Miles City, MT - 9/6
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We got started with final preparations at 7:00 am but didn't hit the road until 8:38 am.  I had loaded the bed of the truck the night before but was unable to hook-up the fifth wheel without unloading about half of it and then reloading.  Of course one doesn't just give in to this realization without wasting more time trying to do it without unloading.  After hooking up the boat, we said goodbye to Lewie and were on our way.

Remember the new air ride kingpin box I had shipped 2nd day air at a cost of $1369 just before we left home?  If you don't remember or didn't read it, the details of that fiasco are in the page titled "More Problems".

Boy was the ride rough!  Although I noticed that the ride was actually worse with the new TrailAir pin box on the way to Ten Mile Lake, I don't remember it being that bad.  Maybe it was masked by the frustration of road closures and blow-outs or the pain of the hemorrhoids? However I don't recall Denise complaining about it either.  Anyway, by the time we reached Fergus Falls (just 15 miles away), Denise had her seatbelt off in an attempt to reduce the bruising caused from being slammed into it and then shoved back into the seat over and over again.  Each and every little dip in the road translates to a violent back and forth shaking of the truck.  Now the ride has always been a bit rough but mostly up and down jarring, not shaken baby syndrome.  The jarring is much easier to take as it's one bump for one bump.  The shaking is about 10 shakes for each bump.  And of course just about when the shaking from one bump starts, there's another bump.

So Denise is pissed and I'm not too happy about it either but what are you gonna do?  Not hardly a word was spoken for the next 60 miles until we reached Fargo.  I stopped at a Goodyear Truck Service Center to see if they would move the kingpin box down one notch as I noticed we're not quite level.  I didn't think it would cure it but hoped it might help.

"Would you be willing to move my pin box down one notch?  It's only 6 nuts and bolts.  I'd do it myself but the pin box is heavy and it takes two guys to hold it."

"No, sorry.  We only do tires here."

"But it's only 6 bolts and will just take a few minutes!?!"

"Nope.  We can't assume the liability."

The liability for what?  Fuck!  They do tires.  How can they assume the liability for a tire falling off but not if some other nut and bolt comes loose.  And tighten the god damned thing up so it doesn't come loose in the first place!  Then there nothing for which to be liable.  See, we're back in the city and that's how it is.

Upon return to the rig, I notice a bunch of straps hanging down from the boat trailer.  Upon further investigation, this brand new boat cover is failing.  There are little cloth tabs with plastic rings sewn in strategic places around the edge of the cover.  The tie-down straps go through these rings and then around the frame of the boat trailer to secure the cover.  Well the front four tabs have pulled loose from the cover and so the straps are no longer attached to the boat cover, just the frame of the trailer.  I removed them to keep from dragging them any further.  At least the draw cord that goes around the cover is still tight and is keeping the boat cover from lifting up.  With Denise's current attitude I decide to not waste the time removing it and putting on the old cover.  If it blows off, so be it.

We resumed our broncing bull ride across North Dakota without hardly a word spoken.  Upon entering the city of Jamestown, I see a billboard for another truck service center.  This time I had luck and they were willing to lower the kingpin.

It didn't take long and the break seemed to lighten Denise's mood a bit.  But unfortunately the service did little (if anything) to help.  However a bit of relief as the road wasn't quite as bad for a while.

The rest of the day was pretty miserable.  Although there were a few stretches of road across North Dakota that weren't too bouncy, most of it was.  Fortunately when we drove our final 100 miles in Montana, the road was much better so at least we arrived at Miles City speaking.  We drowned the pain of the bruises with ample amounts of alcohol before retiring for the evening.

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