Saturday, April 02, 2016

On the Road South

After weeks of prepping, and having a number of items amazingly happen before they were scheduled, we left for the southwest on an adventure that will take us to Zion and the Grand Canyon. Some of the things we needed to happen included but were not limited to; having a national parks pass ordered and arrive, a Brake Buddy tow braking system for our Jeep ordered and arrive, my jury duty canceled, my replacement crown glued into place in my mouth, Linda’s new running shoes came in a day early, Kobi got into the vet for a checkup early and our taxes were finished, signed, and paid for in full.  So on Friday at 10:15 AM we hit the road.

Our travels led us south on highway 95 through all of Idaho to Weiser where we took a right and drove into Oregon to Farewell Bend State Park.  That leg took us to about 5:30 PM; way longer than our plans, because I felt great when we drove down Whitebird hill, and I thought it was too early to call it a day.  We drove on and the two places where we thought we could stop were closed.
We had a great dinner at a nice little camp spot and then went to bed.

In the morning Linda took a long walk with Kobi and I drank my coffee. We packed up and hit the road about 10:00 AM.  Everything was going smoothly until just outside of Jerome. On a straight stretch of freeway the Brake Buddy’s warning light came on and I quickly pulled over.  The light signaled that the battery in the Jeep was dead and sure enough it was dead. 

Now, the new Brake Buddy is an auxiliary stopping brake that assists the truck if we have to stop fast. It also will stop the Jeep if it were to break away and go on an adventure down the highway without us. We have never had one but I have read several accounts that the highway patrol has been cracking down on RVs towing without auxiliary brake systems. The fine can be up to as much as $1000 so I figured I would get in line with the law and use a Brake Buddy.

The system sets inside the Jeep at the foot of the driver’s seat and presses the brake when it feels the truck stopping fast. It is powered by the Jeep’s battery and is supposed to last three days before you need to charge your battery.  Ours lasted about 12 hours and thus the Buddy signaled me that the battery was dead.

I disconnected the Buddy and we got back on the road. Jerome was the next town and they have a Les Schwab so I headed there.  Nice try! Les was backed up and they said they could help us in 2.5 hours.  They couldn’t even just start the Jeep for me so that I could idle charge the system. We drove on.

Next stop was the Les Schwab in Twin Falls.  Chuck broke away from his job and hooked us up to a quick charger and got the job done.  No charge for the charge! LOL This took about an hour so Linda and I ate lunch with Kobi.

We headed out with a charged Jeep, but before we left town I stopped and bought a cheap battery charger for use each night when we power at our camper site. That should keep our little Buddy happy.

Note the goat butt.
Heading east on 84 and then continuing south on 84 we made our way into Utah. We found an RV campground in Snowville, Utah for $25 and settled in.   The place has just changed hands; it was formerly the Lottie-Dell Campground, but now it is the Earp and James Campground. The name is a combination reference from the new owner’s first names; Wyatt and Jessie. This made Linda smile. I think she would have laughed if she would have seen the goat following her into the office when she paid. (See photo)

The place is much like you would expect a former Lottie-Dell campground to be, old and run down. Linda is being generous and not saying much because she really likes Wyatt and Jessie. It will do in a pinch.

We walked over to the shower area with our stuff and found that there was only one shower, a very old and well-used shower. Checking the water we found it was hot and had good pressure so in we went, first me then Linda. Remember, this RV stop would do in a pinch.  After the showers, we ate dinner and went to bed.  Tomorrow would be an early day so we could get to our stop and hope to find a spot to camp for a couple days.

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