After a wonderful month in Colorado, we departed CherryCreek State Park on Tuesday morning. When we started the engine, I noticed an unusual sound of a small motor emanating from the front of the rig, so I unlatched the generator compartment to take a look see. The source of the noise was quickly and easily identified as a vacuum pump; but why was it running constantly? Before we hit the road, I decided it was probably prudent if we stopped at RV America in Aurora and got it diagnosed. The service manager took one look and listen, and said the motor would stop running when we got to a lower altitude where the air wasn’t as thin. He was correct. Soon after crossing into Kansas the pump quit running constantly. We learn something new every day on this adventure.
We made it the 340 miles to Hays, KS, arriving about 6:00 pm. After provisioning at Wally World, we declared this the “first boondocking” in the new rig. The next morning we topped off the diesel with 84 gallons at $3.53 per gallon, and headed eastward on I-70 shortly after 8 am.
In the 30+ years we have traveled this route, there has ALWAYS been road construction, and this trip would be no different, as the road narrowed to 2 lanes just east of Russell, and the speed limit reduced to 60. I had my hands full trying to avoid orange construction cones, coupled with a 25 mph side wind hitting us broadside, at times almost forcing me into oncoming traffic.
EXTREMELY LOUD "POP !!!"
“What the hell was that? It sounded like a gunshot.” As soon as I uttered those words, my eyes were drawn to a different area of the windshield. (Click on image to enlarge)
The only thing CC saw, out of the corner of her eye, was a bird flying, and then “Wham”. As we slowed to 50 mph, I wondered IF the windshield would stay intact until we got to Salina. Luckily for us, it did, as we gingerly drove the 30 miles to Safelite for a closer and professional inspection. Matt, the service manager, told us we were the third vehicle this week that has come in after hitting a pheasant. He also said the windshield “would probably hold together” but if we got stopped by a Kansas State Trooper, they would more than likely ticket us AND not let us drive it until the windshield was replaced.
I had that “Have you ever been to Vegas?” feeling, "How lucky do you feel?"; not sure if that’s bad or good, as I once again looked around for Murphy. We called our insurance company, and the soonest they could arrange for a replacement windshield in Salina was 3 days. Our other option, limp on for 250 miles into Oklahoma City, straight south into 25-35 mph head winds. This time, CC and I both looked around for that Irish lad, and he was nowhere to be found. So…………………next stop Oklahoma City, providing our Guardian Angel was present and up for the task.
We decided to bypass the Kansas Turnpike from Wichita to the Oklahoma border, knowing there are usually one or more State Troopers at the gate. Keeping our speed between 50 and 55, coupled with the head winds, was the equivalent force on the windshield of driving 75 – 90 mph. We finally arrived at Twin Fountains RV Park in Oklahoma City around 6:30 pm. Thank you GA!
We’ll be here for a couple of weeks visiting family and friends. CC is having one-on-one time with her Mom, under the guise of helping her clean house. (Translation for us guys: Girl talk and shopping)