Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 2)

Service and repair for WREN

Lots of miles so far on this trip and three oil changes.  I think it is important to keep the engine happy.   Maintaining good tire pressure is also important.  But today I will talk about a minor problem and the  result.

When traveling, we use a lot of electronic devices: iPhones, iPads, computers, fit bits, backup-up camera and Tom-Tom.  Thus a lot of use of the cigarette device on the dash.  Thursday when I was switching devices I noticed the lighter was loose, and then it no longer would work.  Need to fix because we are back on the road Saturday.  I stopped at B—e —-ers and asked if this is something they could fix.  After looking at the problem he said yes and then spent 15 minutes figuring out how much to charge for this service.  The part cost was about $6.00 plus labor.

I said OK if you can do it in the next hour. When I returned, the job was done, and the device did work or sort-of.

After I left the repair shop, I stopped at a auto part store and purchased a multiple adapter (3), which also had a usb port.

I’m ready to travel now with a very important addition to satisfy our electronic needs.


Some people hang up their chili peppers

We hang the cables for our devices. With two laptops, two cell phones, two fit bits, one iPad, and one Kindle something always needs charging. The cables rattle as we drive down the road, but we know where they are when we need them. Saves a lot of hunting and discussion.

Getting There the Same Day


There is a lot of map gazing when it’s all new territory. We picked up maps of the states at Triple A before leaving Vermont and find them handy to get an overview if nothing else. Also, there are occasions when our devices can’t get online although mostly the IPhone 6 does the trick.


These photos were taken over a week ago before the breakdown in communication outside of Chimle, AZ. We were looking for the campground that is part of the Canyon de Challes National Monument. Spent too long at The Four Corners that day talking to the Navajo vendors and doing some shopping. We do better if we are on the campsite by 4 PM, not so well when we’re still looking for it closer to 5.

The new practice is if we’re looking for something, Jerry drives, I navigate, the dog pretends she’s asleep. This is working much better although sometimes spats between driver and navigator arise. Safety first is our motto so if we’ve missed the turn, we keep going and make a U-turn at some point. This is getting us there the same day we had hoped to arrive.

Old Friends Come in Occasionally

PBS Newshour

PBS Newshour

We’ve missed the week-night news with Judy and Gwen, but finally Jerry figured out using cell phone’s signal at a campsite to get a signal to Wren’s small screen tv. Hope to see the program more regularly as we travel NW to The Badlands and then Colorado and New Mexico this month.

One Bad Shoe


Wren has four brand-new Firestone tires from Noyes Tire in Burlington – been in business 100 years or so. By Ohio, three weeks later, one back tire was not holding the 80 lb. pressure suggested. In fact, our gauge registered just 40! Finding tire guys was a challenge, so we stopped regularly at air pumps at service stations. Stem valve seemed to be leaking. By Wisconsin, we’d gotten a tire service to get us in, and we left it for two hours. Conclusion was there’s nothing wrong, and we were not charged.

By the next morning, tire down again. Stopped at tiny town along Mississippi on scenic route 35 and, by asking around, got to small garage in an alley. Guy in business 40 years he said. He sprayed it with water to see the valve leak and loosened then tightened the stem. His theory, maybe something was caught in it, and he’d blown it out. No charge and no guarantee.


Next morning, tire soft again. A friend’s neighbor had a compressor so while we were quite a ways from a garage, Jerry got it back up to speed. Two days later, it’s holding. At some point we’ll find a Firestone dealer and maybe get that stem valve replaced. In the meantime, we hope to meet as friendly folks over this as we have thus far.

One vote for Hillary

Day before we left VT for eight months I voted. Mailed ballot from Kampersville, Lake Dunmore.

Day before we left VT for eight months I voted. Mailed ballot from Kampersville, Lake Dunmore.

Did we bring the dog?

Some have asked if Bess is along on this adventure. She is why we had to have a camper of some kind if we wanted to stay in the parks. She will have a comfortable place to be while we hike or bike the trails and beaches that are not dog-friendly. Seems she likes having her little pack together, living close to nature and has found the bed a comfortable place to ride with good views.


What clothes to take for nine month cross country adventure

The photos show the quantity I packed and what fits into into deep overhead bin above one bed. This is for three seasons and nine months.

Jill's closet
There are four categories: hiking, biking, yoga, and the rest of life. Biking shoes are in a plastic bin beside my bed with chako sandals; hiking boots and sneakers are under the bed along with biking helmet.
For warmth there are tights, a light-wt. fleece, fleece vest, light wt. Gortex jacket and heavier wt. one, both rainproof. Winter hat, light and heavier wt. gloves and biking sleeves also.
Inventory includes: 3 pairs pants, 1 pr. hiking shorts, 1 pr. capris, 1 pr. chef pants; 4 wick-off long-sleeve shirts, 2 cotton t-necks, 3 short sleeve shirts – 2 sports, 1 casual, 2 sleeveless yoga tops, Long Trail cap and khaki hat, cotton nightie, underwear, socks and 4 bandanas.
The bin is deep and thin, so items in the back are in a large plastic bag, which I can easily pull forward to reach into. A small cooler, top stored in galley, holds small items and sits in front of bin at the opening. There’s room for washcloth, when dry, and small towel in front part of the compartment too.

The basics

Button Bay State Park 9/1-9/2

We pulled into the park in the late afternoon and found our site.  It was very green, sunny and fairly close to Lake Champlain.  It seemed a little empty for a Labor Day weekend but it filled up fairly quickly.

I watched a guy pull in next to us and place his camper just so, to take advantage of the view.  He immediately got right to work rolling out the carpet, placing the chairs just so,  changing the angle of the picnic table, and cranking down the awning.  Once he was finished, I walked over and introduced my self, to Roger and Dannielle.  That’s what it said on their little house sign, with drawing of him on a motorcycle and her knitting.  Roger said come back later for glass of wine.

First Accident

Storing bottles in Wren is tricky. When three bottles of wine appeared on the floor after Jerry’s trip to town, I found they fit snugly into overhead compartment with my clothes. First thing the next morning, Friday the 9th, while still in bed, I pulled the little cooler box I keep small clothing in out of the compartment and down dropped one of the full wine bottles on top of my good knee. Ouch! It’s just a couple of feet, but blow was enough to take me off the hike planned for that day on Oak Ridge trail between Rte 125 and the park where we’re camping. Icing and ibuprofen with a swim in Lake Dunmore was my plan, and it worked. Beth hiked, Jerry ran errands, and Bess watched squirrels at the campsite.


I was able to hike the next day with no problem and drink the wine that evening.


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