This adventure is a travel event of 270,000 miles
The following is the record that Claire wrote as we drove across the United States in our 1990 Peterbilt RV which was something that I built from scratch. I’ll first tell how I accomplished this and then begin the story afterwards. With the help of my older brother Al Bianco, we discussed how best to build it using a similar design that was just newly built, but using a Peterbilt tractor instead. I contacted the people who were making it, who were located in southern Pennsylvania. The fellows name was Kingsley and his organization consisted of 10 people in a rented garage. They were working on this vehicle that was so very different than the normal motorhome. I was very impressed with it but still wanted my own design. I went online and found that a farmer in Tampa Florida had a vehicle that he was trying to sell as he was considering buying a new one. What he had was a 1990 Peterbilt tractor that he had added many unusual things. The smokestacks which are normally 3 inches wide in diameter were 12 inches wide and a went 3 feet above the cab. The front bumper was 2-foot-wide and 10 feet long with 12 individual 3″ round LED lights at its center and stretching across every 8″. Along the top of the windshield was a 2 foot wide chrome shade to protect from sunlight. On its radiator was a bulldog that came from a Mac truck.
Claire and myself we flew down to Tampa and was met by this farmer who agreed to sell me his Peterbilt tractor. When we arrived at his farm we found that it was very unusual in that he had new ideas in farming. When we saw the tractor we both fell in love with and I proceed to pay him, 35,000.00 for it and then we began our trip back up north. At the time it was blue in color but I knew it would eventually the black as all my vehicles always wear. We traveled to where it was going to be transformed into a motorhome. My son, Trey, picked us up afterwards and brought us back home.
It took nearly one month to convert the tractor into what I wanted as a as a one piece motorhome. I made sure all understood that it would be made my way. My Brother-in-law Andy Mechi, my sister Marie’s husband, who had been a true RV-er most of his life, gave me particular important features that he knew to be best to use. We began once I had given them what I felt I wanted to see made and they then went ahead and made I come true. Slowly it came into shape and was exactly what I dreamed it would be. It cost me total of $200,000 and I was completely satisfied.
This is the beginning of our adventure and from here on out I will be reading from books that Claire had written daily, so here is book one, for the years 2001 and 2002.
December 26, 2001 a Thursday
“yea” my adventurous starts today!!!!
So I started on our trip at 12:30 in the afternoon on December 26. We stopped to see Vinny and Phyllis Procita, our friends, to show them Sal’s new home, but only he was home and he loved it. We talked about going on a trip together in March when we will be going south and will see if Phyllis is up to it.
Now we are starting, and will be going up to Montréal, so we arrived at our first stop last night at 8 PM, 40 miles south of Albany and so far a great trip, went to sleep. We woke up at 6:30 AM and moved rather slow, had a great breakfast at 9 AM of eggs which was after the dogs had their morning stroll and their meal. I must stop here to explain about our dogs. We had two of them, one was called Quattro and he was 5 years old. He was a yellow lab of about 90 pounds. Very energetic and like his old man(Sal), so to speak. The other was Quattrina, she was black, lovable, smart, and beautiful, and was chosen by me, Claire, who loves her for the white spot on her front chest, as she was the more caring of the two dogs.
Back to the story… We are taking our time no rush as I am on vacation but first though I am cleaning ha ha! We will be starting in a little while, off to Montréal. The toll was $3.85 on the New York Thruway, and the mileage on the speedometer was 379,006 84. By the way I must be dreaming I can’t believe I’m going on this wonderful adventure. Thank you Sal. We come to exit 20 on Highway I 87 north, mile marker 515. The Departure time 11 AM. Montréal here we come!
There is a lot of snow in Buffalo New York as we were heading to Toronto, but there is a snowstorm and are now in Troy, New York and it’s 11:35 AM, and we just paid a toll of $12.85 and the temperature outside is 27°. Saratoga Springs is just past the place we will stop at, it’s Saratoga Lake on our way. We are still on Highway Interstate 87 N. we are now in the Adirondack’s and there is a rest stop off the highway at Schroon lake. We had a wonderful meal. Sal had the Wellington and sushi sticks plus beer I had Phyllis Procita’s leftover filet of flounder, Zucchini sticks and Water and a “sluck” of Sal’s beer. It is now 1:56 PM and we are on our way to Montréal and I am now calling Father Roger Gerould, and it’s busy I’ll try again later.
Well, we have finally entered Canada and are on highway 15 Nord and will continue driving. We arrived in Montréal at 5 PM parked by the Atwater market, and of course we had to go into the market, (Atwater Market is a most famous for Canadians) Oh boy! delicious cheeses, breads, plants, flowers and all kinds of meats, so we had to get a little of everything. HM-HM Good! We were again not able to contact Father Gerould as our cell phones would not work here, so we will try to locate him tomorrow. He is Sal’s brother, Al’s friend from Fresno who has been reassigned to a church in Montreal.
Good morning world! Sunshine and it’s beautiful on 12/28/2001, but it’s a cold day in Montréal and absolutely gorgeous. We woke up at 6 AM, it had snowed last night, about 2 inches where we were parked alongside the Atwater market and it was very noisy with trucks plowing all night so they would have the parking lot clear for their morning business. Sal walked the dogs and had the brakes all working again very well, so we are ready to go, but now something went wrong with the toilet and Sal had to fix it first, then we will be on our way again. He is very disappointed with the workmanship on the truck with so many things going wrong.
We left Montréal at 10:45 AM and took highway 15 N. and 20 W. as we’re on our way to Toronto. Special note here! Guess what happened as we went under a bridge leaving Montréal, we snapped the antenna off! 00PS!! Forgot to lower it. It took five hours to get to Toronto as we had stopped for diesel fuel at 11:45am filling 500 Liters of diesel fuel. Sal is now fixing the antenna.
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Let’s begin! All things considered we should be able to do what we have to for book one. On December 23 2001 we stopped to get some dog food and groceries, then when to get a cart in a RV wardrobe closet and guess what another of the secret surprises now Sal doesn’t go easy on anything, so the amount of clothes was normal for him and any single man and a roll of self-control presented itself 11 p.m. stopped, ate at the Dahlia Restaurant. Rained very heavy and lightning sound big leaks over connection between the cab and home, also two doors Leak Bad 10/24 /2001 9:50 a.m.
December 25th 2001 great Christmas no dealing with presents got a new laptop from the boys it was it is now 3 p.m. and I’m on my way to get Claire, as we’ll start tomorrow for Montreal. the starting mileage is 379,000 and have 338 gallons of diesel fuel. The water needs to be changed, and so does water pipe and heater.
December 26th 10 a.m. had to change propane tank from back to front right.and need to watch it.
December 26th 2001 Thursday this is Claire writing from here on out, as she’ll take over since she’s a much better writer, clearer, and all in print so it’ll be easy for me to read, and then be able to transfer it into our adventure in the motorhome, that I bought in 2000. It’s a Peterbilt truck that Claire and I picked up in Tampa, Florida from a crazy wild farmer. He had 1990 Peterbilt tractor that was made with a big 2′ wide bumper with lights across it’s middle. I’ll explain more later, now back to the story with Claire taking over.
December 26th 2001 “Yay”, our adventure starts today. Sal and I started our trip at 12:30pm in the afternoon, on December 26th, 2001. We first stopped to see Vinny and Phyllis Procedia to show them Sal’s new home. Only Vinny was home, and he loved it. We talked about going on a trip together in March as we will be going south and we will see if Phyllis is up to it. We arrived last night at 8 p.m. 40 miles south of Albany. So far a great trip and we went to sleep and woke up at 6:30 a.m. and moved rather slow. We had breakfast at 9 a.m. a great breakfast of eggs. Our dogs Quatro and Quattrina already had their morning walk and eatten. they’re happy, so we are taking our time, no rush, I am on vacation. First things first, I am cleaning hahaha! we had a total of fuel 385 gallons,and we will be starting in a little while toward’s Montreal Canada. Our mileage reading is
379,684 miles, by the way, I must be dreaming, I can’t believe I am going on this wonderful Adventure. Thank you, kisses and other things sorties. Montreal here we come! say something Sal! Hey Montreal here we come on a gorgeous sunny day. Great day to drive but there is a lot of snow in Buffalo New York as we pass as we were going to Toronto. There is a big snow storm here, as we are now heading to Troy New York at 11:35 a.m. The toll is $12.85, and it’s 27 degrees in Saratoga Springs as we just passed it, and will stop at Saratoga Lake on the way back. We are still on I 87 North and now in the Adirondacks where there is a rest stop on the highway 87 at Spring Lake. I had fallen asleep but we stopped there and had a wonderful meal. Salad, Beef Wellington, and zucchini strips with beer and filet of flounder, zucchini sticks, and water, with a “Schlock” of beer from Sal. it is now 1:56pm and we are on our way to Montreal and I am now calling Father Gerauld Rosa, as his phone is busy. I’ll try again later when we have entered Canada. We were driving on Canada 15 Nord, and arrived in Montreal at 5 p.m. and parked by the Atwater Market, and of course we had to go into the market. Oh boy delicious Cheese’s, fresh breads, plants, flowers, Meats, and a little of everything else. We were still not able to contact Father Gerauld Rosa as our cell phones would not work here, so we will try again at his address tomorrow. We even drove around. On Friday: “Good morning world” The Sunshine is beautiful, but cold, and in Montreal it’s absolutely gorgeous. We woke up at 6 a.m. as it snowed last night about 2 inches, and since we had we parked along side of the market where it was so pretty, as the trucks were plowing all night, so we had a parking spot clear of all the snow. Allowing Sal to walk our two dogs and fed them, and now he is feeding us. We have delicious fresh soft rolls with butter and jam, Marmalade, tea for me, and Juice. The Truck started great and the air brakes are working now, so we were ready to go but something went wrong with the toilet, and Sal is fixing it now. Then we will be on our way, but he is very disappointed in the truck with so many things going wrong. we left Montreal at 10:45 onto Ca15 North that was going West and on our way to Sorrento. PS: we went under the first bridge leaving Montreal and broke the antenna off the top of the roof, because Sal forgot to put it down. After 5 hours heading to Toronto, we stopped for diesel fuel at 11:45. 500 litres of diesel for trip 664 miles. Sal is still trying to fix the antenna, as everyone gives us the thumbs-up when they see the truck. Blinker lights not working. so we stop to get propane to eat lunch, and then Sal calls Mr. Wong, but no luck and so we will call him back again in Cornwall. We are on 401 at Ontario and departed at 2:15. Well, I almost forgot, we now have a minor flood from the bathroom and it’s all over the floor, but with a swift clean up, we left again and are now stopped because of big accident. It has been snowing heavily and sometimes with no visibility causing a lot of accidents by cars going off the side of the road, spinning around, and now black ice forming and very dangerous. We are stopping at a truck-stop called Flying J, and we will stay here for the night. We have at least two hours more before we get to Toronto and the snow is now 5ft, and the CD says the road West on 401 is still closed. so, we had had a nice dinner of catfish and salad and fresh string beans, wine and water, with desserts Yoki and raspberry ice cream. Good night all, see you, so we watched a DVD video called Days Seven Days Seven Nights, a great one we went to sleep at 9 p.m., woke up at 3 a.m. in the morning it was freezing, 41 degrees inside with the propane gas, 3 degrees outside. we arrive at Napanee, Ontario at 12 noon mileage: 380170 traveled 829 miles used fuel 120.68 liters and propane gas 14.1 lbs to CVS Sal had to change it as it was 17 degrees outside. Hello, it was cold Quarttrina our a little dog was so cold she came on the bed by my pillow near my head and face and licked my face, to let me know she was cold and something was wrong. Sal had to go outside again as we could not sleep so we watched Seven days and Seven nights again.
We arrived in Mississauga at 2:30 p.m. we called Mr. Wong and are now waiting for him to come out of his complex, as it took us two and a half hours from Nappanee to Mississauga. It is a beautiful day we saw the “Needle” but I don’t think that we got pictures it was too far from Ca401. It is now 9 p.m. we had a Charming dinner with Mr Wong, his wife, his son and his mother and father, at a Chinese restaurant. The meal was fantastic, and I even ate with chopsticks at least I tried. they are very nice people, very respectful to each other, and to me. We had a wonderful time, then went to their condo and also the parents condo, where we took our shoes off as we entered. The views from both condos are breathtaking, as you can see Toronto and the needle. At 12:30 on Sunday we had a delightful meal, where Christina and Mr Wong took us to see Niagara Falls, the Horseshoe Falls, with beautiful sights all through and around the falls. Then we went to Toronto, and The Old City and the loop, then we also went to an old Chinese market and what a marvelous place with Christina and S.W. Wong serving Chinese tea that was wonderful. Well it’s 9 p.m. and we just returned from having dinner. You guessed it Chinese restaurants near a little Chinese Ho’me’ whose name means delicious. Thank you! is Toche Deen-sum is tea time breakfast.
It’s 12:31pm on Monday with the mileage at 380326, trip 923 miles, and our plan is to start around 8 a.m. to go back to New York. Started the truck at 7:30 air brakes will not work, and it is now 9:30 still waiting, 10:30 still waiting, cannot go anywhere if air pressure does not come on. we are still waiting Sal called Ralph from Kingsley he called someone else that person called for a mechanic, as they will be here at 11:30 hopefully they will fix it and we will be on our merry way. Another beautiful day, 26 degrees outside, but we are comfortable at 70 degrees inside. Started all at 12:15 p.m. had a stop at 10 minutes to 3 to eat lunch, then back on the road, 10 to 4 p.m. We made Kingston, NY at exit 679 as it was great when we hit Watertown New York. The snow was very dense, and all went very slowly as the visibility was so bad, we can only see the front of the truck and absolutely nothing else
Happy New Year it was really a very slick snowstorm after that, and before we had beautiful view of the Thousand Islands.
We are back on Long Island since 12:30 on 1/05/02 and back to my daily routine and Sal is in Far Hills New Jersey at his son Trey’s house. So all is back to normal Sal is taking the Peterbilt to PA to do some repairs 1/12/02 then came back here, then we went to see Harry Potter last night, it was great. So, that’s all for now!
PS: This morning we decided to go to Robert Moses beach park but it was freezing, cold, very very windy, we did not stay long tha tha tha That’s all folks!
I had to my last day at work the girls, actually Nancy, gave me cake and flowers and a beautiful book, called “America the Beautiful”, it’s great. On Wednesday 4/2002 is when we’ll start, we wanted to start in March but things came up that made it unavailable.