October 21 Thursday
Lots going on
Up early this morning since the coach would hopefully be rolling into the service bay shortly after 8 AM. Linda was ready before I was, and had the food from the refrigerator packed into the cold bags, as well as boxes and bags ready for me to take out to the Explorer. They were a few minutes late getting the coach, but soon it was rolling off to be fixed.
If we were to vote, it would be the steps that we most looked forward to being repaired. For me it was because I would no longer have to climb under the coach and wire them in place whenever we stopped for several nights. And while Linda is getting really good at both tossing the steps out the door, and retrieving them, but it's a job she'd gladly give up in an instant. We never did leave it out and run over it, or drag it along, mostly thanks to Linda's excellent memory.
Looking at the spot where the coach had been parked, the fact we had done a through job of washing it the other day was apparent. Actually those dirt streaks and rocks were mostly from the fact I had used the pressure nozzle to clean out the base of the jacks. They always pick up some dirt or rocks when the ground is soft and I don't use the boards under them. I'd tried to hose them off before, and it looks like I did a really good job for once.
Deciding that we didn't want to spend the day in the waiting room at Bretz's, and since we couldn't get into our room until the late afternoon, we had decided to spend most of the day at Fort Missoula. Many of the buildings have been restored and are used for offices, so while we couldn't go inside them, we could enjoy their exteriors.
Maybe I should say that, while I spent time visiting the buildings Linda was doing her own thing, which meant taking photos of the things that nature provides. The grounds, especially around the parade grounds, are well maintained, and she had a field day with her camera.
We also spent time in the museum area, climbing to the top of the lookout tower, then eating lunch while they boarded it up for the year, talk about making a last minute visit. There was also have an iris bed near where we were having our picnic, but since it was long past iris bloom time, I didn't get to enjoy the blooms of my favorite tubers.
It took us two trips with our arms full to get everything up to the motel room. We were on the third floor, but fortunately the elevator was very efficient, and we were right next to it. Didn't take long for Linda to make it look just like home. It also didn't take us long to start snacking on some of the special things Linda had bought for us to enjoy while we were temporarily homeless.
Shortly before 5 o'clock we went back over to check on the coach, noting they had installed the windshield and the steps. You can tell from the photo which of those two things pleased us the most. It didn't look like they even started on the slide, and had we known that was the case, we could probably have had them move it back outside so we could spend the night in it, and not needed to stay in a motel room. A little mis-communication there.
Still, it was fun having a little mini get away, and if it makes it easier for them to get started in the morning, so much the better. Guess you could say that things don't always turn out the way we want them to, but since we can't change what's already happened, why worry about it.
October 22 Friday
We got a good night's sleep, though the fact we brought our pillows from the coach probably had a lot to do with it. Linda was the original wonder when it can time for breakfast, having brought the foods we like to eat, though maybe not in the form we usually eat them in. Somehow or other boiled eggs sound a lot more appetizing than microwaved scrambled eggs.
It's amazing just how good a motel meal can be. Cheese, sweet peppers, cucumbers, figs, tomatoes, prunes, eggs and almonds, why we could have been in Turkey! And to make it complete, she even had yogurt, so maybe we were back in Turkey. At least until the cell phone rang breaking the spell, but it was good to be lost in another time and place for a few moments.
The phone call was from Bretz, and soon we were driving over to talk with the tech about the slide repairs that were scheduled for today. It turned out that the tech who had originally diagnosed the problem wasn't the one who normally does these type of repairs, and the slide problem wasn't nearly as bad as we had been told.
The problem wasn't water caused, it was due to a worn slide arm tube caused by the wearing out of the plastic bearings that keep the inner tube centered in the outer tube. The inner tube had gouged out the top of the outer tube meaning the assembly would have to be replaced to fix the problem, though it would continue to work even if we didn't replace it.
It also turned out that the floor of the slide didn't need to be replaced. the installation of thin metal plates at each end would fix that problem. Bottom line was that it wouldn't cost nearly as much to affect the repair, and there was an excellent chance the extended warranty would cover the slide arm replacement.
All of this took a good part of the day, since they had to detach the arms from the slide to diagnose the problem. It also meant we wouldn't need to stay a second night in the motel, so we brought everything back the coach. We ended up doing a lot of waiting, but broke it up by going shopping, including a visit to the nearby REI store, where we did our usual and helped their bottom line. Back at Bretz, we found a home away from home in the waiting room.
Shortly before 5 o'clock they put the coach back into its usually spot on the overnight line, which was almost filled with RVs, and we enjoyed breaking in our new appetizer tray that we had bought on another shopping trip today. The coach that has been parked next to us as long as we have been here has never had anyone in it. Tonight it did, or it did before it drove off.
It had "Griz" decals on several of the windows, and football things on the front dash. Tonight an SUV drove up, and a fellow who looked like he had once been a football player got out and started up the coach. When it drove off in a few minutes it hit us, with a University of Montana home football game tomorrow, they were tailgaters. And thus ended a day where things didn't go as planned for us, actually, they went much better.
October 23 Saturday
Nothing going on
Would you believe it, there was so much of nothing going on today that, that was exactly what we did, nothing. Didn't get out of the coach, didn't even take a single photo. Grazed most of the day rather than eating meals, and went to bed early. At least I did. Didn't feel bad, just didn't feel like doing much of anything.
For all I know, maybe it was the let down after being pumped up to have the coach fixed today so we could start heading south for real. We were also supposed to have some bad rainstorms, but they held off until after the football game was over. As we learned, Montana scored with 5 seconds to go to win the game, and we had to wonder if any of the post game victory celebrations were dampened by the downpour.
One of those celebrations took place almost in front of us. A coach had come in this morning for service, and we'd seen it drive into the shop, then brought back out and parked out our front window. Later, after the game was over, three vehicles drove up and parked around it, and everyone who climbed out was sporting Griz gear. We could tell there was a party going on, then everyone got back into the cars and left. Later only one came back and stayed the night. I guess you could say, "A good time was had by all" and that included the two of us.