Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The trip back with the camper in tow

So, we woke up fairly early the next morning and went out in search of a reliable place to have the bearings checked/repacked. The idea of being a 900 miles from nowhere in the middle of the night, trying to duct tape a wheel back on the axle was unappealing. We talked to the caretaker of the KOA, and he recommended Schieks Camper Sales in Eden. It was just a few miles down the road, so we packed up and went. They agreed to work us in and we dropped off the camper. They were great folks, very courteous and understood our need to get on the road. They had us in and out in a couple of hours. If you are in the neighborhood, I highly recommend them. Here is their website.

To kill time we headed into Fon du Lac for breakfast. Although we had our borrowed Garmin GPS, I called my personal Google guru, Cheryl, and within moments she recommended Schreiner’s Restaurant. Now check the spelling, this was not a restaurant run by old men in funny hats and go-carts. Cheryl informed us that it had been open since 1938 and that the quiche of the day was asparagus. It just so happened that we were literally passing by as she suggested it. It was a blast from the past with waitresses in aprons and little kerchiefs on their heads and cooks in the back with paper boat hats. The food was great. We had the asparagus quiche, muffins and split a Belgian waffle. With full bellies, we left in search of some extended mirrors for the Jeep and a few other supplies. Once stocked, we headed back and browsed the camper parts while we waited for them to finish up. It cost me just under $100, which I thought was reasonable for a morning rush job and for peace of mind. Granted, I could have done it in a couple hours in the driveway for just a few bucks, but said driveway was 900 miles away. So, we hitched up and took off, pausing along the first 50 miles or so to snap a few shots of great barns, the likes of which have gone the way of the Dodo in Oklahoma, or should I say tornado, that is if we ever had barns like that. After pulling over for the first few, Adam started just snapping shots on the fly out the window, a surprising number of which actually survived.

We got on the interstate and cruised at about 65 most of the way home, stopping only to refuel the Jeep and our bellies, and once to pick up about $50 worth of cheese and souvenirs at Shultz’s Cheese Haus. Let me tell you, these guys make great cheese; we tasted about a dozen different varieties and settled for a half pound of 2 year aged cheddar, 10 year aged cheddar, apple jack (a blend of swiss, cheddar and jack), garlic brick, and even one called chicken soup, that tasted like, well you probably guessed it.

In Kansas City, we ran into a woman at a Wendy’s who had just bought a 1963 Shasta from a guy in Wisconsin a few miles outside of Fon du Lac for $4,000. Hers was very nice and had been recently restored. I hope to keep our restoration below that mark. My goal is to keep it under $3,000, including the cost of the camper. I am making that statement now so you can help keep me honest. After talking to her for about an hour, we got on the road again and pushed on until we hit Bartlesville at 3 in the morning, where we slept where we fell. The next day the woman’s friend called and offered to buy my camper sight unseen. This made me feel even more that the whole trip had been worth it. Now, as this story progresses I will lead you along my trail of restoration. For some it will be less interesting until we get to the finished product, but hopefully for most it will be an informative journey that helps other crazy Shasta renovators like me find parts, figure out how things come apart, and learn from my mistakes. So, if you are following along so far we have:

Trailer—$900+ Bearing Repack—$100, bringing our tally to $1,000.

Until next time dear readers, shasta la vista...

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