21 July 2016

Nick & Bobby

' Journeymakers are the good folk who turn your trips into treasured memories. They are the people who elevate your travel experience with the passion and enthusiasm for the place they call home and for the interest and kindness they give you, the traveller. '

What is it about us and 'Crossing the Border Between Canada and the USA?' 

If you've been following our travels at all, you'll know that we crossed over into the USA awhile back, had a harrowing experience, got the attention of a couple of US Homeland Security Agents and Customs Guards and are probably on a 'watchlist or nodrivelist' somewhere by now  ... 

Click here, to read about it 

Or, read about this latest crossing below ... 
We recently completed a severe use service on the Ford that included tire rotation, oil/filter and a full chassis lube, brake inspection and service, multi-point inspection ... all good. A few hundred kilometres later we crossed into the USA just west of Beaver Creek, Yukon. A short queue of three vehicles slowly cleared and I got the green light to move forward. LOAF crawled ahead at a speed of about 1 kmph. The most gawd-awful 'grinding and screeching' noise that ensued startled me and annoyed the customs agent ... not a good start to this crossing. ' What was that noise he said? (scowling and irritated). I don't know I said (timidly worried). Can I pull over and park to check my truck once we enter? Yes, but quickly! '

Fast forward ... 
After clearing our refrigerator of tomatoes and peppers (they don't tell you that in the literature) and without being questioned about alcohol or firearms, we parked. They also said they had grounds to confiscate our Nexus card for attempting to smuggle vegetables over the US border ... hmmm?

Rolling the truck slowly forward and backwards revealed the noise coming from the drivers' side front wheel. By repeating that slow forward & backward driving movement, the noise slowly disappeared. Even though we had the wheels re-torqued after the service, I suspected one or more nuts had not been done correctly and I decided to have all wheels re-torqued soon. There aren't many service garages along northern roads.

It wasn't until about 1000 kms later that the noise re-appeared and this time it was accompanied by an over-heated wheel on the same corner. Now I was worried and suspected possible brake damage not improper re-torquing. We're in Homer, there are only three service garages here, we've checked and none can take us for several days.

 ... then we met Nick and his son-in-law Bobby, late in the day on Tuesday. I explained the problem ... 'Sure, bring her in tomorrow around 9 am and we'll take a look'.

Nick is friendly, genuine and personable. He's from Arizona originally, has been up here for 40 years or so now and needs to get back to Oklahoma to see his Mom. Bobby is his son-in-law. Bobby is an apprentice heavy equipment operator working towards his journeyman papers. He'll return to Prudhoe Bay this September to work in the oil fields up there. In the meantime, he hangs out at his father-in-laws garage, pesters Nick and 'learns the odd thing' ... Nick teases.

One of the projects in the garage is the restoration of this 1932 7-seater, 12 cylinder Pierce-Arrow

Nick and Bobby worked to ensure us that our truck was in good, safe condition and in the end it was. They entertained us with details of the Pierce-Arrow's history and they shared some of their plans with us.  

If you ever need vehicle service in Homer, Alaska, you can find them at:
Homer Auto and Fleet Services
2489 Kachemak Drive
907-435-0660 (phone)

Nick & Bobby were the Journeymakers this day.
Crusty ...

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TEAM: LOAF, Crumby, Wry & Crusty