Lake Prespa and the village of Pustec, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? On our way to Gjyrokaster, Albania .

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Berat, Albania on October 12th.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Sherman has been acting up

We left the Vermilion Bay airport yesterday morning first thing and headed for the big city of Dryden, Ontario (pop 7,800).

Sherman has been acting up. A little bit of hesitation when accelerating at highway speeds, and misfiring a little bit. I had a good idea what the problem was. When I had fixed the exhaust leak last month, I had the four spark plug wires off that side, and one of them didn't feel quite solid when I put it back on. I thought about changing them then, but, things seemed to run fine at the time so I didn't.

However, the spark plug wires are now about 7 years old and have 50,000 miles on them. Just about due for new ones anyhow. And the ones that I had put on 7 years ago weren't top quality to begin with.

Anyhow, I figured that Sherman would make it through this drive to Ontario, and I would put new ones when we use him again next fall.

But, I guess not.

We made it to Dryden and had some breakfast, then went for a short hike to see a suspension bridge that was built in 2009.

Ruth, heading up the suspension bridge. 
The big factory is a pulp and paper plant.

Ruth, on the bridge.

Nice bridge, but it ends at the other end! A bridge to nowhere!
 It was built to provide a view of the rapids.

Looking at the rapids from the bridge.

From there, we went to the Canadian Tire store to see if they had a spark plug wire kit that would fit Sherman. But they didn't have it in stock, saying that it would have to be shipped from Calgary! There was a Napa store nearby, so I walked over there to check with them, but they didn't have it either. They did say that it would have to be shipped from Winnipeg, and they could have it tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

Hmm. We didn't really want to spend the night in Dryden. Plus, it would put us behind schedule. 

I went and pulled off that one bad plug wire. Sure enough, the connector came off in my hand. I should have changed it at the time. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20, isn't it??

I went in with that bad plug wire to see if they could match it up with something. At least changing that one bad one would get us back on the road. Long story short, I did manage to buy a plug wire kit for a six cylinder that had the identical connectors, and Sherman got back on the road. Long story, because there was only one guy working at the Canadian Tire parts counter and the place was busy. Plus, he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Back on the road, and stopped for a late lunch at a highway rest stop. The misfiring is gone, so Sherman is running better, but there's still a little bit of hesitation on the highway. I expect he's due for a little tune up and I'll try and buy the parts in Thunder Bay this afternoon.

Saw a highway sign advertising the airport at the town of Ignace. It was only about 3:00pm, and we had only done about 150 kms (93 miles) for the day, but my eyes were feeling a little tired and so we pulled down a short pave road about a mile to the Ignace Municipal Airport. 

Sherman, parked up for the night at the Ignace Municipal Airport.
GPS 49.430007, -91.710965

Nice little terminal building, and nobody around. Looked like it hadn't been used at all for a few years. Starting to get a little overgrown in places.

Out for a walk on the runway.

Another view.

I had a nap, and then we went for a walk. There was a dirt road with an old sign that said something about airplane service, and a "No trespassing" sign. But I figured that the gate was wide open, and that it had probably been there since the airport was closed down. So we walked down the road.

The road to the hangar. What do you suppose made those marks?
Think about it, then see below for the answer.

Ended up at a lake with a small seaplane base. We walked 5.4 kms (3.4 miles) roundtrip. There was a small hangar there, with probably 10 or 12 planes in total. An old guy came out and spoke to us.

There were maybe five planes of various sizes inside the hangar, and a few outside. He says that they rebuild them, and provide some charter service to fishing lakes in the north. Friendly enough fellow. Says that the main airport we were parked at was built just before the mining shut down a few years ago and hasn't been used much since.

That's a big sea plane.

Lots of cats around the hangar. This one looks comfortable.

Ruth, saying hello to the cat. This was a tiny little plane!

Ruth, out for a walk. Didn't see any bear or moose!

Nice and peaceful sleep. Once again, a small town airport makes for a great boondocking spot.

Today, we're hoping to make it through Thunder Bay (pop 110,000) and east of there to make up for yesterday's short day. Gotta get back on the road...have a great Saturday!

Yesterday's drive, 150 kms (93 miles).

Closer view.

The marks across the road were made by a beaver! There was a pond on either side, and this was where he (or they!) went back and forth.

Nice leather passport cover on lightning deal right now at Amazon...

And in Canada too...


  1. Well, I hope you'll be successful getting Sherman running better. Nothing worse than having trouble on the road. There sure are a lot of lakes in Ontario...

    1. We hope so to. Yesterday Kevin bought a distributor cap and rotor so he will change them this morning. He will also change out several of the other wires that are not in great shape and clean the spark plugs and hope that will make an improved difference. When we get to Ottawa he will change the all the wires to the proper kit and at the same time most likely change the spark plugs too.

      Yes, there are lots of lakes up here, I am sure it wouldn't be hard to be the only one out there on one.

  2. Was in Dryden back in the 70's a few times and the smell from the pulp and paper mill was dreadful, I tink they have taken care of that now.
    Good luck with the tuneup parts.

    1. Yes, it definitely has changed since then, no more smell at least there wasn't when we were there.

  3. Good thing you know so much about vehicles. For the average person who doesn't these things would be big headaches.

    1. Yes, it definitely makes a big difference! Hopefully he can fix the problem totally though and have Sherman running smoothly once again.

  4. The yellow Norseman is
    CF-GJN Serial #797

    Collin Oliver (Tero Trucking),
    parked at NAS, Ignace, ON
    Rebuilt 2008. For sale.
    Panoramic windows.
    For a history of the Norseman

    1. Thank you George for letting us know what the plane is and doing the research for us. :-)

  5. Glad you got the problem solved for now. How do you find all these neat things to check out like the bridge? We are generally looking left when the interesting stuff is on the right.

    You cant afford much down time or we will pass you on the road. We are on the road tomorrow.

    1. Well it is partially solved, he still isn't running smoothly like he should be. Yesterday Kevin bought a few more items and will change them over this morning while the engine is cool. With any luck that will make Sherman run better.

      We check out the internet before you go through some of the towns ahead of time. The town website or Tripadvisor can give you an idea of things to see and do in the area.

      Hopefully we see each other sometime in the next couple of days! :-)

  6. My mechanic gave me a quick lesson on spark plug wires. When I installed a cheap set of new ones on the Honda five years ago I did not push them hard enough to properly connect to the plugs. As a consequence all the connectors had turned blue from trying to spark through a poor connection. Lesson learned, it now has a new set of quality wires, properly installed.

    Quick Question. When you do a "tune up" on Sherman what does that include? What parts do you change and what adjustments do you make? Our motorhome is overdue and our new mechanic does not have enough room to work on ours.

    1. Spark plugs, plug wires, distributor cap, rotor, air filter, O2 sensor.

  7. My guess for the marks was a skidoo and Gerry's was a trail cutter- guess both of us were wrong.Glad yo were able to get yourselves back on the road...

    1. Gerry's answer was sorta right, a beaver is a wood cutter! ;-)

  8. I will not go on any suspension bridges...yuck!
    Good job with the wires. Glad that is fixed.

    1. We were going to go on a really long suspension bridge yesterday but they wanted too much money for it! If the bridge is really high, I tend to have an issue with them too but I make myself go out there.

      Problem isn't fixed yet! Sherman still isn't running smoothly like he should be but changing the wire did help somewhat. Kevin will do more work on Sherman this morning before we head out and hopefully that will make an even bigger difference.

  9. I hope you're going to put new spark plugs on at the same time since how you're in there and I think after seven years they don't OU anything

  10. Interesting lay-over spot in Ignace. Did you know that the Ignace area is one of the sites still under consideration for the long term storage of Canada's used nuclear fuel?

    1. Our overnight spot work out wonderfully for us. :-)

      Nope, didn't know that Ignace was being considered for that!


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