After a harrowing five day drive through rain, potholes and wind, I am delighted to report that Michele and I limp into Austin seeking sunshine and respite. To give you an idea of how overwhelming the weather has been I will share the defroster story with you.
At one point on the interstate around New Orleans, rain reduces visibility to that of a low dense cloud. At that exact moment the windshield completely fogs to an opaque filter. I cannot see in my mirrors, behind or in front of me.
Michele heroically throws herself across the dashboard in front of me in order to clean the left corner enough for me to see the mist shrouded vehicles to my left. Her bravery allows me to make lane changes while waiting for the defroster to do its job to clear my view.
Once parked, I discover that the driver side defroster directional vent cover has fallen under the dashboard. No defrost air reaches the windshield on my side of the cab. That is why I could not clear the glass. A short shimmy under the dash reveals the vent hose and cover skulking under there in the dark. With Michele’s assistance from above I fix that problem.
Getting an Austin Fix
Monte joins us at the RV very soon after we get parked. Right away he gives me a lesson in clearing the clog in my water pump. Monte finds an old radio antennae that Storm replaced on the Jeep. Of course Storm never threw it away because he “might” need it one day – turns out he was right. Monte uses the antennae to ream out the inlet pipe toward the pump flushing a slimy stream of gunk onto the ground. Yes, I completely sanitize this tank while I am here in Austin then fill it again for the road trip ahead of me.
Monte’s pump clean out totally fixes my toilet problems. With consistent pressure from the water pump, I can now flush reliably. Putting this distasteful subject behind us, Monte chauffeurs us to dinner at a Korean BBQ restaurant. At the end of our self cooked meal our table is covered with tiny empty dishes attesting to our enjoyment of this feast.
Monte approaches my slide topper repair with great optimism (and of course, EXTREME CAUTION!). Some of his positive outlook can be attributed to the fact that he has never worked with me before. I tell him that I have an Omega topper and he reads the spring tensioning instructions that I found online for that topper. He loosens the right awning arm and attempts to turn the spring to add more tension. The arm turns so freely that initially we conclude that the spring is broken.
Sad that I will have to continue to climb a ladder and smash this topper into the coach the rest of the way to Arizona, I admit defeat. I send out messages for repair person suggestions in Benson.
Undeterred, Monte consults YouTube and discovers a couple with a problem similar to mine (an awning issue not the many others). He learns that my awning is really an Omega II (who knew?). Important awning fact: an Omega II has to be tightened on the LEFT arm.
Good naturedly, Monte excuses my gaff claiming that it was better we learn on the side that has no tension. Now that we have worked out all the hiccups, we are prepared to properly “using EXTREME caution” re-tension the spring. It works!
I am embarrassed to admit how many other “little” repairs Monte helps me with today. I am so grateful to have kind and handy friends like him! Thanks to Monte for still answering my text even after three days of torment!!
Austin Sights and Spicy Delights
We squeeze in a visit to the LBJ Presidential Library on Sunday. Eloquent letters both to and from LBJ on display here make me long for a time when people were forced to write and consider their words before unleashing them on others. This is my first visit to a Presidential Museum and I am impressed with the presentation of his story.
To recuperate from our repair work and to get far away from the RV so that we won’t know if anything else breaks, we head into Austin for supper. Monte chooses an acclaimed Thai Food Truck diner called Dee Dee.
Helpful dining hint: If the order taker looks at you and says, “Are you sure you like spicy? Oh never mind, you will probably be OK.” Use EXTREME CAUTION. As delightfully flavorful as our meals are, neither Monte or I can finish. Our lips burst into flames that no amount of sticky rice can extinguish.