Peterson, MN 101917-102117

Great plan, good execution, with a side of bummer. The weather forecast was for temperatures in the 70’s and no rain. Deb and I took (2) PTO (paid time off) days from work and motored down to the Root River State Trail for the second time this year. It’s a great bike trail that is very accommodating and welcoming by the communities on its path. We chose the Peterson City Campground for a landing.

Warning lights on the Driver Information Center (DIC) is never good. Except for maybe “Low Washer Fluid.”   The DIC said STABILITRAK OFF, and then came TRACTION CONTROL OFF, then SERVICE STABILITRACK. “Well OK DIC I’ll do that when I get back home, I promise.” Coming off Interstate 90 and slowing down for a turn the engine just did not seem right.   Idling at the Peterson city campground the truck was running rough. A pronounced phuff, phuff, phuff sound with a tick, tick, tick the sensors messaging “I’m telling the DIC I’m not doing so good” ailment was more than evident. Bummer!

No apparent leaking or loose anything addressed the symptoms. Even with the phuff and tick, the truck drove OK. The transmission was not shifting smooth. For now I can live with that. The good people at GM say in the service manual the SERVICE STABILITRACK should be addressed by a professional, possibly a computer problem. A loose wire on the Mother Board would be sweet.

What about the great plan too camp, ride bike, and eat fun food?  John 10:10 tells me that the great deceivers main goal is the rob, kill and destroy. So is anxiousness of a mechanical set back going to rob me of what is meant to be a fun weekend, or not? I choose not. The second half of John10:10 states that “I have come to bring you abundant life.” I’m asking God for mechanical favor. Not a new truck or anything silly like that, but for a non-stop drive home. Is faith taking the place of seeing a mechanic in Preston? Is there a mechanic? Is my desire for working the plan keeping me from being flexible? Is faith and free will overriding common sense? If we had phone service or an Internet connection I would upload this post now. I may have even called a Chevrolet dealer. I’m excited to soon write <with my best Paul Harvey voice>  “The Rest of The Story”

The towns along the Root River are susceptible to flooding. Thursday we rode towards Rushford, MN and had ice cream at The Creamery. It had been remodeled maybe because of the 2000 flood. Years ago I remember sitting at a table and seeing a line marked on the wall at shoulder height. It signified the 2000 flood level. Friday we rode towards Whalen and it too showed a 2000 high water line. The days have been amazing, sunny and unseasonably warm. It’s October in MN and the cold air is tussling with the warm air. Dried leaves crunch under the bike tires. Corn and soybeans are drying down in the fields. Farmers are harvesting, truckers are jamming gears hauling to the grain elevators and unloading. It’s food, ya gotta love farmers and truckers.

Timber rattlers inhabit this area. Yesteryear we came across one on the bike trail. I have a photo of it somewhere. Signage along the trail talks about reclaiming snake habitat by the MN Dept of Natural Resources. Evidently Cedar trees have grown along the south facing side of hills making it cooler, so the snakes will sneak down to the human inhabited areas.

Thursday we rode (20) miles. Friday we logged (25.5) miles. Today (Saturday) we may do some hiking, or maybe hook up the trailer and see about making it home non-stop. It’s 6:45 am and I hear thunder. It took a while to figure out what I was actively listening to. The hills and valleys change the resonance. It’s raining now, and the thunder sounds just like thunder, only better.

To be continued…


The entire drive home was dang near white knuckle stressful. I say dang near only because it was not until we were three quarters closer to home do I start to relax. Coming out of the Root River valley the truck maxed out at 40 MPH. Accelerator to the floor, engine revving, heart sinking “Oh man oh man what are we in for now?”

Should we take the interstate or back roads home? Interstate is more direct, back roads would be safer if we need to call for assistance. It takes miles to achieve 60 MPH. I remember the interstate being more level that last time I drove it. Sheese it’s hilly. Every uphill I’m holding my breath as if that is going to give the V8 more power. We pulled into the Bohnarosa with a sigh after driving 45 minutes longer than our trip down to Peterson. “Whew!”

The mechanical diagnosis is stuck or broken lifters. Our mechanic offered up (3) options. Try an engine flush, and I could do that myself. Steve would charge for his time, and I would expect him too. He is running a business after all. Option two is a $2,500 repair consisting of replacing all (16) lifters and maybe other components. The third option is closer to $5,000 and replaces the entire engine. I’m looking for solace in being happy we made it home.

To be continued…


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