Monday, March 14, 2005

We are parked in front of Coach Specialties in Alameda (map). We are going to have them look at our minor body work issue and give us an estimate (cost and schedule). Frankly, I'm hoping they will just decide it's a small enough job that they can belt it out while we're here.

Their facility is in an old hanger/shop on the former Alameda Naval Air Station. The last time I was here, I had to pass armed Marines and a maze of jersey barriers. I came here to tour the USS Carl Vinson, CVN 70. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier had been home-ported here, and they were giving the community tours as a fare-well before changing ports. I had also been here previously to see the Blue Angels fly, and had dinner with them at the O-club.

It's a weird experience to be able to just drive out onto the facility without fanfare. Many indicators of a mighty military presence still remain, in the form of strict signage forbiding all sorts of things, and that ubiquitous "military-paint-look." But it is nice to see the place being re-purposed as an industrial complex -- we are surrounded by various light industrial facilities, and even a sports club. It's actually quite a nice place to park -- quiet, and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the San Francisco skyline.

I spoke today with the tire shop in Livermore, and our aluminum wheels have arrived. Also our tire pressure monitoring system is there. They are going to get a head start by mounting six of our tires and the monitors on those wheels. We are just waiting on the two steel wheels to come in from Florida, and we can go over there and get everything installed.

We also stopped by Hayward today and picked up our sixty special lug nuts. Over $600 for nuts -- I can hardly believe it myself.

With any luck, the steel wheels will be there by Wednesday and we can be on the road again Thursday.

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