Kansas Cider

Louisburg Cider Mill selfie

This cider mill was very fun to visit!

One of the extra fun things about traveling is the unexpected discoveries. I drove through most of Kansas today and stopped for the day in Louisburg, on the outskirts of Kansas City, Kansas. I am actually very close to the Missouri border.

Exercise sign

As I was driving to my RV park, I passed the Louisburg Cider Mill. I went to my RV park and hooked up electric and water to the motorhome, unhitched the Jeep, and immediately drove to the Cider Mill. What a fun discovery! The sell wonderful cider so I bought a jug. I also bought a cider slushy and a t-shirt. They had cider flavored donuts, and all kinds of spices and snacks. I had never heard of the place, but I loved the time I spent there!

A New Day!

I remember my Mom always talking about how everything looked better in the morning. I agree. I woke up in the Freightliner parking lot and looked out the window at the sun trying to peak through the overcast sky. I remember those Midwest overcast skies when living in Kansas City, Missouri. I was told that Freightliner was swamped with work and that they would not be able to work on our motorhome until tomorrow. I asked the manager if someone could look at it to see where the problem was and if a part needed to be ordered. I was concerned that if they waited until Friday to look at the motorhome and they tried to order parts, they may not arrive until Monday. I am supposed to be at Winnebago in Iowa at 7:00 am on Monday. The manager said he would try to get someone to look at what parts were needed either just before or just after lunch. Also, they only had 2 mechanics that worked on Cummings diesel engines.

At 1:00 pm, I talked to Jose and asked whether he had been able to look at the motorhome. He said no and wanted to know who I talked with that said he should come off his current job and look at our motorhome. He checked with the manager and agreed to look at the motorhome. Jose started pouring new radiator fluid into the back of the motorhome. After a few minutes Jose crawled underneath and found the leak! He said that a connector to one of the cooling hoses had broken. He said, that it was an unusual connector and that a replacement would need to be ordered. He walked into his shop and came back about 15 minutes later holding a new connector! He told me he could not believe how lucky I was that he found a replacement connector that fit. He was laughing and surprised that they had one. I thought it was wonderful answered prayer.

He replaced the connector in about 15 minutes and then he started pouring in new coolant. He had me start the motorhome engine and we gradually added more fluid. We went on a test drive on the freeway and then back to the shop. He gave me two more gallons of radiator fluid and said I should add more in the morning. Although the diesel engine is still under warranty, the thought was that probably road debris hit the connector and broke it. Therefore, the repair was not covered by the warranty. Bummer. It cost a little under $500 to be back on the road.

It was 5:00 pm by the time I signed the paperwork and hooked up the Jeep. I got diesel at a nearby truck stop and then headed north. I found a RV park that could hold big rigs in Waco, Nebraska (in the book that John gave me for my birthday) and called them to make sure they were open. Their office closed at 7:00 pm, but I gave them my credit card and they said call them when I arrived and they would run down to take me to my site. It was 7:45 and the woman manager zipped down in a golf cart, took me to a huge 100 foot site (so I did not have to unhook the Jeep). Since we have owned the motorhome, this was the first time I have arrived at an RV park after dark. It was nice because I just had to plug in the motorhome, hook up the water hose and then open the slides. Say ahhhhhh and relax!

I grabbed my Kindle and laid down on the bed to read and relax before going to sleep. I smiled when I realized that although I have driven through parts of Nebraska before, this was the first time I had sleep in the motorhome in Nebraska. The map in our blog keeps growing with states visited in the motorhome! With that nice thought, I went to bed and fell into a deep, deep sleep.

On The Road Again!

Usually RVing is very fun. However, sometimes you find yourself broken down in the middle of nowhere in Kansas.

Usually RVing is very fun. However, sometimes you find yourself broken down in the middle of nowhere in Kansas.

After an extensive time in Amarillo with Charlene, Amy, and Neil, I am on the road again heading to our Winnebago appointment in Iowa. Charlene is going to go to Austin and visit John and Michelle later in the week. Like all good RVers, I decided to totally change my route. Rather than going east to Arkansas and then turn north, I decided to head north of Amarillo and go through a new part of Kansas, catch part of Nebraska, and maybe a little of South Dakota while going to Iowa.

I was enjoying driving and seeing the local sites through rural America. I had the satellite radio playing a classic rock station and was having fun listening to the beat. I saw numerous wind farms in Texas, the brief panhandle of Oklahoma, and Kansas. There were many, many agricultural fields. Some were corn, but others were crops I did not recognize. I had drizzle rain in Texas, fog in the southern section of Kansas, and later overcast skies as I moved north. After driving for 5 hours, I started looking for a truck stop were I could get diesel. The closest city was Salina, Kansas and it was right on my route.

It is not a trivial task to tow a motorhome!

It is not a trivial task to tow a motorhome!

However as I was driving, suddenly everything changed. The engine light went on, a message said I should stop the engine, and the overheating light went on. The engine temperature gauge was at the highest temperature possible. Fortunately, this two lane road had enough of a shoulder that I could immediately pull to the right and get the entire motorhome (barely) to the right of the white line. I think of all the driving I did earlier in the day where there was no shoulder at all and I would have been stuck in the middle of the lane of traffic.

I got out of the motorhome and walked to the back and there was water dripping from the bottom of the motorhome. The hitch and front of the Jeep were all wet. Somewhere, I think a radiator hose broke, so the water was probably radiator fluid.

It is complex to connect a large rig!

It is complex to connect a large rig!

I sighed and got out my card for CoachNet, our trusty roadside service that I had to call once before in Montana. They transferred me to one of their technicians who agreed that it sounded like it was radiator fluid and that the motorhome would need to be towed.

CoachNet called back to say they found a nearby tow company that could come get me tomorrow morning. I told them that I was barely off the road in a remote section of Kansas and that I did not think that would be safe. They called back a few minutes later that they found a tow truck in Salina that was large enough to tow the motorhome, but they could not get to me for 2 hours. So 3 hours after my initial call to CoachNet, this massive tow truck arrived.

The tow truck driver told me to be patient because it was a big process to tow a large motorhome. He said he was very careful to do everything to not damage the motorhome. I was very impressed with everything he did to go through the whole process of getting the motorhome hooked up to the tow truck. It took just over 2 hours to get everything connected. He had to remove part of the drive shaft for towing and it was complicated to get the motorhome connected under the front axle.

As we were getting ready to go, he gave me his cell phone number and said I should call him if I saw anything go wrong or suddenly saw sparks flying. I jumped in the Jeep and started following him. It took us an hour and 20 minutes to drive to the Freightliner dealer in Salina, Kansas. Next,it took an hour and a half to get the motorhome all unhooked and put back together. While the tow truck driver worked on the motorhome, I went inside the coach to get some food. This was 9:00 pm and I was absolutely starving. I had pre-cooked some salmon and boy a piece of cold salmon and a banana never tasted so wonderful! It was fantastic to eat something! The guy at the Freightliner dealer said I was welcome to sleep in the motorhome if I wanted but that they locked the gate at midnight and it stayed locked until 6:00 am. The guy finished unhooking the motorhome just after 10:00 pm and I started getting ready for bed. With all the stress, I fell asleep very quickly and slept until after 6:00 am.