Friday, September 23, 2016

Harrisburg to Pendleton, OR

We have departed maintenance.  Yay!!!  We were up and out early for the 311 mile drive to Pendleton.  It's farther than we like to drive, but there's just not a lot out there.  The route was I5, to I205, to I84.  The drive is fast, it's predominantly downhill.
The drive along the Columbia Gorge is just lovely.  It would have been more lovely if the sun had been out, but it wasn't.


The hills are really pretty.  It's an austere beauty.


It's windy out there, wind turbines are on both sides of the river.





This was taken through the side window, once you get close to Pendleton it becomes more desert-y.


Tomorrow's route starts with a 12 mile climb up and over those hills.


We're back at the Wildhorse Casino and RV park.  I think the Verizon signal might be better than last year.

Peterson Caterpillar

We had the bus in for service at Peterson Caterpillar in Eugene.  There was an oil leak to be diagnosed and we wanted all of the coolant hoses replaced.  It's a good shop.  We were very impressed with the level of draping the interior.  Also impressive was the fact that they paid attention to us when we said you MUST open the driver side bedroom slide first, so you can tell if any of the drawers behind the the other slide have crept out.  If they're out, the passenger side slide will rip out the drawers.  Bad, would be so bad.


We had a failure to communicate on all of the hoses being replaced.  They replaced the one hose that was about to rupture.  Look at what a nice job they did padding it where it rests against sharp edges.


The other two hoses are fine, they're actually not original to the bus as we originally believed.  We'll get them done in June when we're back for the annual oil change.


This a picture of the top of the engine compartment.  Note that it says 34 QTS.  Not 36, not 38; 34.  Cummins NW has been overfilling the oil for the past two years.  The extra oil has been departing via the breather and then running down the engine.  I can not tell you how much this irritates the living snot out of me.  FIRST they over filled it, THEN they did not diagnose it as coming out of the breather.  THUS we had to remove everything from the closet, all of the bedding and move out and pay for a hotel room and suffer much emotional damage.  OK, not so much emotional damage, but some severe aggravation.  The closet has to be emptied to provide engine access.


We're done with Cummins.  We'll be returning to Peterson for future fluid changes.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Underpinnings of the Country

I am fascinated by the Knife River plant. The sheer size of it is spectacular. They make pre-stressed concrete. Here is a link to a short explanation of what that is.  It's not long and it's interesting.  Without pre-stressed concrete, our infrastructure would be very different.
The truck is getting a load of concrete.  You can see it being dumped into the hopper in the back of the truck.


The day we were watching this, they had two trucks running back and forth between the above and the concrete form.  One would fill the form while the other one went back for more concrete.  It's about a quarter of a mile drive.


There is an auger in the hopper in the truck.  It moves concrete onto the conveyor belt.  As the concrete goes into the form the employees smooth it out.


Look at the guys on the right, they're using a board to level the concrete in the form.  It's surprising how manual the process is.



When they are done, we have one of these.  If you look carefully, you can see the curve in the beam.


This is a major payroll in Harrisburg.

Monday, September 19, 2016

In Maintenance Wait State

Friday, while we were in for maintenance at Elite, was just a glorious day.  Perfect temperatures, light breezes, just magnificent.  Sunday, the day we moved out of the bus it rained.  It's always the way.  The hotel room we're in is not too awful.  It's big, and there is room on the floor for the eight construction waste bags full of clothing and bedding.  We also have a full kitchen with a real stove and a real refrigerator.  There is also furniture.  So, we're not microwaving frozen dinners and eating on the bed. We did have a pretty good sunset. 


This is what we saw this morning, much fog.


Here is where we've taken our only home for engine work.  There is a slow oil leak in the engine.  This was diagnosed by Cummins, we've never seen oil on the ground and the oil has never been low.  So we'll see.  We're also having the coolant hoses changed out.  After ten years they become brittle and if one lets loose it will always be in the worst place it could be.


The neighbors.


The guy who checked us in has 15 years in the RV industry and is well aware of how much RV owners hate it when they find petroleum products on the carpet.  He is draping everything with clean shop blankets.  Some shops, while they drape, don't use clean blankets, which sort of defeats the purpose of doing it.


On the way home we drove through Premier RV Park.  We were there a couple of times this summer.  As I previously mentioned, they are expanding the park.  The lady in the office said they would be charging $100 a night for the new sites.  We saw this on the way to check out the new sites.  The vehicle is a Hummer.  It's always amazing to me what people will tow.


What's also amazing to me is the depth of affection for the Duck's football team.  I am totally indifferent to sports involving a ball, and I find these displays of fandom baffling.  It also hurts me that someone painted a vintage Airstream yellow.


Behold a $100 parking place.  It does have a table and a gas grill, but really.  A hundred bucks???  They're catering to the Duck fans, who apparently will pay any amount of money to attend a game.  I, however, am making no judgements on how people want to spend their time and money.


This afternoon we went for a walk into Harrisburg.  One goes by Knife River, where they make pre-stressed concrete.  The amount of equipment they have is truly astonishing.


Harrisburg also has a new church in town. They've taken over an abandoned gas station.  We thought that was novel.


So now we are in wait state.  We are hoping to get the bus back Wednesday so we can spend Thursday moving back in.  We're supposed to be in Pendleton on Friday, so we're hoping that it won't be late Thursday.  Other than that, I have zippity doo-dah all to report.