Rideau River near Manotick (Ottawa), Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Sherman is almost ready...

The first day they did the transmission service, tightened the power steering belt, installed new front wheel bearings, and new front brake pads. The front pads weren't terrible, but they had the wheels off anyhow so I figured why wait until they are terrible.

Yesterday, they installed the new inner and outer tie rod ends on the driver's side and had a look at the rear brakes. It's not easy with the rear brakes because there is only a little inspection hole unless you take the brake drums off. I told them to take the drums off so we could all have a better look. It's a big job because you actually have to remove the axles. I'm glad we did though.

The rear brake shoes have likely never been changed. It's the front brakes that do probably 75% of the braking. But it's time for new rear shoes as well, so I gave them the go ahead on that.

The job is almost done, but they still have another hour or two this morning to finish up. It's going to be a big bill... likely more than $2,000, but it had to be done if Sherman is going to get us up to the Yukon this summer! Then, we're not done yet because we have an appointment for a wheel alignment at 10:00am. Then an appointment with a welding shop for a minor structural repair. Then, I just have to receive a new bell crank (part of the steering assembly) but I wanted a better quality one than what they could get me here so I've ordered it online to pick up in Wyoming. Then, Sherman will be just like new!

While they were working on Sherman, we drove the rental car to downtown Amarillo...

Ruth, and the Amarillo Heart.

Interesting buiding. 
Looks like it doesn't have an other side!

Historic Federal Building.

When we visit a city, we always try to get a view from the top of the tallest building. Here in Amarillo, it's the 32 story Chase Tower. When we got on the elevator, the tallest floor was only marked AC, so we hit the button for the 31st floor. When the doors opened, it was a very fancy place. A guy saw us looking lost, and asked if we needed help. I explained that we were tourists just looking for a view of the city. It turns out that the top two floors are for the private Amarillo Club. But he said if we got back on the elevator and pressed the AC button, we should be able to get a quick peak out the windows on the top floor.

There was a receptionist up there, and she said "okay... but be quick, we are expecting guests for lunch"

And so we were quick!

Downtown Amarillo.

View from the Amarillo Club Restaurant on the 32nd floor of the Chase Tower.

With that done, we continued walking.

Oh, nobody walks in Amarillo. In the whole two hours we were walking around I think we might have seen two other people walking!

Historic route 66.

Old highway sign.

Tattoo shop.

Downtown skyline. We were at the top of the building on the left.

The Amarillo Chamber of Commerce.

The Santa Fe Building.

Downtown Amarillo.

We drove back to the east end and dropped into the alignment shop to make sure they could look at Sherman today. With that confirmed, we went back to check on Sherman's progress just to make sure that we could give the rental car back yesterday afternoon. It looked good, so we drove across town to the Avis office and returned the car. We had done 86 miles and it took $7.50 to fill the gas tank!

Along the way, we stopped in to have a look at the world famous Big Texan Steak Ranch. This is the place that has the 72 oz steak that if you can eat it all, you get it for free!

The big Texan Steak Ranch.

Popular place.

Texas Longhorn Limo!

There's your meal!

And you have to eat it all, in a limited amount of time including baked potato, appetizer, salad, and roll.

They have a list of the recent people who have done it. With age, and weight. Most of them are men, weighing between 250 to 325 lbs. But there was one guy who weighed 165! Unreal.

If you don't eat it all, it will cost you $72!

Great wine bottle stand in the gift shop!

When we dropped the car off, we had to make our way back to the mechanic shop. When we had picked it up, we used Uber and it cost almost $20. So this time, we used the very basic Amarillo public bus! There are only 9 routes in the whole city, and we had to take two buses. And, the buses only come by once per hour! But, it only costs $0.75 each.

Once we found the stop, it only took about 20 minutes before the bus came along so we were lucky. Then about 20 minutes to the transfer station, and another 20 minutes to get to the Walmart. We stopped in at the Walmart and then walked back to Sherman. All in all, worth it because we didn't have anything better to do.

When we arrived back at the shop, there was another couple in the waiting room. It was funny, because they had also been at the RV Museum when we went the other day. Of course we got to talking, and they had their little motorhome in for some brake work as well.

Charlene and Ron from Tennessee.

They are headed out to California to do some sightseeing on an extended RV trip. Good for them!

Gotta go... they need to finish working on Sherman!

External Battery Pack for your phone...

And in Canada...


  1. You're doing it right. You need good brakes on some of those steep parts of the Alcan.

    1. I am sure there will be many steep parts and not just on the Alcan. :-) We are just glad that they are done and done right, Kevin notices a huge difference.

  2. "Then, Sherman will be just like new!".... Kiss of death right there! Safe travels!

  3. I'll just leave this here...


    1. We saw her times and pictures up where the display of the meal was. That is incredible! I couldn't even begin to imagine doing that, I just want to enjoy my food and not just swallow it down.

  4. We traveled through Amarillo, TX a couple of years ago and decided to eat a rib eye steak. For a big steak it was only $17.00 with the works. In Arizona, for the same size steak it probably cost us $32.00. I don't recall which restaurant we stopped to eat but the steak was delicious.

    1. It just might have been at the Big Texan then! It would have been nice to have had a proper steak dinner out but we are well over our budget this month so that steak dinner will just have to wait for another time.

  5. Nice to get those repairs done, so that you will be good to go. Then travel safe.

    1. There are still a couple of other things that need to get done but they will have to wait until we are back up in Canada. It is nice to know that Sherman is almost back into tip top shape though.

  6. Sherman should be rearin' to go by day's end! I can't imagine eating a steak that big...

    1. He was rearing to go! :-)

      We can't imagine it either. As Kevin said that piece of meat would do us at least three or more meals between the two of us.

  7. My dad loves to motorcycle over to Amarillo from his home in Longview, @ 500 miles away, in order to watch people try and down that 72oz steak. At just 150 lbs he has no interest in trying to 'win' a free steak himself, ha, but finds it fascinating nonetheless.

    Oh, and he's 81 years old for the record.. ☺

    1. Wow, that is a great that your father is still able to do that! Good for him and smart of him to not even want to try eating that steak. I am sure that it would be quite the thing to watch someone else trying to eat it though.

  8. How have gas prices changed since you left and returned to the U.S.?

    1. Yep, we have definitely noticed a difference, maybe about $0.20 or $0.25 a gallon. Still cheaper than Mexico and Canada though.

  9. Good to see Sherman getting almost 100% overhaul and the peace of mind that you will have on your journey up north. Those crazy Texans and their appetite for steaks....hmmmm... safe travels.

    1. Well, we wouldn't say 100% overhauled, there is still more that could be done but it isn't something that is necessary. At least the important stuff is done. :-)

      We will feel pretty confident in him for our drive north.


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