Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Success with the slide seal and counting down our days in Durango

We have been staying in the same site here at Alpen Rose RV Park for the last several years.  It is on the eastern end of a row with exceptional views and a huge grassy yard, but, almost every day the wind whistles up the valley from the south and on the end there is no protection.  Usually there is a break in the wind, but this year has been bad, we've only been able to sit outside a couple of times.  We decided to try another site as an experiment, it is on the other end of the row, and has trees and shrubs blocking most of the wind.  We think we will probably switch to this site next year when we come back, we lose a bit of the view, but still have a large grassy yard, and it is mostly out of the wind.  And of course moving meant we had to retract and extend the slide on which we had just replaced the seal, and we are happy to report it worked perfectly, a resounding success!  When we get close to the end of our stay we make a list of the couple of things we still want to do, restaurants we want to go to, hikes we want to do, well, you get the idea.

One thing we hadn't done yet was to pick up a sushi lunch and go to the overlook above the Hermosa Valley, it's got a great view, and a nice 2/3 mile walking trail.  And yes, if you have been a reader for awhile, you've seen similar pictures.

Looking north 

And south back toward Durango
Haviland Lake is just north of us up Hwy 550 towards Silverton, it is a gorgeous small lake that we have visited many times, even if just to sit near the shore and have coffee.  We decided to try to hike around it.  What a mistake:-)  A guide book said there was a "fishing trail" around the lake, but what we found was an almost non existent path, that cut along a cliff with broken unstable chunks of sharp rock that was particularly challenging, then when finally around that area, the path split into many routes that cut through high grass peppered with thistles and brambles that poked us and stuck in our clothing.  Then we had to turn around several times to avoid boggy areas, but finally made it around.  Even with the challenges the lake is beautiful, we felt triumphant and also said at almost the same instant, "we aren't ever doing that again!"
A nice view across the lake

Look how clear that water is!
The wax valve I talked about in the last post arrived so we got it replaced.  It was a pretty easy job.  We drained as much antifreeze out of our coolant tank as we could, and then temporarily moved our hydraulic filter to make room to get to the valve.
The filter unhooked from its mount

Then pushed out of the way
That gave us fairly easy access to the wax valve.
Pretty wide open now to the valve
We knew we wouldn't lose much hydraulic fluid when we removed the small lines as we had already done that previously, but even with draining the coolant tank, the position at about halfway down the radiator, we knew we were going to have a mess with the coolant spewing out.  We whittled a cork down to fit the hole, and as quickly as I could, removed the valve and jammed the cork in place while we removed the fittings from the old valve and installed them in the new valve.
The cork in the dike:-)

Changing over the fittings
Then in reverse, pop the cork, and jam in the new valve as fast as possible.  We figure we only lost about 1 quart or so.  New valve all in, ran the engine, made sure we had no leaks, and made sure the fan was running at a slow speed.  All checked out.
New valve all installed
We ran the engine at high idle for 20 minutes, but couldn't get it hot enough to have the fan speed come up, so the real test will be when we leave here to drive down to Taos over a pretty big pass to really see if the new valve works correctly.  We have our fingers crossed.

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