Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bad News and Good News

I'll do the bad first.  I rolled into Fargo, ND with a flapping back tire.  Called AAA and they said something about having a repair service come over and put on that little donut tire for me so that I could drive it to the shop.  That donut tire is beneath all my stuff in the cargo space!  I opted to call a local (1 block away) company.  The guy came over and pumped air into the tire, and I followed him to their shop.  They removed a bolt that had to be 2-1/2" long!

The good news is that they repaired the tire.  I know I will need a replacement - actually two back tires, but would rather not have to spend the money in the middle of my journey to NY.  If I can make it there I will let my oldest son advise me on where to get tires.  In the west it would be at Les Schwab, and in North Carolina it would be Chandler's Tires, but I don't have a clue what to do in NY so fortunately I will be with the kid who always has advice for everything and everyone.  Hey - he's the oldest of 4 and I'm the oldest of 8, so I can relate to giving great advice!  I taught him well.

So yesterday I spent the morning at Ft. Totten and then drove to Graham Island State Park, where I decided to get a campsite for the night.  I had a gorgeous site, very private, and although once in a while I could hear someone nearby, I never saw any neighbors and there was only foliage across the road - no campers there.

The site is called a Double and actually has two picnic tables but just one fire ring, and I noticed many like that.

I took a walk down to the lake - a lake is a lake is a lake, but here it is.

I got a lazy and leisurely start this morning as I had to let the sun dry the dew off the tent and fly.  It needs a good airing now.

I have had some trouble with the zipper on the tent door - there are two actual zipper pulls and I use them both.  The zipper itself has been separating in spots as the pull goes over that spot, and I am worried about going outside the tent in the middle of the night and then having a problem zipping the door again.  In the dark it wouldn't be easy.  

I need to find a good, reliable outdoor store to seek advice about the zipper as well as how I might waterproof my small backpacking tent.  I've been referred to a good store over along Lake Superior, so I will just have to hope things hold out until then.  The small tent is much easier to put up and take down, and once I get inside my sleeping bag it doesn't matter if there is a lot of space all around me.  The zipper on the small tent has been difficult to operate but I have run a small bar of soap over it a few times and it seems to help.  The trouble in these parts with tenting is the morning dew.  Man, is it heavy!  (When I unzip the door to the big tent to go outside to pee at night, you can't really hear the zipper; with the backpacking tent it's so loud it has to be waking half the people in the campground.)

The eastern half of North Dakota is actually lovely.  It's flat, but that can be scenic as well.  The western side, especially around the Theodore Roosevelt NP, is probably as beautiful scenery as I've seen yet, really awe inspiring, but the lights and the oil drills and the fires and the trucks and the awful roads really threaten its future. 

I am exhausted tonight and don't know what to do about supper.  Don't really care if I eat anything or not - certainly won't be visiting the Burger king next door.  I think driving is taking its toll on me, and I'm not really driving that many miles a day.  The constant road work is difficult to deal with, and being alone is getting to me.  It was fine at both T.R. sites because I was able to converse with other campers and the camphost.  Sitting for any length of time in the car is really bothering my spine and my tailbone, and there's nothing I can do about either one.

I have a lot of good things to look forward to, so I'm just doing a little bitchin' - not really complaining.



  1. I admire your spunk in doing this trip alone. I would do it myself but I know my wife would not do it the second night alone. I have been following you for a couple of years and found you thru Billy Bob.

    If I were you, I would ask the camp host in the next place you camp if you could set your tent up next to their rig, that way you have someone to talk to and some security

  2. You are certainly adventurous..I admire you. Get some rest and something good to eat..

  3. Ramble Ann said...

    You are certainly adventurous..I admire you. Get some rest and something good to eat..
    I 2nd that Gypsy...

  4. I traveled six months alone with my pup, Jack, and was not lonely. I think it was having the trailer--I don't know that I could tent it. It could also be that at that particular time I needed "alone" time, and I revisited places I wanted to see, again. I still hope, even with all the evils of my back problem that I can go once more. Finding out that Jack was 12, not 11, bothered me and made me think twice as to whether I'll leave in the spring. Still deciding. Will see how a 10 day trip goes in October.

    Hope you just had a down day--tomorrow's better.

  5. Wow that is some bolt you ran over. I hate donuts. When I got new tires I put the best of my old ones in the trunk and threw the damn donut away. Glad you've got a plan for the tire. Kids can be really useful sometimes. I just think of it as payback for all we did for them. :-))

  6. Be careful on that patched tire. It could blow if it gets hot enough. Other than a few hickups along the way, you seem to be having a good trip so far.

  7. I'm wondering if you could purchase one of those "donut" things that people buy to sit on. Might cushion your tailbone?

    You are doing really well so far, especially considering the bumps along the way. I'm glad you are finding some good campgrounds. Remember last time, you seemed to spend most of your nights in motels, and this time you are camping. Maybe the weather is making the difference?

  8. yeah, what Barbara advised... I was going to suggest that too… you ain't got no kind of meat on yer bottom… not that I perused your bottom that closely but well, didn't seem as though you did.

    Glad you didn't have a blowout... guess that kind of thing has been eliminated with the smart tires these days.

    You'll be seeing Judy and Emma soon? that'll be fun. This is your first trip without Lady or a dog, right? some adjustment for sure.

  9. It must be ND. That is where we picked up a bolt (not a nail but a bolt like you) in a rear truck tire and barely got off the interstate. You may have cracked your tailbone and that will take awhile to heal. When Jim sat in a chair that broke and hit his, he was miserable for several weeks but the donut pillow thingie really did help.

  10. I raised one of those kids that thinks he know everything too. His Dad says he thinks he's still a Sargent. lol He retired from the Air Force.

  11. Although not a fan of their business practices, we had no choice but to have the tires on our van replaced at Wal Mart.

    They did an excellent job and the tires are guaranteed. Since there are Wal Marts darn near everywhere, perhaps if you get in a bind you could pop in there. Then if something happens down the road I am sure there will be another one along the way. Just a thought. [Oh, and they were insanely inexpensive.]

    I get the sitting in the car thing. Maybe a pillow or some spine support?

    Look at me. Being all advice-y. And I am the youngest of three. Excuse me while I go find my place. giggle

    Take care and be safe.
    Always in our thoughts. xo JG