July 30 Limon to Colorado Springs, CO

I left the campsite this morning and stopped at a Shell station for some coffee, and in no time at all, I had some Veterans surround me and thank us for the mission. They also signed our book.

Then I headed west on Route 24 and again had beautiful country and I saw lots of wind mills. I was looking forward to a shorter day arriving at my campsite early afternoon.

I putted 40 miles and saw a Dollar Store and decided to stop and load up on some water. When I went to start Johnabilt, I turned the key and he wouldn’t start. It was like the battery was dead, so I cleaned the battery cables and it made no difference. I decided to call Steve Koser, we were baffled, so I decided to take the starter dust cover off underneath Johnabilt. As I was laying under the tractor and as I took the cover off, water slopped and spilled all over me. It was full of water. The small hole to drain water was plugged and the battery wire and starter wire were all corroded.

Steve and I talked about it wondering if it would start by crossing the starter wiring. I decided to try it. I did not like this because I am laying under the tractor. I got up three times to make sure Johnabilt was out of gear and the brakes were locked tight. I tried it and he started right up! Now we know the solenoid must of burnt out from the water.

In the meantime a family drove up while I was laying under the tractor said they are from PA , and can they help or take me some place. They wanted their picture by the tractor.

I started the tractor and decided to put another 20 miles to my camp site along route 24, which is 7 miles east of Colorado Springs. When I pulled in, I left Johnabilt run while I went in the office, there was a line of campers. I was nervous because I could hear Johnabilt was missing, due to the elevation, and I was concerned he will stop. Well, just as I went outside he did stop!

I tried to coast him but couldn’t so I had to lock every thing up and crawl underneath with my screw driver again and start him. After I was set up at my campsite, I made some calls and talked to Ron Burkholder at Earl R Martin, Inc. Ron installed the starter. It’s a truck starter and bigger than the 1948 JD starter. He got me the serial number for the solenoid and I headed 5 miles up the road on Smiley where I passed a car repair earlier.

They did not have one but could order it and will be in tomorrow at 10:30 am, so I ordered it. There was nothing else I could do. I am just so grateful that I was close to a town.

I decided to tackle the job and get a head start on it. I had to take the fly wheel cover off and crawl underneath to take down the starter. While I was doing that a gentleman stopped by to see if he could help me. He had on a JD hat and he helped me get the heavy starter down.  Now it’s to wait patiently till tomorrow and put it back together.

I was a grease monkey and was so glad to take a shower. I even had grease in my hair! That starter was heavy getting it down from its perch, so now it is time to rest.

Tomorrow is a new day.