We just had an emotional and exciting few days. First off we stayed in another new state, Montana leaving us with just 3 left.
|Just a stop along the way for a stretch and bathroom break.|
We had a mechanical issue with the truck as we neared our stop for the night in Montana. It seems if we have mechanical issues it has always happened to us in the last 50 miles of travel for the day. Our truck had the high pressure fuel pump quit on us near the town of Miles City Montana.
We left Dickinson ND and headed mostly due west on I 94 toward Montana. Our first stop was to be in Forsyth MT but the truck had other plans about 40 miles before we got there. We had just gone through some of our first steep climbs in the west. Steep for us means that the truck pretty much maxes out with the cruise on going uphill. We start to lose speed and the cruise will turn off because it can’t keep the truck at the set speed. This causes me to keep putting the cruise back on after the upgrade to help hold us going down the other side of the mountain.
I had just put the cruise back on and I noticed that our speed was only 59. I used the speed increase button on the column to try and increase our speed and nothing happened. I initially thought something was wrong with the cruise control. I tried using the foot accelerator and nothing with my foot all the way to the floor! I looked at the gauges and nothing was abnormal and we didn’t have any idiot lights on. The truck was also running fairly smooth and no smoke out the tail pipe so it sort of ruled out an engine issue.
We pulled over on the side of the road for a minute and then tried again but now I couldn’t accelerate past about 30 mph. That just wouldn’t due on an 80 mile road! I immediately pulled over again and this time I switched off the engine thinking maybe it’s some computer issue. I pull back out I could again accelerate back up to 65mph, great!
Patty had been looking for a close by campground as well as for a Ford service place. And due to our great luck with this sort of thing we were within a mile or two of 2 campgrounds and there was a Ford service place here too.
After switching off the engine and restarting we accelerated past the first exit to Miles City where the campgrounds and Ford was. Just after passing the exit the truck started to lose power again and this time the check engine light came on. Patty saw on the map that there were two exits to Miles City and that there was a KOA within a mile of the exit. OK, that is where we are going then.
We limped in at about 50 MPH to the next exit. I didn’t really have any issues getting to the KOA because the speed was reduced in the town. I was just afraid that the engine would just quit but that didn’t happen. We got signed in and we had the last site available for the size of our rig. That is what I mean about our great luck with finding places to stay in an emergency. We just always seem to make out well!
|Miles City Montana KOA|
|The owner bought these phone booths and has plans to add real phones just for the novelty.|
I called the Ford service in town, Mac’s Frontier Town Ford, at 3:30pm and they said they would take a look this afternoon, wonderful! We got set up and off I went to Mac’s.
Mac’s had the truck for about 20 minutes to determine that it was a bad high pressure fuel pump. Well, that is a new issue for the truck! Mac’s had the parts but the job is very labor intensive, a 12 man-hour job. They told me they could have it ready by this Friday and it was Wednesday now. That was great news for us as this then would be just a normal stop of 3 nights for us. The cost, like everything on this truck, it’s expensive. This however is now the highest cost at $2,700.
Now we have a down day to check out Miles City from a waking perspective. OK, there is really nothing to see really by walking in Miles City. We decided to do some geocaching on our one full day in town.
There was a cache very near the KOA we were in. The cache was a 3 part cache, find the fist and it directs you to the next one. We found the first one which gave us the GPS coordinates to the second cache. The second cache led us to the third, however we couldn’t find the final one before it started to rain. That was the end of our one day in Miles City.
|Path up and over the RR tracks on our geocaching adventure.|
|This is the first one. It's whats called a buffalo container that is connected to a lanyard and nailed to this tree.|
|A little closer view. These things are pretty small. Inside is a rolled up note with GPS coordinates to the next cache.|
|We had a white tailed deer watching us!|
Ford was right, they were there to pick me up and I was on my way back by 10:30am. We hitched up and ready to leave by 11am. We had about 275 miles to Cody so it was going to be a long travel day. By going to Cody we would be back on our planned schedule. Yee Haw!!