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Old 03-18-2010, 06:58 PM   #1
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Fleetwood Owners Club
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The first cookout on the alaska highway

The first cook out on the Alaska Highway
''Lets have a cook out tonight. We can get the grill out and cook some steaks. I will make some baked potatoes in the oven and we can have a nice meal out of doors on the picnic table.''
Wonderful idea. We stopped for the nite and set up camp. The camp sight was the last one available and it was on a hill. I mean a real hill. It took all the blocks I had to get the front of the coach up to level. When you jack up the front of the coach you raise the steps at the door also. Our steps were at least eighteen inches from the ground to the bottom step. I warned Willa about this and made a mental note of the same. I slid a picnic table over to the side of the coach and finally found enough flat rocks to get one end of the table level. I unrolled the awning and got out the grill. Willa went inside and started preparations for everything as I hooked the hose to the propane tank under the coach. I checked the bad place in the hose that I had repaired a few years ago. It seemed fine because I put some spit on the tape over the break to check for leaks. No leaks. As I went to set up the grill I noticed that the round plastic control handle on the front of the regulator was cracked. I assumed it had slid around in the compartment and smashed against the wall. It was made of plastic and it had numbers on it so you could regulate the gas supply and regulate the heat of the grill. I sat the grill on the table and reached for my match. I lit the match and stuck it thru the bottom hole in the grill and turned the plastic knob to start the gas to the grill. When I turned the knob it split in half and fell on the table. Hummmmmmmmmm ……. I reached in my tool compartment and found my long nose vise grips. There was a small stem sticking out where the plastic handle had been attached so I clicked the vise grips on stem and turned it. The grill lit almost instantly. I decided it was the best idea to leave the vise grips on the little stem so I could regulate the fire in the grill. The greatest problem was that the weight of the vise grips kept turning the grill up too high. To resolve this I found a small sardine can and put it under the handle of the vise grips and that solved the problem. Willa had marinated the steaks and they were ready for the grill so I stepped to the door to get the meat for the fire. As I stepped for the door I got my foot tangled in the gas hose and I accidentally jerked the grill sideways on the picnic table. In doing so the left back leg got caught in the crack between the boards on the picnic table. This broke the leg off flush with the bottom of the grill. It also disturbed the vice grips and they flipped over and fell on the ground under the table. Fire shot out of the top of the grill because it was now turned wide open. To my amazement the broken plastic knob was also the limiter concerning the amount of gas going to the grill. Without the plastic knob you could turn the grill up very high. Much higher than intended. I squatted down and crawled under the table looking for the vise grips. In doing so I put my knee in a pile of dog poop someone had not cleaned up. I said ‘’shux’’ .I found the vise grips, crawled out from under the table, locked the vise grips on the stem and turned the gas back down. Now the grill would rock on the three legs that were still attached to the grill. I looked around and found a small Van Camps Pork and Bean can that was almost the perfect height to go under the back of the grill to replace the broken off leg. I adjusted the fire again and slid my sardine can under the handle of the vise grips. Everything was fine. I got the steaks from Willa and put on the grill to cook. I lowered the lid to speed the cooking. When I lowered the lid I noticed it was sitting kinda off center of the grill. I looked at the back of the grill and noticed one of the hinges on the top of the grill was cracked and just dangling. I found a piece of barbwire and twisted it around the broken hinge. This seemed to fix the lid but when you opened the lid instead of stopping in the vertical position like it should, it flopped all the way down on the table. I found a piece of a wood to lean the grill lid against when I wanted to leave it open. I was very careful with this since we wanted steaks and this was the only grill we had. I eased the steaks on the grill and carefully closed the lid. It should be mentioned here that the handle on the lid has long been gone from the front of the lid. There is one quarter inch bolt with a string around it that is used for a handle to open the lid of the grill.
Ahhhhhhhhh the wonderful smell of steaks on a propane fire. I decided that the steaks would cook better if I had a beer in one hand while I tended the steaks on the grill.
‘’Willa, would you bring me a beer please.’’
Things kinda went down hill from here on.
First….. As I reached for the door I stumbled on the high step. I fell sideways and bumped into the picnic table. This caused the table legs to slide off the rocks that I was using to level the table. In doing so things started happening in slow motion.
Two… When the picnic table legs dropped off piles of rocks the table slumped down and the grill slid sideways. In doing so the grill hopped off the Van Camp Pork and Bean can making the grill slump sideways causing the vise grips to fall off the sardine can. This caused the vise grips to fall and turn the gas wide open and fire shot out the sides of the grill. This also caused the vise grips to pop off the stem on the gas regulator valve. The vise grips fell back under the table again.
Three… In a panic I grabbed the string on the grill lid and yanked the lid open causing it to completely break off the grill. Fire shot up about three feet. Our steaks were turning to charcoal and my awning over the grill was turning brown from the heat from the flames. In a panic I tried to turn off the gas using my fingers. No way.
The awning was starting to get really hot and I knew I had to do something quick or we would be in real trouble. I grabbed my spatula and tossed the burning steaks out in the road. I grabbed the lid and set it back on the grill. This caused the flames to go sideways instead of straight up. I looked around for something to throw on the awning to keep it from catching fire. All I could find was a bottle of Worcester Sauce. I ripped off the cap and tried to fling the sauce on the now melting awning.
By some mericle Willa popped open the door with a beer in her hand she was bringing me. I grabbed it and cracked the tab and shook the can. It worked well in putting out the now scorching awning. When the beer stopped spurting out of the can I scrambled under the picnic table to find the vise grips. I put my other knee in the dog poop again. I got the vise grips on the regulator valve and turned off the gas

‘’What the heck are you doing out here?’’ ‘’Where are our steaks?’’ ‘’Are you trying to set the awning on fire?’’ ‘’Why do you have dog poop on your clothes?’’ Willa asked.

My response was not what she wanted to hear and can not be printed here but I can assure you she was not pleased. She simply slammed the door in a huff.
‘’I’m fixing me a B.L.T. you can fend for yourself’’……..
I scraped all the dog poop I could off my jeans and put away my grill as best I could. I saved the cans so we could use the grill again in the future.
An hour later I went inside there was a can of cold beans and a spoon on the table. There was also a note explaining that she had gone to bed to read and did not want to be disturbed…………….
I ate the beans and watched some French television and slept on the sofa……..

The adventure continues.... on the road to Alaska
Seajay the sailor man...................

ps. If these get too long or too boring just tell me and I will stop posting. They are actually based on facts and events along the Alaska highway... They are embellished to a point but never the less based on happenings..

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Old 03-19-2010, 02:12 AM   #2
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...ahhhh.... I am sure many are chuckling as they read your post, Seajay.

*MonacoMama with the 2 Pins & SacsTC Nearby*
*2007 Monaco Diplomat 40' SFT<>2006 Chevy VortecMax Toad<>2006 Buick Lucerne Leading the Way*
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:45 AM   #3
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Now we're camping...I can't wait to hear about building the "campfar" that night along the side of the road with just enough room to safely pull over.

Keep'em coming Seajay. And we're certainly glad you got off that ship before you sunk it...or did you?
Jim with Judy
2017 Newmar Ventana 4369, 2005 Jeep Wrangler (Rock Crawler), 2016 Jeep Wrangler (Mall Crawler)
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:49 AM   #4
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The camp fire.. First one on the alcan


“Oh honey, when we stop tonight lets build a big campfire and have a weenie roast. We can bake some potatoes in the hot ashes and roast some marshmallows too.”
We pulled into the Bear Trap camp ground and as I registered I noticed bundles of firewood stacked in the office. The sign said “Firewood 3.00 per bundle”
“Say pal, is there any place around here that I can get my own firewood”?
“Sure is mister. Just go out the road in the back of the campground and you can gather all you want for free.”
I thanked him and after the coach was set up I got the ax our from under the “stuff” in the back of the Tracker. Now it should be understood that I actually found this ax. The handle is split and held together by black tape. The head on the ax is loose but I have driven a couple of nails in it and bent then over to help hold it on. The ax is pretty dull but it works well for driving things in the ground. I dropped the ax in the passengers seat and headed out toward the back of the campground. The road went from the campground over a hill and down onto the side of a mountain. I eased along looking for a tree. I spotted one up an embankment that was perfect. It was dead and very close to the edge of the top of the embankment. I retrieved my trusty ax and climbed the embankment. This will be easy I said to myself. I gave the rotten tree a kick and two of the limbs fell from the top of the tree. I took my trusty ax and gave the old tree a good whack.
At this point it should be understood that because some of the limbs on a tree are rotten, the rest of the tree might not be rotten. Sometimes the tree is simply dried out and turns to the consistency of high carbon steel.
The ax simply went into the trunk of the tree about half an inch and stuck fast. After some twisting and wiggling I got the ax unstuck. I changed my stance and with great determination, delivered a Paul Bunion swing with the ax.
Things started happening in a sort of a “slow motion” , “rapid succession” situation.
First…… my right foot slipped over the edge of the ten foot embankment.
Second as my foot slid over the embankment, I lost my balance and my point of aim with the ax.
Third upon “loosing my point of aim” with the ax and due to the velocity I had swung the ax, I was unable to “stop” the ax midswing.
Fourth the ax handle hit the tree about one inch below the ax head. The handle broke clean leaving the ax head flying thru space like a rocket.. The ax head skipped across the top of the Tracker cutting a slice about four inches long in the cloth top. I completely lost my balance and tumbled down the ten foot embankment to a large puddle at the bottom. I still had the ax handle in my hand. A few more rotten limbs rained down on me as I wallowed in the puddle using the broken ax handle for a crutch. I regained my feet and realized that I had lost the keys to the Tracker. I searched the embankment and the edge of the road. Using my fingers I sifted the mud and after about thirty minutes of “sifting mud” I flopped in the seat of the Tracker for a rest. The keys were still in the ignition switch.
I returned to the coach with a few rotten limbs and an ax handle for firewood. Willa was setting at the kitchen table watching French television and eating a bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich.
“I figured you were never coming back so I fixed me something to eat”. “you look like you have been wrestling a pig, and you lost”. “I’ll get you some clean clothes and a bucket of water because the showers are closed by now”. “I am going to go to bed to read, you can fix your own supper”.
I had a can of cold beans and went to sleep on the sofa again.

Willa and me going to Alaska .....
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:54 AM   #5
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Too funny!

Are you making this up??

Naw, can't be, sounds too much like my adventures!
Michael (Home base Northern CO)
USED TO HAVE; 03 Alpine 40MDTS Now RVless
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:16 AM   #6
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No, no, no Seajay. That ain't the one. But it was still fun reading. BTW, its "campfar" to us Texas Boomers.

Jim with Judy
2017 Newmar Ventana 4369, 2005 Jeep Wrangler (Rock Crawler), 2016 Jeep Wrangler (Mall Crawler)
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