DMV Adventures, Homer Style

One acronym in particular that fills me with dread is “DMV”.  I immediately flash back to memories of taking a number and waiting ages for my turn to renew my driver’s license at the Hennepin County Service Center in Edina.  When we arrived in Homer, I knew we needed to eat the frog and get the task checked off our list sooner rather than later.

We first stopped in on a Tuesday afternoon, and were pleasantly surprised to find virtually no line. This is a good sign…perhaps the DMV will be a whole new experience here in Alaska! It didn’t take long, though, to find out we were woefully unprepared. First on the docket: getting the truck & bus/RV registered.  The truck was registered in my maiden name in Minnesota, and of course we hadn’t thought to bring the marriage license.  Struck out there. Thankfully, we were able to get the bus registered. Read more DMV Adventures, Homer Style

Whales, Whales, Whales!

There’s nothing quite like seeing whales nearby when you’re out on the water.  We’ve been fortunate enough to see them in person from that vantage point a handful of times during our various travels in Alaska, and I can’t imagine it ever getting old. We’ve only had the opportunity to get out on a boat twice since our move up here in July, but we managed to see whales both trips. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting to see them again until we’re on a boat again next summer, let alone from shore.

Watching the waves roll in while looking for whale sprays at the end of The Spit

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The Trailer Saga Continues

I spent much of Saturday evening reading about electric brakes. Everything I read online about this style of brakes said that the condition I’m seeing means they’re due for replacement. The magnets are a wear item and can be replaced with ease. After replacing the magnet, the magnet surface is now flat/smooth and would not effectively transfer energy when pressed against a rutted drum. This means the drum should either be ground down to a smooth surface again, or replaced. Grinding down the side walls is common and shops have the means of doing this. Grinding down the rear, however, is harder and requires equipment not easily found.

It was starting to look like I might be replacing these after all. I started pricing out a repair. At $20 +shipping for a magnet, plus minimum of $30 per drum to grind it down if I’m able to find someone who can do it, and then I still have to clean the whole assembly to get it smoothly moving again. An entirely new hub, bearing, and brake assembly kit goes for $100 /wheel on eBay, shipped. For and extra $50/wheel, the time saved is probably worth just buying a new set. I was going to be placing an order for a new set anyway for the front axle that’s currently brake-less, so why not just double the order. I resigned to solving this problem the way I solved most problems in the days leading up to our move to AK: throw more money at it.

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