Thursday, April 28, 2011

Racin':Driving to South Bend: Day 2, Billings to Esko

Not much excitement today, just a lot of time in the car.

I got up at 5 and was on the road with breakfast in a Mickey D's bag by 5:50. Before I got going I checked the fault codes in the computer. I had misfires on 4 different cylinders; 1, 2, 3, and 4. I also had an oxygen sensor (pre catalytic converter) limit on cylinders 1-3 and 4-6 (which makes sense with all the misfires). Nothing much to do about it at this point, just keep an eye on it I guess. I did put that one bottle of fuel injector cleaner in the gas tank yesterday. I'll do another one tomorrow, or maybe wait a couple days and do it.

I drove 829 miles in about 12.5 hours and am now in Esko, Minnesota at my sister and brother-in-law's house. Normally when I'm driving to One Lap, the weather is good enough for me to roll with the top down. So far, the top has been up almost the whole time. Yesterday, it was raining off and on all day. Today was the same. When I got to Moorehead (first city in Minnesota across the Red River from Fargo, North Dakota) I put the top down as I finished getting gas. That lasted for about 50 miles. Up ahead as I drove east on Highway 10 I could see dark grey clouds. I figured that I would be getting rained on soon, so I pulled over and put the top back up.

10 minutes later I was driving through a snowstorm. Then I remembered, "Oh, yeah. I'm in Minnesota. It snows on Mother's Day sometimes." Still, it made me nervous. Even though the road stayed bare and wet, you never really know what the traction is like until you lose it. Not cool, especially when towing a fairly heavy trailer. The snow kept up through most of central Minnesota and turned to rain as I approached the Duluth area. My sister, Mary, and I went out for a bit and as we returned to her house, it started snowing here. As long as it doesn't stick, I'll be ok.

Mileage total: 1,632
Wildlife seen today: 3 bald eagles, 5 pronghorn antelope, many hawks hunting by the highway, wild Canada geese (not like those fat, tame ones around Greenlake in Seattle)

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I'm currently 60 years old. I currently work as the learning management system specialist for American University of Madaba in Madaba, Jordan. I was originally certified as a high-school English teacher and taught school for 13 years (1 year of substituting, 1 year of 7th grade, 2 years of a combined 5th, 6th, 7th grade, 9 years of 8th grade). I've worked for hardware and software companies for the past 23 years doing training, training materials development, certification test development and other education related stuff. My wife and I have raised four children to adulthood; some of them live at home at the moment, but that won't last (they're too independent for that). We live at home with 2 Golden Retrievers, 2 black cats, a crazy cat, and, during the winter, 70,000 coho salmon.