I can happily report that the boot issue I had has been resolved. It turns out I have 2 nano based sensors to use that are basically the same hardware. However, one of the nano's uses the ch340 serial port and the other uses the ftdi. The ftdi one is the one I had loaded the gateway sketch on. I reloaded the gateway sketch on the ch340 based nano, and it was able to register correctly on the pi during boot.
I found several references to grounding pin 26 ( test ) of the ftdi chip, but that wasn't an option since I didn't have any of the equipment here.
I also found a good reference about creating a udev rule to generate an alias device name in case the usb number changes after a reboot. This may come in handy for some folks.... http://rolfblijleven.blogspot.nl/2015/02/howto-persistent-device-names-on.html