Friday, August 2, 2019


We just finished our last summer camps in TN and I'm repacking our rock climbing & rappelling gear to be store at our gear cache in north GA as well as visiting some Ministry Partners before returning home.

During the last trip Stacy told me that while he was driving behind me he noticed that the rear wheels on the truck weren't lined up with the front wheels on the truck. So yesterday I stopped by Ford to get what I was hoping would be a simple alignment. Unfortunately they found 14 years of wear & tear had worn out the front end ball joints, track bar, tie rod ends, axle seals, and steering shock. They said it was one big pot hole away from major damage that could have potentially collapsed the front end. That wouldn't be a good scenario while pulling a heavy trailer through the mountains! It's taking 2 days to repair it (yesterday & today) at a cost of nearly $3000 (ouch!!), but it could have been much worse. Thank you Stacy for saying something! Ford gave me a 2019 loaner F150 for free to get around while they repair the truck. Thanks Ford!

Just before the summer I had 4 new tires installed to replace our 4-year old tires with low tread (our preemptive approach to prevent flats during trips) as well as our regular oil change and the yearly truck assessment by a mechanic for any issues. They didn't catch the front end wear & tear. 18 months ago I put it in for a comprehensive inspection since it hit 225,000. Evidently they didn't catch the front end wear and tear either.

This is an awesome 2005 Super Duty diesel F250 rated to go 500,000 miles. It was donated to us about 9 years ago by an amazing couple. It has been and continues to be the largest single donation we've ever received valued at over $20,000 when we received it. It has blessed our ministry immeasurably!! It pulls all of our heavy trailers like they are filled with helium balloons. We get so many compliments on it every trip. And every time I get in it I feel so blessed and supported by our Ministry Partners. It feels like a new truck everytime I get in it! And since we are a mobile ministry our truck is the single most important piece of equipment we own. Without it we can't get all of our camping & adventure gear to where we need to go. A continuous and constant thank you to our truck donors who asked to stay anonymous! We are forever grateful for this amazing gift!! We praise God for it, and more importantly, for you!

Ford, who typically would have tried to steer me to trade in the truck towards a new truck, told me that they love this truck and it has a lot more years in it. Even at 14 years old and 240,000 miles it's still well worth investing $3000 in repairs. It would have been nice to catch this earlier, but better later than too late!

I grew up at a time when going to a dealership for repairs was considered idiotic, moronic, and financially foolish. But since they warrant their work at every dealership and we've found a Ford dealership a few miles away from everywhere we host a camp, and they specialize in Fords, and their prices have been close to other quotes we've received in the past it has been a wise decision for our situation.

Keeping on truckin'!!