Overland Voyage

posted Jun 10, 2009, 8:00 PM by Mark Laughlin   [ updated Jul 5, 2009, 7:19 PM ]
Raggedy Edge was on the hard in KY. The boat and trailer were squeezed amongst the trees down near the Kentucky River. Our one ton dualie couldn't make some of the sharp turns in the long winding driveway so we used an old Belarus tractor that featured a gravity starter (roll down the hill and bump start). The tractor did the deed and positioned boat and trailer where we could hook up to our Ford 350.

We had no problems towing the load especially once we got the electric brakes adjusted. The video clip shows us pulling the trailer onto Camp Nelson Rd from Laughlin Way on the Kentucky River. Another shot is in the rest area in Cheyenne, WY and the final shot is at the summit of Shirley Basin between Laramie and Casper.

As we passed thru Missouri towing  Raggedy Edge on our SailTrailers.com trailer, just 17 miles from Fulton, MO one of the tandem axle wheels fell off. All the lug bolts sheared. The wheel's momentum carried it across I-70 where it found a gap in oncoming traffic and came to rest on the opposite bank of the interstate. We managed to keep things under control getting safely to the shoulder of the highway. As MAL retrieved the lost wheel, Tina used our Garmin GPS to locate a tire repair shop in Fulton. She called and with terrific luck we reached Frank, a mechanic who just happened to be in the shop during the Memorial holiday. So we gingerly made our way to Midwest Tire and Auto Center in Fulton.
 
Frank quickly got to work pulling the hub. After some difficulty he managed to press ou the eight broken wheel studs using a hydraulic press and then began the quest to locate the peculiarly sized studs. With the help of Tony of O'Reilly Auto Parts, they scrounged the countryside in search for the studs. Tony made multiple trips to and fro in attempting to match the studs. Frank finally, with sheer luck, happened to catch the manager for K&A Trailer Supply who seemed confident that he had the studs we needed. Frank drove to meet the manager half way and picked up the studs
 
While Frank worked on our trailer, we were entertained with the stories offered up by Harry, a Greek retired merchant marine, he regaled us with stories about working on a Greek flagged ship, meeting his brother who was the captain on the oil tanker that was the first to deliver wheat to Russia, and many other tales of adventure. Another character, Pedro AKA Monkey, gave us the run down on his deer (and dear) hunting operations.  The friendly small town atmosphere extended to the charming attendant at Casey's and the cashier at the Bob Evans in Columbia.

Every where we went we were met with cries of cool boat. Passerby in cars, girls walking down the street, we even had a car pass us on the Interstate, a kid held out a whteboard "honk, I'm deaf" ignoring the irony of the request, we honked and the kid flipped the whiteboard...on the other side was "cool boat".
 
After the repair was completed, we headed to Columbia, where we located a replacement wheel (there was some damage the the tread of the tire and the lug holes in the wheel). We traveled on Hwy F to Millersberg and got a glance of what looked like a big carwash we turned around and worked back to the car wash only to discover that the garage height was too constrained to permit passage of our 13' 8" load. So we turned around again and found a nice car and truck wash that just cleared our load by a couple of inches.allowing us to blast the deck and hull clean of lots of soil.

From Missouri we traveled thru Kansas and stopped to visit MAL's Granma Saindon in Goodland where we got the terrific shot of Raggedy Edge with the grain elevators in the background. From there we detoured to Calhan, CO to visit Tina's sister Renee and her family. The steady climb from western Kansas to Colorado coupled with a terrific headwind really impacted our fuel consumption with the old Ford one ton V10 motor dropping to around 6mpg. Nonetheless, the trailer continued to tow with ease and never misbehaved in any way. The wind, nor passing trucks had any destabilizing effects whatsoever.

The load was towing so well, we decided to make the climb and then steep descent from Cheyenne to Laramie to visit our kids, Broc and Bryan. We shot some video of Broc playing the guitar, a small piece of audio is featured in the video.

Once home in Wyoming, in order to fit the trailer and boat into the designated fenced in slot (about the size of a marina slip) we had to use our full size Bronco to maneuver the boat and trailer into position. The big, wide F350 just didn't have enough space tor make turns in the tight alley way. Now the work begins...
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