Sunday, October 10, 2010

Closing the lake is always an Adventure

The final closing of the lake this year is going to take two weekends. One (October 2nd) we were going north to the lake on Saturday morning to mow the lawn and clean the leaves out of the gutters, as well as the final issues that have to happen before it freezes hard. Then the following weekend (October 8th) the coach is going to go south to spend the winter in the big storage shed in Little Falls that it spent last winter in.
imageFriday night the 1st of  October after finishing yoga at the gym we came out and got into the jeep to find the tire pressure alarm blinking brightly in the dash. Along side of the blinking alarm was the pressure reading” 24 PSI in the left front tire. OH OH. That’s not good. It was fine an hour and a half ago on the way to the gym and now’ its 10 PSI low.
There is a Goodyear tire store on the way back to the apartment so we stopped there on the way home. Maybe we can just fill it with air and it will be fine for the trip to the lake tomorrow. (Wishful Thinking!).
At the good year store we filled the tire with air and the helpful attended (Ha Ha) pointed out that the tires needed to be replaced anyway and the front end was out of alignment and should be fixed, but he was quite busy and certainly couldn’t get to it tonight but if I came in early tomorrow and ordered tires he might be able to fit us in later in the day. So after filling the tire we left with an $800 quote for 4 new tires and instruction that we needed to order them tomorrow by 9:00 to get them installed by 5:00. While I knew I needed new tires (there is already 55 thousand on them) I was hoping to get by till November. (Now is not a convenient time to shell out a lot of money).
image Early Saturday morning 6:00am we headed down to the garage to load the Jeep and check on the tire. I didn’t need to even check the pressure on the tire to know we weren't going to the lake today. The tire was down to 14PSI barely drivable. Before it was completely flat I drove it down to the Goodyear store, and was going to leave it there and have them put the 4 new tires on it. Maybe we could go to the lake Sunday.
imageI was at the Goodyear store at 7:00 (when the web site said they opened) but the sign on the door said they weren't open till 7:30. I sat there waiting, watching traffic on the road when I saw across the street a brightly lit open Tires Plus store!
What the heck…. I walked across the street and went in. To my surprise they could have the 4 tires delivered and on with the alignment fixed by 10:00am. BONUS…… they were were going to charge $100 less than the Goodyear store. No thinking required. I got the jeep and dropped it off at the Tires Plus and walked back to the apartment to wait till 10:00am.
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At 10:00am just as promised the jeep had 4 new tires and we were on out way to the lake just a few hours late.
The drive to the lake was spectacular the colors were peaking along Hwy 10 to “Up North” and the colors were vivid. The color show continued at the lake!
The sumac was bright red along the lake shore.
The lake was empty and the water was crystal clear.
After mowing and cleaning we even had time to shop in Walker at Reeds for new cloths for Margaret’s trip to Ireland.
Happy hour and then supper in the coach, before early the next morning we backed the coach out of it’s summer parking spot onto the driveway so it would be ready for the trip south next week.
Next weekend we have Friday off.
Next Weekend.
CaptureFlash back to last spring when we received in the mail a notice from Newmar and Freightliner that there could be a potential problem with our steering on our Dutchstar. It seems occasionally some bearings failed in the steering gear and it became difficult to steer the huge machine while on the road. (Not a good situation!) So Newmar and Freightliner wanted us to take the coach to an authorized Freightliner dealer for an inspection. This being a bit of a pain to just jaunt over to the nearest dealer we put it off until the time we were going to put the coach away for the winter. So Friday October 8th we have an appointment to visit the Freightliner dealer in St Cloud.
If were are LUCKY it takes 20 minutes to inspect it and we get to go back to Little Falls and store the coach. If we are not lucky it will take 4-5 hours to fix and Saturday we can go back to Little Falls.
imageThis will be interesting to get to Freightliner by 10:00am so there is enough time to fix the coach if necessary we need to leave the lake by 8:00am. To get to the lake by 8:00am we need to leave the apartment by 4:30am. (For those of you not familiar with this time of day it occurs very very early in the morning when it’s very very dark out.)
Up at 4:00am out the door and on the dark roads for the trip north. WOW traffic is great. Imagine that.

Arriving at the lake just as the sun comes up over the eastern shore of Crow Wing 11 Its time to start the coach and hook up the jeep for the return trip to St, Cloud.
I tried an new approach to hook up this time. After backing out on the road I backed the coach  back into the driveway again, to hook up the jeep. This worked much better than hooking the jeep up out on the road. (Much Safer!)
Packed up, airbags are aired up and ready to head south for the  inspection in the early morning light.
Once on the smooth pavement of Hwy 64 south the coach cruises smoothly and comfortably with no traffic in sight towards it 10:00am appointment  (Traffic should always be this good!)
After 6 hours of driving we are now at Freightliner  in St Cloud with the right vehicle in our possession.
The coach and jeep waiting in the sandlot next door while we check in.
Are you feeling Lucky!
Why yes sir I am! The steering gear is good! No need to fix it! We are on our way back to Little Falls and the coach’s winter parking spot in the big barn.
Once again the coach is packed a way for the winter and after 9 hours on the road we are back in the apartment feeling melancholy because the summer is over and the cold is coming .
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