Friday, June 26, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day Four & Five:

Billings, MT here we come! We may have made it further but there was some weather to crawl through and some hills to climb (at a mere 35 mph) and the realization that there is no way we are going to make it into Idaho today (Sunday). So we take our time and enjoy the drive (ignoring the lights on the dash) and finally make our reservations at an Extended Stay America where we can wash laundry and put things into the refrigerator. Jennifer was not too happy about the delays and was starting to get a bit snippy. I think Grammy was tired of the long haul too and was ready for some clean clothes. I just wanted to get there in one piece, safely and without any further problems. It was a long night but we did get the laundry washed and we were safe and dry.

Day Five: We are headed to Idaho but by my calculations we will not be able to push much farther than Missoula, MT and what do you know I was right! (Could have something to do with the fact that I was driving) We started the day out right with a great breakfast at Cracker Barrel and a full tank of fuel. We drove on and just enjoyed the scenery, the wildlife and the music. We stopped for the night at the Red Lion Inn where they had a great hot tub, awesome hot breakfast, wonderful staff & plenty of parking (on street) We all slept rather soundly and since we knew we were just hours from our destination we were all pretty relaxed, excited, and in great attitude.

Day Three:

Today was a slow start as we headed out of the Doubletree in Minneapolis, MN and got back on the road. It was slow because none of us wanted to get out of the cozy bed and we needed to fuel up and were having a hard time finding a station with our 3 requirements: Diesel, Pull-through access, and 13’ clearance. Once we found a station and fueled up the truck wouldn’t start. Waited & prayed until it finally started. Started to feel like we were entering the Twilight Zone. LOL!
Things were going great and we were blessed with some great K-Love music to roll down the road and sing along with. I pulled into a rest area to make a much needed coffee relief break and the truck would not start when we got back from the facilities. I floored it until I was sure it was flooded. I waited and turned everything off including the radio. It seemed to be draining the battery when I tried to turn it over. Finally after more prayer and about 5 more minutes (seemed like half an hour) it finally started up. Whew! I called Penske again, speed dial no less, and reported the weird behavior. As we drove along , Grammy Elaine remembered some old friends of ours from Kodiak, AK who had relocated to Minnesota and thought it would be neat if we could figure out where they lived. So I suggested she Google them and low and behold they not only still lived in MN but were directly on our route about 40 minutes up the road. She is brave and so called the number she found and before we knew it we were having lunch at Perkins restaurant in Fergus Falls, MN. with my former doctor and his wife, Rud & Timmie Wasson. I told Jennifer that it was sort of weird meeting my pediatrician for lunch after not seeing them for 32 years! It turns out that they were just like I remembered and so many memories came flooding back when I saw Timmie that it was like rereading an old favorite book. I hope to stay in touch from here on out.
Leaving the Perkins I was glad that the truck, nicknamed Penny, started right up and drove like a dream~ finally! Well, maybe I spoke too soon because we passed Fargo, ND and a yellow warning light appeared on the dash that we hadn’t seen before. I pulled over and pulled out the operator’s manual. There on page 39 I found the icon displayed on the dash and it said it was an Emissions Failure Warning. I speed dialed Penske SOS team once again and reported the warning and asked what they wanted me to do about it. Well, they talked me through some engine regeneration steps and that failed to work and they had me try it a few more times after turning Penny off and then back on. I finally asked if we could move off the shoulder to a more populated location in case it didn’t start again or we actually had to wait for a service vehicle. They had us drive on up to the next safe place to stop with facilities. Jamestown, ND. They call me back and tell me to push on to Bismarck, ND even though the warning light is still on and they will send someone to look at the truck when we arrive. They offered to pay for our accommodations and extended our contract due to the many delays. So we push on in the wind and the rain with yellow warning lights blazing from the dashboard and K-Love blasting from the radio! We went online and got a room at the Radisson for the night and after arriving around 10:30 pm I called Penske to let them know where we were and where the truck was parked. Eventually, we settled in for some much needed rest.
1:28am, yes, AM as in EARLY in the morning, I wake up to my phone ringing and it is the Penske guys letting me know I needed to leave the keys for the truck at the front desk. I stumble downstairs and try to speak coherently to the clerk and head back to bed. I don’t sleep well because I keep expecting a call saying they are taking the truck or they have to move our stuff to another one… something?! I finally get out of the bed at 4:55am and head to the gym and hot tub. If I am going to be awake I may as well be doing something constructive and so I take my Bible with me and spend some time with Jesus. I wait to hear back from Penske and they haven’t called by 8am so I call and wait for a call back because the one who handled the call in the night was not the same one on call in the morning. We finally get the word that the problems are all due to the truck being TOO new! Don’t worry until it quits running just keep on trucking! So we do just that.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Move to ID - Day Two

Day Two: We are headed over to the Penske Service Center to find out what is up with the warning lights and make sure we are safe to continue. Tom, at Penske Eau Claire, was so very nice, helpful and patient and showed me what to be looking for and what to worry about and what not to worry about. He ran some diagnostics and said much of the problem was that the truck is so new. They only have a few 2010 International trucks and don't have all the bugs worked out yet. He also found some 'false positives' and some faulty warnings but couldn't duplicate the same one we had the day before. Of course it didn't show up when we took it into the shop! He sent us on down the road after an hour and a half and we headed to The Mall of America. (I hate Mall shopping!) I love my daughter greatly and is proven by the next 6 hours spent at said Mall!
We met my second cousin, Jenna, and her financee, Wade, for lunch and it was great to meet them both and get to know them. I am SOOOOooooo old that I haven't met most of my cousins and second cousins because I have been gone from Alaska so long!!
Jennifer got to do some of her school shopping and I really enjoyed spending the day with her! She found 5 pairs of jeans and 2 scarves and a locket inscribed with a verse from I Corinthians on it. She only spent $63 from her school-clothes fund and got all her jeans from Macy's!! I have a VID for sure!!! (see earlier post!)

We decided that we weren't going to get very far with the stop at the Penske center, the visit with family, and the shopping excursion so we went onto Priceline and got a room at the Doubletree for the night. Nice warm cookies, nice long soak in the hot tub, and a nice long rest on the comfortable bed was just what the Lord had in mind for me!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Move to Idaho - Day One

Long over due update!

We are stopped at the Radisson in Bismarck, ND after four long days of various trials, numerous laughs, lots of wildlife (both alive and dead), and many, many prayers. Thanks for all who are praying for us and remembering us in our travels.

Day One:
Left Waukegan, IL around 9:45 and headed to the Penske place to have the car tow-dolly hooked up and the car loaded. I remembered that we still hadn't paid Jennifer's library fine for a book she had 'lost'. We will find it I am sure in Idaho! So I left Grammy with the truck and zipped over to Warren-Newport to pay the fine and do one last check on the internet for our first stop of the night. While walking into the library I remember that I didn't grab the 'last things to load' from the house. Panic set in for a minute because I was sure I had given out ALL of my house keys. I eventually listened to my very intelligent daughter (VID) and found one and was able to zip back to 324 S. Orchard and grab our passports, birth certificates, and other IMPORTANT documents! Praise God that He brought it to my rememberance BEFORE we were in North Dakota!!! Yes, I praise YOU Lord!!

Head back to Penske and get the car loaded on the truck and took a good long (very long!) look at the load we would be hauling and said several more prayers!! We are finally on the road, well at least for 5 miles. Note to driver: Check Tow-Dolly and load after first 5 miles and EVERY 50 miles thereafter.
Huh??? I asked the service man at Penske, "Is this for real? EVERY 50 miles!?!?" I explained how far we were driving and the time factor to stop every 50 miles on a 1800 mile trip and he finally said we would only need to do that on the first day. <>

We stopped after 12 miles or so and everything is fine.
We headed up into Wisconsin stopping at the Pine Cone Restaurant in Madison for one last Eclair and Apple Fritter. Diet will start when we eventually arrive in Idaho! For anyone who has ever gone to Wisconsin Dells with me you will understand my affection with the Pine Cone. Think homemade baked goods meeting Paul Bunyan in both size and flavor. Yum!! I think Grammy enjoyed it too although she may be hating us by the end of this trip. Took her three days to finish one cinnamon roll! I wish I had thought to take more pictures. Kendra, I am not!

We stopped at a rest area outside of Eau Claire, WI and Jennifer noticed that the display on the dash was flashing Low Coolant Level** and there were a couple of warning lights staying on after I turned off the engine. (Backtrack here: I am not tall in stature and in order to see the display have to pull myself up to the top of the steering wheel since the column does not adjust. I cannot see the display while driving unless I lean way forward!) SO... I turned the truck back on and look more closely and try to figure out if this in something to be concerned about. After several different possibilities are considered I finally determined the display should have gone out and the warning lights should NOT stay on. So, I call Penske and describe the problem and ask for advice. "Where are you?" the man asks me. Uh, in Wisconsin. "Can you tell me the mile number?" You can fill in the blanks for the remainder of the conversation I am sure. Eventually, the Penske SOS team sends Edgar out to take a look. Edgar reports that it should be fine to drive it appears there is a faulty sensor and since it is such a new truck (only had 91 miles on it when we picked it up) there may be some kinks to work out. He recommended we head on to Eau Claire or Minneapolis and call Penske to take it to there mechanic in the morning. Penske calls back and tells us to stop in Eau Claire and take it to the service center there and NOT go on to MN. I was planning on stopping in Minneapolis to take Jennifer to the Mall of America so thought it would be much better to push on. However, it is THEIR truck.

We found a room at Days Inn - West in Eau Claire and eventually turned in for the day... It was a looonnngggg day at that. What I am leaving out is the 'Road Closed mishap', the 'Wimpy-wimpy-wimpy' giggles and all the other in betweens that would make this post another 5 pages. SO that wraps up day one. Praise God for His faithfulness because He did see us through!!!

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
I love Jesus and want my life to be a reflection of His life in me!

A Good Read...

  • Rooms by James L. Rubart
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Any book written by Terri Blackstock
  • O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson
  • Black, White, Red (trilogy) by Ted Dekker
  • Driven by Eternity & Rescued by John Bevere
  • Under Cover by John Bevere