Its all about the miles, no…it is not (Post #291) 5/20/2011

When you have deer running in front of the truck you’ve probably left what most people call “a road”. I’ve been thinking and planning some upgrades for the Range Rover. Springs and shocks are among the things I’ve been putting on a list. But, I was reading a blog post on The Last Great Road Trip. I got me thinking that perhaps one of these needs to be some cameras. 

I’ve seen so many things I wished I had taken a picture of. The deer galloping up the trail when Jack and I were on our so called “adventure“. The antelope on the side of I-40 on our trip through New Mexico. A random cat perched on a fence post. Lots of different wild life, perhaps too many examples to mention. I need a camera that is ready in an instant. 

I think I’d like a GoPro camera, or something similar. You know the ones for extreme action! I’m pretty boring but if it took good pics and could capture my adventures why not? I imagine a camera that was running all the time, sorta like a dash cam in a police car. If I wanted to save the last few minutes I could hit a button and store the video. So the next time a moose crosses the road in front of me, I’ll have a digital short to share with you. This is going to take some investigation.

I need to slow down on my trips as well. The trip is more than the destination. The trip is the adventure getting there. It has always been so. I need to plan less time driving and more time for stops to see stuff. The  overwhelming desire to get where I’m going has to take a back seat to the drive. (see what I did there? back seat…we are driving…yeah I know, why don’t I have a Pulitzer already?)

We are going on a road trip this summer for our vacation. It is mostly about the destinations and not the trip. The destinations are epic so the trip will be full of stuff to see. We are traveling with another family so the convoy rules will apply.

I’ve got to think about the math of the drive more. Take this in. If you are traveling at 60mph you are traveling one mile a minute. Historically that is an impressive distance and rate. Have you ever thought about why towns in the central plains are all generally about 15 to 20 miles apart? Imagine trying to travel from one to the next with a wagon or horse. With a decent road you are talking about an entire day to go from Purcell to Norman Oklahoma. You stay the night and go home the next day. We do a very similar thing today except we cover hundreds of miles. It is a highly debatable theory that the automobile has done more to destroy towns than an interstate highway system.

Now consider if I see a historical marker on the side of the road, like this one captured by Oklahoman Joy Franklin….

when I pull over and read it, it might take me three to five minutes. If I take a picture, first compared to Joy’s it will look like I gave the camera to a over active twelve year old, secondly I will easily add a few more minutes to the stop. So if it is five minutes…I’ve decided to take five miles (minimum) off my distance for the day. Add up three or four stops and you’ve seriously adjusted your arrival time or distance covered for the day.

I’m a history NERD (and proud) so you can imagine every time I see [insert historical figure’s name] stopped here for a tinkle and a piece of hard tack on [insert date and time] during the [insert historical event or period] and five of their family members perished. Dammit! I’ve got to have a picture.

Joy’s pictures are a lot more than just the place. Her pictures talk to you. She has a great eye and captures America’s road side beautifully. My pictures are just fun for me. My kids couldn’t care less about them and some day they will get to delete them off a hard drive like I’ve had to toss a hundred items my parents collected that meant a lot at the time that today are not valuable to anyone.

Driving less, seeing more. Yes, I think that will be my new motto for Mrs. OkieRover and I’s road trips. All I need now is a camera that doesn’t shut down and takes pretty good pictures. Should I take a class…probably. No, I meant a class on photography…I KNOW how to drive. Don’t say you didn’t think it!

Browse ExpeditionOklahoma’s website to see what pictures are supposed to look like when you are photographically documenting your trips. Thanks too Joy for letting me use the Carrie Nation pic. 
I think I’ll go get a beer now…on SUNDAY….yeah, that’s how I roll…
That’s a joke only if you know who Carrie Nation was, here I’ll make it easy for you.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

The Magic of the Service Engine Light (Post #110) 10/27/2008

I was under the hood of the Discovery just the other weekend looking for the vacuum leak that was causing the pre-heater to throw codes. I found it and got that sorted out. While in there I noticed some things. The coolant leak I found when I was swapping the plugs and wires. Well it is looking like that again.

And guess what? Yeah I’m overheating. And this morning the coldest day of the fall I had NO HEAT. So I’m guessing I’ve got a coolant issue somewhere. I’m going to fill it up tonight to see if I’m just low on fluid. I hope that’s what it is. I, like many others, are having a bad fall quarter financially and car repairs are way down the list of necessities right now. The potential expenses on the other current problems doesn’t leave us much left for a new serious problem. So lets just hope it’s just low coolant.

Also a couple of weekends ago I changed out the differential lubricant on the Range Rover Classic. It came out the consistency of goo. The only way to describe it is a cross between the 90-140 and the grease for the CV joints. Kind of a black slurry. It couldn’t possibly have been doing it’s job. I have to order some new pre-measured CV lube and get that in there quickly.

I can’t seem to find the swivel grease at Atlantic British site. I know they have it…but it’s not on the site, or I’m using a different name than they do.

So to recap, we need oxygen sensors and swivel grease for the Range Rover and for the Discovery we need a solution for the window regulator and to sort out the coolant/no heat issue.

Geee, aren’t cars fun?

Speaking of fun. I ran across a really good site the other day. And I’ll pass it along to you.

It’s got all the fun pics of hot rods and motorcycles and some chicks too. I really liked the design and content. Lots to see and lots of pictures. I’m not a “hot rod” kinda guy. I do like old cars and I do like motorcycles. Mostly old motorcycles. And I really like the 50-60s culture. Rock-a-billy is fun to listen to and just counter cultural enough to keep out the posers (like me) but easy enough to get into. Just buy a old bike or build yourself a hot rod or cruiser and some boss clothes.

I really enjoyed some of the hot rod pics. This one caught my eye. With my buddy JagGuy building a car hauler out of a 1940s truck, I thought this guy has a really nice rig.

That is taking a concept and throwing away any sort of budget and just getting in there and making something great. The best part is, I know a place in Newcastle Oklahoma that has a similar truck in his driveway. They’ve been just sitting and rusting in his yard since I was a boy. I drove by there last month and they are still sitting there.

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If you keep going west on NW 10th you’ll see a nice Google Glitch if you are looking North.

When I see “potential projects” like this I wonder what people are thinking. I wonder if when they buy that old truck they had plans to “do something” with it. I know I’ve driven by at least 50 cars I wish I had the time and money to make into fun projects to drive. From a Volkswagon bus in Willow, Oklahoma to numerous 1960s and older camper trailers, to this 1940s behemoth (I’m guessing a Packer) that’s been just sitting in this guys backyard on Carter Avenue for at least 15 years I know about.

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It’s the blue blob there in the middle. It looks like it has all the parts. Just never been worked on. My dad’s friend had a bunch of cars sitting in a field in Tuttle Oklahoma when I was growing up that I thought would have made great hot rods. With my more mature age today, I know they would have made great restoration projects.

Until next time… fire up some Rock-a-billy at the nutSie website and cruise over to the Blacktop site and check out the bitchin’ rides.