Tuesday, October 25, 2022

October catch up

Figured it was time for an update. Last that we posted, we were at a fun fly not far from Raven, Alberta. That fun fly turned into a nice time. Was little damp at times, but everyone had fun and we felt very welcomed at the RC flying field.

While not formally part of the Rocky Mountain Barnstormers, the field at Raven does fall under their MAAC charter. It is actually a private airstrip owned by the local landowner who is also an avid RC flyer. They have a fantastic facility with a huge clubhouse and several ‘hangers’ as well as a large camping area.

Next up was the wings over Bremner event at the Edmonton Radio Control Society just outside of Edmonton. This was an all aircraft type of event with small foamies right up to large turbine powered aircraft. The Edmonton club always puts on a great event.

From Edmonton we made our way an hour and a half or so SE to Bawlf, AB. Home of “Alberta's Littlest Airport”. Bawlf is about 20 minutes SE of Camrose, AB and the airstrip is about 5 miles before Bawlf. It is also home to a fairly busy, depending on the time of year, cropdusting airstrip. While here, there were a pair of Air Tractor 502B spray planes working. 

The RC event here had probably the largest number of campers I have seen at an event like this. At one point I counted over 40 RV’s of one type or another. The strip and model facility are owned and run by Reg and Terri Blackwell. The club started years ago by Reg's father and is now cared for by Reg. While here we met and became friends with a fellow named Mike and his mom Agnes. Very knowledgeable guy who tows his trailer with a modified Kenworth heavy duty truck. Rob has had this in the back of his mind for a few years now and after talking with Mike, it is definitely something we will have to look more into.

About an hour North of Bawlf is Tofield, AB. Tofield is typically a jet event and is held every year at the Tofield Municipal Airport. All in all this was another successful event with only a little wind slowing things down for a bit.

After Tolfield, as we started to head back to BC for a few weeks, we stopped at Woody’s RV in Edmonton so they could replace the pull on the black tank. Rob has been finding it really difficult to pull open ever since we got the trailer. It has been attended to before, but wasn’t fixed the best. It is now working effortlessly. A little kid could pull it without issue. Also, nice that Grand Design paid for this repair under warranty. 

Once the trailer was done for the repair, we started heading towards Grand Prairie, AB. We took Hwy 43 to head back to BC, and just before we got to Grand Prairie, the frost heaves on the road were nasty. Rob was down to 60 km/h for a bit. After a quick stop in Grand Prairie for a Costco shop and a fuel up, we headed to Chetwynd, BC to visit with my sister Theresa for a bit. My mom and dad were there also. One of the days we were there we took a side trip to the site of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam near Hudsons Hope, BC

After Chetwynd, we headed to Burns Lake to visit with friends of ours. We normally see them at least once a year for a RC float fly at their place, but because of COVID and the RC group getting smaller, they haven’t held an event there for a few years, so we got the lower section by the lake all to ourselves. This event is usually held the 1st weekend of August for the BC Day long weekend. This year as there wasn’t an RC event, we headed to Terrace, BC with them for that weekend and stayed at the Ferry Island Campground.

Our friend, Dave is a car and drag racing buff so we took in a car show and shine and then Dave and Rob spent a few hours at the drag races.

After Terrace, we headed back to Alberta for more RC events. On our way, just after crossing the BC/Alberta border, we got a call from the GM dealership in Kamloops, saying that all the parts were now in for the next fix for the truck. At that time, we made an appointment for the beginning of September. We continued on to the rest of the RC fun flys in Alberta we had planned to in August. 

We started off in Drayton Valley at a smaller event. While fairly small, the Drayton Valley club were super friendly and put on a great event.

After Drayton Valley we made our way back to Edmonton for their annual Airshow. They do a one day event in August with admission being a donation to the local Food Bank. There were fortunate with good weather and a good turn out. 

After this we were back in Bawlf at Alberta's Littlest Airport again for their Corn Roast. Another great event hosted by Reg and Terri. 

While we were back in Bawlf, the plan was to attend the next event back in Edmonton. We decided to skip that event and start heading back to BC. Once we got back to BC, we attended the Vernon RC Aeromodellers Labour Day event. With being back in Vernon, was able to celebrate my mom’s 75th birthday. The next event after Vernon, was going to be the RC Float Fly at Sandy Point Campground, but while we were visiting my sister in Chetwynd, her daughter got engaged and decided that the wedding would be in Nanaimo, BC on Sept 10 this year. So, it was back to the Silver Sage Campground on Sept 5, dropped the truck off to the dealership on September 7 and then mom and dad picked us up from Kamloops on September 8 to head to Nanaimo for the weekend. We rented a place through Airbnb. It was a really nice weekend weather wise and visiting with family.

Left to right, Dave(my BIL), Theresa(my sister), Leanne(Justin's mom), Marilyn(my mom), Justin(Groom), Tiffany(my niece), Marshall (my dad), me and Rob

After getting back from Nanaimo, we picked up the truck from its hospital stay. Hoping that this will be fixing the issues that we have been having.  

About a week after getting back from Nanaimo, Rob and I went and took an air brake endorsement course. We both passed the course and the knowledge test with ICBC. So, if it ever does come to it, we can both now legally drive a big truck with air brakes. We decided to do this because we have been thinking about getting a different vehicle to replace our truck. The more we think about it the more we like the idea. 

After the knowledge test, we went and hooked up the trailer to head to Princeton, BC for the last RC event of the year. This was the RC jet rally. Well, you guessed it, Not even 200 kms since the last repair (8 more fuel injectors, underhood wiring harness and a NOx sensor) the check engine light came back on. Called the dealership right away and was scheduled to go in to the shop again the Monday after the event. Otherwise we had a good weekend in Princeton. 

Now back to the dealership we go with the truck. By this point, the mechanic is getting frustrated that this keeps happening. He got us to come up with the truck and trailer so he could plug his computer into the truck as we drove with the trailer. Took it for about a 45 minute drive but nothing came up. After we dropped him off, and almost back to the campground, the check engine light comes back on. He wanted us to come back with the trailer again on Friday to do this again. We were also told when we set the Friday drive up, that a GM field engineering tech was going to be in on Thursday, so be aware that we may have to go up with the truck for him to look at it. Didn’t have to, but the Friday drive got rescheduled for Monday. On that drive, the mechanic was telling us that talking with the field engineer, it was suggested that maybe there was internal fuel contamination, meaning possible metal in the system. The suggestion was to replace the entire fuel system. He was only given authorization initially to drop the fuel tank to look for metal but guess what? He found metal flakes in the tank and the fuel filter.  Now it is a race to do a complete fuel system replacement except for a couple of lines that were easier to flush than to change, before our departure date to head south on October 15. Well, he did it. We are now hoping that this will be the last issue with the truck. So, to recap, there has been a total of 30, yes 30 fuel injectors, both fuel pumps along with the fuel pressure regulator, complete engine wiring harness, Engine Control Module, Body Control Module, 3 fuel filters (one was replaced in Sept 2022 because it was due to be changed), a couple of sensors, and some misc. other parts. 

Left Kamloops on Sept 14, got to Vernon that night. Spent time with mom and dad and friend Laura, had breakfast with Rob’s mom Saturday morning, and crossed the border at Oroville, WA just outside of Osoyoos, BC. We stopped for the night at the Walmart in Omak, WA, then on to the Wildhorse Casino just outside of Pendleton, OR and then to Twin Falls, Idaho for a couple nights to visit with friends. As we were getting ready to head down towards Overton, Nevada, we started to smell a melting/burning plastic smell. Turns out the plastic cover over the nut that attaches the battery cable to the alternator was melting. It seems the nut which holds the cable down was not properly tightened which cause the wire to arc and partially burned through the stud. As a result, we had to get a new alternator. That repair and car rental, fortunately, were covered by the dealership in Kamloops. We got the truck back last Saturday but our weather window to head south had closed so we elected to stay an extra couple of days in Twin Falls rather than risk high winds and snow over the pass outside Ely, NV. We left yesterday morning and had an uneventful but long days drive.

We are now on some BLM land just outside of Overton, NV and will likely stay here til the weekend.

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