Today was a
day we will never forget!
started on the wide open Great Plains
where a lake like no other resides in a location few in this world ever
see - Devils
Lake, North Dakota
However, the residents of
this great State know all too well that Devils Lake
is a world class fishery simply stocked full of hungry, cooperative
White Bass, and Northern Pike are
the key fish of the lake, and there must be millions.
In fact, we again set our record for most
fish caught in a single outing at 50.
Walleye, 34 White Bass, and 1 Northern Pike.
Mark Bry of Bry’s Guide Service
didn’t think much of us catching 50 as
this is very common on this lake.
not been for the 25 mph sustained winds with gusts to 40 mph he thought
could have even had a chance at 100 – in a four hour fishing
– get out your map and figure a way to
get here – summer or winter.
decided to keep our
limit of Walleye as they are about the best table fare around
– so we are
stocked for dinners for a while.
We departed Devils Lake around 1PM and charted
our course for Lake Vermillion.
Minnesota. However, just
before we took off I check our
oil. You see last
night, two hours
before we made Devils Lake, I
noticed we had
some oil on the engine manifold that I couldn’t determine the
origin. Since we
had not checked the oil in a while I
wasn’t sure how much oil we had lost due to normal use versus
a possible oil
leak. In any event I added a quart and a half then.
Upon checking the oil today I noticed we were
quite low. I added
a quart and it still
was low. I added a
second quart and were
good. 30 miles down
the road the engine
was squealing and the oil lights came on.
We pulled over, popped the hood and saw oil
everywhere. We were
done – or at least we were moving on
to Plan B. I called
road side assistance
and they dispatched a tow truck from 100 miles away in Rugby,
ND. Unfortunately we
weren’t exactly sure what
Plan B was. We
decided that the RV was
not part of our journey anymore and that we would need a rental car. We began calling every
Rental Car dealer in Grand Forks, ND
40 miles to our east. After
an hour the
best we could manage was a 1 way rental from Grand
MN. That would at least buy us
one day as Duluth
was in our path. We
made the reservation. Then
we began the painstaking effort of
choosing which items in the RV we would need.
Over the next two hours we totally reorganized
everything in the RV into
“take” and “leave behind” piles. Three
hours into the wait our tow truck finally arrived.
Unfortunately the tow truck was half the size
of our RV. The
dispatcher had fouled
up. We were going
to be stuck here for a
long time. Then
Brad, the tow truck
driver, asked what was wrong. I
explained everything to him and he asked if I would start the engine so
could take a look. Brad
popped off some
air intake manifolds so we could get a better look and there it was -
filter canister was seeping oil, oil was dripping onto one of the main
and spraying oil everywhere. After
minutes of hunting for the right “giant” channel
locks we had the oil filter
off and reseated. No
more leak. I asked
Brad his thoughts on the squeal. He
said he was nearly 100% convinced it was
the oil spray on the belts causing the noises and that if we degreased
engine that would go away.
We thanked Brad profusely
and sent him on his way with a big
tip, and two steelhead steaks for his family.
The Lord had sent us an
angel today. Upon
writing this journal we are 150 miles
into our drive to Lake Vermillion
squeak free. We
won’t arrive at our
destination tonight until well after midnight but we are relieved and
Today marked our 31st
day of rain-free fishing.