Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Well, more questions have come in via email, and, rather than spend the rest of the week answering them individually, I thought I would do a little "FAQ" here instead:

Q. What's all this about going to Mexico? Are you taking Odyssey to Mexico? When are you leaving? How long will you be gone?

A. Next week is our anniversary, and we will be celebrating by lounging around the pool drinking Margaritas in Cancun. We are flying to Cancun, leaving from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Odyssey will remain in Phoenix, pining for us. We fly out this Friday morning, and return next Thursday evening, May 5th.

Q. What will you do with Odyssey while you are gone?

A. Just as we did in Fort Lauderdale over Christmas, we have found a safe place to park Odyssey where she will be well looked after while we are gone. As then, we are not discussing where that is here in the blog for security reasons.

Q. What will you do with the pets?

A. They will be in a kennel, which, amusingly, is called the "Canine Country Club." (Yes, they also take cats.)

Q. What is Sean doing in the photo taken in the Kaibab forest?

A. Making/tending a campfire, in the fire ring conveniently left there by (numerous) previous dispersed campers. (I've discussed the ethics of these fire rings previously.)

Q. What is the fluffy white forest creature in the same photo?

A. That's our dog, Opal. She does not blend in to the forest. Although she sometimes tries by rolling in whatever dung may be convenient.

Q. Why are you dreading the call to Infinity Coach? Do they have quality control problems? Let me at 'em...

A. The failure to properly secure the air intake ductwork was a simple error of the type that anyone can make in the course of a large project. Given the scope of our project, mistakes were actually fairly few and far between, though this particular mistake may have fairly large consequences. The reason I am upset about this is that we actually like the Infinity people quite a lot, and consider them our friends, and the last thing I want to do is to have to call to discuss how a simple error on a routine task in the course of an otherwise routine day that just happened to be on their watch may have led to a fairly major and costly repair. This is why I am nervously awaiting the diagnosis from W.W. Williams, the local Detroit dealer.

Q. Will you stay in Phoenix if the {ECM needs to be replaced | Engine needs to be rebuilt}?

A. That depends on what Williams tells us is wrong and how long we can go before the problem becomes critical. If we need ECM work, I would prefer to have it done at Stewart and Stevenson, either in Houston or Corpus Christi. We are heading east into Texas anyway, they have a good shop rate, and I have a great deal of confidence in either of these shops, based on personal experience. I don't have any experience with Williams. If the engine needs liners and rings due to dirt ingestion, that will be an Infinity issue, and we will likely go wherever they send us. My guess would be Southern Oregon Diesel, another shop in which I have great confidence. Our plans do not take us in that direction immediately, so we will have to see how urgent the problem is. If the rings are already shot, there's probably no reason not to just leave them alone until we are in Oregon in July. Of course, all bets are off if Williams finds something that suggests the coach should not be driven even as far as these other shops.

Q. Where are you going after that?

A. Our next scheduled event is the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in Fort Worth, TX at the end of June. We have no specific plans or itinerary until then. Assuming Odyssey is cleared for continued operation, we will meander through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, visiting with some friends and generally slowing down our pace until we need to be in Fort Worth. We've been moving every day or two up till now, with a handful of exceptions, and we'd like to slow down to a pace of moving Odyssey only once a week or so, exploring each area by motorcycle.

Q. When will we see you next?

A. Umm, I don't think I can answer this in a blog -- you'll have to send us email on this one.

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