Back from Canada, camped at Skagit Speedway

Welcome back to my latest blog entry. Right now I'm camped here at Skagit Speedway, it is Thursday (3 Sept) at 9:30pm pst. I'm watching the college football game between Oregon vs Boise St, Boise St so is dominating the game but Oregon is starting to make a comeback. Earlier tonight all of us (Bill & Linda, Jim & Lucy, Frank & Cathy, Walt & Gaye, Tom and I) went out to dinner to our favorite restaurant the Chuckanut Manor, it is a Bed & Breakfast out on the coast, excellent food and service. After we got back I fired up the generator (that is another story later in this blog) and turned on the satellite to watch Big Brother, and just as I said in my last blog, Jeff screwed up when he had veto power and this week Kevin got him out of the game. Now my new favorite to win Big Brother is the fag (oops I mean homosexual) Kevin. Now lets catch you up on my trip through Canada, what an adventure.

Last Wednesday I took off from Minot, ND and headed for Edmonton, Canada, I purposely waited about 30 minutes after Bill & Linda & Eloy took off, that way we all didn't arrive at the border in a convoy. We had gotten word the night before that Jac & Patty Haudenschild got turned away at the border at Portal, ND. I don't know why they got turned away, but they did and Jac missed the races in Edmonton. When I arrived at the border I knew it might be dicey getting across, Eloy was there and his motorhome & scoreboard was already headed in the wrong direction and Bill & Linda were parked in the inspection area. I wasn't sure what was going to happen, I got to the checkpoint and answered all the questions and was told to park the RV and go inside with my passport. When I got to immigration, I was asked about 100 questions about myself and Woody, the old gal remembered that Woody had been through that border crossing before but that it was an older man with a gray beard and his wife, I told her they were my parents and they retired last year and Woody is all mine now. She tried like hell to get me to say Woody was a tow truck, but I never buckled and just kept repeating that Woody was just a push truck & safety truck, finally she relented and told me to go to customs and if I cleared cutoms that I could enter Canada. Two women walked me out to my RV and they searched the RV & trailer and after about 20 minutes, they let me by and told me to have a good time in Canada. As for Bill & Linda, they made it in, but poor Eloy, they turned him around and didn't let him in Canada, it has something to do with his scoreboard, but I don't know any specifics. I just feel bad for Eloy. After I got into Canada, I caught up with Bill & Linda and we drove to Saskatoon and spent the night at the WalMart. The plains of Canada are just as boring as the plains in the US, it was like I was stuck in Kansas or Nebraska, boring.

Thursday was another long day of driving, and another day of boring ass wheat & alfalfa fields. After 400 miles of driving, I arrived at Castrol Speeday in Edmonton, Canada, and was happy to see Jim & Lucy with Frank & Cathy Carr. After getting settled in, we were all invited to a dinner to the owner of Castrol Speedway (Rob), so all of us piled into two vehicles (me, Bill & Linda, Jim & Lucy, Frank & Cathy, Carlton, Justin, and of course how can I forget Tony V) see Tony I didn't forget you this time. What a beautiful house Rob has, and the food was outstanding, we were also joined by the SLS guys (Scott, Larry, & Joe) and Craig Dollansky. It was a nice dinner and good conversation and after driving 400 miles, if I didn't have to cook, I was happy.

Friday was a really nice day, blue skies with a little overcast with the temp around 30 degrees C, somewhere around 90 degrees F. The drivers meeting went down around 6:00pm and racing started around 7:30pm. The track could use a little better clay, but it is a nice facility. The track is a bit tricky for the drivers, but they do put on a good show there. We only had 24 cars each night, and I'd say 10 of them were 360's, but Friday nights race was an exciting one for 2nd through 10th. Joey dominated the race, but the best show was watching Craig mount a charge from 11th to 3rd in the last 15 laps running the fence in both ends of the track. It was a good race and the fans were really happy with it afterwards when I think 90% of them came down to the pits to meet the drivers and crews.

Saturday was just like Friday, except there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Again Joey dominated the A-Main, Jason Meyers might have won it, because he found the rubber in 1 & 2 before Joey and passed him, but the red came out for Dollansky before the lap could be completed, so now Joey got the lead back and Jason showed him the rubber, game over and Joey wins. I guess having a teammate can help you out sometimes. Again after the races, a ton of fans came down to meet everyone, I stayed around for about 1 1/2 hours talking with the fans and signing autographs. If it weren't for the fans, there would be no WoO or Work'n Woody.

Sunday morning, I was up by 7:00am so we could be on the road by 9:00am, we decided to convoy to Frank & Cathy's house in Vancouver, BC, Canada. So, according to Bill's garmin (he calls it Nancy Bitch) we had 765 miles to drive, we planned it for a two-day trip. We had six RV's and one Duely w/trailer (Frank & Cathy, Bill & Linda, Jim & Lucy, Tom, myself, Don and Justin & Tony driving the duely w/the tech trailer) see Tony, now I have mentioned you twice, your a star. Frank & Cathy's trip plan was to take us through the Canadian Rockies and travel through Baniff National Park, the first day we drove 420 miles through some of the most scenic views I've seen, if it wasn't for the smoke from all the wildfires burning in Canada, it would have been gorgous. My new turbo in the RV did a great job, however on the big climb of the day I did overheat the motor, the temp got to around 240 when I got to the summit, but it colled down on the decent. We all arrived in Revalstoke, Canada around 7:30pm. I was a little worried about overheating on the next days big climbs, but Bill reminded me to just take the climbs slower in a lower gear and keep the rpms around 2300. So, I was a little nervous about the next days drive.

Monday I was up at 7:30am and we were all on the road again headed for Frank & Cathy's, we did loose Justin & Tony, they wanted to get back to the U.S., so they took a more direct path and traveled by themselves. We did stop at a small town where Frank knows a good refrigerator guy and Tom & Bill were both having frig issues in the RV's, we spent around 2 1/2 hours there, but they did get there frig's working. Now for the drive, Frank wasn't kidding about the big climb ahead of us, I don't remember the town we left before the big climb, but my altimeter read 1,040ft and at the end of the climb it read 5600ft, it went straight up at a 6-8% grade for about 20 miles. Needless to say, the first 5 miles I was in 3rd gear at about 35 mph, when the motor started to heat up, I dropped it down a gear and drove the final 15 miles at 25 mph, by the time I got to the summit, I had a cramp in my right leg from my big toe to my groin, I'm pretty sure I've never pulled a hill like that ever before, (I seriously thought I might have to stop and unload Woody and pull my RV the final mile up the hill), but my 15yr old RV with 300,000 miles on it made it just fine. There were a couple more hills, but nothing compared to that one. We arrived at Frank & Cathy's around 7:00pm. I was just glad to get there with no issues.

Tuesday at Frank's, it was supposed to be a lazy day washing Woody and the RV, but it turned into a crappy day and more work than I wanted. I decided to plug into Frank's house to just charge my batteries, big mistake, either it was bad electricity or a bad cord, whichever it was, it blew up my inverter, so now I can't get AC power unless I run my generator (if you remember in the first paragraph, I told you would find out why I mentioned my generator), that sucks the big one. After I worked on that for a couple hours, it was time to work on Woody, I needed to replace the header gasket on the left side of the engine, so after removing the fender and side board, I replaced the gasket, however, it now I have a bigger exhaust leak than I did with the old gasket, it isn't bad, but the engine sounds like crap at an idle. I will fix it at Chico next week. After I got Woody put back together, I started to wash him, well, then it starts to rain, I was pissed by that point, so I continued to wash him in the rain. I got all cleaned up and started my laundry and then had an awesome dinner that the girls (Cathy, Linda & Lucy) cooked up, man was it delicious, at least my night ended on a postive note with an overstuffed belly.

Wednesday I had to get up kinda early so I could wash my RV, since I ran out of time yesterday, I had the RV clean and filled with water and ready to travel by 10:00am, again the girls + Bill made brunch. So around 12:00pm with my belly stuffed, I took off for Skagit. I was dreading crossing the border because last year when I tried to cross the Sumas border, I was searched and hassled and I caused a big back up into Canada. So, I was figuring that my RV and my passport would cause a big red flag and I would be in for a hard time, but to my surprise, I had no problems and made it through without any issues. I arrived at the track around 5:00pm after stopping at Camping World to get my inverter looked at, just as I thought, I blew a circuit board and they couldn't help me, so I headed for the track after filling up with diesel ($330 at $2.91/gal, damn Washington is expensive, no wonder they have the highest suicide rate of the 50 states). I do need to apologize to my daughter Selena, I missed calling her on her 11th Birthday, I screwed up and thought Wednesday was Sept 1st, but it was the 2nd and Selena's B-day is on the 1st. So, I called her to apologize and wish her a Happy Birthday, so she told me it was OK that I didn't call on her B-day and that she knew that I loved her and I was thinking of her on her B-day. What a great kid, but I still feel bad that I missed it. I Love You Selena, I hope you had a great time in Orlando.

Today, was the day to catch up with all my missed calls on my phone and all my emails on the laptop. When I was in Canada, I didn't use my phone or my wireless card (way to damn expensive). It took me about 4 hours to catch up and pay some bills and make some calls. Now your caught up with what I've been up to, I enjoyed my week in Canada and met some really neat fans in Edmonton. If there was an easier way to get all of us across the border and we didn't get hassled (either direction) then going into Canada wouldn't be so stressful. Hopefully the weather holds out and we get all the races in this Labor Day Weekend, the forecast doesn't look good, but you never know up here in the Northwest.

Again, I want to thank all the fans for supporting me and Work 'N Woody and the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. So, until my next blog, stay safe and keep all four wheels on the ground.
Work 'N Woody,
"Just Push'n Off"