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Saturday, May 8, 2010


Yesterday was intended to be Back On The Road Again. It did not exactly work out like that.

Up at 4:00 am. To the office to complete administrative chores. Back home @ 7:30 am for b'fast. On the road with the vtm to Longview. Stopped by Dale's to pick up items left during previous walking. Drive I-5 Interstate to Chehalis, where we continued on the Google Map designated walking route.

First goof of the day: Google Map routed us on Highway 411, turning onto Wren Loop Road...a goshawful series of twisting steep hills...which led back to 411. Drove back up 411 to Wren Loop Road beginning. 411 is a very good highway and no apparent reason Google sent us up the scenic but treacherous Wren Loop Road. A good reason to "drive" the walking route beforehand.

Goof # 2: Arrived at Longview U-Haul, checked in and was shown the storage unit for the motorcycle.

The unit was NOT on the ground floor, but up 2 feet on a narrow rounded macadam ramp leading to a narrow door into a building. Inside the building were a series of "cell blocks" (only the bars were missing to become a jailhouse) with no turning room for the motorcycle to enter from the hallway.

The door at the top of the ramp was too small to get the motorcycle into the building.

Looking into the computer for an alternate storage unit, U-Haul employee casually mentions...You know, of course, that you must drain ALL liquids (meaning gas & oils) from your motorcycle before we can accept it into our storage units...No, I did not know that and am not prepared to do so.

So, I telephone Keone, Manager U-Haul Bellingham who arranged the Longview (and all U-Haul storage units across the USA to Key West) storage unit...Oh, yes. You will probably run into that restriction (drain ALL liquids) in all U-Haul storage units...Would it not have been a good idea to inform me before I went out & bought a motorcycle trailer, drove 250 miles to Longview???...Sorry, Bruce...what do you want me to do...Start by informing me of the true facts/conditions before I invest $$$ and time to reorganize my walk. More was said, but not appropriate for print.

Goof #3. Upon returning the motorcycle to the trailer, a pool of fuel falls to the floor. Chris had worked on the motorcycle all morning yesterday to stop a minor leak...guess he screwed up. I have had the motorcycle serviced 4 times since November when the leak first appeared. $400 later, it is only worse. Believe, however, that I have rationalized the cause.

When removing any parts using a gasket, the gasket must be replaced with a new one. To my knowledge, no new gaskets were installed - at least I was not informed otherwise. Since I was 6 years old helping Dad work on our trucks, I learned that gaskets take a "set" and if reused, will almost always leak fluids and/or suck air. The proper solution is to clean all surfaces thoroughly and apply a thin bead of gasket seal (Permatex or similar paste in a tube). When torquing the bolts, the gasket seal effectively spreads into the (previously used) gasket deformities and blocks out both liquids and air. Today, Saturday, I find a motorcycle service who will do the job properly. Then we shall see.

In the meantime, we are all back in Bellingham. A 500 mile journey with van, trailer & motorcycle (vtm). At least, that went off smoothly.

Should we continue with problem motorcycle / storage units across USA, I plan to return to Plan A and continue our walk unaided. Hope to be on the road again within 48 hours.

1 comment:

Scott Mumford said...

As Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say, "It's always something!"

I'm impressed you're not swearing as much as I would be at this point (!)--and hope you can get all these pesky details worked out! Too many annoying details--not enough walking!