On the way to the turnoff for the Cassiar, a couple of dogs were in the road; so we stopped and waited for them to get off the road, but instead of that they ran over to our bus and started running around in front and back of us. I kept creeping forward, but that didn’t deter them and they continued to stay way too close. Finally the one that was running in front of us went and joined the one behind us and we quickly took off. Larry & Sue got around them fairly soon afterward. Little did we know it was going to get a bit nuttier in just a little while.
We drove about 30 miles south on the Cassiar thru dense smoke and finally came upon the road closure gate and a flagman. He came over and said the road was open again and a pilot car would be back for us in about an hour or so.
Then it only took about 60 seconds and we were told to move! A yellow truck backed up in front of us and then took off. I jumped back into the driver’s seat and let the air brakes off and shifted into gear and took off after him. Mr. Toad soon came out on this 35 mph road and the pilot truck was doing close to 60 mph and was pulling away fast. Not wanting to be left for dead, we started going a lot faster, first to catch back up to him so we could keep him in sight, then to match his 55-60 mph speed. Now, this is a very narrow winding and bumpy road first in the Yukon, then crossing the border into British Columbia. It definitely reminded us of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland!!!
For some reason the smoke we were driving in was now gone, but we could see it all around in the distance, which was nice. We did keep getting closer and closer to the billowing clouds of smoke. Then it seemed we passed the fires, but within 5 minutes we could see what looked like fog in the distance, but it was smoke. As we got closer, we could see it was right on both sides of the road we were driving on.
The pilot car kept jamming down the road and within a few minutes we were driving between the fires on both sides of the road. Luckily the flames there were small and posed no real risk to us. Seems most of the fuel along the roadway was burned up. There were just a few things still burning. That stretch was about a mile long and then we were out of it and the pilot car pulled over and let us all by.
The next twenty miles were clear blue skies and no smoke at all. The wind was blowing the smoke north and east toward Watson Lake, not south toward Boya Lake!
Kathy went Kayaking on the lake for a couple of hours with Larry and Sue.
Kathy visited Jade City with Larry and Sue while I stayed behind with Dusty and I started looking into fixing the slide problem we were having. I had to move the coach over a bit to allow the cargo bay doors to open fully. This campground places very large rocks to delineate the edge of the campsites to the roadway.
While looking at the slide motor and gears that it drives to move the slide in and out, I noticed the shear pin holes were very elongated, leaving a lot of play. I figured that my problem was associated with that and started to remove the square tubes that drove the gears. First the right one. I took it off and cut off about an inch from the end of each side (it’s actually 2 square tubes, one fits inside the other) and then re-drilled the holes for the shear pins. That right side was easy. The left side was not easy at all.
The first issues was the shear pins were bent, preventing them from coming out after removing the nuts holding them on. I had to cut the heads off them with my Hackzall. My guess is they used cheap Chinese shear pins, as they shouldn’t bend. They are hardened and should just snap like they are intended to do.
Once both those pins were out, I became aware of a special grommet that the tube passed thru on the bulkhead between the cargo bay and slide gear that is above the propane tank. (not in the cargo bay but open to the outside) The tube passed thru it and allowed it to spin but blocked water and dirt from getting into the cargo bay. (aka the basement) It was a bear to get that tube to slide thru that grommet so I could remove it completely to cut the ends and re-drill its shear pin holes. Larry came by and saw me struggling to get that out and offered to help. It still took another hour to get it out of the coach. Clearly a bigger hammer was needed!
Once out, I cut off the ends and re-drilled the holes and put it back in. It went in thru the grommet a bit easier than it came out, but still wasn’t easy. Lots and lots of spray lube eventually helped get it out and to get it back in.
After we were all done and the tools were put away, I tested it. It wasn’t fixed. Now the real work begins.
Boya Lake is in a forest, so Starlink had a real hard time connecting to the satellites. It was blocked more than 95% of the time, saying “obstructions” every 1 minute. We were still able to get on the internet, but it was painfully annoying to have it start and stop constantly. Although downloads worked fine as they just restart where they were when it gets connectivity again. Thank god for Pop Mail! If I had to use a web browser to get our email, life would have been pretty bad.
I’m writing this blog post as we sit at Meziadin Lake Provincial Park and were talking to a couple that pulled in a few day after us and they had just come from Boya and he has his Starlink Dishy mounted on a 20′ Harbor Freight Flag Pole that he uses wood clamps to hold against the lip on the side of his deployed slide. (ingenious!)
A couple of days prior to our check-out we woke up and it was 29 degrees and there was a dusting of snow on the mountains surrounding Boya Lake. That was a wake-up call that we may have overstayed our welcome…
After 7 nights there, we headed out to Dease Lake and Kinaskan lake for the next 7 nights.