Thursday, September 13, 2018

Theodore Roosevelt National Park - North

We were driving right by it and neither of us had been to it.  Not to mention, we had our trusty Volunteer National Parks Pass which covers our entry fee.  Those seemed like good enough reasons to end our time in North Dakota with a visit TRNP. 

Annie sits on the side of the road as we walk around on high looking down toward where we will be going.

Since we approached from the north we started our tour with a drive through the northern part of the park.  The scenes were quite different from those we had been seeing for some time now so we'll just share the photos and not say too much.  By the way, you may notice the persistent 'haze'.  It is smoke from all of the fires burning in Canada and further west.

Enjoy... the North Side.



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And now... The Talking.

We enjoyed our drive through the north side of TRNP and had plans to head to the nearby National Forest for a night or two of boondocking. 

At some point on our drive though Nicole noticed that Annie was pulling super hard to the left and kept wanting to run off of the road.  Then after we returned to her at an overlook stop we noticed that she would no longer drive herself.  Guess we should explain that.  Based on how we have her set it is normal for Annie to drive herself at a few mph without us even touching the gas pedal but she wasn't budging without depression of the gas pedal. 

She was 'drive-able' though.  So, we continued at our typical super slow pace, taking in the views and discussing possible reasons for her behavior.  At some point decided that it would be nice to turn the vent on and bring in some cool outside air.  That is when a 'hot' smell became obvious and we pulled over to discover the right front rim was super-heated.  We had our answer... front caliper was locked. 

Everything was too hot to touch so it only made sense that we make some dinner and enjoy the last light in the park as the sun was setting.  After that, we proceeded to bleed that front caliper.  Although typically when there is air in the brake lines you will get a spongy pedal... Annie is in no way typical and our pedal was still firm. 

It would be hard to tell if it was air in the brake lines (there was some air in it) or the cooling down of all of the metal parts that released that caliper but it did release.  Still, it was dark and we did not think it wise at this point to head off down a dirt road into the forest to find our boondocking spot.  So, we did something that is way outside the box for us... we stayed in the park's campground for the night.  

Goodnight from the north side of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.