon fuel can of gas for my generator, that won?t be needed on the trip home. So I open my checkbook, remove a deposit slip and tear off my name and address and hand it to him. I tell him if he in-fact needs help and not begging that I have 6 gallons in this container and he can put it in his car and mail me a check for $18.00 when he gets settled in. Now I?m no dummy, and we are in Trinidad, CO. I know that the cost of repairs is nowhere the cost of fuel for the trip. I know that from California to Jacksonville, FL is give or take 2,500 miles, and from where we are is at least 1,200 miles. I ask him as to how much they started with and he replied $150.00, which I said that $150.00 is by no way enough for gas for the trip let alone any food you would need for the 3-4 days of traveling. OH?we have a Honda and get 40mph. I told him to figure out how many gallons (take 2500 and divide it by 40) you will need not counting anything else. There he is leaning over his trunk and with his finger figureing out that he?d need about 60 plus gallons. Now I tell him to multiply that times 3 for $3.00 a gallon. He looks up at me like a deer in the headlights. I said..Son you have about 1,200 miles to go, now how much do you need. He starts trying to figure it out and I interrupt him and say?.about another $100.00. While his buddy is pouring the gas in the car he?s munching on Hershey?s kisses and makes a comment about how tired he is of eating chocolate. Susan walks back to the camper and fixes a bag with snack food and a 64oz drink. With the gas in the car he hands me the gas can and thanks me for helping out. I put the can in the bed of the truck, wedge it in with the 5 gallon diesel can and a 3 gallon gas can, both full, and off we go. Now we hit the road..I40 toOklahoma City, OK. Somewhere in the middle of Amarillo, in a construction area, with cars bumper to bumper doing 50mph Susan hears a ?bump..bump..bump? What the heck is going on. She turns aroundand what does she see?..oh it?s your gas?and before she can say ?can? out it goes. She saw it floating in the bed like a skydiver. Now without 6 gallons of gas at $3.00 a gallon I just donated a ?NEW? 6 gallon gas can. I could be wrong, but I think that the chances of seeing the $18.00 are slim to nil, but compared to the $2,500 spent on the trip it isn?t anything and that was my good deed for the day. Many times on the trip we commented about how clean the roadways were and how it's a shame people litter up the highways the way they do. We looked at each other at one time and Susan said "and 2 miles behind us are people talking about how messy people in Colorado are" and we had to laugh. We do not litter but unbeknown to us, we left plenty on the highways in Colorado and Texas. But that will never be a problem again as I will have a net over the back or a box with a closing lid for such items that 'might' blow out. <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">New carry-all box<P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">Day 22 and 23 spent at home then on the road again to Chattanooga, TN for a planned weekend camping trip with neighbor/friends. Now I?m replacing my Hydro-Boost pump that went out on that trip.<P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">Pump pulley and shaft.<P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">And so, that is what happened in our world on this trip, hope you have had a laugh and a great day.