Motorhome Experiences of Lyle Dean and Judy Lebsack
In search of wildlife (in downtown Anchorage)
Our Fourth of July travel day from Homer to Anchorage turned out to be an exercise in dependence--on others. About a half hour into the four-hour drive, the engine alarm went on. The engine temperature had jumped to 250! There was no place to pull over. Finally, Lyle used a private driveway. We had lost most, if not all, engine coolant. The culprit was a hose that runs through our water heater. Big mess. There are two hoses--one in and one out of the water heater. Lyle zeroed in on one and began repairs. Jerry Rose, whose job is to follow all of the motorhomes in case something like this happens, correctly identified the hose that Lyle had not. Quick fix. Almost. The motor home engine uses many gallons of coolant We had only one. Jerry had another. Ralph Dennis another of the caravan members, had two. We used all four gallons and one-half gallon of distilled water to get us limping into Soldotna, about ten miles away. Other members of the caravan ahead of us reported that AutoZone and O'Reilly autoparts were open on July 4th. Lyle bought seven more gallons of coolant, plus two to pay back Ralph. We waited until the engine had cooled to the point we could open the radiator. We started toward Anchorage with three gallons of coolant to spare and this morning, added one and a half of the "spare" coolant to the engine. All seems okay.
Judy saw her first moose of this trip--other than the one at the reindeer farm. It was at a gas station in Homer! We traveled through the forest fire zone with pretty dense smoke.
This morning, we took a trolley tour of Anchorage. Time and money well spent. One of the most impressive stops was in a park where during the 1964 earthquake caused a separation of the North American and Pacific tectonic plates. We were sitting at the very edge of the North American plate and looked down some 50 feet to the Pacific plate. It was a graphic demonstration of how devastating a quake could be.
Photos to the right came from the visitors center where beautiful flowers abound along with a moose crossing sign. Also to the right a reminder of times past. A Woolworth store in downtown Anchorage. No longer Woolworth's of course, but the memories are still there.