We left Madison yesterday (Friday) at 2PM or so. Dave had worked all Thursday night, until Friday morning, in a last ditch effort to get enough information to keep him humming after he left. After Thursday night's marmallow roasting, we had taken him back to the office. He had enough blood sugar accumulated to keep him running from Thursday night late to Friday morning at 11 AM, though he noticed that he still had some marshmallowy spots on his slacks from some of the sticky fingers.
So, since we didn't have to leave early to drop him off at work on Friday morning, since he was already AT work, we spent the morning working on reorganizing the RV. During this process, our overhead shelving, which is a long stretch of white wire closet shelving, began to steadily collapse before our eyes. At times like this, you really appreciate having a dozen or so hands to help support it while you unload the shelves. We propped that up temporarily, since it required hardware that we did not bring. Then we worked on the Taco Bell bed, so that when we picked up Dave, he would have a nice place to get cozy and snooze. By repositioning some cargo, we transformed it from a taco bed into more of a gently sloping "culvert" bed. It looks similar to the taco, but if you laid on your side, both the anterior and posterior planes of your body no longer touch the mattress surface at the same time.
However, the dynamics of the back end of a school bus is not unlike the dynamics of a diving board. So instead of "magic fingers" you get "magic rollingpins" as you bounce down the highway. The mattress being suspended by the woven ropes helps absorb some of the bounce, so its rare that we "catch air" as we did in the early days of our bus travelling.
Before leaving the campground, we RVers have to visit the dump station. Solomon John handles the waste tank process flawlessly. Zak says "I have no idea how to do that". Zak smiles when he says that, btw. Ben handles hooking up the water to fill the fresh water tank. Hannah handles the valve inside that controls not letting the water spill all over the bus when the tank is full. She closes it and yells to shut off the water.
So we got all that done and rolled up and drove downtown in the house to get Dave. He proceeded immediately to the rear of the bus, to his private suite. He never commented on the magic rollingpins, he was zonked out.
After getting Dave tucked in, from 12:30 to 2:30 PM, we were back at the Ford shop in Madison, because the brake light they repaired was not living up to its name. After that, we stopped to fill the generator with fuel, so Dave could enjoy the fan which Zak had rigged up near the bed for him. There we met David and Linda Johnson's new son in law, who happened to notice our "The Klein Family" logo on the bus! I will fill in his name when Linda emails me, as I am totally forgetting. He is the soon-to-be-father of the first grandchild in the Johnson family!
The radiator seems to be somewhat improved after the Stop-Leak stuff they put into it; it does leak less and doesn't seem to heat up as much now.
We stopped at Reedsburg, WI where there was a WalMart and HomeDepot (no place like HOME) at the same plaza. Zak got the hardware he needed and repaired that shelf in the parking lot. He brought just enough tools to handle most things we will need.
So we drove and drove and drove, because the 8 hours stretch from Madison to Luverne is longer when you can only drive 53 mph. We stopped for the night in Austin, Minnesota, home of the world famous Spam Museum (latest PR slogan: Spam: Its more than meat.), and finally made it to the home of Brian and Debbie Taubert around 11ish in the morning. There we enjoyed a great lunch with our friends Jim Juhl and Brenda Winter, and children Em, Joe and Kate (in house, we refer to them as the "Frosty Diamonds" Get it? Winter / Juhls -- Frosty / Diamonds..). The Luethje family was unavailable for a personal visit, but we got to chat on the phone for a while, and they know they haven't seen the last of us.
Now we will load up the Taubert and Klein families and go for a drive, and I hear talk of cooking out and ice cream...and more marshmallows. We expect to depart this evening from Beaver Creek ("crick"). We will be aimed towards Almanor, CA, but it will probably take a few days to get there. We'll write more at the first Flying J we come to. Bye for now.
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