Prepping the Mothership 2018


We’ve been prepping The Mothership for a few excursions this summer. Last Saturday we spent a couple of hours washing the vehicle from top to bottom. Lots of dirt on the roof, but now it is shiny clean. Recently, when the guy who services The Mothership came out to un-Winterize the systems, it was noted that all of the Michelin tires had cracked sidewalls where the tread connected to the sidewalls. I knew the treads depth was fine ( the Mothership has only 32K miles on it), but had never really paid much attention to the sidewalls. It really looked dangerous so I took some photos and went out to a tire store to get their opinion. As it turned out, Michelin did a recall on these tires in 2012, the same year The Mothership was assembled. I was taken aback as that meant the previous owner was probably notified about the recall and chose to do nothing. We had traveled all over the country in 2016 with defective tires! The good news was Michelin would replace all tires for free ( a cost of $1,200.000). My only cost would be the labor to replace the tires.

Yesterday I drove The Mothership out to Discount Tire ( great people) and had the new Michelins, defect free) put on. In addition to the labor costs I added an extended warranty that covers the tires for more than the usual-including sidewall and punctures. Driving home from the tire shop I noticed a difference in how the Mothership felt and handled.

Next on the prep-list is a repair to the drivers side step up. This part is made of aluminum and is prone to rust where it attaches to the coach. Wednesday evening my wife’s nephew, an ASE mechanic who does the oil changes, etc on the vehicle is coming over to asses what options we may have for fixing this issue.

Living in the Pacific NW and all of the rain we get is hard on vehicles. Just being parked in our driveway for most of the year can result in weather related problems.

We have two short trips planned this summer: One to Ocean Shores for 4 days, taking our grandkids and a couple of weeks later we meet up with our son and family, who are coming out from Brooklyn to visit. We’re taking a 4 day trip around the Olympic Peninsula. Should be fun.

I’ll keep updating this blog throughout our travels this summer.

Safe Travels

from The Mothership

docked in Seattle.

Views from the Cemetery #2

Crooked headstones,  a Masonic Symbol and mountain in the background all make for great exploration of this cemetery in Prairie City, OR. Adam seems to have lost Maddy or is not quite as adventuresome as she.

Making our way to Weiser, ID.

Leaving Benton City and the Klipsun Cottage. Views along the road, some spectacular and some sad. One place that we have now driven through twice without stopping is Lime, OR. in Baker County, OR. The geology of the area is fascinating. The abandoned cement plant looks like a great place to explore and take photos. It is officially a Ghost Town. If you check the link above and subsequent link to the page that lists those towns of Oregon, you’ll find details.

As manufacturing and mining raw materials has gone from our country to ‘developing’ countries, the small towns that housed the employees of those companies have been deserted, leaving a ghostly presence. We saw a lot of that in 2016 when we drove back to Peoria, ILL and then made our way back to the SW via I-40 and old Route 66. I think, until you get out there and drive the country, you don’t really see the full impact of political and economic decisions made by corporate America in the past 50 years. It’s not a subject you will see on the evening news or even news magazine-like shows on TV. It’s not an uplifting story, what happens to workers who move to these remote places to find employment, only to have the company chase the raw materials or cheaper labor to other countries; it’s a race to the bottom and our fellow citizens are just a  disposal resource to Politicians and the corporations that line their pockets. Working in tandem for decades that have methodically stripped this country of its ability to support itself with the materials/ skill and even infrastructure ( to some extent) to be self sustaining as a nation. Drive around the country for a month or two, get off of the Interstate Highway System and see what is really out there, beyond the strip malls of fast food and convenient gas stations.

We all live in bubbles and our perceptions are formed through the lens of those bubbles/personal experience. If you can, step out of your bubble. Dare to venture beyond the asphalt arteries that crisscross this country. You’ll find out something about America first hand, something that may alter your perception of life in America.

Both times we have driven right by/through Lime, OR. I have felt a nagging thought in my head: I really need to stop and get a good feel for this town and what took place here. I’m just as guilty of racing from one perceived destination to another and not taking the time to explore. The times I have pulled off of the Interstate system and gone on the secondary and tertiary roads I’ve been rewarded to such a rich history of the people of this country.

Didn’t sit down to write an essay or screed, but it appears something inside needed getting out.

Travel safe and be adventurous, the two aren’t mutually exclusive!

From the Mothership

docked in Seattle!

Walnut Canyon, AZ. : Pt. 1

Thought I would do a couple of posts on Walnut Canyon in Arizona. The National Park Service ‘runs’ the park. To this date, no one has determined who the original inhabitants of the canyon were. As you descend the canyon there are many cliff side ‘dwellings’. The public has access to some of them, on the trail. There are many more dwellings along the canyon walls that there is no access.

Building livable areas in a canyon is a lot of work; I can only think that at some point in the past the people who developed this site, had the resources and know-how to survive in this rocky terrain. Hiking the canyon trail was work, so living their and literally carving out an existence is hard to fathom. Unlike Pueblo Cliff dwellings, you descend into the space where at this time, there is no arable land. The river that runs through the canyon floor now is not much more than a trickle, but in centuries past it might have been a roaring source of water and game. The desert area above the canyon might have been part of a more moderate climate which would supply additional game and perhaps growing opportunities. All speculation at this point. I, however, think this site is very ancient and it presents some interesting relics that spark speculation, which you will see in my next post.

All for today.

Safe travels

from the Mothership

docked in Seattle.

Abandoned along Route 66

More abandoned buildings along Route 66. Doesn’t take too long for the sagebrush and tumbleweed to claim the grounds.If we had had more time I would have docked the Mothership and walked around and, perhaps, explored inside some of these buildings; next time :-).

Safe travels

from the Mothership

docked in Seattle!

Abandoned (Con’t.)

A few more abandoned buildings along Route 66. The places we vacate and the reasons for same say a lot about us as a culture. It’s not only a glimpse into the past, but also a peak into the future. Whole communities lay abandoned along Route 66; places where dreams of starting a business and all of the support logistics that go along with that effort become relics of a culture moving at a breakneck speed, without much thought of the human cost.

Safe travels

from the Mothership

docked in Seattle.