The Eclipse (Post #650) 4/12/2024


Unless you just crawled out from under a rock or came down from a cave in the mountains you probably know there was an eclipse on April 8th, 2024. I told Mr. Fisher and our newest add on Mark Obermiller that we had to go see it. So…we did.

Let’s talk a little about comms first. All three of us got our GMRS licenses prior to the trip. Mr. Fisher splurged and bought several radios.

First was the Midland GXT1000X3VP4

My personal experience with it? Battery life A-. We used them while we were driving for 6 hours. The knock on it was the battery life indicator showed full, right up to the moment it died. That’s pretty disappointing. Sound quality, B-, they were scratchy at the beginning of each transmission. We didn’t really test how many “far’s” it would work but a mile they seemed to work okay. Three pack for $99.00(US). That’s an inexpensive option.

The Second was the Rugged GMR-2 Plus

Mr. Fisher used this one when his other died. It took him a bit to program and his main complaint was getting it setup. We also were broadcasting on Channel 19 privacy 19. But on this radio the display showed channel 19 privacy 10. Not sure about that. Two for $150.00(US)

We’ll have more to say about these and others as we get further into GMRS. Almost all the options for GMRS radios are made in China. There are some made in Japan.

I did fiddle-fart around a little bit and didn’t bother to secure a campsite. Thankfully my friends at Fort Towson were hosting a Eclipse Watch Party. They consider me family, mostly because I visit them with my 1820-1840 Cherokee living history presentation.

We started out on Saturday morning. Mr. Fisher had plotted our route and I fell in behind him and Mark. Our first stop was Lexington Wildlife Management Area. This is a public hunting and fishing area in Slaughterville, Oklahoma. If you watch my videos, you may have seen a sign in my shoppe. Look for it next time. I have a creepy Slaughterville story, so ask me some time we are around a campfire.

We saw some fun stuff along the way including this moderate sized snapping turtle. Which apparently I can’t add a photo of right now. Thanks Google Photos, good work.

We drove around visited the Lake. My camera didn’t record while we were at the lake. Bummer cause we had some fun stuff to say.

Mr. Fisher’s remainder of his route had us weaving through to the Atoka Wildlife Management Area.

The wind was blowing pretty hard 20-25mph with gusts to 30mph. We looked around a bit to find a campsite. We started where you see above but also went down to the lake shore but the site was too windy. With Mr. Fisher and Mark in tents, that wasn’t ideal. I went around to the opposite side of the lake but there wasn’t a suitable site over there either. We’ll be back to this site another time.

We setup camp and had some delicious sirloin steak, fried potatoes, and yeast rolls. Dessert was cookies. We had some adult beverages and started a small fire. We were expecting storms and they did not disappoint. We had a nice gust front hit us and then the rain started. I ducked into the F150 and they to their tents.

We rode out the weather which turned out to not be all that impressive. Considering I’ve slept through two near misses with tornadoes, once outside Kansas City dressed for 1750s living history where I slept in a wickiup and the second I was in the back of the Big White Bus at American Horse Lake, this one barely rates mention.

It was my turn to lead so I used Gaia to map out a route. I didn’t have as much trouble mapping as I did when I tried to use the PC. At this point, if it doesn’t get better I’ll probably cancel. I need to try the Overland Bound app.

We had a mostly uneventful second leg. That is until we were traversing what we call a “jog” in the road. This one made a right and then an immediate left all on a 10% or greater grade. There were some brick-sized rocks. Mark must have caught one just right because it separated and cut the tread on one of his Wrangler SR tires. Not necessarily rated for “trail” running but I didn’t think they would fail.

Without a spare we got back on the pavement to avoid another incident. We didn’t have another tire and it was a Sunday so better safe than sorry.

We arrived at Fort Towson and setup came while I found my friends and said hello. We cooked dinner and got setup for the night. They had a nice spread and we had some delicious food. Homemade cinnamon rolls really finished the night off right.

We were tasked with parking duty. We had a good time and welcomed everyone. I shared some fort history to those who hadn’t researched it themselves. All in all we parked around 75-100 cars and roughly 375 people came to watch.

The clouds were sparse early but built up more and more as the day went on. It was looking like we weren’t going to see the eclipse. But just as one of the guest said the parting of the clouds would occur and just in time.

There are no words to describe the eclipse. It was in the top 5 events I’ve ever attended. The light right before the eclipse was eerie. It was like an old Argon street light. Such a special event. Seeing the ring, seeing the solar prominence, it getting dark right in the middle of the day. Birds stopped singing, a tree frog croaked, basically nature thought it was night. I said “so cool” about a dozen times during my video. Like I said, there were no words.

The fort staff set off a cannon during the totality.

They say the next one is in August of 2045. I’ll be 80 years old. The path will go right through Oklahoma. If I’m still residing in Newcastle, I’ll only need to drive 75 miles to be in the center of the totality.

I hope you enjoy the video. I know it is a bit long, but it was a big weekend.

Like and subscribe to the blog and the YouTube channel if you see fit. I would really appreciate it.

I have a Patreon account setup if you would like to help with the cost of keeping this website up. Okierover Patreon.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering (of F150-ing if your Land Rover is in a shoppe).

New Tires (Post #567) 1/22/2017

BWB up on the rack

After 4 years on my Firestone AT’s they finally quit me. They just don’t make tires like they used too. /sarcasm.

With 2/32ds on the worst one it was time get new shoes for the BWB. I took her by my son-in-law’s Firestone shop on 33rd in Edmond to get a new set of Bridgestone Dueler AT Revo 2’s. I love these tires.

I noticed he had a set of 5 BF Goodrich MTs on sale for 180$(US). If they were the right size and I had an extra set of rims I would have totally bought these for trail driving. But alas I am only able to afford a single set today.

They got me all setup and I’m back on the road. I could go on for hours about tires. But like opinions there are many brands and sizes of tires to choose from. I am a big fan of Bridgestone. I know Bill Burke is a big fan of BF Goodrich tires. All I recommend is that you do your research. Tires need to function on dry and wet roads, snow and ice, gravel and dirt. And for me most of all they have to be quiet on the highway.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering


3 Ply Tires are for Sissies* (Post #489) 4/24/2014

My good friend JagGuy, who you may know from his site or my frequent mentions of his genius when it comes to automotive knowledge, has an interesting hobby. He has a business where he bobs the venerable Duece and a Half’s that were so prevalent in the last century with our military. I drove one at the 1984 Combined Arms Exercise at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. Continue reading “3 Ply Tires are for Sissies* (Post #489) 4/24/2014”

Camel Trophy Indeed (Post #261) 6/12/2011

I found this Camel tire repair kit in my dad’s garage. We have been cleaning my mom’s house out the past couple of weekends. Now I am sorting all that stuff in my garage.

I will definitely pack that in my road kit if for nothing else a conversation starter.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Rovering.

Not much going on (Post #250) 3/1/2011

LR2 Owner with a sense of adventure PRA4SNO

I just thought I’d stop in and say not much is going on. I’ve been able to drive the Range Rover a couple of times. I took my nephew out to my mother’s house and we knocked around the property. I was able to incorporate the Range Rover for use as a ladder. I stepped up on the tailgate to get to a higher limb.

We also used her to haul the storm door back from Lowe’s. With the door hanging out the back I recalled that was the one thing I didn’t like about my Discovery 2. The fact that I COULDN’T hang over sized loads out the back. We rolled down the windows and had the sunroof open to abate the exhaust coming in from the back. I’m wondering if there is a way to pipe the exhaust out the side that might minimalize the exhaust coming back into the vehicle when using the back to haul over sized stuff.

At one point Mrs. OkieRover asked me if we could, “just strap the door on top.” The first reason no was all my straps were in the garage at the house. I could have bought more at Lowe’s but I didn’t. I told her there was a glass sunroof up there and that, “I don’t have a roof rack.” She gave her customary, “whatever” comment. Which I take to mean, “I know you will buy one when you want one.” WELL…I want one.

I need to start on the door locks. I’m not sure how to approach the issue, but it needs to be addressed.

I will also be taking the Range Rover on my soccer strip in a few weeks. I’ve tried to have some type of tailgate for the Chicago Fire vs FC Dallas MLS match. This is the closest MLS game to my home location. Saturn used to sponsor a pre-season soccer match at OU’s soccer facility. But with the car dealers taking it on the chin and the demise of Saturn, it might be a cold day in hell before MLS is back in our metro.

We had a chance at a USL team in Edmond, but it never happened. The expansion didn’t include the OKC metro area. I’m still holding out for a merger that would somehow make MLS and USL one giant all powerful league that elevates the level of play and gives America a leg up on the world competition. Ah….a soccer fan can dream.

Parking lot shoveler takes a break

The Firestone Destination AT tires worked out great in the snow. I was never disappointed in their stickiness on the ice and their grip in the snow. The tires worked great. They are quiet on the highway too. So far so good.

They really liked resting on the Classic
In the first picture you can see a local Land Rover LR2 owner with a pretty funny personalized license plate.

I’m guessing he was praying for it because it was starting during the evening commute the night I took this picture. The next day it hit in earnest and we missed two days of work with a blizzard. I’ve seen him a couple of other times on the way home, but never when I’m in my Range Rover.

I had another encounter during the recent snow. No doubt you have heard of the “Rover Wave”. My quote at the bottom of that page happened again during the blizzards. While sitting in front of Bass Pro store in Bricktown waiting for the signal light to change, a woman driving a Tambora Flame Orange LR2 gave me a big toothy smile as she turned into the parking lot. I sensed with that smile, that she knew that the only vehicle to drive in this crappy weather was a Land Rover.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Follow-Up on Tires (Post #241) 1/20/2011

I received a GREAT coupon in my email from my preferred tire dealer. Basically it is store cost plus a dollar for Bridgestone or Firestone tires. As you have no doubt read I have had a love affair with Bridgestone Dueler AT Revo II’s. The bad news about this is the supply of this tire in sizes that would work well for a classic Range Rover has dried up.
Basically I am looking for tires that match as closely as possible the original size.

As you can read on the original size was 205/80-16.

Getting a tire close to this size is the trick. Knowing which tire is the same size requires a little math. Thankfully there are lots of tire calculators available on the interwebs.

I used this one on

The tire sizes I’m considering are…

Tire Size Comparison
Size Size Change Percent Speed at 60mph
205/80-16 0 60
215/85-16 -.77 60.4
225/75-16 +1.27 59.2
245/70-16 +2 58.7
235/75-16 +3.22 58.0

This tire calculator will pop up a message saying the 235/75-16 tire is outside the recommended range of 3 percent or smaller.

I highly recommend you read the tire page on There is a lot of information about sizes on there that will remove a lot of the guess work.

So back to the Bridgestone problem of supply. Art at Hibdon’s Tire Plus called Bridgestone and asked the question I’ve been trying find out. Are they dropping the Dueler AT REVO II?

According to Bridgestone they have a supply problem. Tire manufacturers do not like to have tires sitting on the shelf too long. Tires have expiration dates just like milk only a tad bit longer. I can’t answer how long is “too long” but lets just say the tire companies know. In any event, they are trying to keep their stock rotated. When uncertain times like these come around manufacturers cut back. Apparently they cut back too much and a GREAT tire became unavailable.

Again, according to Bridgestone the Dueler AT REVO II’s stock will be replenished. So the tire sizes for that tire that are best for our Range Rovers will again be on the shelves or racks in late March or early April. You know I will be checking out this information.

In the mean time a quandary has appeared in our path like a rather large rock slide. Do we buy tires now and just source a different tire that got good marks, in effect DRIVE AROUND the rock slide? Or do we wait for the Dueler’s to show up meanwhile driving around on bald tires or severely limit our driving? This second portion has some added weight that I will miss using the coupon the dealer sent me.

How good a coupon is it? Well, I’ll tell ya.
I asked them to quote me Firestone Destination A/T with full hazard replacement. Here is the survey page for this tire at TIRERACK.COM.

They place 2nd in the category and are actually ranked higher than both of the Dueler AT REVOs.

With out the coupon I can get a set of four installed for 733.45$(US)
With the coupon I can get a set of four installed for 589.63$(US)
143.82$(US) savings!!!

That’s a pretty good alternative to waiting for the Dueler AT REVOs to arrive. Now I could buy Bridgestone Dueler AT REVO IIs in the 245/70-16 size. This is a common pickup truck size and there seem to be plenty of them to be found. They will supposedly fit with no modifications. The coupon is in affect as well giving me a 200.09$(US) savings (nice) on a set of four. Unfortunately a set of four tires without the coupon is 1009.53$(US). HOLY CRAP!

This takes us back to the thoughts in my last tire post about “how much driving am I going to be doing”. This is not my daily driver at best it will be two days a week one of which is a Saturday or Sunday. This Range Rover does not need to rest on a 1000$ set of tires in my driveway. This makes this a fairly easy decision.

So to wrap up.
Milk expires on the shelf. Tires expire on the shelf.
Manufacturers reduce inventories of even their best products when hard times come around.
According to one source at the Bridgestone warehouse, as of this post, they are not planning to eliminate the Dueler REVO tire line from their inventory.
Tires are expensive. Why buy a more expensive tire when a cheaper and notably better product is available? Rhetorical question Farley.