It's about time.

Many of you can relate to Working long hours at your career. Raising your families. Buying a home and paying all the bills related to being homeowners and parents. We're now retired and don't need all that work and expense. Now "It's about time" and what we do to follow our dreams.

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Something We Didn’t Plan On.

Our Location today is at East St. Louis, Illinois, U.S.A.

Click on the pictures to Enlarge.

One thing we didn’t realize when we pulled into the Cracker Barrel in Sullivan. Missouri yesterday was just how noisy that area was. Not a problem though, when we were finally ready to go to bed we simply used some Ear Plugs that we keep on hand. It was cold enough that we also kept all the Blankets on the bed to keep us warm. The end result you would have thought would have been that we would have slept like a couple of rocks but you would have been Wrong. 
Good Start heading towards Saint Louis on I-44.
Last night we had carefully monitored a Snow Storm that we hoped to get ahead of so that meant that we would be putting nearly Six Hours on the road alone today. The end result was we would both wake and be staring at the ceiling for no particular reason throughout the night before falling back to sleep.

I finally got tired of laying around at 6:30 CDT so I went downstairs to pack away our Computers. Since the alarm had not gone off yet I got myself dressed then started closing up my CPAP Machine as a gentle way of waking Kathy. At least she didn’t wake with a start. 

We were soon inside Cracker Barrel having breakfast and hot cups of Coffee to warm us up and saving our Second Cups to-go. It was shortly after 8:00 that we were back on I-44 heading in the direction of St Louis. With lite Saturday morning traffic and only Fifty-some Miles we were making good time even though it started to Rain.

Just before we entered the St Louis City Limits the Truck’s Regen System started turning on and off within a minute of its starting. I also noticed the Engine Temperature Gauge cooling down and we were getting cold inside the Truck. The same thing happened to us last winter immediately following an Oil Change in Blythe California. When they plugged in to the Computer it indicated we had Faulty Thermostats. Due to the Regen System needing the Engine to run Hot so that it could clean the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) the problem had to be taken care of or we would have been stranded by the side of a road. 

I was hoping that it would suddenly clear the problem on its own but just as we were crossing the Mississippi River the problem got worse. On the dash there are messages that pop up and the first one said, “Drive On Highway To Clean Engine Filter” That’s what we thought we were doing. We started looking for some place to park and check the Truck out. By the time we pulled in to the Pilot Truck Stop there was the picture of a Wrench showing on the dash.

It was a tight fit but Kathy guided me back into a spot with the Semis. We checked inside and they had nobody to look at the Truck. They did however have a Food Court with a Taco Bell and a Subway that had free WiFi. Kathy found a table while I went back and gathered her Computer and the GPS. 
Still Raining
We started contacting all the local repair shops that only worked on Semis. I called and left a message for Jim our Friend and Mechanic at Windsor Gas and Diesel. We contacted Good Sam Emergency Service to see if they had anyone available again with negative results. While calling another service shop Jim called me back. He doesn’t work on the weekends but sometimes stops to pick up his paperwork. After explaining what was taking place to Jim he confirmed that the Thermostats had definitely FAILED again and that we needed to get them repaired before moving on.

We finally found a local shop that specializes in working on Diesel Pickups. He stated the same as Jim that the Thermostat Housing may have failed and allowed one of the Thermostats to roll. The soonest he can get to it is Tuesday afternoon to early Wednesday and that is a Five Hour Job. Kathy had found a spot an RV Park to stay in not too far away. 

It was past 1:30 by then and both our heads were spinning so Kathy went to the Subway and got a Teriyaki Chicken Sub that we shared. I had been busy getting directions to the Casino Queen RV Park located not far away and I even had the route from the RV Park to the Repair Shop. We ate the sandwich which helped to stop our heads from spinning. Then with some fenagling we made On-Line Reservations and got all the addresses entered in the GPS. We left the Pilot more then Five Hours after we arrived.

The GPS likes to call streets by names that are not the ones on the posts and if you don’t get it right it expects you to pull a “U” Turn in the middle of a city street. Easy to do when you are over Sixty Feet long, not! 
Not the easy way to drive around,
We finally got set up on our Site for the next Four or Five days in the Rain. Looking out the side window we do have quite a view of the Gateway Arch across the river from our Park. we only drove 81.6 Miles today and some of that was backtracking. Guess that’s why they say our plans are written in Jell-O.

We watched the movie “Big” this evening with Tom Hanks. Kathy had never seen the movie before and really enjoyed it. 
Gateway Arch taken through our window.
We’ll be using those Ear Plugs while we are here because the Train Tracks are less then a Hundred Feet away and those didn’t show on the Park Layout. Since we are parked on Casino Property we’ll see if we can change our Luck by walking over there tomorrow. At least they have a nice Buffet listed. Thanks for following along, feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.


Words of Inspiration

We live, not as we wish to, but as we can.

Menander, Greek Dramatist


  1. Aww guys..hope it all works out for you two. At least you've got a place to stay and look at the beautiful arch! St. Louis definitely not my favorite place, but the arch is incredible! Ever been up in it? Quite fun! A casino too?! You should get some cheap/good food hopefully. Take care and enjoy this unexpected bump in the road

  2. That's not good. At least you're on the Illinois side of St Louis. East St Louis is known to be the rough part of town.

    I live 120 miles north and they had 6 inches of snow Saturday. Maybe it's good that you were stopped where you are.

    If you have the time take a cab and visit the Gateway Arch while you're there.

  3. So sorry to hear of your troubles with the truck. I hope the stay at the park at least keeps you warm and safe while you wait for things to get repaired. Sometimes there is no advanced warning of when the Jello is going to jiggle. We've all experienced it at one or more times, unfortunately due to repairs.

  4. At least you've got an idea what the problem with the truck might be and the place you are staying at ain't half bad. Maybe when the problem is fixed you will have good weather to travel on. Good luck at the casino, perhaps it will pay for the repair bill?

  5. Well rats! I always try to look at it like this ... there must be something further down the road that I'm supposed to miss ... like snow, or a big accident. That's why I'm stuck here. It always makes me feel better about it! LOL

  6. Sorry to hear about your breakdown but at least you were still mobile not like we were when we broke down twice a few weeks ago with one of those times having to spend the night at the side of a fairly busy road. One of the people on the caravan also has a newer diesel truck and he also had problems and had to have someone come and pick up his trailer and tow it to the campground while he waited for a tow truck for his truck. He then got hold of a regen software program to use on his truck to clean out the engine. It seemed to work and he doesn't seem to be having any more issues with it but it isn't easy doing things like that down here in Mexico because the mechanics are used to working on these newer diesel trucks.

    At least there are things to do in St. Louis! If you can't use your vehicle there is the public transportation system or you can use UBER to get to and from places.

  7. So sorry to hear you're having issues with the truck. Being flexible in the RV lifestyle is an absolute necessity because you never know when something is going to go wrong. Hope it's all fixed on Tuesday and you can get back on the road. But you do have a great view of the arch.

  8. You can go to the arch from there. Just catch the ride by bridge pillar.