Setting Out

We left Calgary on Oct 31st just before the big snow dump and promptly lost our 5th wheel on Center St 4 blocks form home. Turns out I didn't really ohow to hook up properly!! Other than a ruined tailgate and a lot of hurt pride we escaped with out any damage and got the trailer back on the hitch and headed off to Kimberley in BC. We stayed a few days there and then headed down to Idaho for some repair work on the front end and some new tires.  At the border we were searched not for drugs or illegal aliens   but for veggies!!! The border guard didn't let us across until he could look in our fridge for contraband tomatoes!! We also picked up a bunch of stuff I had shipped to  a shipping store in Ponderay so I didn't have to get it cross the border. So far So good - except the motor for the front jacks on the trailer had died back on center st and so we couldnt unhook the trailer. Anyhow that turned out to be a fuse problem and that was fixed by a nice RV dealer in Hayden Lake and we continued on.

On a saturday afternoon we were driving though Salt Lake City when the steering got a bit sluggish and then all hell broke loose with all sorts of warning lights and alarms. A belt in the engine had broken so we had no power brakes or power steering. We managed to wrestle the truck off the road and onto an off ramp and then into a nearby gas station. We called for GoodSam mobile assistance and they sent us a mechanic to fix the problem. Sadly he was a big rig mechanic and had never worked on a one ton truck before. After a lot of digging, swearing and moving parts to the side and back he managed to get the old belt off and the new one on - but there was a 6" loop extra - he checked and found one pulley he had missed and then the reason the belt broke in the first place - the pulley was seized up. So off to a parts shop at 8:30pm on a saturday night to get a new pulley and then a couple of hours to install it cos he didn't know how to remove shrouds and parts that were in the way so he could get at the parts he was trying to replace. Finally everything was done - I turned to key to fire up the truck and nothing happened - engine turned over but wouldn't start. So - back to good sam for a tow truck that finally got to us about midnight. I was impressed with how he managed to pull the truck with 5th wheel still attached to a nearby trailer park where we stayed till Monday morning and another tow to a garage to fix the truck. Turned out our mechanic in moving stuff around in the engine compartment had managed to jam a gate shut in the exhaust system so the truck wouldn't start. Took all of 5 minutes to fix. So we head out again with much trepidation wondering what the hell is going to go wrong next.

Well, we seemed to have finished our run of bad luck and made it to Phoenix without any more issues. We picked up our solar panels and controller from the depot and then headed to Apache Junction for a few days to recuperate. So far we had been staying at campgrounds, truck stops or the odd Walmart parking lot so we decided it was time to try boondocking for real. We located a spot about 40 miles outside of Apache Junction up in the hills behind Superior.  There was a campground there but there were no facilities at all and in the end we stayed in a meadow outside the actual campground. There was a  little lake and some nice hiking so we chilled for a few days. The solar panels worked fine and everything was OK if a little cold overnight. We were up at 4500ft so it did get down to freezing most nights and after a while we decided to head to warmer climes.