Ok, as I reported in my last post it looks like our brake issues are done. Everything on the trailer worked just fine on the way from Elkhart to here at the KOA Minneapolis Northwest in Maple Grove MN but we did have an alarm on our brake controller in the truck that we eventually (after we found the correct manual, New Horizons gave us the wrong one that wasn’t for the ABS brake system we have) determined to be an alarm saying that the driver rear wheel ABS sensor had failed.
As you may recall…we had the guys at MORryde see if they could reroute the ABS cables for more slack…we hoped that they would open up the underbelly access panel and actually reroute the cables. What they did was yank on the cable until they got a little more slack and call it done.
We figured we had a bad cable and were making arrangements to get some replacement ones shipped here to Maple Grove when Neil decided to be smart, crawl under the trailer and make sure that he could actually access them to replace the bad one before we spent the bucks to order one. On visual examination…the connector for the driver rear wheel was disconnected from the sensor. The sensor has about a 2 foot cable on it that plugs into a longer cable up in the underbelly, the longer cable leads over to the brake controller. It turns out that the longer cable is tie wrapped to the frame members and wiring bundles so when you yank on the sensor wire you get some more slack in the short sensor attached cable but when you pull the connector comes undone and hence the ABS system detects no sensor. Neil plugged everything back up and got some tie wraps and rerouted the longer cables a bit then dressed everything up nicely so all is good.
That was Sunday afternoon’s job…the morning we went to Mass. Afterward we had some of Neil’s famous Fusilli pasta with bacon, caramelized onions, garlic, pecans and cheese for dinner along with a couple of wine coolers. After that we watched TV and went to bed early to finish recovering from the time zone change.
On the way over from Elkhart we got the ‘time for an oil change’ alert on BAT…so we’ve slightly rejiggered our plans on that one. Originally we were going to get it changed in Dawson Creek before heading off but we have another 1700 miles to go and we didn’t want to push the oil change interval that long. So…we’ve got an appointment for Tuesday AM to get it done and we’ll just skip the one in Dawson Creek. If our calculations are correct…we’ll need another one right as we get back to Prince George so we’ve scheduled one there. We’ll watch the mileage on the way up and if necessary we’ll get it changed in Anchorage as we’ll be there about halfway through the trip. However, 1,700 miles to Dawson Creek plus 4,800 towing miles on the trip to Prince George plus another 1,000 for driving around miles is just about 7,500…which is about when the BAT computer will want another change…so we’ll play that one by ear.
With that scheduled and the non-need for an ABS cable replacement we did some planning yesterday. Today our goal was to visit downtown St. Paul…the sister city to Minneapolis and the other half of what is known as “the Twin Cities”…basically it’s the part of Minneapolis on the east side of the Mississippi. Tomorrow we’re off southeast of the city a bit to the Hastings area for a quaint little town visit with a waterfall nearby…then we’ll stop by Minnehaha Falls which is right in downtown Minneapolis on the way home…I’ve got some neat info about this fall that I’ll report on when I have the pictures tomorrow. Wednesday we’re off to Fort Snelling for a walk around a pre Civil War fort built back when Minnesota was being settled. Tomorrow night we’re going to a local dive bar for dinner and who knows what for dinner Wednesday night.
Thursday we’re doing some of that home stuff…which is ok because it’s gonna rain anyway…laundry, groceries and the like and Connie has a bit o’ work to finish up. Then we’re off on Friday AM to somewhere west of Fargo ND and then continue Saturday to Teddy Roosevelt NP (national park) before heading northward into Canadia.
Ok…a report on today’s mission.
We headed off about 0930 or so and drove to downtown St. Paul heading for the Landmark Center…which was the old Post Office and Federal Building until the early 1900s. It then fell into disrepair for a couple of decades and was scheduled for demolition to provide a parking lot in the late 1920s. The locals convinced the Feds to turn it over to the city and it was refurbished to it’s former appearance and turned into a cultural center of sorts. To give you an idea of how bad it was…many of the solid marble walls had to be stripped of your standard Federal government green paint during the rehabilitation process. Who would paint a marble wall?
There’s some photos below of the building and the nearby river…but by the time we were done with it we (a) only had about an hour left on our parking meter and (b) had only another 90 minutes until the scheduled 1300 tour at St. Paul’s Cathedral so we headed off to our destination for lunch…the Great Waters Brewery.
Great Waters is built in the old Hamm Brewery headquarters building and brews a variety of great craft beers. The site was also the physical location of one of the 3 cathedrals in St. Paul that predate the current structure. When Great Waters opened…they found a natural spring underneath the building and they brew their beer using this water…they call it holy water since the cathedral used to be here. Anyway…we had a pint each of St. Andrew’s Cross Scotch Ale…and I gotta tell ya it was mighty, mighty good. We toyed briefly with the pizza of the month for dinner but on further reflection decided to just split a sandwich as it was an early lunch and we don’t usually eat big lunches anyway. After some discussion and on a recommendation from Kristin our bartender (natch we sat at the bar and were the only customers as it was only 1100 in the morning) we ordered the Grilled Pork Sandwich with French Fried Onions and Bacon Jam…because…hey…Bacon Jam. We figured that bacon improved anything and I gotta tell ya’…the combination of bacon, sugar, vinegar, and onions into a sort of marmalade consistency made a pretty stellar spread for the sandwich on a toasted baguette. Of course…you could have put that Bacon Jam on a cracker, dead lizard, or a bumper and it would taste delish of course…Neil’s already looked up a recipe to make some for using around here. We tried to get our bartender Kristin to pose…but she wasn’t having any of it so we settled for a shot of our pints and the window and brew tank behind the bar.
We passed on dessert as we were headed off to St. Paul’s Cathedral…which turned out to be a pretty spectacular place.
A vertical shot looking at the bottom of the 186 foot high dome.
Looking from the vestibule up towards the sanctuary…the baluscade over the altar is bronze and supported by 6 single piece Italian marble columns.
A shot of the rear window and organ…which we just happened to hear last night on our favorite public radio program Pipe Dreams…which features only pipe organ music…the host Michael Barone calls it the “King of Instruments”.
Here are a couple of shots from our earlier visit to Biltmore Castle while down in Marion, the Linville Falls, and the Mash Creek Falls we saw while at Camp Creek State Park WV. The Biltmore Castle and garden photos are all from Connie.
Overlooking Linville Falls.
Mash Creek Falls at Camp Creek State Park WV.
Butterfly at Mash Creek Falls.
That’s about it…I should have some more photos including waterfalls in the next couple of days.