Home again and Brian has machined a new stem for the cerrianis but, I’m liking the B50 set up
so they will stay for Diamond Don’s. Routine maintenance shows the front wheel brake anchor is
slightly out of line and therefore pulls the brake plate off center and is applying the brake, which
accounted for the front wheel ploughing at Kingman. Well that’s now fixed and a swinging arm
bolt used as the front axel. Now all we need is a mode of transport to get to DD’s, and that’s
another story.

  For the avid RV readers you may remember last season was completed in the lap of luxury in the
2001 Beaver Marquis. (Wow! What a coach) anyhoo when it went in for service after Holister we
idly looked at a 2006 model. Eager beaver (excuse the pun) salesman said “do you want to talk
figures?” “No, No we replied we are only looking! But if you want to play numbers do your thing
as it will be here for a week”

 Net result was that salesman offered us $40,000 more than we paid 18 months before!! This
must be the first ever RV to appreciate so no surprises we signed the deal on 28 Dec. The usual
list of small defects, and just one extra in the shape of the glass cabinet to be fitted. No problem
we are assured all will be done. As I write (25 Mar 07) the coach is still with them and the cabinet
is still not fitted. My patience is now at an all time low, but they have 1 day left to complete the
task before we start loading for Texas.

DIAMOND DON’S, the coach arrives on Monday and as expected the cabinet did arrive but the trim
panels were missing… Well done everyone at Monaco! Well done indeed! You win the Dick of the
year award hands down. Loading begins until the all familiar cry comes from inside to herald the
fact that now the TV will not come down from the roof! This was an initial fault which we were
assured had been corrected. More phone calls and this time WE insist THEY come out and fix it.
Tuesday and the tech arrives and completes the task and now the TV moves but need a new
motor. Also the central locking is missing a part and he will order this as well.

  Loading continues and it looks like we might just be ready for the early morning departure.
(You can’t be serious!!!) The trailer is on and 3 bikes loaded. Brenda returns with new chairs and
doormat and tons of vitals are going onboard Titanic for her maiden voyage. Well not so fast
Beaver Boy, the trailer plug does not fit? Yes, crazy as it sounds the GM 7 pin does not fit the
7 pin female on the coach… don’t ask! Just to add to the amusement the TV comes down but now
we have no SOUND on any appliance!

 At least I have the remote gas lines to the new grill but now at 1900 it’s time for the duty down
town trip in search of a wider 7 pin plug. Believe it or not I stumble into one in Pep Boys and when
I get it home it fits first time.. ENOUGH!

 Wednesday, and we are on the road after some serious refueling and looking good for leg 1 to
Pecos in Texas. Bounding along and 2 hours after launch Scotty Brenda finds the sound problem,
but goes ahead and fixes it without reference to the Captain. Suddenly I’m front row at the
Rolling Stones concert and nearly blown out of my chair with WARP 9 sounds as she flicks the
circuit breaker. With dogs and driver suffering permanent hearing loss the engineer locates the
remote and services are returned to normal. The bus drives nicely and no further problems as we
rocket across NM and into a very windy Texas.

“I think it drives better” says Doof

 Day 2 and off across the tacky side of Texas with nodding donkeys, wind blown trash and yards
that all need cleaning up. It would seem if you live in Texas you buy a car for life, or the car’s life
that is, and when it expires you dump it in the front yard alongside your father’s and his father
before him. What a tip!

 Approaching Fort Worth the skies darken and it looks nasty ahead although the weather forecast
was warm and sunny. Sure enough it starts raining and we try the new wipers on the one piece
shield. Der,der, der, der, der der then dwang! The driver’s wiper leaps off the screen and appears
in my side window?? Stop the bus they cry and we exit at the next ramp in pouring rain and park
on a gravel hard shoulder. Out to the electrical box to find the wiper fuse, only to be confronted
with 200+ glittering fuses of varying colors like a mega chocolate box assortment. Finally find the
wiper fuse and withdraw to find it has predictably blown. At this stage my bum is getting wet from
the underside as the rain is now bouncing 18 inches in the air, so with head bowed a hasty retreat
is called for and I run around the front of the bus to meet a straight left jab to the temple from
Mohammed Ali in the form of the giant wing mirror. With gravel underfoot and the speed of impact
I’m thrown flat on my back in the road and only just made the count to get back to my corner.
When the rain eased the new fuse from the map lights is duly fitted and with fresh coffee the drive
continues to the left turn back onto the freeway. At this point the fridge door unlatches pitching
all the contents onto the muddy floor!  Oh joy of joys!

I’m Hayden and this is my first Road Trip!

   Back on the road again der, der, der, der (wait for it)… (yes, you guessed it) DWANG! Hello wiper
blade! Well I’m out of fuses so we will pretend we are on the BMW and just drive to the next
major truck stop. At last with the rain behind us and about 150 miles left to go we stop to refuel
Brenda gets the dogs sorted out and buys the spare fuses. Fuel is going on board so I decide to
multitask and lock the fuel pump handle before trying to dump the gray tank. However, the
dispenser jumps out of the tank and before I can grab hold it twists around and hoses me down
with a couple of gallons of diesel, GREAT!

   Fuses fitted back to the dumping and pull out the hose. No screwing around fitting clamps and
things, very swish. The Winnebago gang have just finished unloading into this square concrete
receptacle, so with the Giant Anaconda primed and twitching I unload 115 gallons into the square.
As the task nears completion I notice the ACTUAL RV Dump hole 3 feet away in the grass! Well
now time to get the fresh water onboard and this is taking forever but eventually at the 65
gallon point we call it quits and move the switches. As I replace hoses etc screaming Brenda
arrives to tell me she has just seen all the precious water disappear from the screen… sure
enough superbus has now pumped my 20 minutes of labor overboard and the bus is now sitting
in its own private lake!

  Enough of this and on to Diamond Don’s, where we park without incident in our reserved slot.
Friday morning and alls well, bikes unloaded and see a good turnout in all divisions. Here’s Graham
Foster, and the Guru and the rest of the TN crowd. What’s this? Bob is riding the James! Now the
class is getting a little top heavy as Mikey P is also here along with Merlin Clausing the 2nd round

Graham Foster getting to grips with the AJ after a bad start.

 Start time comes and off we go to our start at 4 and 5. Section 4 has a few hazards but nothing
serious. Poor Graham collects a 5 when his big AJS grounds out on the first bump (things to come
for the RE Bullet). I can’t make up my mind whether to use a little clutch work on the second turn
and as stalling confidence is still weak on the Steed I pay the price with the duty dumb dab. 5 has
us up and down the bank several times and although tight everyone is through for a clean. On to
6 where an easy wander through the trees becomes tricky with an off camber left turn to a log
crossing. Bob’s line is a little wide and the front wheel clips the tree resulting in a dab so there’s
hope! Section 7 has us up and down a hillside but again it seems we can all do this type of section.
No 8 is a series of turns in a ruin and then No 9 is in and out of the gulley and leaf mould.  Section
10 has an easy entry through some ruins and rocks followed by a descent through some trees
before turning on a muddy area and a climb up a root infested bank, drop over the other side to
a couple of turns to the exit.

Merlin at speed on 5

The Top Turn on 5

The Easy Bit of 6

 Back through the start area and down by the railway tracks for 1, 2 and 3. All variations on a
theme up and down the bank. At the end of lap 1 four of us are all on 1 point so this is going to
be close. Bob goes clean on loop 2 and I have another dumb dab on section 3 with too much
power. Other than that Steed is now performing brilliantly with no question of stalling and my
confidence is much improved. I see Merlin take a 5 on section 9 with a nasty fall and I hear
Mikey P had a 5 somewhere.

The Big Log on 6

 So after 2 laps it’s still very close. Back to 1, 2 and 3 and don’t make the silly mistake again.
However 4 catches me again with indecision and the clutch (which I never use is feathered again!)
and another 1 is in the books. All’s well until 9 where turning too early results in a dab on the first
turn, so I’m on 4 with just the last section which I have cleaned twice to go. Seems everyone has
congregated here and the section has got worse on the muddy turn and now people are looking
for another line.

Bob on No 5

Mikey P follows Bob.

I watch several attempts, Mikey P takes a dab, Bob turns tight before the mud and comes up
inside the trees but also loses 1. Then Graham whips the big AJ through the standard line for a
perfect clean. Gamesmanship wise I did not play this section well as I knew Mike P was on 7 and
I was on 4 so a 2 or better would give me second place. I was fairly confident I could clean it but
I ended up with 3 touches and of course lost the tie break!

  Well the season has a long way to go and I get more confident with the Steed on each outing
and I’m already looking forward to the next one.

  After the event Guru tries OSSAMAHA and actually says not bad. I had a chance to ride that
JAMES which I also rate as not bad.

Sheldon and his new toy

“A Clean, A Clean!”

  After a night of partying on Crawdads and other swamp pleasures and a lot of stories with
Sheldon who was having fun on his newly acquired 350 Bultaco. Back to the bus for more drinks
and fun with Ed and Evelyn. Ed tells his sob story of getting a 5 for going the wrong way in a
section he laid out! He also had stories of blocked fuel filters on his truck, which I won’t go into
at this time for fear of breaking this computer.

Ed tells stories of fuel filters…….

  And so to bed…. hello, the lights in the bed controller have gone out? About 3 it starts raining
and I mean RAINING. Being on the high ground I felt a bit like Noah as it kept pouring until 10 in
the morning. Had we ridden the same trial on Sat it would have been an interesting result.

Yes, the Po-Boy is just as good

  With the hangover in retreat gaze at the motor crossers all bedraggled and covered in mud.
Watch a little of the practice which for most was a continuous 3 in the deep ruts. Well we all know
where Sympathy can be found in the dictionary, so leave them to play and time to catch the train
into town and see if the Shrimp Po Boy was as good as I remembered… it was! A pleasant
afternoon and evening and then without being stuck in the mud we exit Jefferson en-route to
Pecos. No problem and a fairly uneventful trip.

  Monday morning, and time for the 650 miles home. Refuel remove bugs and away we go on the
80 mph freeway and of course we are making excellent time for the first 50 miles until we slow for
a 60 mph stretch of road works. On exiting the work zone I try to increase Warp Speed but all that
happens is the bus down shifts to 5th and I can’t get more than 1500 rpm!  It would appear I’m
suffering the same fate as Ed! Phone calls, stops, at major Truck stops all to no avail as nobody
has a new filter. So a very humbling, boring, embarrassing and Cruise America drive home. Not
what we expect from a Beaver! Needless to say the bus is back at the dealership and they have
1 week to fix it before Alto Pit and then Cotopaxi the following weekend.
 Tony Down, Photographer Brenda and a pack of hounds!

Check out Brenda’s photos @ www.trialsphoto.com

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