We received a phone call about 11am on Monday from the mechanic and he said all the parts had come and he was ready to finish the repair job. We couldn't make it before lunch so we drove there at 1pm and the mechanic was waiting for us. I backed the motor home up to the garage door so he could use his power tools and he immediately started work on the unit.
The first part of the repair involving the drive shaft went well and he finished that up quickly. Then the headache started for him when he tried to install the drive belt. Unlike a car where you can loosen a bolt and slide the drive motor over and slip the belt on, that was impossible on this unit. He tried to use crow bars and other tools to make it happen but was unsuccessful. I suggested he put the belt on the drive motor first and then place the other end on the diesel engine. He almost got it then but still no go. Then I suggested I turn the diesel engine over a click with him holding the belt on. That worked like a charm. This was an old trick I had learned from my father many years ago.
It took less than two hours for the above and once I parted ways with some money for the repairs, we were on our way back to the campground.
Tuesday we got up early and managed to get on the road about 11am and start our trek to Rapid City, SD. There was a Pilot fuel station near the campground and I filled up the fuel tanks. With my RV Card from them I saved 6 cents a gallon. Not bad when you take on 60 gallons of fuel.
We called our friends Steve & Pat and they met us in Laurel, MT for ice cream and milkshakes at a local diner. They are hosting at Cooney Lake just south of Laurel. It was an hour drive for them and we visited for a couple hours and caught up on what has been going on. They had to get back to their dogs and also finish their workday so we bid them a fond farewell. They are a fun loving and bubbly couple and a joy to be around.
We continued on to a campground east of Billings near Garryowen, MT. The 7th Ranch RV Camp was on a working ranch and was tiered so every site had a western view. We sat outside and watched the cars and trucks go by on I-90 about a mile away. Finally at sunset we decided it was time to get ready for bed.
Wednesday we were on the road around 9:30am and took RT 212 rather than stay on I-90. It was more scenic but had more hills and fewer towns and homes. There was a lot of smoke all the way to Rapid City from forest fires in northern Montana. It wasn't a visibility problem but the haze made it impossible to get any good pictures.
We did see a cattle roundup as we were Montana with real live cowboys. They had three large cattle trucks waiting to load and were just moseying along. Git along little doggie.
We are dry camping in the parking lot of the Elks Lodge here in Rapid City and will get a campsite in the morning. Our plans now are to stay here until Sunday or Monday and then continue our trek east. Plans can change at any time and most likely will change.
Not a very exciting blog, but just a catch up. Also, it will serve as a log of our trip this summer. More to follow, hopefully it will be more interesting.