March 25, 2011

Westward Ho!

We saw Vero Beach in our rear view mirror about 2 pm on Friday the 18th.  The airbags in the Bounder still don’t work properly – they lose their pressure on a daily basis – but Bobby’s would have to order replacements (again) and that would be until Monday – then the install – so – off we went.  Keith made sure to bring the little compressor so he will make sure they are maintained on our trip across.

We spent our 1st night at the Flying J just outside of Tallahassee so we made pretty good time.  Of course, when we don’t pull in to a park – we don’t have the setup or the power or the tv to spend our time on – so might as well keep going.  This isn’t a sightseeing trip anyhow.  We are loaded to heavy and are not set up to be comfortable on this hopefully one-of-our-quicker-trips...

Just outside of New Orleans (but still in Louisiana)  we stopped for a dog-walk and to stretch our legs - and - low and behold - the Bounder didn't want to go again - we got clear out on one of the several mile long causeways before the old girl decided to vapor lock on us. Whew!  After totally annoying the folks behind us - (on the narrow 2 lane bridge) - she coasted to a stop - I put her into park - and wah-la she started right up and did fine!  She caught up with the spirit of the run and we joined in the normal flow of traffic. The trip across Lake Pontchartrain was a beautiful as it was the 1st time we went across it a little over 7 years ago.  The new bridge for I10 is in use – and it looks like the one damaged by Katrina is in the process of being dismantled. 

On Sunday we pull in to Austin – a whole day earlier than we’d planned but oh- so ready for a long hot shower and some chill – axation in front of the tv.  Contacting the Bettin family in Austin was taken care of and it was set up to spend Monday together.  Brett, Maya, and Cetta arrived, took us for one of Keith's favorite breakfast's (Mexican of course) at a dog-friendly place - Chato loved being able to come alone with us! - and I got to play with Cetta for a long while!  We were there so long that they came and cleared our table for us (I think it was a hint as it was getting toward lunchtime and they were really, really busy!).  They took us to the Riverwalk (I think that was it) where there is a dog park - Chato ran and visited with other dogs and I got to hold Cetta some more!! ;-) We dropped Brett off for a meeting and retired to their apartment for Cetta to nap and to get to relax some more - it was a wonderful chat and visit!  Brett got back, Cetta woke, we got some photos, and all to soon it was time for Maya to go to work and Brett to take us back to the Bounder.  We put Cetta on the floor (on a blanket of course! - and Chato brought his ball - She loved watching him chase that little yellow ball up and down that small space!  I have a long video that I love just listening to!  And of course, I can't seem to get it loaded.... She has such a charming little giggle!
 After leaving Austin we had a bit of Bounder trouble - it all started when I hit a pothole the size of Texas - right where I couldn't miss it - I did get slowed down - but, it seams, not nearly enough as the next time we stopped for gas - the old girl wouldn't start.  We were again at a Flying J, the wonderful girls there gave us the number for a mobile mechanic - who came and looked but couldn't do anything until morning, and also allowed us to SHOWER!!  A shower never, ever, never felt so good!  We spent the night in the parking lot there and the next Wednesday morning - Keith tried to start her - and she started right up!  No tellin'!  So we got clear to Lake Havasu where I, stupidly, shut it down to gas us and - you guessed it! - right in the bay - no startie!  again with the mobile mechanic - this time it was James of Desert Jet Mobile Mechanic who came to our rescue.  After several diagnostic tests it was determined that we needed a fuel pump... but then... after thought ... one more test showed that it was the fuel sensor.. probably damaged during the bounce thru the pothole... at least that's what I'm a thinking...

Once the part was found, it was quickly installed - while getting dark- a pocketful of money exchanged hands, and we were on our way... Spending a day at Lake Havasu would be great (we will definitely come back another time)- if you have transportation and can get around.  Spending the day in the parking lot of a gas station isn't optimal.. LOL

So we are now here - and spending our night in the Catalina across the street from Dad.  Our welcome to Arizona wasn't quite as uneventful as we would have liked - but we are here!

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