Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lucy Has An Appointment At Freightliner

Lucy was due for her annual oil change/generator service so we contacted Freightliner in Corpus Christi to see about having the work done there prior to leaving this area. They told us to bring her in Tuesday morning and they would work her in sometime during the day. They don't make specific appointments for this type of work. This is the minor stuff that gets worked in.

Tuesday morning dawned in heavy fog. Yuck. We took off for Corpus about 8:45 AM hoping the fog would be gone by then, but no. The closer we got to the Freighliner facility, though, the clearer it got so by the time we arrived at 9:30, it was clear and sunny with a light breeze. Perfect if we were to hang out in the parking lot waiting to be worked in :) We knew we'd be fine, especially with Lucy's new batteries, but it was supposed to hit 80 and new batteries or not, we would not be able to run the air conditioners.

Once checked in, we were told they thought they could get to us before lunch, lunch being noon to 1:00 PM. That sounded great so I entered a couple addresses into the GPS and took off in the Jeep to do a little shopping. Checking in a couple hours later, I found out that we now were slated for after lunch. Rick was sitting there patiently waiting and reading his Kindle, but he was getting a little hungry.

I headed back and while Rick unloaded the supplies I had purchased, I made us each a turkey wrap for lunch. That hit the spot :) We were expecting to be called in shortly after lunch but that didn't happen :) We had allowed the whole day to take care of this and it took the whole day. Good thing we're retired and don't have anything else to do :) In fairness to them, this is one very busy place! From the looks of the parking lot alone, I would have thought we’d be waiting a week :) They finally called us in at 3:20 PM and the technician got started. He said he'd have us out of there in about an hour. Now, I KNEW that wasn't going to happen :) No matter, that would have put us right in the middle of rush hour and we try to avoid those types of things :) I was almost finished with my book (V is for Vengeance by Sue  Grafton) and was anxious to get back to it. Once I finished it, I could always play Words with Friends or start writing this blog. I had plenty of things to keep me occupied.


Rick engaged the technician in some chit chat. There was a Phaeton parked in the next bay to us but no one was working on it. The story was that they'd had it for a week. There was water in the oil. It was a mystery as to how that water got there. There was no evidence of a bad head gasket or cracked head. Apparently all the likely culprits had been taken off and sent to Cummins for examination. So far, Cummins hadn't found anything and wasn't accepting responsibility. The other possibility is operator error. It's possible the owner added fluid in the wrong hole! Apparently no one is talking and, giving the tech credit, he was not drawing any conclusions of his own. At least he wasn't sharing them with us :) In the meantime, these people are fulltimers and have been sitting in a hotel for a week. It sounded like they'd be there a while longer. That's a nightmare I would not like to experience.

By the time our service was completed and the bill paid it was 6:00 PM :) Lucy passed all her inspections with flying colors. Her fluids had been changed, her generator serviced and, with any luck, we were good for another year :) The worst of the rush hour was over and it was time to go home. Once backed into her space at Estes RV Resort, we enjoyed a Domino's Pizza and a couple beers and settled in for a relaxing evening of reruns on TV :)

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lunch and the Whooping Cranes

One day this past week a group of us decided to go looking for the Whooping Cranes that like to hang out just outside Goose Island State Park. On our way, we stopped for lunch at Pops. This place is just a little tavern/café but the food is very good. The interior is decorated with these 2 wall murals.


Ignore the guy in the picture below. I have no idea who he is :)


Pretty cool, huh? The murals are made entirely out of bottle caps. Just think. Recycling and art all wrapped into one :)

After we had our lunch, we caravanned through the neighborhood on the lookout for the Whooping Cranes. After several streets, we lucked out.

From the road we could barely see the birds in a field. If you look really, really closely, you can see a couple white dots in the middle of the photo.




There were 4 of them gathered fairly close to a feeding station in the field.


I had a great time trying to zoom in as close as I could. My only regret is that we couldn’t get any closer. They are magnificent, huge birds. According to Wikipedia, they were put on the endangered species list in 1941 and have made a limited comeback. As of 2011, there were an estimated 437 in the wild and 165 in captivity. Just think. Here are 4 of that very small number! Click on any picture to enlarge.

Once we finished gawking and photographing, we made another stop at the “Big Tree”. I’ve blogged about this tree before but I couldn’t resist getting a picture of the whole group in front of it.

P1010257 (Small)

It was a great day! Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Friday, March 9, 2012

New House Batteries for Lucy, Extending Our Stay

We have extended our stay here at Estes RV Resort to April 1st. We did this for several reasons. First, our original departure date was March 15, which is a Thursday. Our next destination is a COE park north of San Antonio. We don’t like going through large cities during the week, if we can avoid it. April 1st is a Sunday; the perfect time to drive right through San Antonio on our way :) Second, February was cool and rainy. March is warmer and we’re hoping to get in some good beach days before we leave. Our hope is to also get in some kayaking, but the wind is always rather brisk here making that difficult. But, you never know. Thirdly, we are very fond of March Madness and we have cable here :)

We also put down a deposit on a site here for next winter. Same park but a different site. Many of our friends have tried to talk us into Florida for next winter, but we really like this area. We are very close to the Gulf and the price is right. The temperatures are pleasant, not hot and humid like southern Florida. I like nice and warm, but not hot. We get nice and warm, but being right on the gulf, we get the breezes to make it more comfortable. So far, we’ve only used our air conditioning once this winter. I imagine we’ll have to use it more as March progresses but it’s been nice just opening windows and enjoying the breeze.

Now that we’re in our last month here, it’s time to start taking care of some of the things we planned to do while here and have been putting off :) One of those things was washing and waxing Lucy. She’s still waiting :) Another was to replace her 4 house batteries as they were on their last legs. That was done last Saturday.

Rick surveying the job at hand. Each battery weighs 63 pounds. Ouch!



It doesn’t sound like changing out 4 batteries would be a big deal, but when you look at all the wires and hoses, it looks like a spaghetti farm!


First thing he did was color code…everything!


Our friend Darrell was there to give a helping hand. I chose to stay out of the way and went grocery shopping :)


What makes this harder, is the fact that we do not have a battery tray and we cannot add a battery tray because there is no room. In fact, there is barely room for the batteries. They are in there tight! In order to get them in and out requires kneeling down and reaching into the bay. I was very afraid Rick would hurt his back, but he made it through fine.

The old batteries are finally out.


The new batteries waiting to be installed.


About this time, I got back from the store and watched for awhile but it was distracting to them so I went back inside after taking a couple more photos.  Everything must be carefully reconnected exactly the same way to avoid any major shorts and/or shocks.

And the new are in!


The only thing left to do was reload the old batteries and take them back to the store for disposal and return of the core deposit we were charged.

One thing crossed off our list. More to come. Thanks for stopping by.Turtle