September 13th, 2008 – by: TessaHill
9.13.08 Redwood National Park
A few hours of easy driving down beautiful, and sometimes smokey, roads led us to the magnificent forests in Redwood National Park. We enjoyed the hikes to Simpson-Reed Grove and to “The Big Tree” which really WAS a big tree! There were massive trees everywhere, even along the roadside - we were awestruck.
Unfortunately, we had a problem with Ciao Baby about 1 miles south of Crescent City, CA.
A TERRIBLE grinding sound led us limping to Les Schwab Tires. There we used the hydraulic levelers to lift the back tires off the ground (this is a big issue for repair shops that cannot lift a rig that big). They took off both back passenger wheels and what did they find? The self-adjusting part to the brakes! Two, big, metal, bolt-like parts had been grinding in there. I was so surprised that was the issue because it had sounded AWFUL, like the entire suspension system was going to fall off in the parking lot! The older man thought a rock was in there initially, to which I thought “no way!”, but he was basically correct.
Les Schwab refused any payment for the work and sent me down the road with instructions to stop at a Ford place for the brake self-adjuster. I have a little Ziploc baggie with the salvaged parts. The brake shoe looked fine- probably because it likely hadn’t been working.
I’m convinced that the back brakes developed that issue on the Dempster Hwy (probably shook the self-adjuster loose- Les Schwab said it was adjusted the wrong direction), and when I asked in Inuvik and a later location, they took the good condition of the (easily observable) front pads as proof that the back brakes were fine. I should have been more persistent in getting the wheels removed for a visual check.
Redwood NP Information Center
So we are staying tonight in the Redwood NP Campground at Elk Prairie Campground. There are people here from all over and it’s full this Saturday night. We enjoyed a walk around the campground, which is much prettier in the woods with massive trees than in the prairie near the front where we parked. But we’re happy to get a site and after we close up the curtains, we really don’t care what the atmosphere outside is like, as long as its fairly quiet. We are just so grateful to be here and not weekending it in the Les Schwab parking lot in Crescent City (although they did say they’d hook us up with power and water, which is luxury)!
We talked to Ned multiple times today when cell service on both ends allowed and he’s doing well in spite of Hurricane Ike roaring through.
He said that we were lucky that none of our trees fell as many neighbors were not that lucky. While power is out now, he’s running around cutting trees out of the road, helping the neighbors, and hanging out with our friend who had a whole-house generator installed after Houston’s Hurricane Rita. Most people do not realize the oppressive heat the proceeds and follows a hurricane. It is just suffocating and without A/C, some people literally die, as many did stranded on the roadways in the terrible evacuation of Hurricane Rita. We are so glad he’s alright, although I wasn’t happy to hear that another bad storm blew through after we talked to him this morning.
The Pacific Coast view at Redwood NP
I have to thank Bill and Bess, some of the most thoughtful Lazy Daze friends, who offered to let us park Ciao in their driveway, keep the kids for us, and drive me to Portland Airport for a flight to Houston proceeding the storm, if I felt the need to go help secure the house.
While Ned had everything buttoned down, I just thought that was so kind. They sure give me inspiration for thoughtfulness. Thanks, Bess and Bill!