Adventures in Yellowstone: Spring 2021

KevinM

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Thanks so much for the update, Steve. Certainly not good news, but I think we both kind of feared some major issues given what you described.

I sure hope that somehow you can get the repairs done in time for a fall trip, even if not to Yellowstone. Kevin
 

bhg

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Steve, how’s your wife and her rib doing?
 

swalker

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Lori is doing very well. Her rib seems to be healed.

She will be climbing Mt Sopris tomorrow, which is just a bit under 13,000 ft tall.

She has done a lot of hiking over the last few weeks preparing for that trip.

Last week she climbed Notch Mountain, which is 13,100 ft tall.

Last week she also did the Fancy Pass/Missouri Pass loop. That one is about 9 miles long and goes over Fancy Pass (12,500 ft) and Missouri Pass (11,998 ft).

She has also done the significant trails to lakes from our neighborhood: Booth lake (11,400 ft), Pitkin lake (11,400 ft), Deluge lake(11,800 ft), and Gore lake (11,400 ft). Those hikes all start at about 8,500 ft, so they have a lot of elevation gain.

While Mt Sopris is a bit longer and harder than all those other "training" hikes, so I suspect she will do very well tomorrow.

We used to do a lot of hiking and backpacking together. I sure do miss it, but am so glad she is able to continue doing it without me.

I went for an 18.5 mile wheelchair ride today, so at least I got out of the house:).

Steve
 

This is me

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We need volunteers for Mt Elbert this weekend. The Lockwood Foundation is going to take me up the mountain in a special chair.
 

swalker

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This is Me, I am so glad you will get a chance to do Mt Elbert!

I would be interested in knowing what chair you use on Mt Elbert.

Steve
 

This is me

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FB_IMG_1616262399435.jpg
 

swalker

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This is me: I would love it if you could start a thread and describe your adventure on Mt. Elbert. I suspect you have the same love of the outdoors as I do. Pictures would be great!

I thought I would also stop by and give an update on our motorhome.

After two and a half months in the shop, our motorhome has been diagnosed and we have finally received an estimate along with all the details that allow us to move forward with the engine repairs. We gave the authorization to proceed today.

Due to Covid, there will be a 2 to 3 week delay in getting the necessary parts. Once those parts arrive, the shop is estimating another 2 weeks to do the work.

It is a big job. They will be doing an in frame overhaul of our Cummins 400 ISL diesel engine. That means they will remove the top end of the engine (turbo, head, and various other bits) and the oil pan. Then, they will replace the pistons and rings along with the cylinder sleeves. The rod bearings and main bearings will also be replaced. They will install a newly rebuild head, new injectors, and a newly rebuilt turbo.

There are many other little things involved, as well.

Overall, there is some possibility we will get the motorhome back by the end of October. By then, we will have missed our trips to the Grand Tetons (should have been there last week), Yellowstone (should be there now), and even the Grand Canyon (was going to be in the middle of October). I sure someone will really appreciate us cancelling our reservations, as those spots are sure to be booked within minutes.

We look forward to getting the motorhome repaired. While it feels a bit like a race against time as I get weaker, we hope to be able to use the motorhome a lot next year. We have a tentative winter trip planned to Saint George Utah and have both summer and fall reservations for Yellowstone next year.

Steve
 

KevinM

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Thanks for the update, Steve. Really too bad you couldn’t squeeze in the Grand Canyon trip.

Keep on RV’ing, brother. Kevin
 

swalker

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Thanks Kevin. The plan is to keep on RVing.

One afternoon, while being a bit despondent over the situation, my wife and I agreed that it would have been nice to keep our travel trailer as a backup RV. If we had kept it, we could have at least had some hope of going to Yellowstone.

We laughed about it and then started talking more seriously about it. This led to a discussion about buying another (used) travel trailer for when the motorhome is not available.

After a bit, reason prevailed and we reminded ourselves of why we had to ditch the travel trailer and get the motorhome. Buying a backup motorhome is out of the question:)!

We miss the Tetons and Yellowstone immensely. My two sisters were supposed to join us for part of that trip. They have decided to visit us in Vail instead. We are really excited about it. We are very close, but due to Covid have not seen each other for close to 2 years.

They will be staying at a campground less than a mile from where we live. We plan to do outdoor activities only, while being fully masked. Everyone has had a vaccine, so hopefully it will be relatively safe.

While we miss Yellowstone, the fall colors and the weather have been magnificent here. I have done many wheelchair rides looking at the leaves as they turn and we have been on a few four wheel drive adventures (in our SUV) as well. Not much to complain about at all!

I have attached a picture from today's ride.

Steve
 

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KevinM

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So beautiful, Steve. I can almost hear and smell the aspens.

Enjoy the visit with with your sisters.
 

swalker

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Here is another update on the motorhome.

We we first found out the engine would need to be rebuilt, we were told it would take 3 to 4 days to get the necessary parts.

By the time the shop finally got together an estimate we could sign off on, we were told it would take 2 to 3 weeks to get the parts.

We received a phone call a week ago letting us know that the parts delay is now indefinite.

Our motorhome is in a bay with its engine torn apart in a heated building, so we should not have to worry (too much) about things freezing. When we dropped the motorhome off in June, we did not winterize it, as we could not have imagined things would have been so delayed.

Things are out of our control for now, we will simply have to (im)patiently wait for the parts to become available.

We have obviously not been able to make our fall trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons. We also had a trip to the Grand Canyon planned, but have had to cancel that as well.

We have reservations in Yellowstone for next spring, and are looking forward to having a working motorhome for that trip!

Steve
 

KevinM

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Wow, Steve. Just wow. “Indefinite” does not sound good. Did you find out why? Is it possible for you to get the rebuild parts and turbo yourself? A brief search for 2003 370hp CAT engine and turbo parts turned up lots of stuff.
 

swalker

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We received a phone call today letting us know all the parts needed for our motorhome repair are now in stock. They are not the parts we wanted, but they are the ones available. We gave to go ahead to procure the parts and start the work.

We have not yet heard back on whether or not the purchase orders have gone through, but hopefully parts will arrive "soon" and work can commence on repairing the motorhome.

It is a bit over 4 months since we dropped it off at the shop. We are sure looking forward to getting it working again!

Steve
 
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