Monday, September 18, 2017

Replacing the Brake Master Cylinder on the Van.

The Leak.

A while back, I mentioned that the master cylinder on the van was leaking.
A couple days ago I decided to go ahead and fix the problem.

When I looked under the van to check the cylinder it was wet all over with brake fluid so I couldn’t really see where it was leaking.


I figured that the leak was probably around the piston so I removed the cylinder and checked under the rubber boot. I found a small amount of leakage but not enough to account for the amount of fluid on the ground and all over the cylinder.

Since there was a small amount of leakage around the piston I decided to replace the master cylinder.
I went to the parts store and of course they didn’t have the master  cylinder in stock (I would have been very surprised if they had one) so I ordered one.

The Next Morning.

Early the next morning I was at the parts store picking up the master cylinder.
I checked it over real good to be sure it was the right part. Even though it looked a little bulkier than the original, it had all the right connections in all the right places.


I bench bled the cylinder and then installed it in the van and hooked up the two break lines.


I buttoned things up and took a test drive around the block.
When I got back I looked under the van and saw drops of break fluid.
As it turned out one of the fittings on one of the break lines where it connects to the master cylinder was leaking. (Original problem).


I tried tightening it but couldn’t stop the leak.
I removed the line…


and found that the flair on one end was worn out.


Brake lines use a double flair on the end where the lip of the tube is folded in on itself and then flared out. it makes the flair thicker than with a single flair so it seals tighter.

Of course this takes a special flaring  tool.

I’m sure I have one of those around here some where.

I searched through all my tool cabinets  and drawers because I was sure that I had a double flair tool but I couldn’t come up with it.
I must have had one at work when I was working for a living.

Since I was probably only going to use the tool once I decided to get a cheap one. (Not a good decision.) In hind sight I should have gone to the auto parts store and borrowed the tool.

Finally Got It.

Anyway after using up about two feet of tubing and having to use parts of two different flaring tools I finally got a reasonable copy of the original pipe and installed it.


I checked it out good and so far it doesn’t leak.

That’s what I’ve been up to the last couple of days.

Patti’s Cataract.

At 8:00 this morning I took Patti to the eye surgery center to get her right cataract removed. Everything went fine and she is now snoozing in her recliner.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Lazy Days.


I have been kind of lazy the last few days. Haven’t felt like doing much so consequently I haven’t done a post for a while.

The RV.

On Tuesday we took the motorhome into the shop for its annual servicing. We will probably get it back in a few more days.


I took the jeep in for a smog check yesterday. It passed fine.

Trim the Grapes.

The grape that covers the back patio was getting very over grown so I trimmed it back.

Okay that’s it for now. Maybe I’ll do something interesting tomorrow or the next day.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Finished the Jack Mount.

Okay, Here It Is.

By noon I was finished with the Jack Mount. I forgot to take pictures while I was working on it  but here is the finished product.


By the time I finished the project the temp was up to 100° so it was time to quit for the day.

That’s all folks.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A couple slow days and a New Project.

A Couple Slow Days.

I haven’t done a heck of a lot the last few days. I unloaded the van and noticed that the brake master cylinder on the van is leaking. That will have to be replaced but right now I am not going to use the van until next summer so I am going to just park it and replace the master later.

Preparing for Arizona.

It is getting close to time for us to go back to Arizona for the winter so it is time to concentrate on the motor home and the jeep. The motor home will go to the shop for servicing on Tuesday.

New Project.

I have been trying to figure out where to store the big farm jack that I carry in the jeep. I have decided to make a mount for it on the jack on the spare tire carrier. 

Here is the Jack and a piece of angle Iron that I will make the mount from.

I cut a 16” piece off the angle iron that I will use for the mount.


I drilled two holes in the angle iron to put bolts through for the jack to mount to.


I welded the bolt heads to the angle iron so they would stay in place.


Next I will have to weld a piece of square tubing on the angle iron so it will go Into the square hole on top of the tire mount.


The next thing I will have to do is weld two legs on the angle iron that will be welded also to the tire mount to steady the jack mount.

I will do that tomorrow.

Okay that’s it for now.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Seven Days at the Cabin.


I got to the cabin around 11:30.
Joanne and Dave were already there.


I got moved into the cabin after I swept out the detritus of the last peoples visit.


Some people just don’t understand the concept of leave it like you find it, or better.

I put out some rat poison and a couple of traps as we have been having some mouse problems.

The rest of the day, we hung out just taking it easy.


Thursday morning was cool so I got some stuff done early.

The Mouse Hole.

I checked out the bats on the cabin siding to be sure they were tight so that no mice can get through there. Then I checked all around the place to see if I could find where the mice were getting in.
I eventually found the spot. It was in a corner where I had stuffed  a piece of rope in the crack and was intending to calk it. Apparently I missed that one and the mice just pushed it in at the corner. I packed the rope back in place and calked over it to seal the whole crack tightly.

Fix the Fridge.

The propane Refrigerator wasn’t working properly so I pulled off the back and cleaned off the burner. I have to do this every time I start the fridge. I should just do it before I start it.

Replace the Towel Rack.

I had made a drying rack from a long branch that was suspended from the rafters. The branch was rough and would catch on material when the towel was pulled off. I replaced the limb with a piece of closet rod that I had stored in the dining hall.


The afternoon was very hot so we went down to the creek for a few hours.

It is supposed to be even hotter today (Friday).



The temperature got to 100° today.

In the morning we walked the cabin loop trail.

We didn’t do much the rest of the day, just shade hopped trying to stay cool and not succeeding.

Around 4:30, Kate (The daughter of one of our friends) showed up with her boyfriend. They decided to set up their camp on Matt’s deck. 

After dark the temp dropped to 98°.



As I am writing this on Saturday morning, It is 72° at 8:00am.
I think today is going to be hotter than yesterday.

It is hotter than yesterday. It’s to hot to do anything so I did nothing but try to keep cool.
The highest temp I saw on my thermometer was 108°. That was about 2:30. It was still around 90° at 10:00 (bed time).



It was a little cooler today 102° at 2:00.
It is still too hot to do much.

Just hung around shade hopping, trying to stay cool.

Peter came by around 4:30. He said that he, Leon and his friends were going to camp at the grove.

Leon and his friends showed up around 9:30pm.

They will probably spend the day at the creek.



It was a little cooler today, It only got to 94° by 2:00.


I actually worked on a project today.
I decided that I should make a bench.

It was late (almost noon) when I started.

I pulled the piece of redwood log (I had split last year) out of the wood pile.

The first thing I had to do was flatten the surface for the seat.
I did that with an old froe that I made several years ago.


Once I had the seat shaped the next thing to do was to smooth it off. For this I used a Draw Knife.


Next, it was time to make holes for the legs, using a 2 inch auger.


By the time I had the first hole drilled it was getting too hot to work on it so I hung it up for the day.


After breakfast I went out to work on the bench I started yesterday.

I got all four holes drilled for the legs.


The log that is standing up in the foreground is what I will use for the legs.
I split out four large billets.


Then I used the draw knife to shape them.
Don’t expect them to be pretty.


I don’t do pretty. They will be thick and strong as they will sit in the weather for as long as they last. They are all redwood so that should be about 25 years.

I got all the legs shaped and pounded into the holes.

The next thing will be to cut the legs to length.



Finish the Bench.

After Breakfast I went out and worked on the bench.

First, I cut the legs to length.


Once the legs were cut I loaded the bench in the van and took it up the road to the spring. I found a flat spot half way between two steep climbs and decided to put the bench there.


Going Home:

Once the bench was set, I went back to the cabin and started packing to go home. Around 2:00 I had the cabin cleaned and ready for the next visitor.
I just hope they will clean up after themselves. Unfortunately the people who leave the messes are the owner’s son and his friends. There isn’t much I can do to stop it but complain to Peter and that doesn’t seem to do much good.

Okay, that was my seven days at the cabin. It was a little to hot for my liking but at least I had a chance to be up there for a while.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Couple of Boring Days and Going to the Cabin.


I warned you that there were going to be some boring days ahead.
We did very little on Sunday, just unloaded some stuff out of the van.

Joanne and Dave H. Came by around 3:00 and we visited for a while. Around 5:30 we went to Mary’s Pizza Shack for supper.
Visited some more in the evening.


I unloaded more stuff from the van and started getting stuff ready to go to the cabin.

Around noon Patti’s two daughters and our grandson Harvey came by for a visit.


Went shopping for groceries to take to the cabin and continued gathering stuff to take up there.


I am going to the cabin today, once I get everything loaded.
I will be up there for about seven days. So no blogs until I get back.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Long Road Home. Day. 14. Home.


You may be wondering why we took such a “long road home”. The biggest reason is that we don’t have AC in our van and the engine sits between the seats and produces an enormous amount of heat. We didn’t want to cross the Arizona or Nevada deserts with their triple digit temperatures.
The other reason was;
We had the time so why not? I am glad we did it that way, as we got to see a lot more of the rocky mountain states. It was a beautiful ride.

The Last Leg and it’s a Long One.

The Plan

The Plan for today was to go as far as the Bear River Casino in Fortuna, CA. We wanted to treat ourselves to one last night in a motel and a good supper.

Early Start.

I got up early and had my breakfast.
I checked to see if my hot spot would work and was surprised that it had a good strong signal. I published the latest post from there.
By 9:00 we were on 140 heading west.


A Change of Plans.

We thought that we might stop and visit with Dennis and Becky at the Valley of the Rogue State Park, where they are working for the summer. When we got close Patti called Dennis. Unfortunately Dennis was working today and Becky was off on an errand so we decided to pass them by.

US 199.

After driving around Rogue River for a while we eventually found Highway 99 and followed it to Grants Pass, OR.  At Grants Pass we got on US 199 heading west.
At Cave Junction we stopped for fuel and lunch then continued west along the Smith River.


It is a real pretty ride as the highway goes through Redwood forests.


US 101.

Eventually we got to US 101 and followed it south along the coast.


Bear River Casino.

Around 4:00 we arrived at the Bear River Casino.
We checked at the hotel and found that they were all booked up.
Okay so we can spend the night in the parking lot and still eat in the restaurant.
We found a spot at the far end of the parking lot and sat outside in the shad of the van.
I decided that I needed a nap so I climbed into my bunk for a snooze.

I Woke up Around 6:30.

By then the parking lot had filled up. There was a lot of activity all around us. With cars driving around and drunks arguing in the parking lot.
Just after I woke up Patti got a call from her daughter Dina. She said that the weather at home was extremely hot with temps over 100°.

I don’t like driving at night but I figured that it would take us about three hours to get home from here and it would be better to get home in the cool hours of the night than to get home during the heat of the day.
I was sufficiently rested up so we decided to head for home. We got gas at the casino gas station and hit the road.

It was a long drive, 14 hours from Klamath lake, but we were home by 11:00 pm, exhausted but home.

Taking it Easy.

I don’t plan to do anything much from the next few days so things will be kind of boring around here.


Okay, here are a few stats on our trip.

Miles Traveled

From our front door to our front door we traveled 6,883 miles.

Fuel Burned.

At an average of 10 miles per gallon we used ~688+ gallons of gas.

Interstate Highways.

One of our criteria for this trip was to try and do the whole thing without driving on any Interstate Highways.
As it turned out, of the 6,883 miles, we drove only 217 miles on the Interstate’s.
Not bad!


We drove through 9 states:
California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.
We drove through six of them twice except for Montana, Washington and Nevada.

It was an exceptional adventure six weeks of driving , exploring and camping.
Even so, it is nice to be home. I don’t plan to drive any where for a couple of days.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Long Road Home. Day12 & 13. Camped west of Klamath Lake off SR 140.


I checked my internet hot spot this morning and realized that I had a good strong internet connection so I am publishing this from our camp spot west of Klamath Lake.

A Late Start.

I slept in this morning and after breakfast I finished the blog for Day 11 so it was 11:45 before we left our camp.

Down We Go. . .

Since we were camped at the summit there was no where to go but down into a nice green valley.


We traveled along through the valley and eventually came to a crossroads.
There was an arrow shaped sign point to the left with with Silver City painted on it and another arrow shaped sign pointing to the right with the barely legible letters saying Jordan Valley.

Our present destination is Jordan Valley and highway 95 but we knew that we were very close to Silver City and decided to go check it out.

Silver City.

You enter Silver City on a vary narrow dirt road going up hill.


At the top of the hill is a sign welcoming you to Silver City.


It is a pretty neat town with some cool old buildings.


I guess this is a Mason Hall.


We just took a loop through the town enjoying the old buildings.

Apparently the town just completed restoring the old school house.


A Slow Road.

After leaving Silver City we took the road to Jordan Valley.
The first several miles were very rough with the tops of granite boulders protruding from the road bed.


I know it looks nice and smooth in the picture but believe me, it isn’t smooth, anymore than slick rock is slick.
We encountered a few large mud holes from last night’s rain but they weren’t any problem.


De Lamar.

The road took us through another small Ghost Town called De Lamar.

It looks a little more abandoned than Silver City.



Better Road.

The road starts improving once past De Lamar.


We passed through a nice green valley with desert on each side.


US 95 South.

After a few more miles on the dirt road we came to Jordan Valley and US 95. Our intention was to drive south on 95 about 30 miles south of Burns Junction, then take a dirt road south west to Denio Junction where we would catch SR 140 and take it north into Oregon and across Southern Oregon.

A Change of Plan

Two things occurred that changed our plans.
About half way to Burns Junction I realized that I hadn’t topped off the gas tank in Jordan Valley as I had planned. Now the gauge was reading a little more than half full. I won’t go into the desert on an unknown road without as full a gas tank as I can get.
I figured we might get lucky and find gas at Burns Junction.

Burns Junction is Closed for Business.

There is a large parking area at Burns Junction.
The Café, Gas station, RV park and Motel are all closed and look like they have been closed for a very long time and will probably not open anytime in the near future.

What Now?

We pulled over into the parking lot to check the map and decide what to do next.
The next place where there was a reasonable chance to get gas was Mc Dermitt, NV. We reasoned that every town on the Nevada border has a casino and a gas station. Mc Dermitt has a Casino/ Café and a gas station that is up for sale.
We headed for MC Dermitt, NV.

The other thing that made us change our plans was that; as we drove toward Mc Dermitt we looked for the road that would have taken us to Denio Jct. and it wasn’t there or we just missed it.


SR 293.

We got to Mc Dermitt around 2:00 and filled the gas tank and had lunch at the café. After lunch we headed south on 95 looking for SR 293. On our map 293 goes west between 95 and 140. SR 293 started out as a very nice two lane paved road that goes across the desert and into the hills beyond.


After about 30 miles the pavement ends and the road becomes a very nicely maintained gravel road. It drops down into King Valley and becomes King Valley Road. King Valley Road cuts straight west across the valley until it turns right and Nine Mile Road continues west
We got a bit confused at this point and wasted a lot of time wandering around until we asked at a ranch at the end of King Valley Rd. (The King Valley Ranch.)
We were told to go back and take Nine Mile Road; that it was a BLM road and went clear to SR 140.

Once we were back on track and after we had left King Valley behind we started looking for a good camp spot. We knew that we had to find something before we got to the highway. We drove for many miles and found no suitable camp site.
Eventually, we came to an intersection in the road and a sign.
1 mile to the left was SR 140, 3 miles to the right is Bilk Creek Reservoir.
We turned right and headed for Bilk Creek.
Along the way we stopped to talk with a coupe of guys who were coming out.
We asked them if there were any good camp spots at the res. They said that there were plenty of good spots around the lake. They told us that the spot that they left was good and told us how to find it.
Their spot was down below the dam in a nice grassy area and looked good from above. When we got down there however the place was trashed. They had thrown out a pile of food stuff and left a fresh skinned deer hide hanging on a bush. It smelled and there were tons of flies around the whole camp.

We didn’t stay long and went in search of a better spot.
We drove back over the dam and saw a likely looking area on the west side of the lake so we drove over there to check it out. We drove down a small road that went by a nice flat spot above the lake with a nice view.

We pulled onto the flat, turned off the engine, put out the chairs and spent the rest of the day in the shade of the van, watching the activity on the lake below us.
One fisherman and a bunch of ducks.

Here is our view of the lake. You can see the nice lush grassy area on the left and the green point that sticks out into the lake.


The real show was to begin a little after sunset.
We were sitting there watching the lake and suddenly I see a deer come walking out of the brush and start grazing way out on that green point.

Unfortunately the light conditions are real bad and the deer are a ways off but I thought I should show a few pictures on her.


Here is a nice group.


We counted 12 deer in the field at one time.


While we were distracted by the deer we missed most of the sunset.


After Sunset.

We sat out for a while after the sunset.

On the ridge to our right we could see a Jack Rabbit silhouetted against the dim background light.


A little later a parade of deer walked up the ridge from the lake and past our camp.


Okay that was day 12 of the long road home.

The Long Road Home. Day 13.

An Early Start.

We got an early start this morning and were on SR 140 heading north by 9:00.


Just another lonely Nevada road, and it just goes on forever.

Nice Scenery.

Even on a lonely stretch of highway you still have some beautiful scenery.



One More Border.

Eventually we crossed over into Oregon.


Not to far after entering Oregon we went down very steep grade.


It was pretty cool but I’m glad that there was no one behind me.

We crossed this wide valley and went through a narrow canyon where we saw this nice waterfall.



Eventually we came to Lakeview.
We stopped at the Burger Queen. That’s right “Burger Queen”.
The burgers were good.
After lunch we got gas and headed west.

On to Klamath.

After another couple hours driving and we passed the south end of Klamath Lake and entered a short section of national forest.
We knew that this area would be the last opportunity for camping for a long distance so we were keeping an eye out for side roads. We saw a sign for a campground on our right and turned onto the road. A short distance along this road we crossed a small dirt road. I turned right onto this road and drove a little ways and found a nice spot just off the road.


OK , well I am caught up with the blog and it is about bed time for me.