Vacation Planning Time (Post #446) 2/7/2014

It’s time to start your vacation planning. I know it’s only February, but if you plan to see any of our great national parks, you need to start now. Reservations are necessary if you plan to stay in any of the park’s resorts. A budget for your trip is necessary. Dude, there is a serious lot to do, get started!

Mrs. Okierover and I went on a 3900 miles trek to Glacier National Park with another couple back in August of 2012. It was amazing. I can’t believe I didn’t post a story about it. If I did, I can’t seem to find it. I will have to recreate the posts and get it up on this page. It was an epic trip and a very good time for all.

In any event we went to one of the most gorgeous places on earth, Glacier National Park. Today ran a time-lapse video of the Going to the Sun Road. I stumbled upon a video someone posted on website for Glacier National Park. There are a great many links to click in there. Here is a short video (01:18) about the park by Joe Nugent.

Mrs. Okierover and I have talked about going back as have our friends. Their schedules did not align well last year or they would have gone again in 2013. We have a few trips ahead of this one. We have talked about going out to California again. We have talked about going to Massachusetts. We have talked about going out to Washington, DC again. And Mrs. Okierover has always wanted to visit a beach with clear water. I’m thinking this will be The Keys in Florida. Hawaii, Guam, Australia, Brasil,…etc…

The list of places we want to go is almost endless. Most of these trips will need to wait until we retire. The time and funding is just not there right now. Such is the fate of a middle class drone in America.

Start planning, thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.


Hot Springs, Arkansas (Post #373) 8/5/2013

Mrs. Okierover picked Hot Springs, Arkansas for a short vacation this summer. As you may recall last year’s vacation was a 3900 mile jaunt to Glacier National Park. This year we decided to do something closer to home. Hot Springs is just a six hour drive if you pick the scenic route. Surprisingly Diet Mountain Drew made it almost an hour into the drive before he was asleep.

The drive in was not the one I planned. After a couple of wrong turns, the GPS was employed. The device had us driving all the way down to Broken Bow, Oklahoma and back up to Hot Springs. Not the prettiest drive.

As we turned northerly we watched the thunderheads rise and an impressive cloud to cloud lightning display. This only meant one thing, we would have some serious weather to drive through. It manifested itself in sheets of rain that double speed wipers were only just able to keep up with.

We followed what I figured was a local-yokel as he seemed to know the blind turns in the rain better than we. As we finally cleared the storm, we looked back to see he only had one headlight working. How he was able to see in that deluge was truly a mystery.

Our first day was a lazy day for the Mrs. and I. We took Diet Mt. Drew and his girlfriend to a water and theme park for the afternoon. We napped.

Day two we decided to rent a party barge and go tubing on Lake Hamilton.

El Capitan

Painful for my back, Mrs. Okierover found it therapeutic for hers.

Me and the Mrs.

That was a pretty good time.

We spent the rest of the day at Garvan Woodland Gardens. There was an art exposition of glass.

It was pretty. It was humid. Think Central American jungle humid with zero wind. We wandered around and enjoyed the quiet woods and gardens until the mosquitoes started in on us.

We ended the day with Pirate Cove Mini Golf. Your’s truly won by two strokes over Sadie, with Mrs. Okierover third and Diet Mt. Drew finishing last. A good time was had by all.

We spent our 24th wedding anniversary driving home. This time I had the route planned for some scenic driving. We skirted the lakes heading west out of Hot Springs and eventually made it to Highway 1 in Oklahoma. This is the Talimena Scenic Byway. This road is most popular in Autumn when the leaves are changing. It is truly a great drive. It is very popular with the motorcyclers.

When these vast stretches of timberland came up for auction only one bid was made. The National Park Service paid 1.42$(US) an acre. The land had been raped by forestry companies for years with absolutely no conservation effort made what-so-ever. Their operations consisted of showing up and running a rail line to the milling site. A boom town almost always followed. They would cut until it was no longer profitable and load everything back on the train and pull out. when they were through, it was a land of bare eroding hills, pock marked by fires and of little or no value.

On our way into the park, we came across this road side memorial to John F. Kennedy. It seems he was there to dedicate the opening of Highway 259 in October of 1961. There is a connection to the Knights of Columbus that I’m sure has more to it than the fact they asked him to come and they paid for the monument.

We stopped at Treats and Treasures in Talihena for lunch. Its an old fashioned soda fountain with a gift shop in the front. For the little town of Talihena it is a nice little place in downtown. I could retire to a town like this.

Ratty old gas station. I love it.

We got pulled over for speeding in Hartshorne, Oklahoma. It was a 45mph zone and I was probably going 60mph. I slowed down to 55mph when I saw the cop. He pulled us over and asked for my license. He said I was going “a little fast” back there. He then asked to see our insurance and asked if we were heading home. I was polite and answered all his questions with a “yes sir”. It took Janie quite a while to find the insurance form. I think he finally got frustrated with us and told me to slow down and let us go. He was respectful and very polite. I was impressed. He did have more tattoos than I’ve ever seen on a cop. If I were to guess, he saw the Marine Corps sticker, and hat and having served himself somewhere, he let us go. That’s my first pull over in over 10 years of speeding driving.

We continued on and turned north to Eufaula and then down Highway 9 to home.

It was a good weekend and we were glad to be home.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Ahhhh (Post #191) 8/3/2010

As Wally from USMC81 said… Time for a little R&R. The jellyfish are out in force on day one. I hear that’s normal for North Padre Island. Stingrays are out too, but we haven’t seen any. We did see a very large sea turtle, at least 3 foot on the shell. SPF 30 is not getting the job done, switching to 50 weight tomorrow. Watched a couple of two wheel drive SUVs get stuck on the beach…that was priceless and made me miss my Land Rover.
Have a good week.

Rust and Relaxation (Post #190) 7/28/2010

I’m almost ready to start on the repairs of the holes in the floor pan. I have read some websites that gave some direction for this kind of repair. I have also consulted with the Evil German Dude about the repairs. The general concepts have all been thoroughly hashed out.

I general idea is to cut out the holes. Then you make the patches to fit into the holes. The idea is to cut away the rust and to replace it with a patch that extends at least an inch over the edge. At this point you weld it and seal it.

It sounds very simple in concept. But the details and techniques are the devil, and thankfully, I have a legitimate evil source of assistance and believe this will go with little trouble.

We worked all this out recently by making a model of the project out of paper. Not a full sized 1993 Range Rover LWB, just a small concept model of the floor pan. I’m obsessed, not crazy.

The Evil German dude has a nifty tool that does the crimping and bending. It called an air punch flange tool.

It bends the metal and has a punch to pop holes in the metal for welds. EGD assures me this is “no big deal”.

The absolute hardest part will be getting the metal cut out. There are some vital systems below the floor in the areas that need to be cut out. This will require careful cutting. EGD says you can use the cutting wheel on an angle grinder to “score” the metal weakening it and then using a screwdriver or chisel complete the cut.

At the cost of an 16 Gauge Air Nibbler 25$(US) or a pair of Inline Air Shears 30$(US) perhaps we might consider another tool. I haven’t even asked JagGuy if he already owns either of these tools and would he be willing to lend them to me.

I took the passenger seat and electrics out of the Rover over the weekend in order to investigate the rust on the long seam. It was a birds nest of wires under there. With the Electronic Fuel Control computer removed it is easy to see how it could be move to the under side of the dash. The thought here is to get it even further away from water in case of a river fording. There were some plugs unplugged and I’m not sure what they were. The rust is bad but no holes yet. I will grind off the protective undercoat and clean as much rust off as possible and paint everything with Rustoleum and or acid etching primer.

I know at this stage I should not have visited the website as I see right there that a 90 amp Flux Wire Welder is on sale 149.99$(US) to an affordable 99.99$(US). That’s a hell of a deal. Too bad I don’t have any money right now.
Oh well. It’s not like this is the first tool I’ve wanted that I would only use once or twice (a year). If I had a “real shop” I’d be all over this deal.

Before all this lovely work is to begin though, I am going to take some R and R and visit a beach. If I had known the oil had not fowled the beaches in Mississippi I would have made for that coast post haste. First because I’ve never been there but the brochure looks nice. Secondly, I think it would be nice to help with the economy down there. Not that BP won’t be kicking in, but its not the same.

I heard an NPR report that said tourism was way down in the region, yet nothing was wrong with the flour white beaches. I also heard from an online poker buddy that the cost of shrimp and seafood was not bad and was only up just a bit in cost. Not that it matters to me, as I eat the seafood no matter what they charge for it.

Well, here’s to some rum and relaxation. More as it develops.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering. One more for the road…

Back from Vacation (Post #100) 7/25/2008

The long circuitous vacation trek has been completed. We managed to make it from Oklahoma to the Grand Canyon, across the Hoover dam, to Las Vegas, on to Huntington Beach, down to San Diego and home via the southern route through Arizona and New Mexico. The pictures are not yet categorized so I’ll get to get a more visually pleasing post together in the days to come.
The worries about the transmission service did not materialize into anything. The gas mileage was a little better than average. The low was a miserable 12.2, which I’m not entirely sure the tank filled correctly. To a high of 16.4. Which was pretty nice.
We went up and down the mountains in New Mexico and Arizona with out a single hitch. I was worried about over heating the transmission on the climbs but it didn’t happen. No one complained about comfort but It is pretty obvious that if you were to redo the interior of the Discovery with custom seats they would have to include a recline feature.
I’m going to drain the pumpkins and replace the fluid in the transfer case again just to get those two maintenance items completed. I have the fluid in the steering system about half switched out with the suck some out, fill it with new fluid, run the engine, repeat.
More soon. Thanks for reading.