Bear's Odyssey: 2017

Discussion in 'Adventures & Excursions' started by Bear, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Camp Pacific Beach, Washington
    Sunday, July 23, 2017

    THE ODYSSEY
    Life after the Appalachian Trail

    Howdy Sunshine! Hello America!

    It’s time, again, to grab yourself a cup of joe and saddle up to the digital campfire for the next tale from the Whispering Wind. Get comfortable and stay awhile. I hope to not disappoint you.

    THE ARRESTING AGENT

    Life after the Appalachian Trail hasn’t been all that I had hoped. Actually, that is an incorrect statement because I didn’t know what to expect upon exiting Amtrak in Everett, Washington on March 24th. One moment visions of traversing 2,200 miles on foot are in sight---and the next---finds great uncertainty surrounding the future. Though the days that have followed have been sprinkled with moments of glory, life’s passion has been missing in action (MIA). The sense of accomplishment has either gone into hibernation or drowned in self-preservation, either way it, too, is MIA. The West Coast Base Camp, affectionately referred to as Camp Coddiwomple, has had a strangle hold on the psyche. Not the camp itself but rather elements within the camp. What was once an isle of paradise has become a molten bed of hot lava. This is why I am now camped along the West Coast.

    Dissatisfaction with my place in life has led to harsh realities---truths of what is so. The past few seasons have continued to fuel this level of emotion, the result of which stems from self-reflection. Thinking too much about the past, present and future can sometimes lead to unhealthy consequences. Each trip back to camp enabled the spirit to stay longer than the previous visit, which is not the desired outcome. Each time this happens more thought is dedicated to the three elements of time than I would have liked; it takes me out of the moment. Why is that? It is due to a couple of reasons. I’ll address the arresting agent first.

    Electromagnetic energy has the finite ability to change the body chemistry before the mind is even aware of its presence. Its impact on self-motivation is crippling at times. Unless a loved one is available to voice observation of one’s daily activity level, EHS can knock the wind from a person’s sail before it is even realized the wind has stopped blowing. And once the wind has stopped blowing lethargy creeps in and shortly thereafter the headaches follow, along with stress, sleep disturbances, skin prickling, burning sensations and rashes, aches and pains in muscles as well as other health problems.

    Once the headaches reach a level of distraction, headaches tend to blur the mind’s ability to self-diagnose what is happening to the body. If the connection isn’t made between cause and effect, more serious problems may set in. And once this level is achieved a person starts to feel trapped, paralyzed to change their surroundings or circumstances. I was diagnosed with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) towards the end of my naval career. With no exceptions, I’ve been wading through each one of these symptoms alone and some of them have compounded, especially sense returning to Camp Coddiwomple. EHS changes a person’s life forever and inconveniences loved ones, especially those who cannot comprehend what it is a person struggles with.

    The monster in camp, known as WiFi, has grown in strength and is aided by the cellular tower installed just beyond the hill that separates camp from the highway. In being slow to realize cause and effect, my energy levels plummeted and headaches have gotten much worse.

    Why was I slow to pick up on the changes within? In part, because I’ve been distracted by the financial burden I’ve created for myself, which was competing for focus on the matters concerning a lack of accomplishment and gratification in my day-to-day life; to change the world around me and make it a better place.

    THE ACCOMPLICE

    If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…
    the people who give you their food give you their heart.” ~ Cesar Chavez

    In the past, I’ve written Odyssey Letters discussing the age old questions: What is friendship? For some of you it may be an easier question to respond to than it is for others. As for me, the difficulty in responding to this inquiry ranks right up there with: So, where are you from?

    It is of my personal opinion that the words “friend” and “best friend” are loosely used in this country as they are often tied to ulterior motives---need fulfillment. There are many in this nation who will call anyone that smiles or says hello a friend. Social media is the perfect example of this. I’m not so generous. I’ve known thousands of acquaintances throughout a lifetime, but it isn’t without a lot of careful consideration that an individual may be labeled a friend. To begin with, if I don’t know your first AND last name---AND---we haven’t broken bread together and shared a few laughs, you are not a friend but perhaps a friendly acquaintance. This line of thought stems from decades of experience.

    As far back as the memory will permit, I’ve been used as a “friend of convenience” by many and seen as a legitimate friend by few. Meaning, others will use me as a cure for boredom or when the mundane moments of life set in; or if a confidant, a sounding board is needed. But the moment I fix what ails the individual or someone of greater interest comes along, I am soon forgotten. My feelings are seldom taken into consideration during those moments. This is especially true in environments where alcohol is the beverage of choice. Because I don’t wish to partake in the consumption of such spirits, my company is not welcomed as much as those who do. Doubt me? I can count on two hands the number of times over the past five decades that I have been invited to a party. The numbers aren’t much greater for being invited to dinner.

    Like the reader, I too would like to experience love through the many facets of life, including friendship. Friendship and love was a foreign concept in the house I was born into. I had hoped marriage would have cultivated the experience---but it was a bust. And given the transient lifestyle I was born into (U.S. Air Force) and continued to maintain compliments of a military career (U.S. Navy), friendship hasn’t been abundant. Childhood was a lonely period and adulthood hasn’t fared much better. By the time I had retired, I had accumulated 40 previous addresses and more would be added throughout the travels of The Odyssey. With each move the kindling of friendship became harder and harder to accomplish. And throw in the age factor, its as though the older people get the less we as spirited beings wish to invest in new friendships. Ask yourself this: When was the last time you established a sincere and loyal friendship?

    My best friends throughout life were canines. Unfortunately, for some of us, the Holy Spirit designed human beings to be social creatures. This fact has never escaped me. It has been like a plague. Try as I might to push this fact aside, I can’t undo genetics. And as a result of this generous gift from the heavens, I have lived a pretty lonely life and shed many a tears because of it. How many times have I heard: You’re living the dream, Bear. What dream? The dream of living life without love? The dream of being alone? The dream of being orphaned? The dream of living in envy? The dream that one conversation could start a new friendship? The dream of being accepted for who I am? The dream of never again being with the woman whom resides within my heart? The dream of hoping tomorrow never comes? What dream? Each time the words I'm "living the dream" comes from a married couple or persons in a relationship, I just want to slap them and tell 'em to wake up---your living the dream! People who have family at home to hug and to love should never speak such nonsense nor think such thoughts.

    Yes, I have the freedom to travel as I wish and there are those of you who call this the dream. Here is my idea of the perfect dream: “A quiet secluded life in the country with the possibility of being useful to people whom it is easy to do good and who are not accustomed to having it done to them; the work which one hopes may be of some use; the rest, nature, books, music, love for ones neighbor---such is my idea of happiness.” ~ Leo Tolstoy. For me what is missing from this equation is the unconditional love of a good dog and the unconditional love of a good woman. Finding such a dog has never been difficult. Finding such a woman has been an impossible task. Try finding that woman that looks for nothing more in a man than his heart and soul. I laugh at the new Tim McGraw and Faith Hill song: Speak to a Girl. The woman in that song doesn’t exist---she never has! But I sure wish she did. Compliments of technology, it is becoming increasing more challenging to find that plot of land in this country that isn’t inundated by the harmful effects of electromagnetic energy.

    The history of The Odyssey will show that not nearly as much cooking has been accomplished from the stern end of the Stagecoach as I would like. And not for the reasons you might think. Why? Because one of the greatest challenges in life is to cook a meal for one and then sit down to an empty table. The latter is harder than the first. It is equivalent to self-torture. So, vice putting up with this kind of self-torture in my own home, I’d take my beatings in the Mom & Pop restaurants and coffee houses from coast to coast. I used to wake up most mornings in hopes of finding a place serving breakfast, a place where the locals like to go. This, so that I could ward off another day without meaningful conversation. This, in an attempt to fill the bottomless void in the center of the chest.

    Over the years I have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars in hopes of drawing the interest of strangers. In hopes one person might find me interesting enough to aid in keeping a conversation alive and would invite me back to converse somemore. I can initiate a conversation easy enough, but if I don’t know my audience I struggle to keep a conversation going. This cycle of self-abuse---more often than not---didn’t generated the results I had hoped for. And I would pull out of each and every small town with my heart in a lonely place.

    In the early years, there was always Black Jack (Doberman/Beagle mix) to lean on when I walked out the door of a restaurant. He’d listen to my every word and never complain. As his reward I’d find him a place to enjoy vanilla ice cream. Once he past away, though, it became a greater challenge to walk into a diner because I knew there wouldn’t be anyone there for me when I’d walk back out.

    GREATER CHALLENGES

    When the depression/recession hit this country in 2007, I was doing pretty well financially. The 2002 Jeep Wrangler I had been driving was paid off and the Stagecoach wasn’t far behind. These were my retirement gifts to me. In the spring of 2009, that Wrangler collided with a Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck, on an unkempt icy road, in the middle of a Boy Scout camp, in Minnesota. At no more than 12 MPH the Jeep ripped open that Dodge from bow to stern like a can opener, knocked out the rear suspension, and took out the drive shaft. When it was all said and done, I turned the Jeep around and drove it 20 miles into town to a local body shop. As for the truck, it had to be hauled to the same shop. The insurance company wrote the Jeep up as a lose and opted to repair the truck simply because it was three years newer. Go figure.

    The loss of that Jeep, timed with the depression/recession, as well as the bad habits already established in hopes of meeting people, was the beginning of a downward financial spiral. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity has made it difficult to turn back that tide. Try finding employment in which the working environment is WiFi and cellular free. Try getting hired and not have a phone number to provide.

    This set of circumstances compounded by the repairs of an aging vehicle have all but bankrupted me. With every passing month the situation only gets worth. The light at the end of the tunnel: two loans will be paid off at the end of next year. Loans that were used to pay off the credit cards that paid for the meals in hopes of feeding a lonely heart. The delusion: Those same two cards need to be paid off again, and for that reason---and certainly not the primary reason, camp politics takes that crown---I’ve had to place the West Coast Base Camp up for sale. It has become a vicious cycle and I would just like it all to end---and end it will!

    There is only one way to happiness…
    and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” ~Epictetus

    Over the past couple of years I’ve come to the realization of the trap I had fallen into, the cycle of abuse. And for what? In hopes that my presence, in a world where I’ve never thought I belonged since the age of five, would be welcomed? In a world that has made it quite clear that I’m not welcomed unless I have something to give it. I’ve grown tired of such nonsense. I’ve grown tired of giving from the heart and having little to feed it. One day I’m going to disappear from this forum, from the grid, from mankind, because I’d rather be lost in the woods than found in the city, standing alone in a crowded room. But that time is not today, tomorrow or anytime this year. It is, however, long overdue that I start feeding the soul of this man and you could help. I believe in the power of the collective consciousness. If there is a heart of goodness within you, please say a prayer for this heart and that it may be healed; that one day I will overcome electromagnetic hypersensitivity; and that the camp will soon be sold for at the asking price. I would be grateful.

    God bless you and yours.

    To be continued...more to come on the subject of life after the Appalachian Trail.

    That’s it from the road. This is Brother Bear signing out.

    Walk in Beauty,

    BEAR
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  2. Randy

    Randy Junior Ranger Donating Member

    Hey Bear (ha ha, always wanted to say that)

    It saddens me to hear about your health and financial struggles. I was also touched by your yearning for human relationship. Many before you have come to the conclusion that in the end, love is all that matters. Consider the famous quote from Chstopher McCandless from Into the Wild "Happiness in only real when shared."

    My favorite TV show is Alone on the History Chanel. It is a competition where the contestants are sent into the wild with minimal survival gear, separated by 10 miles or so. They can tap out at any time and the one who stays the longest wins $500,000. They never know how many contestants are left until the crew arrives to tell them they won. This season they are on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The record was set last season at 78 days. Many of the contestants tap out early due to poor survival skills, but in the past three seasons it ends up being the mental challenge of being alone and missing loved ones that causes most to tap out. All come away with a heightened appreciation for their family and friends. It's fascinating to me to watch them go through that transformation.

    With all that stated, just writing to wish you well and encourage you. Prayers that you find the relationships that you long for. One piece of unsolicited advice I would offer you is to get that pup! Dog lovers are not meant to be without a dog. My dog changed my life! Any pup would be blessed to be sharing the Odyssey with you!

    Lastly, you really should consider turning your Odyssey into a manuscript. I for one enjoy reading your posts immensely. Who knows, if published it could bring relief to your financial situation!

    Never tap out Mr, Bear! May God watch over you and provide.

    Sincerely,

    Randy and Rika the Vizsla
     
    Evan likes this.
  3. Handben

    Handben Novice Donating Member

    Hi Bear,
    As a physician who tries to heal when possible and comfort always, it pains me to see you suffer so. In reading your posts over the years, I do see some themes that run through many. Obviously you prefer being in the country rather than the city. You eschew technology and yearn for a simpler existence. You also want more human connections than you current are experiencing. From the above post, I gather that finances have become difficult.

    In consideration of these realities, I wonder if you've considered looking for work on a farm. You are probably aware that there are all manner of farms and lots of work to be done to keep these running. I bet that if you were to offer your services on many organic farms, you could find work that would ease some of the financial strain, offer a place to temporarily settle with the Stage Coach and afford human and other animal connections while working. With a quick search on "HipCamp", I see 3 farms that offer camping in your immediate vicinity. I don't know that they are offering work at these but it would not surprise me if they could use a hand keeping things running smoothly.

    I hope I've not meddled where I do not belong and that you'll find the peace and happiness you are searching for. Ben H
     
    Randy likes this.
  4. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Thank you, Randy. The warmth and kindness as your gentle soul shines through in your words above. God bless you and yours.

    Alone? Never heard of it. When people share stories with me regarding such a survivor show curiosity naturally asks: How would I do? I do believe I would fare better than most and wouldn't fare well enough in comparison to some.

    As for that pup, you are absolutely right---a pup is long overdue. Though five attempts have been made since Black Jack's passing, something has always stood in the way of making it happen. Stories of which have been saved for the manuscripts. That's right, I have three manuscripts written with regards to this travel adventure. You're not the first one to encourage me to add a binding to the printed word. But because encouraging words like yours continues to roll in, I'm more determined than ever to see these projects through. Unfortunately though, I recently had to stop editing them because the word processor being used to produce the books came up lame. I've been scouring the Internet in hopes of a solution, and this past weekend I do believe the Great Spirit led me to the answers. So I hope to have this little hiccup resolved soon enough.

    With regards to the Holy Spirit, she has always taken care of my needs. I never have to worry that he wouldn't. I'm blessed to be aware of that. Wants on the other hand, I need to do a much better job of tuning into the universal manifestation machine.

    Randy, thank you for sharing your thoughts and words of encouragement. I do appreciate such gifts.

    Walk in Beauty,

    BEAR
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
    Randy likes this.
  5. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Ben,

    Your observations are astute and your suggestions are taken under advisement. And I truly appreciate your compassion.

    There was a time when I was working at Boy Scout camps and through the park service. They helped to keep the body young and flexible especially along the spinal column. More importantly, these places used to be safe havens from electromagnetic energy but not anymore. Many youth camps, as well as parks, welcome the additional revenue that allowing cellular towers to be built on the grounds provide.

    I have thought about farm work and value that idea; what I could learn from a farmer could be applied to my future homestead. Each time I see an ad along the roadside looking to hire more thought is given. Unfortunately, sometimes health stands between desire and ability. Military service has a way of doing that to mind and body.

    I've even thought about resuscitating my old lawn maintenance business, but the field work I voluntarily do now takes a toll on the body in particular when using the weed whacking devices and lawn trimmers.

    So, other than generating books that may or may not produce an income, I'm still seeking a position in this world that won't bombard me with electromagnet energy and will spare the spine. It seems like a tall order.

    Doc, thank you for your suggestions, kindness and gentle hand all of which were appreciated.

    Walk in Beauty,

    BEAR
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  6. Car

    Car Newbie

    Bear,

    I pray that you "may be healed; that one day you will overcome electromagnetic hypersensitivity; and that the camp will soon be sold for at the asking price."

    I, too, am a Navy Veteran (former air traffic controller) I am diagnosed as 100% disabled from toxic encephalopathy secondary to sensitivity to toxic chemical and physical agents including electromagnetic fields.

    The only treatment is to avoid the toxins. Easier said than done. Even if I find a place without cell phone radiation, smart meters, wireless, cordless, etc., I could be unable to stay because of fumes from chemical fragrances. I can't even use a laundromat.

    The vast majority, or, as far as I know, all of civilization is inaccessible to people like us, and there are many. I take it as a strong message to get out of the cities and rural ruined areas to fresh air, clean water, natural food, and, most importantly, away from the grid entirely.

    If it's any comfort, more and more people are becoming aware of this problem, unfortunately one by one, most of them are learning the hard way, like we already have.

    California is in a major battle to stop the progression of 5G. I pray they win and set a legal precedent applicable in all states.

    A modern day activist of this cause, Arthur Firstenberg is also EHS, just published a book entitled. "The Invisible Rainbow". I don't have it yet, but I have read a few good reports on the Yahoo EMF Refugee Group.

    I hope this helps. I look forward to good news.

    Sincerely,
    CAR
     
  7. pbaker2225

    pbaker2225 Junior Ranger Donating Member

    Bear, I am so sorry you are having physical and financial problems. The problem with the exposure to the cell phones and wifi must be very overwhelming. It is everywhere.
    I think all of us have a lot of acquaintances but not a lot of friends. I'm not a very good talker but I would welcome a visit from you. I don't know if my wifi was hurtful to you when you were here before or not.
    I will be praying for your healing and will ask for help from my small study group.
    I wish the best for you. Pat
     
  8. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    CAR,

    I suspect our paths have crossed and will add not enough. If you are the person I believe you to be, then I know with great certainty you understand firsthand the side affects that the electronic gods (the new golden calf) of our world is casting upon the health of mankind. What saddens me even more is the voiceless victims of the planet---the animal kingdom---that has to suffer, as you and I do, at the expense of man's greed. Unfortunately, now that man has gotten a taste of such devices as Wi-Fi , Smartphones, smart meters and other such gizmos, there won't be any way to turn back the tide. Especially from a generation that knows nothing of life before mobile phones.

    When I was diagnosed with EHS in 2005, Dr. Christopher was kind enough to share with me why he doesn't own a cellular phone, and didn't see that changing anytime in the foreseeable future. As a navy Lieutenant stationed at NAS Fallon, he had been assigned to study the effects of radio waves on the local community. His research made it clear the side affects were not worth the convenience such devices provided. No matter how many times I've shared this story as well as my personal experience with EMF (electromagnetic fields), I know of no one who has accepted the testimony to save themselves before it is too late. I know of no one who has even researched EHS or EMF to enlighten themselves that they could be facing the new cigarette of its day. Does this surprise me---not one iota. But I have been thinking what could I do more for the animals. These damn cell towers are everywhere anymore and there is no escaping them aside from moving off the grid and moving deep into wilderness country. And soon they will be there.

    I have more to say on this subject but do not wish to get on my soapbox. Don't be a stranger CAR. Let's catch up somewhere and talk about more exciting things.

    Walk in Beauty,

    BEAR
     
  9. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Thank you, Pat. I appreciate the prayer.

    And, you'd be right. Wireless technology is plaguing the planet and it's impact on health is making it more and more challenging to enjoy life. The problem with EHS, it often masks others issues that arise within the body. Sometimes EHS masks other issues for so long that they are not discovered until greater damage has been done.

    As for visiting your home...I don't recall what the effects were inside the home as that was a few years ago. But if memory serves me well there was a cell phone tower and/or radio tower nearby.

    Thank you for the invitation to come visit. I'll extend the offer for you to hitch up the camper and come visit the island before I sell the campsite and the West Coast Base Camp becomes a distant memory.

    Walk in Beauty,

    BEAR
     
  10. Car

    Car Newbie

    Yes, Bear, it's been too long a time. In regard to the health effects, people are waking up. There are legal implications for either the state or the industry in California over 5G and the firefighter's exemption to cell phone towers near fire stations. In 2004 firemen's brain scans showed injury from cell phone towers over the stations where they resided while on duty. ...For a history on EHS aka "microwave illness" here's a "tip of the iceberg" place to start for a newbie to the topic.
    http://www.cellphonetaskforce.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Electromagnetic_Hypersensitivity.pdf

    Take Care,
    CAR
     
  11. pbaker2225

    pbaker2225 Junior Ranger Donating Member

    It is amazing how hard it is to give up our conveniences even when we know they are harmful. Most of us are not feeling the affects so we ignore the warnings.
    I'll be heading out early to travel to Kansas and then to Wisconsin so won't have time for a visit before leaving. I appreciate the invite and later if you still have the site would like to visit. When are you leaving for CICO? I'll see you there. Pat
     
  12. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Correction Pat, most people do feel one side affect or another from electromagnetic energy, so shared Lt. Christopher. But the symptoms are often diagnosed to be something they are not.

    As for when I'll be heading to the Camp-Inn Camp-Outt that is a good question. I was scheduled to attend the 4th Annual Farm Gathering July 20 - 23rd 2017, in Westbank, British Columbia. The evening of Wednesday, July 19 the Stagecoach (camper) was hitched and ready to roll---everything was looking good and hopeful. Thursday morning as I was getting ready to rollout and head north the running lights and backup lights were no longer functional. That was a show stopper as I wasn't about to enter into a neighboring country without running lights. The brakes and turn signals are working just fine and so the Stagecoach can be towed during daylight hours (only). Installing new 7-way connectors on both the Jeep (Ponies) and 550 hasn't resolved the problem, and because I can never proclaim to be an electrician I still haven't located the problem. I haven't been able to follow the wires that weave through the Jeep Wrangler. Because of this, I still don't know on which end the problem lies. Is it with the Jeep or the camper?

    If that weren't enough, on Friday of that week, the brake warning alarm sounded and I do mean sounded. I wasn't even aware that any of the warning lights along the dash made sounds but this one sure did. That problem was easily identifiable and corrected---or so I thought.

    Once I thought the brake problem had been resolved, the shock mounts Les Schwab, in Spokane, installed less than 24 months ago decided to give up the ghost. At the time, the bolts to the mounts snapped off in place and the garage didn't have (or so they said) the tools to drill out the old bolts to create room for the new ones. So the mechanic drilled four new holes into the frame and jerry-rigged new mounts in place. That sort of craftsmanship didn't hold up to towing a camper as it caused the heads of the rear shocks to snap right off. So I had to report to Les Schwab in Oak Harbor, Washington to fix the mess the store in Spokane had created. By this point there was no way I was going to be able to attend the Farm Gathering.

    Unfortunately, brake solution wasn't the cure all. Now it appears that master cylinder (brake system) is leaking brake fluid oil into the engine, so tomorrow the Ponies go in for a transplant (new parts). Once fixed, I still have the light issue to deal with. A problem that has persisted off and on for nearly ten years if not more. I take the Jeep in to have the wires inspected and the inspectors tell me the camper is the problem. I take the camper into the factory and I'm told it is the Jeep. I have spent a lot of money in trying to resolve an ongoing problem that still continues to be a headache. At times, it is enough to want to sell them both and start from scratch.

    I just keep telling myself each circumstance just means another chapter in the books.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
  13. Handben

    Handben Novice Donating Member

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  14. Evan

    Evan Administrator Staff Member

    Bear,

    I'm so sorry to hear of all your electrical and other troubles. Have you tried hooking up someone else's vehicle to your trailer or your vehicle to another trailer? This might tell you where the wiring problem is.
     
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  15. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Funny you should ask that Evan...just today another friend suggested the same thing , he must have been tuned into your energy. So I connected Jenn's car to the Stagecoach and only the brake lights and turn signals worked on the camper as was the case when the Jeep was connected to it. So we took Jenn's tow vehicle back to her camper and reconnected her 550 and all the lights lit up. Again, I will never claim to be an electrician but the math implies that the electrical problem is not with the Ponies but with the Stagecoach. Tomorrow, the Jeep's brake repairs should be in order and the Wrangler out of the garage. With Jenn's permission, I'm going to connect the Jeep to her camper to further verify this morning's findings. I'll let you know if the findings are different.
     
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  16. Jenn

    Jenn Junior Ranger

    Yep. I think I am going to finally see my backup lights lit.
     
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  17. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Well Evan, the light test was administered today and I'm glad to report that it eliminated 50% of the possibilities. I hooked up the Ponies to Jennifer's 550 Classic and every light imaginable lit up. Where the Stagecoach was only producing turn signals and brake lights, through Jenn's rig the running lights, back-ups, brakes, and turn signals all illuminated. I can't begin to tell you how relieved I was while doing an Irish Jig at the same time. After years---nearly a decade---of frustration with the electrical problem, I can now eliminate the Jeep and focus all attention on the 550 Classic. There has to be a solution.

    Now I can't help wondering if the electrical current that runs through the aluminum siding, when it is plugged into shore power, is related to the light issue when it is going down the road. Any electricians care to take a stab at that one?

    This has been a good day. It would have been a better day had the realtor, I was trying to hire to sell the West Coast Base Camp, would have come through vice sharing that the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) won't list campsites or campgrounds through its network. And that is okay! The Jeep isn't the issue to the ongoing electrical problem and that is awesome news!

    Walk in Beauty,

    BEAR
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
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  18. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Now for the rest of the story...

    What most of you were not aware of while reading the last entry was Mother Earth's possible role in the electrical problem. In the summer of 2005, while employed at a Boy Scout camp in Maine, an unexpected electrical storm swept through camp. All personnel, scouts and scouters were ordered indoors. I took shelter in the Stagecoach to keep Black Jack company while the light show and thundering boom entertained the imagination. With a book in one hand and petting Black Jack with the other, a lightning bolt shook the camper with a mighty force. The interior was momentarily lost from vision as a white glow commanded the atmosphere. I have no doubt that white beams of lights exited each window like search lights. During the course of this event, I can honestly say I thought Black Jack and I's tickets were punched and were transverse to the next realm. In all seriousness I thought our spirits had left the bodies.

    The only immediate, recognizable, damage discovered is that the juice from that bolt blew the hockey pucks (magnets) off both the electrical brakes on the camper. I had never seen anything like it. So, the events of that day may have melted wires hidden beneath their protective rubber and insulation covering. For the sake of frustration, it may be easier to pay Camp-Inn to rewire the Stagecoach. And now you have the rest of the story.

    So where do I stand at the present moment with regard to the running lights? With the help of a friend (who is a contractor by trade with an electrical background) from north of the border (Canada) and a cell phone link to Camp-Inn yesterday, Cary and Craig walked him through on what to look for. Their best advice: dismantle all lights and wiring harness (connector) and start over. Each time a light fixture was reassembled it was tested bypassing the connector using a direct link (extended strands of protective wiring) from the Jeep's battery and a test light (circuit tester). This produced positive results. Once the connector was reassembled it, too, was tested in the same fashion. In carrying out these simple instructions all but one of the running lights were restored as were the back-up lights. AND, THE problem wire may have been discovered. I'll leave that up to the crew at Camp-Inn to determine, when the Stagecoach is pulled into the shop in October. In the meantime, I'm on my way east. I should be over the Cascade Mountains in a few hours. I'm looking forward to seeing some of you folks at the round-up (Camp-Inn Camp-Outt).

    Until next time...

    Walk in Beauty,

    BEAR
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
    Tom & Diana P and Evan like this.
  19. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Well, I did it! Landed in Necedah Saturday night and was surprised to learn I'd have company; Larry and Terry were parked with their 550 in the campgrounds at the factory. So I backed out so as to not disturb them and headed over to Castle Rock County Park, only to discover the place was well packed---more campers there than I've ever seen outside a Camp-Inn Camp-Outt (CICO) function. So I opted to return to Necedah to tether the Ponies in the parking lot at the factory with the intention of returning to Castle Rock before sunset Sunday, right after cheering the Miami Dolphins on to victory (at a sports bar in Wisconsin Dells). Returning to the area, having passed through Mauston, I caught a glimpse of the Stagecoach windows in the rearview mirror and thought those viewing ports were sitting a little on the low side. After stopping to investigate, it was discovered that the frame was fractured right behind the VIN (vehicle identification number) plate. Now I can say I've about seen it all with these campers.

    It doesn't surprise me though. The Ponies (Jeep) has over 260,000 miles on it and the Stagecoach (camper) has been hitched throughout much of them. Then again, this is not the original Ponies that started out towing this particular 550.

    Now it bothers me to disturb the folks over at Camp-Inn the week prior to the CICO, because they are generally quite busy tending to their customer base for previously sold models during that period. Since I've got the time, I generally stop in during the week following the CICO when it is less hectic. But the Stagecoach had other plans and it was now in need of a welder. Not knowing that the frame manufacturer was in a neighboring town, I thought I would be calling upon someone else's services based on Craig or Cary's recommendation.

    Compliments of Craig, Cary and Marty arrangements have been made for the trailer frame manufacturer to transport his portable welding unit to the factory to shore up the loose ends, so that I can go mobile once again. Tomorrow at this time I hope the Stagecoach will be fully functional once again and I'll be helping Craig prepare Castle Rock for the arrival of the CICO. (Fingers crossed)

    Walk in Beauty,

    BEAR
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017
    Evan and Tom & Diana P like this.
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