All posts in Travel

31 Oct

Return Trip Challenges

In State Highpoints,Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / October 31, 2015 / 0 Comments

We only made it as far as Las Vegas, New Mexico today, as we were  presented with some interesting challenges.

First, we got caught in a snowstorm driving through the already treacherous mountain roads between Taos and Las Vegas, NM. The conditions were icy and visibility was low, and the tight curves and ups and downs didn’t help. The 32,000 pound coach was sliding a bit, and at one point a Subaru wagon slid over into our lane missing us by inches. We would have liked to pull over and wait it out, but there was no safe place to stop on the narrow mountain roads, so we took it very slowly and made it down the other side where the snow turned to rain.

The mountain roads were icy quite challenging

The icy mountain roads were quite challenging

Air Suspension Malfunction 
As we approached Las Vegas, the air suspension began to lose pressure so we pulled into a high school football stadium so I could crawl under the coach and investigate. As I crawled around under the coach freezing rain washed under the coach drenching me from head to toe, but I could not find the problem. We decided to head to a nearby campground to get some rest and deal with the problem tomorrow. We attempted to leave the parking lot, but the suspension had continued to dump and the fiberglass nose hit the ground so I could not move forward without causing serious damage to the coach. And now the coach was so low, I could not back up on account of a monster speed bump behind us. So we were stuck in the entrance to the football stadium with a game starting. Needless to say, we were not very popular.

A bridge to freedom

A bridge to freedom

As a hail mary, I decided to try using our jack pads to build a bridge through the low spot, and low and behold it worked!

Clearing the ground by centimeters

Clearing the ground by centimeters

So we were out of the parking lot, but were only able to drive a few hundred feet before we lost all air. In big coach like this the brakes lock up with powerful springs and are released with air pressure just like a semi truck, so without air pressure the brakes lock up. Now we are sitting on the side of the road unable to move, meanwhile the annoyed football fans are honking at us for inconveniencing them.

Air System, Smair System
It is a very complex air system that manages the suspension as well as brakes and has a complete backup system for redundancy. I was not sure how to troubleshoot the system as I’ve never had to monkey with it. I did have the service manual scanned so I changed into some dry clothes and sat down on the sofa to try and figure out what to do next. Feeling like I had a slightly better understanding, I took the Jeep, bought a creeper (much nicer than crawling on wet pavement), and went back under the coach looking for a damaged line, or something obvious, but could find nothing.

Sears to the rescue

Sears to the rescue

The system was simply not replenishing the air supply as it typically does, so I threw another hail mary. This time, I picked up a Sears Craftsman compressor, spliced it into the system, and fired it up. It took a long time, but eventually the air pressure came back up allowing us to limp to a nearby campground.

Yes Dear, I totally have it under control
I was really feeling out of my depth and not sure what to do,but Susan was not worried at all. She really thought I had everything under control and I didn’t want to tell her otherwise, but I was sweating bullets. Maybe it was luck, maybe it was the prayer, but I was quite relieved to see those air gauges come to life.

My plan is to install the Sears compressor in the basement tomorrow to keep the air system pressure up, and hopefully that will get us back to Texas.

28 Sep

Missing Pie in St. Louis

In State Highpoints,Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / September 28, 2015 / 0 Comments

So we made it into East St. Louis Illinois last night and found a great spot behind the Casino Queen. St. Louis Missouri is just across the river and we can see the arch from the coach. We only have one more highpoint left this trip which is Missouri, and have some extra time, so well stay here another day or two and experience St. Louis as it is our first time here.

Missing Pie
As excited as I am about exploring St. Louis, I can’t stop thinking about pie. You see, the Amish cherry pie made quite an impression on me, but now it’s gone and I’m having a hard time coping.

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11 Aug

North Central Trip Begins Now!

In State Highpoints,Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / August 11, 2015 / 2 Comments

By the time you read this, Susan and I will be on the road driving clear across the country all the way to North Dakota. Good Lord willing, we will complete the highest points in Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota & South Dakota where we will spend some extra time visiting Mt Rushmore and other local interesting places of which there are many. My old friend and Rick Overholt and his girlfriend Kathy Glynn will fly into South Dakota and join us for South Dakota. Rick enjoyed it so much the first time, he wanted to climb it again.

We will be traveling in our 1999 motor coach we call “BigByrd” and have been remodeling since we bought it in 2012 and its now ready for prime time. We have taken a number of trips already in it, but this will be the longest one yet.



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29 Mar

What, Another Cruise?

In Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / March 29, 2015 / 0 Comments

Yes its true, we are taking another cruise already. I know, we just returned from a cruise less than a few weeks ago.

But the last was a ballroom dance cruise, and this one is a family cruise. We are taking, Chris, Nina, Hanna and Valentina (our two grand daughters) and Tatiana and Patrick. They are the “other” grandparents, we will have some competition. I’m not too worried though, I’m a pretty solid grandpa.

Well be back on April 6th.


22 Feb

2015 Ballroom Dance Cruise Concluded

In Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / February 22, 2015 / 0 Comments

Emerald Princess is now back at Laporte dock. We will disembark soon. Its been a fantastic cruise with lots of dining, dancing & fun.

This short video does a good job capturing the energy and fun. Dance instructor Matt Kelling shot the footage and I did the editing on my iPad mini with iMovie.

19 Feb

Magician Bart Rockett

In Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / February 19, 2015 / 0 Comments

Sat down to have breakfast at 10AM with Magician Bart Rockett who needs some props for his new act in Destin Florida. I literally spent all day with him wrapping up at 5PM. I’m going to help him with some magic props. This should be a fun project, and I’m looking forward to seeing them in use.

17 Feb

inReach message from Robert Danger Byrd

In State Highpoints,Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / February 17, 2015 / 0 Comments

120 miles from Roatan. We’ll be docked there when we wake up. Digging the new beacon. 72 hours of tracking and still at 19% battery.

15 Feb

Danger is sharing their location

In State Highpoints,Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / February 15, 2015 / 0 Comments

I have activated tracking, for the purpose of testing a new satellite beacon
Danger is sharing their location at the MapShare web site:

Do not reply directly to this message.

To learn more about MapShare and the DeLorme inReach two-way satellite communicator, visit or

14 Feb

2015 Ballroom Dance Cruise

In Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / February 14, 2015 / 6 Comments

Susan and I are headed out tomorrow for a one week Ballroom Dance Cruise which we do every year. It’s a lot of fun, and gives us the opportunity to really hone our dancing skills.  We will be back from the cruise on Feb 23rd.

Then on Feb 25th I’ll leave the country again for business trip with Entrepreneurs Organization until March 2nd.

I’ll be taking the new  DeLorme InReach Explorer Two Way Satellite Communicator with me for testing, so you will be able to track our progress (not that watching a cruise ship is particularly exciting) but won’t be broadcasting any posts to the mail group. I’ve been tinkering with it around the house and it seems like it will be a much improved solution.

We are trying to carve out some time in the next month or two to punch out the 12,637 ft. Humphreys Peak the state highpoint of Arizona.

10 Nov

Cuba Mission Trip Report

In Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / November 10, 2014 / 2 Comments

Having never been to Cuba or a mission trip, I jumped at the chance when my good friend Josh Kubik invited me to join a team from Mercy Gate Church. The teams purpose was to assist in the construction of Confidence of Christ Assembly of God church in Havana. There are 10,400 churches in Cuba and this is by far the largest and will seat 1000 American (1500 Cuban Style) and the only one with air conditioning.

I have included some of the photos in this article, but you will find the full Cuba photo gallery here.

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31 Oct

Leaving for Cuba Mission Trip Tomorrow

In Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / October 31, 2014 / 0 Comments

By the time you read this, I’ll be headed to Cuba via a private charter from Florida. I’ll be part of a missionary team who is building the largest Christian church in Cuba. I like to build things, and I’m always up for a new adventure, so when my friend Josh Kubik asked me if I’d be interested, I jumped at the chance.

This will be my first time in Cuba, so I’m not really sure what to expect, but I hear the women are beautiful and everyone smokes cigars.

Havana 2

I’ll be back in the states Monday the 10th, so in the meantime, keep us in your prayers.

Note: We are not allowed to make any political posts, or even take photos of things that might be considered as such, so consider this when making replies.

03 Oct

An Afternoon at the Algonquin Club in Boston

In Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / October 3, 2014 / 0 Comments

I needed to take care of some business and needed a quiet place to work and make some phone calls, so we dropped into the historic Algonquin Club in Boston. This is a private club, but is one of the many such clubs that have a reciprocal relationship with the Petroleum Club of Houston of which we are members. The club was oozing with old world class and exclusivity. It was a perfect place to spend an afternoon.

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22 Feb

Salvation on the High Seas

In Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / February 22, 2014 / 0 Comments

I just had the honor of leading Cindy, a beautiful South African woman to Christ. This post may seem out of place but is considerably more important than climbing hills.

19 Feb

WiFi in Portsmouth Jamaica

In Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / February 19, 2014 / 0 Comments

If you are looking for complimentary WiFi in Portsmouth Jamaica try a “Taste of Jamaica” The connection was fast and reliable. But stay away from the smoothies, they are awful.


16 Feb

Cruising on the Navigator of the Seas

In Travel by Robert Danger Byrd / February 16, 2014 / 0 Comments

Susan and I will be on a ballroom dancing cruise for the next week. We have the Danger Beacon out on our balcony, so the Tracking map will show our location real time.

The photo is the aft atrium of the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas