Get up early for leg 1 of the return trip but its dark!! With dawn breaking over Calistoga time to load up and get the show on the road. 8 tie downs on the Beemer and 4 more on the bicycles and switch the water over to refill onboard tanks and I’m nearly ready so now it will be the quest to find fuel and a lot big enough to get in and out of with this rig.
Saturday morning leaving Calistoga
Nothing suitable on the 30 mile run to I80 but once on there fuel is easy enough to find. The plan is to make Elko NV for the night stop. A pleasant days driving coming out of CA and once more completely trouble free on the old overheat problems.
Coming down Donner and NO overheat problems
Sailing across Nevada the sun is going down in the west and long shadows are on the super smooth freeways ahead of me. I can’t help but notice a strange “arm” flapping in the shadow so at the next available exit we pull off to investigate.
Super smooth freeway through Nevada
It seems that a roof cowl has come loose and although secured at the front is now swinging around and flapping in the breeze …….. also notice that one trailer tire is a bit soft ? Out with the pump and try for a bit more pressure but clearly we have just picked up a nail which I soon spot in the tread.
So here we are in the middle of nowhere, and I mean nowhere, when I look over my shoulder and there is a german pointer having a huge pee in the field behind me. A voice asks if I need any help and we are soon in conversation about bird shooting and wheel changing. The good Samaritan rushes in with jack and wheel brace and all is well and we are on our way in short order.
On with the NEW
At Elko we pull into Walmart and settle down with 570 miles in the bag. About 0300 Brenda wakes me up to listen to the 50 mph wind which is rocking the ship and is pretty violent ! Depart Elko on the last leg and refuel 50 miles down the freeway at the Flying J, its bitterly cold with that very strong wind but as far as I can tell the cowls are still there. More violent winds as we come out of Wendover and exit Nevada for Utah. All seems well and we are making a good 60 mph average and should be home about 1700.
Out of Wendover into some violent winds
Across the salt lake, down the 50 miles of I15, passing Salt Lake City and onto 6 for the run over the mountains to Price and onward to Moab, Monticello and home.
Coming up HWY 6
The weather is good, traffic is light, and the fall scenery quite delightful. A small mountain downpour to wash the windscreen but other than that plain sailing all the way home and pull in at 1700 as planned.
Storm up ahead
Venture out with dogs, and well pleased to be home, but then I see it and have to have a double take …………
Yes, I’m missing a WHEEL or more accurately the WHOLE F&($%#)$ assembly!!!! Never noticed or felt a thing! It looks like the bearing seized and then tore out the rollers from the bearing and ground down the retaining washers until the wheel could escape …….. which it did taking the hub with it! All that remains is the stub axle (still with its nut and tab washer bits) and the brake shoes which had their linings chewed off!! I suppose the only saving grace was that when it left the ship it didn’t touch a thing and there is not a mark on the custom alloy fender, which I would have thought would have been ripped to bits? Very lucky in that respect ……….. anyhooo, if you see a wheel with its hub anywhere along the 450 miles from somewhere in Nevada to Dolores CO, then its mine and there is a REWARD.
With everything from the bus unloaded it seems there is yet more carnage as a view from the lounge window reveals yet another cowl has decided to jump ship and is somewhere between Nevada and Dolores.
The Nevada “flapper” is still there
Rear AC cowl missing, looking like a Shuttle on re-entry with all the missing bits!
Oh well, in an operation this size you have to expect a few losses!