Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 20 and 21st - Travel days through the storms

May 20 and 21st - Travel days through the storms

Our plans were to return to Teddy Roosevelt National Park North Unit and camp by the Cottonwood River for a few days.

Storms put a rapid end to that plan. May 20th was a pure hell travel day. There was nothing to do but keep slogging along and try to make the best time possible. The same storm system that created devastating tornados south of us, produced sideways rain and gale force winds in North Dakota. We travelled all I-94 from Miles City, MT to Fargo, ND. It is rare that we don't enjoy driving and being on the road but today was one of them where we would have rather been holed up somewhere. Our 10.8 mpg diesel rate dropped to 10.5 trying to get through the storm even at much lower speeds than anyone else on the road. At least the drivers out here are polite and give you a lot of room.

We were very impressed with the agriculture and industry in ND. The farms are neat and tidy, the oil line looks like it is booming with well heads going in everywhere (could be natural gas if you pump it like oil?). The agricultural symbols for their state appear everywhere.

When we finally stopped in Fargo at a Walmart to resupply and sleep, we found that the dinette and driver side bed window had both leaked. The dinette cushions were wet but not soaked; the rug by the bed was wet. Joe also found water in the lower outside storage compartment below the dinette. This was the side toward the storm and really took a beating. Dried out the best we could but didn't immediately find the window leak. The lower storage door is the culprit for that leak as there is no caulking from the metal door trim to the door itself. Don't you think we would have learned our lesson after the rear door leaks?

May 21st was another very unpleasant day but not quite as bad as the 20th. There were spells of light rain instead of deluge.

We made it from Fargo, ND to just south of Duluth, MN. Wanted further but just too tired and needed a down time. Found a campground and did all the camper things - fresh water, dump, laundry, long, hot showers, Getting this far today was not easy as we were trying to keep as straight a path as possible. In MN roads that look good when you start out, often end up dirt and five ton limits so you backtrack. Most of our back country driving was pretty, along many of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota, but our mind set is now home and we are headed there as straight as we can.

Hard to beat the difference in gas and diesel though. First time in years we saw gas higher than diesel.

The leak in the dinette window was probably partially plugged weep holes. Bought a can of compressed air and blew them out well and they are now dry. No ladder with us to inspect the window from the outside though you can see most of it by leaning out the window. I'll keep paper towels stuffed in the window track until we know it's okay. Tomorrow we head for Sault Saint Marie and cross the border for a short cut through Oh Canada!

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