The McKenzie's Official world tour site
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Bozeman to Bozeman............................
We had a comfortable night in the Bear Valley RV Park at Bozeman, and were happy when our West Yellowstone friends popped in to pay us a visit! They were even brave enough to offer to take our children to the toy shop and Jemma and Ben are still eternally grateful!
As we left Bozeman – Livingston bound, Nessie decided to have another rest, along the high-way. We met Joe (of Millers Towing, Bozeman), who towed us all along to Livingston and to the Yellowstone Country (Sprinter Dealership). Everyone here was also extremely kind to us and we got settled into a spot right outside the garage.
To cut a very long story short – and after many phone calls from Dave (the Service Manager), it was discovered that the USA only have a very limited number of data leads and software, needed for a Mercedes Benz, to read a fault in the computerised transmission system.. We would need this to be able to ‘read’ the system and determine what Nessie’s trouble was......we left it in capable hands and took a walk around Livingston, where we found a park for the children to use some energy.
We were kindly loaned a car and took the stranded opportunity to have a very full day back in the Yellowstone National Park. It was great to see the geysers, boiling mud and steaming pools, especially the cave that sounds as if a dragon lives inside there! The children did their work to become Yellowstone Junior Rangers and we watched the Old Faithful Geyser erupt into the rainbow filled skies. We saw a variety of wildlife throughout the day, including a black wolf.
Back in Livingstone it was determined that we would have to move 220 miles further west to the Mercedes Dealership in Missoula, as they were able to get the necessary permission from Mercedes and to be sent the diagnostic equipment. We met Joe for the second time (NO thanks to Good Sams RV Roadside Assistance , who refused to cover our next tow), and Joe kindly towed us all on, to the one and only Mercedes dealer in Montana, (Demarois of Missoula). Well, actually, Phil found himself driving the tow truck, across Montana, with Nessie on the back, for 100 miles or so! This was to give Joe a break as he would be turning around to head home and this was very strange as Phil had mentioned to us about how he would love to drive truck in Montana –just as soon as we had gotten here a couple of weeks ago! The roads are so big and so empty....another dream come true.........
We would like to thank Linda (customer Services) and Dan (service manager) for all their help towards getting us back on the road!
Another stranded weekend, this time in Missoula, so we explored the town and all enjoyed a swim at Currents.
Come Monday morning and Dan was able to use the diagnostic software to determine a problem with the electric pump, in the transmission system. Due to more red tape, and the fact that this part was ‘not allowed’ access into the USA from Mercedes.......we had to make do with a whack of the hammer to get Nessie going again! This method was successful until Cardwell RV Park and then the next day Nessie was feeling worse. We eased her back to Bozeman and back to, our now good friend– Joe the tow truck driver’s and his workshop!
Phil had to go ahead and order the part from England and we would like to thank Alex, of Western Truck Rental, in Devon, for all his time and trouble, for the second time on our travels. As we waited in Bozeman for the part to arrive, we would like to thank Joe and his wife Sharlene, for taking such good care of us all. Phil has enjoyed spending time with Joe and being involved in yet more towing work and mechanics back in the garage!!Nothing like being put back to work!
We were kindly lent another vehicle and landed back to see our West Yellowstone friends for a long weekend! We all enjoyed spending more time with the family and Phil got to do more towing work with Craig of Westgate Towing. The children were pleased to go to the boy’s school for lunch time and it was strange to take the time to remember what a school setting looks like!
Upon leaving West Yellowstone, we cruised 32 miles back into Yellowstone National Park and we felt like we had been here – done that –as our loaned car came to an abrupt stop! What is it with us and Yellowstone? We sure know some tow truck driver’s around here now ...and as we had no cell phone reception – Phil was kindly given a lift to a nearby ranch – and after a phone call we were back in the hands of Joe! Phil got a lift back to us and had a good chat with Sisco and Aaron. The word of mouth between locals is fantastic around here and we need to say thanks to Westgate Towing, who had also been alerted to our troubles and were already on the way to rescue us themselves!
Back in Bozeman and the snow really took hold- Jemma and Ben loved to have time back in the snow! Our ‘PART’ arrived on time (THANK-YOU ALEX) and Phil was able to mend Nessie himself! (With the help of Joe, his workshop, and his tools!) We were taken aback to see that the part in question was actually made in Italy. Our test drive run was a moment to go down in history – maybe we shall be able to leave Montana after all!! – Only kidding – we love it really!!
So - after being shipped to and fro, to garage after garage and 3 weeks, to the day, after breaking down in Yellowstone National Park – we were officially back on the road again and Macswayround continues!! We need to send special thanks, once again –to Dave (of Yellowstone Country, Livingstone), Dan and Linda (of Demarois, Missoula), Joe and Sharlene (of Millers Towing, Bozeman), and to Craig and Stephanie (of Westgate Towing, West Yellowstone), for really helping out a stranded family in their time of need! We were not leaving until we had purchased a set of tyre chains – as this white stuff really means business......
So- there we go on the update – lots of technical hitches for us in the last few weeks but we are strong believers in fate - everything has a purpose and all of this was meant to be. We now have special friends in Montana –and we will be back!! Please remember our door is always open to those special people we have met, so far, on MACSWAYROUND– if only we could return some of your favours.......
Saturday, October 10, 2009 6:33:30 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00) USA