Friday, December 29, 2017

First day on the road

Thursday, December 28, 2017

It was 10 A.M. when I finished hooking up the Jeep, kissed Dolly and Fergie goodbye and headed for warmer climates.  It was a good thing I didn’t plan to leave yesterday.


When we woke up Wednesday morning, the pipes were frozen in the bedroom end of the house.  Dolly asked me the night before if she should open the faucets to let them drip, but I said we didn’t need to.  What a dummy.  It got down to –4 degrees and I know the pipes behind the bathroom freeze when it gets down to zero.   This has happened before, so I took a space heater and placed it in the unheated utility room.  Around noon the water came on and thank goodness no pipes broke.

For the rest of the morning, Dolly and I loaded stuff into the MH so all I would have to do is put the food in and hook up the Jeep on Thursday morning.  After we were done, I decided to pull the MH back into the shed and hook up the electrical cord to top off the batteries for the night.  Guess what?!!  The darn MH would turn over, but would not start.

I was thinking since it was only about 4 degrees out, maybe I had a frozen gas line.  After trying a number of times over the next hour, I decided to hook the battery charger to the battery and top off the engine battery.   After waiting another hour, I thought I would try starting the generator to see if it would start.  Just before pushing the button to do that, I decided to give the engine one more try with the charger on it.  I’ll be darn, it started right up.

I talked to Evan, my technical engineer, and we’re thinking there is a loose wire or the starter solenoid is going bad.  Decided to try starting it in the morning before leaving.

The whole family went out Wednesday evening for Erin’s twelfth birthday at Outback Steak House.  There were eleven of us there and we had a great time and some yummy steaks.


Mr. Keaton peeking over the wall at me.


Here’s Mom, Erin the birthday girl and Grandma! 


We got home around 8 P.M. and we were both beat so went immediately to bed to rest up for the big day.  This time we started a faucet drip in the bathroom so we wouldn’t have the frozen pipe problem again.

Got up at 7 this morning and tried starting the MH and it wouldn’t start again.  Put the charger on it and it started right up.  Decided to just head South and worry about my starting problems tomorrow morning.

IMG_20171228_120853692_HDR  My road trip today went flawlessly.  

Passing by the smokestacks in Springfield, Illinois on I-55 South.


I was worried about St. Louis because of all the traffic and turns, but I followed the I-44 signs and before I knew it I was on the southwest side of the city and it was in my rear view mirror. 

Got a lucky shot of the Gateway Arch.

IMG_20171228_132001974The rest of the trip was a breeze.  Drove six and a half hours today with two stops – one at a rest stop and the other to get gas.  I didn’t shut down the engine either time.  I figure, if I’m going to have a problem, it will be in the Lebanon, Missouri Walmart parking lot.

Beautiful hills as I passed through the Ozarks in south central Missouri.

IMG_20171228_151815775IMG_20171228_152806716Fifty years ago on this very day, I was sitting in a barracks in Ft. Leonard Wood.  I had recently graduated from college and was soon drafted into the U.S Army.  I was sent here for basic training.  Had a horrible time.  Caught pneumonia in this damp cold country and nearly died.  Made it through training though and spent two years with one of those years in Vietnam.  Oh, the good ole days!

The weather was cloudy all day, but no rain or snow.  The temperature when I arrived here was 29 which feels great compared to the 4 degrees when I left.  We will have a low of 16 tonight, which isn’t bad.  Very little snow left around here.

IMG_7152So, here I am with the engine shut down and the Wave propane heater my wife gave me for Christmas, staying warm and writing my post.  I did try starting the engine after shutting it off for a short time and it did start back up, so won’t worry about it tonight.

See you later.


  1. Glad to see you on he road again with Yuma. Looking forward to our posts. Hope that starting problem doesn't flare up again at the worse possible time.

    1. Thanks Gene. Been a hectic few days. Makes me wonder why I do this each winter. Getting too old for the traveling stress. I think my starting problem was low battery voltage from sitting all Summer. Starts great now.

  2. Welcome to warm weather! We are having extremely high temps here in the Southwest. Yesterday broke a record from 1911 in either Alpine or somewhere...lots of other ones, too. We're having a real heat wave and NO SNOW! I'm worried about next summer. Hubby and I may have to take the dog and go north!

    1. Hi Cheryl. I wondered if the fires got close to your area. I bet the summers are brutal. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

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  4. I'm so glad things went so well on the maiden day of your voyage! Yuma probably has his sea legs by now. I hope today is another good, but uneventful, day on the road. Fergie wondered where you all went all day, yesterday. ☺

    1. Thanks Dolly. It'll take more than one day to get our sea legs. I'm not liking this long road trip more each year.

  5. Yaaaay, Doug and Yuma are back on the road for their annual southwest winter travels. Keep pluggin, there's warm weather, fiery sunrises and sunsets ahead as well as dark starry night skies, quiet campfires, and all those really neat things we older fellers so much love about the great American Southwest.

    1. I hope you're right Al. I don't know how you and Kelly do this long road trip each year. It's tough. See you in the southwest.

  6. Sounds like a good start Doug (except for the starting). We'll be a month or so behind you.
    Pretty big beard for starting out this year eh!

    1. Thanks Gord and Cathie. Started the beard back in August this year. All my kids were growing one so I followed suit. See you when you get here.

  7. glad you made it safely that far.. We'll be keeping our fingers crossed for you but it does sound like you have a Solenoid or loose cable problem Problem is at our age it's not always easy crawling around under our Vehicles.
    Looking forward to crossing paths again this year.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Hi Rick. You're right about crawling under cars. Can't do it anymore. I'm thinking now it was low voltage from sitting all summer. Now it starts fine. I'm sure we will meet somewhere this winter.

  8. You had a great first day! Yahoo! We miss you already! ❤️