Another Day in the life of a Bus Nut……..

As most of you know, the life of a bus nut is never dull. Well, this was one of those days. We were to move our bus to Buck Creek RV Park last Thursday……Not! I haven’t fired it up since I did the electric wiper install last October. I don’t like to idle it for a few minutes, as it does more damage than good.

We had the bus packed and ready to move it about 15 miles to the park. There was still stuff in the house that we either needed to move to storage or sort through to put in the bus. Not much left as we had really done a great job of purging, you know, getting rid of stuff that just collects dust or has no use anymore. Gave lots away to Good Will, friends or trash. It really felt great to downsize our treasures……again.

I did my trip pre-check, felt all was good to go. Went to fire up the Detroit, no go. Tried it again, nothing. It would spin but not lite up. So, I start checking the first things that come to mind. Is it getting fuel and air, must be one of the two. Checked the fuel filters, primary was down very little, secondary was full to the top, hmmmmmm. While the batteries were charging I scratched my head and decided to pull the air filter, clean, no obstructions. Well now, this is interesting. I pulled the fuel line from the pump to the primary, bone dry, this is not a good sign. I have a small diesel 12v pump that I can plumb to get prime, hooked it up and let it run for several minutes. It was not getting any fuel, crap.

I couldn’t see the shut down cylinder at all to see if the rod was moving when the key is turned on, great. Our Eagle is not friendly when it comes to getting to the top of the engine. The only way is through the inside of the bus, under the bed, which if full of little treasures that we can’t do without. But this time it was getting late and I was bone tired. Decided it was best to wait until the next day after a nights rest and a few cups of coffee. So we ordered a pizza from Papa John’s and relaxed for the evening. As we only had a 20 plug to power up lights and TV we hunkered down for the night in the driveway.

Friday morning came and it started raining around 8 am. We moved the stuff from under the bed so I could check out the shut down cylinder and the top of the Detroit for any signs of critters. Everything looked normal, thank goodness for small miracles.

Checking out shut down cylinder

Paul, “Down Under”

So now I go outside and try to determine what is going on. It’s not getting fuel and I need to find out why. The rain is not helping my attitude at all. Mind you, this all took some time to do and it was getting late in the day. I decided to add some fuel to out diesel tank as it was about 1/4. That didn’t help one bit. I thought maybe it was below the pickup tube, not. I know it’s best to park with a full tank, but after our last trip to Durant for a bus rally, I didn’t fill it up. I was soaking wet by now and figured I needed to dry out and hit it again Saturday morning. At least I wouldn’t have any rain to deal with, although we sure could use a good soaking, Abilene, not me though. All this time, poor Becky was in the house doing last minute stuff. Back and forth to help me when needed.

I went to the auto parts store to get some 3/8″ rubber fuel line as I was going to see if the engine fuel pump was doing it’s job. I couldn’t get it primed up to see if it would work, darn it anyway. By this time I had exhausted what little gray matter was between my ears and made a few phone calls. I talked with a bus buddy of mine in Washington state seeking some advice, maybe I missed something in my haste. We went over the scenario and we felt I was on the right track. Fuel pumps hardly ever go out on these beasts, so felt good that it was not the problem. I had replaced the fuel line from the tank to the primary filter last year so felt that was not the problem.

By this time the day was about shot. I was about shot too!

Sunday morning I decided to prime my 12v pump and leave it on for about 10 minutes to see if would grab some fuel and fire up. I went inside the bus to grab a cup of coffee and saw that Becky had the TV on and was listening to the Sunday service of the First Baptist Church of Abilene. Maybe, just maybe this will help to calm my nerves. I was saying a little prayer while I was listening to the sermon.

Well, it’s now or never. I checked to make sure the batts were at full charge, left he charger plugged in and left the fuel prime pump on. Turned the key, hit the start button and the old Detroit sprung to life! I didn’t get to excited as I wanted to make sure this was long term, not for a few minutes of a two stroke making song. The bus had lost it’s prime after all of that. I will find out why as it’s supposed to have an inline check valve to prevent that. I don’t remember ever seeing one, so will have to add one. It all looked great after about 10 minutes, so I told Becky to make sure everything was ready and latched down. This is a good sign.

We left the house with Becky following me in her car, headed to fuel up the bus at the closest station. I chose the station that had a place for trucks to fuel up with the double hoses. Our bus has only one fuel inlet and it’s on the curb side. So I had to use the pilot hose, which I noticed had been run over. As I was watching the pump do it’s thing, I also noticed how slow it was going. What the heck now! Turned the bus around so I could use the hose at the pump, Now at least it’s pumping normal. Whew!

We left there and proceeded to I-20 east to Exit 294. Bus ran great and it felt good to stretch her legs. I wanted to keep on going, nothing like hitting the slab behind the wheel of our coach.

We arrived at the rv park around noon, shut it down and got hooked up to the pole and water.

Ah, life is good. A few little bumps in the road just gives us character, at least that’s what I’m told. I have plenty of character at this age believe me! lol

Now for the next adventure, stay tuned!

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More Friends Stop By

I can’t believe that it has been so long since I last posted here. We have been busy with life, but that is no excuse. Since we have not been traveling, I guess I felt it was not important to report on what’s been happening in our life. I will work on that now that things have not been so crazy.

We have had several visitors since Vic and Donna were here. We are grateful that the Bradbury’s and Goldsby’s have stopped by for short visits on the way to their winter locations. It’s always a pleasure to show our friends some of the rich history in Abilene. Frontier Texas is a great place to visit and see the rich history this spot in West Texas has to offer. It always amazes me each time when I visit I learn something new. The videos and holograms are very well put together with amazing detail on how this part of Texas history has survived.

Laura Wilbur Bradbury 2014

Laura and Wilbur stopped by last September on their way to their winter home in Yuma. This was taken at Frontier Texas.Karen and Tom Goldsby

Karen and Tom Goldsby were here last week on their way to visit San Antonio and the surrounding areas.

Of course we had to take each couple to some of Abilene’s best places to eat. It seems that when our friends come for a visit, we always end up sharing what’s been happening in each of our lives over some good food. We do love to eat!

Now for some more interesting happenings in our life, you will have to read my next post. It’s a doozy I promise!

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We Had Visitors Today……

Some good Bus Nut Friends from Washington State stopped by so we decided to show them what Texas is all about! After stopping by our house for a quick tour, we took them to Frontier Texas here in Abilene to learn some history. We had never visited it before and found it quite interesting. It really is a good place to stop and see how Texas came about and how hard it was to survive this sometimes harsh climate. Stories of Cowboys and Indians fighting over the rich land full of millions Buffalo. So many were killed they said you could walk on the bones from here to Dallas and never touch the ground. A new industry was born, what to do with all of the bones. They were sent by wagon to be made into things like buttons.

After the tour of Frontier Texas we needed to feed our appetites, so we headed to Buffalo Gap to have a late lunch at Perini Ranch. Of course we had to have steak, and it was fantastic! Not only some great steak, but we had to try some Jalapeno Bites as an appetizer. Man they were good!

We were sad to see them go as they are heading to Ft. Worth in the morning to continue their journey.

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That is Vic checking out the bronze statues and display.

 

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Donna and Vic in front of a massive Bronze Buffalo.

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One of the many stuffed animals on the display, the Mighty Buffalo!

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Donna and Vic in front of the impressive Silver Eagle that they built. He stuffed in a CAT 3406 400 hp engine coupled to an Allison 740 transmission. A lot of work went into the design and build of this coach and it shows!

Thanks for stopping by to see us! Have a safe journey, until we meet again!

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New Bus Website

It looks like the Eagles International website will be no longer soon. I’m in the process of copying and pasting several posts in the Project Section that I had for the bus. Once they shut it down, all that information will be lost. Grrrrr!

Here is the address: http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/

Many posts will be added hopefully today, so stay tuned for more posted information!

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Erinshire Gardens and House

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We moved into this house last month. How we came about this is quite a story. The owner is a photographer and friend of a good friend of ours. He used to rent out the grounds for weddings and other events, that is until a neighbor complained to Abilene’s City Council. After over 4 years of waiting, the owner is able to continue using the property for events. He is a photographer by trade and this was important to him. The house sits on 19 1/2 acres, and close to Abilene Christian University.

Construction was started in 1918 and finished around 1924. The builder lost everything during the Crash of 1929. The craftsmanship is amazing, with lots of delicate wood work. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room with a fireplace, dining room and a one half basement. The floors creak showing their age. There is also a cottage with a small attached garage. The grounds include several out buildings, a couple of lily ponds and a host of special places that demand to be photographed.

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The above photo was taken a few days ago. I wanted to frame the bougainvillea with the dining room front windows.

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We had to park the bus in the driveway as the telephone lines were to low to park anywhere on the rear of the property. I called AT & T a couple of weeks ago to see about getting them raised. They were out yesterday to complete the work. What an amazing crew they sent out. Very helpful and wanted to make sure I was satisfied with the new height. I can now move the bus out back close to a building so I can get power to it and prepare to do a little exterior work on it. As you can see, it needs a little powder and paint! lol

Our travels have not ended,  just postponed for a little while.

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We are back in Abilene, TX

We left New Braunfels a couple of days ago to make the 300 mile trip up to Abilene. We did not leave at our scheduled time, due to the fact that a bus was blocking us in. The driveway is quite long and we were parked in the back by Lake Dunlap. That is a long story in itself! It probably looked like an episode of Laurel and Hardy! We stopped in Georgetown to have lunch and visit with one of our dear friends. By the time we arrived at Buck Creek RV Park, it was 6:30 and I was pretty worn out. Thanks Richard and Missy for your warm hospitality and friendship!

The work that I was doing on their house had ended and he threw in pulling the engine out of his old bus and installing it in his new MCI 102 C3. (We picked up his new bus in Florida and on the drive back the rockers on one head came apart.  He had to have it trailered from Florida to Texas, which was not cheap.)  Along with a couple of other problems, he decided to make the engine swap. We first had his old bus in the driveway to pull the engine and transmission, then did the same thing to his new bus. It probably looked like a bus graveyard to their neighbors. It was quite a task, and for this old guy, I’m pretty worn out! lol We were there a little over 5 months and enjoyed the area a lot. We saw The Alamo, the Hill Country and everything in between. Even went to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, where we saw Reba! Now that was fun! It was amazing that they could put on a complete rodeo in one evening, then have time for the main attraction.

The Alamo

While we were in New Braunfels, I completed several of my bus projects. I built a couple of frames with air bags to give our bus some rear axle support. The coach has a torsalastic suspension, and the rear axle torsalastics are not being manufactured any more. Don’t understand, it’s only a 45 year old bus! It improved the ride and handling tremendously! It also raised our coach about 2″ in the rear, which was my goal. I also finished a couple of other smaller projects that had been started, just not completed. There is always something to do. It keeps me busy and out of trouble! lol

We are not sure how long we will be here in Abilene. We have some family stuff to take care of and while we are here, spend time with friends. There is no set date on when we’ll leave. That is one good thing about being retired, no calendar to go by!

 

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Update – Our New Location in Texas

It’s been a while since our last post, time and life has a way of dealing and changing our schedules.

We left Seal Rock RV Cove in November and arrived in New Braunfels, TX on Thanksgiving day. Our stay there ended due to some extenuating circumstances that I don’t need to repeat, as it will not serve any purpose.

Our friends in Texas informed us that they had an accident in their bus in October and needed our help on several projects. Their MC7 now had a smashed front end. A couple of cars pulled in front of them in a construction zone and then stopped. He could not stop their bus in time and hit the car in front of them. It did more damage to the bus because he tried to avoid them by running the front left steer wheel up a concrete median. It also slowed them down, but not enough. We might start tearing the skin off to see what part of the frame is bent or damaged.

They also needed help in their house, lots of remodeling to finish from a flood that happened a few years ago. He has some medical issues and felt like he was overwhelmed with all that needed to be done. We needed to get back to Texas anyway to get closer to Becky’s Mom in Abilene. So here we are!

I’ve been working 5 days a week doing framing, sheet rock, taping, texturing and painting. Something my old body is not used to. lol

Our trip from Oregon to our current location took just 7 days. We stopped to visit our families in California and Arizona along the way. We traveled each day, which made the trip less enjoyable. I hope the next trip we take will be easier on us, as we were pretty worn out every day.

We intend to be here until May or June, depending on how it all goes. Then we’ll head to Abilene and find an RV Park to stay in for a few months. After that who knows where we’ll end up! We do hope to get back into Camp Hosting at some point.

Happy Trails Everyone!

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