Bluebonnets and BBQ . . .

First off, an oil leak update. It’s still there, with no change in rate, still, about a gallon every 200 miles. But I’m beginning to think that something else is happening, somehow related to towing the truck.

When we did our 50 mile test drive a week ago Sunday, we had NO oil leakage at all. But this past Friday when we stopped at the Katy Buc-ee’s after a 70 mile drive, we had a solid mist of oil on the truck, and also dripping from the hitch and Blue Ox  tow bar.

Now I find it hard to believe that there’s something ‘magical’ about that extra 20 miles that’s causing the leakage.

So is it some sort of extra ‘back pressure’ due to the extra weight of the truck? But that would be strange because I really can’t tell that the truck is even back there when I’m towing it, except by feeling the BrakeBuddy kick in, and of course, seeing it in the rear monitor.

Now the slobber tube comes down right besides the oil filter, but I keep a tin can over the bottom to catch any ‘slobber’. I did this years ago when we were traveling out west a lot and using the Pac Brake daily. The back pressure created by the exhaust brake would throw off a small amount of oil mist under heavy usage, so the ‘catch can’ took care of that. And I know that’s not the problem now since the can now stays dry.

Though I may put in another call to Cummins just to talk things over, I almost certainly won’t really do anything until we get back from our cruise the end of May.

One thing I thought about doing is for Jan and I to drive the rig up to the Katy Buc-ee’s one morning without towing, then come back home, hook up the truck and then do it again, just to see what happens.

I did order a set of hard plastic sharp chisels that, along with the Dremel brass brush tool our friend Butch Williams gave me, I’ll use to try and get off that last streak of built-up on the filter gasket surface to see if that makes any difference..

But again, that’s all for post cruise.

Except for the usual mess coming across the bottom of Austin on 290/71 it was a pretty smooth trip today. We stopped at the Bastrop Buc=ee’s for coffee and BBQ sandwiches about 11, and then after a La Marque Buc=ee’s stop to top us off with diesel, we were parked back at Petticoat Junction by about 3pm.

Everyone had a really great time, and we’re all looking forward to doing it again.

And everyone really enjoyed all the Indian Paintbrushes and Bluebonnets everywhere. Though we didn’t drive through any of the areas where there were entire fields and hillsides of blue and orange, we see them everywhere lining the roads and covering people’s yards. However in some cases it looked like it was just an excuse not to have to mow the yard.

Landon in the Bluiebonnets

Someone should have mentioned to Piper that when you’re posing with your black dog, it’s probably not a good idea to also be wearing a black shirt, since all you can really see is Violet’s tongue.

Piper and Violet in the Bluebonnets

And of course there’s the metal one we brought home from Pottery Ranch. It’s look great on our patio.

Chris' Metal Bluebonnet

Wrapping up, I’ve been researching VPN (Virtual Private Network) services for use on our Europe trip, since in many/most/all cases I’ll be using public WiFi. And no matter where I checked ExpressVPN came out on top, or near the top of every list.

They’ve got over 3000 servers in 93 countries, they don’t log, and they support pretty much every device, or at least all that we have. And on a month to month basis, it’s $12.95.

Or if you sign up for a year, you get 3 free months, making it $6.67/month. Not bad pricing.

Glad to be back home.

Thought for the Day:

Humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas. Well, that certainly explains a lot about some people I’ve met.