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John Pettitt holding the “Ryder Cup” 1985

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Kingman AZ - Halltown MO

As the outside temperatures were in the low 100’s it did not need much of a pull for the old girl to start overheating, in fact I tried to circumvent this by putting on the manual fan before I started the climbs.

Then I had another scare about half an hour before Kingman AZ, the Green T of the Thermo King went out and stayed out for half an hour before coming back on again. I did a manual check of the cycle and everything was working fine, this I reported to our fridge engineer and his conclusion was that there must be a loose wiring connection to this particular warning light. See how it goes tomorrow.

Monday 17th June. Had a nice shower and shave, and then set off. Today was going to be a day of fast running, because the speed limits in Arizona and New Mexico are 75 miles an hour. I checked the fridge and it appeared to be functioning correctly, so I assume that it must have been a severe bump in the road, which switched it off and likewise for switching it back on again. I first noticed that the truck was not pulling well at all as I made the sixteen-mile climb up towards Williams AZ and from then on it only became worse, especially on any sort of climb. It was missing very badly, but still running, so as I had to make miles I pushed on best I could.

Unfortunately, because the performance deteriorated so much I was forced to pull in to a Truck Stop, where it was hoped I could purchase a tool to remove the old filter. Another bad decision, not a tool to be found, so in the end I managed to remove it by using my belt wrapped round for grip and leverage. Fitted the new one and I was on my way again. At first it coughed and spluttered for a while and then settled down to run quite smoothly. I covered 656 miles for the day and pulled in to a Truck Stop at San Jon NM and had a little Kentucky fried chicken and a diet Pepsi.

Apart from the problems it had been a very nice day and it was especially nice to see all the old places that I visited with Yvonne on our holiday in 2001. I am sure that she will want to see all the Indian Shops which are scattered all along the road in Arizona.

Tuesday 18th June. I was straight out of bed at 0700 hrs to do the pre-trip then on the pedals. I would be stopping for fuel and a free shower only an hour and a half up the road at the Flying J. in Amarillo TX.

The sky looked overcast, but the sun was bright and round as usual staring me straight in the face as I was driving due east. The shower was superb, but then it was time for work. As I left Amarillo TX and headed for Oklahoma, the landscape seemed to flatten out and become greener. It was a shame to leave the rugged beauty of the desert states, as I much prefer to be out west. As a Bridge near the Arkansas State line has collapsed into the river, having been hit by a river barge I have been routed up Interstate 44 through Tulsa, Joplin, Springfield, St.Louis and then on to Louisville KY. I had to pay tolls on the Turner Turnpike and the Will Rogers Turnpike in Oklahoma. I covered 607 miles today in 9 hours driving, which is an average of 67 miles per hour – not bad Eh! The last driving session from Amarillo TX to Halltown MO I covered non-stop in seven and a half hours. I could not get away with that in Europe. Supper tonight was a bowl of homemade vegetable soup and a hamburger and salad. It was excellent value for seven dollars.

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