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Ferry tale

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  • Ferry tale

    For our July campout our group (Sangamon Valley Campers) went to Pere Marquette state park along the Illinois & Misissippi rivers near St.Louis Mo. Usually on Saturday night we have a pot luck dinner but this time we decided to cross the Il river and go eat at the Barefoot Bar in Hardin Il. After an excellent meal the driver, there were 6 of us in a 2000 F350, decided to go a little further north and and cross back over the river on the Kampsville ferry. Mistake #1 on the way the driver talked about how the truck was getting up in miles and although he had not had any trouble was thinking about trading. We got to the ferry and after a short wait boarded, it was very hot so we had the a/c going as we crossed. About half way across the drivers DW noticed a sign that said 'turn off engines'. Being a stickler for rules she told her DH to shut off the truck, mistake #2. When we docked on the other side the driver started the truck, after a minute he said, 'hmm my check engine light is on'. It was on because the engine had not started. We rode back across the river and the ferry crew towed the truck off the ferry and into their parking lot (at least they used a Ford tractor to do it).
    The driver (an ex heavy equipment mechanic) started checking his fuses and other things that might cause the problem while the women scurried off to the Kampsville Inn that was nearby and air conditioned. The ferry crew said that they didnt know of any wrecker service or Ford garage nearby. I asked the driver if he wanted me to call roadside assistance that I had on my cell phone (Cingular). He said not yet. After and hour of checking we decided it was a bad fuel pump. The retired policeman in our group headed to the Kampsville Inn to see if he could talk somebody into taking him the 26 miles south to the campground to get his truck to take us back in it. The driver called the 800 number in his owners manual and was informed that the nearest Ford garage was about 30 miles east. I called Cingular roadside assistance on my phone. The ford garage number that he was given had been disconnected. When we upgraded our phones I cancelled Roadside Service on my wifes phone but they cancelled it on both. The policeman found someone to take him to the campground. The ferry crew called the sheriff and he arranged for a wrecker to come get the dead truck. The wrecker was one of those that load the truck on and it barely fit. The wrecker and the Retired cop showed up at the same time and we all headed back to the campground about 4 hours late.

    The next morning the drivers brother-in-law showed up at 8:30 with his truck and towed their 5er back to Springfield, 90 miles, and the driver returned with the truck and a trailer to load his onto. His winch would'nt pull the truck up onto the trailer so we hooked a chain to my Chevy and pulled it on. Then we all headed back to Springfield.

    In spite of it we all had a good time
    Happy Trails To You

    Tom & Cheryl Brockman
    2015 39DBRS3, 2011 Ram 3500 Dually Cummins
    S.O.I.T.C. Charter Member
    Retired & Full timing