Published: July 23rd 2009July 23rd 2009
And now the moment you've all been waiting for...
My chain and sprockets came in, and I think that is the only good news of the day. I headed to NAPA, bought the socket I needed to take off my front sprocket. NAPA was nice enough to loan me a breaker bar I needed for the job. As soon as I took off the nut, I knew it would give me problems. It had some rust on the splines. I took the channel-locks to the sprocket with hopes it would do the job. No luck. So I see 2 threaded holes in the sprocket, and think that I should just stick 2 bolts in. I was hoping the bolts would just push on the engine case, since I couldn't see behind the sprocket to see what they would hit. Later I would find out they were driving in the output shaft oil seal, and I ruined the seal. So the bolts didn't get the sprocket loose, so I coughed up $12 for a 2-jaw puller that NAPA had in stock. It did its job. So when I pulled the sprocket off, there I see the oil seal cocked sideways. Bummer. Big bummer! So I straighten the seal out, and sure enough, oil leaks past the seal when the motor runs and the shaft spins. We're talking quite a bit of oil, enough to drain the engine of its oil in maybe 10-20 miles. I called the motorsports shop in Whitehorse, and they said it would be 7-12 days before they could get the part. Time to go to plan B.
Well shoot, now what do I do? First, take away all my credibility as a mechanic and engineer. Things like ruining a seal on a sprocket change should not happen.
So now with all businesses closed for the day, I make a game plan for tomorrow. I plan on calling some other larger dealers and see how soon they could get me some parts. We're looking at probably $50 plus shipping for doing the job right. Man this gets expensive fast! I'm guessing expedited shipping could cost upwards of $50, and even then it might get here in 2 days.
Derek and Adrian are not home yet, and oh boy are they going to love the news! I just hope I didn't screw things up too bad. So after I figured it out that I would have to wait to call people tomorrow, I had to figure out how to get back to camp. NAPA is all the way on the other side of town, probably 2 miles from downtown. And I have my helmet plus a 40-50lb pelican case full of tools. There's no way I'm carrying that thing all the way to town if I walk there! So here goes nothing...I decide to hitchhike. That was a failure, but I didn't try very long. Next I decide to go to the NAPA parking lot and ask someone for a ride. The first guy I ask says he is going back into town, and he'd give me a ride. I found out he is a gold miner in the summers here, quite an interesting guy. I was very thankful for a ride. But the task wasn't over yet, I still had about a mile of walking left to camp. I toughed it out and just walked, but it was horrible. What a burden of carrying all the tools!
After I arrived at camp I was all sweaty and smelly. Some of the stench was due to me not showering for the last 4 days. So I decided to treat myself to a shower. That was the best $2.25 spent! If I was going to be miserable tonight, at least I didn't have to smell. So now I wait for the guys to come back to form a game plan. I'm not sure if they will want to continue on without me, or wait for my parts to come in. I'm not sure it is a great choice for us to split up, since Derek and I only have one set of tools between us. But we will figure something out.
You would be amazed how many times it crossed my mind today to just hitchhike to Fairbanks, leave/sell my bike in Dawson City, and get a flight home. I hope it doesn't come to that, but I just take it one day at a time.
The best thing you can do for me is pray. Pray for wisdom, peace, the right people coming my way, and a heart to follow and serve.
What a trip it has been! And I know there's much more ahead. It has played out very different than I ever imagined. Ok I better start heading back to camp. Not that I need to since it never really gets dark here this time of year. Thanks for the support!