Tag Archives: trucks

Escape Route V 2.5 – Done deal

Went out to look it over with Gale.  Nosing around inside I saw a strange looking  monitor on a swing-arm.  No computer I could see anywhere.  Turned to the guy selling it:
What’s that thing”
“A television and DVD player.”  He pushed a button and the screen lit up, another button and a DVD popped out.  “It works.”
“THAT’S a television?”
 The guy looks at me like I’m crazy.  Gale intervenes.
“Televisions have changed a lot since you saw one, Jack.”
Spang Rip Van Winkled again.
Paid an RV repair sales place to go over it with a fine toothed comb.  Everything wrong with it at least I know.  Looks better than I’d dared hope.  The RV guy who checked it also thought it was impressive. 
Fridge, heater, shower, sinks, water heater, generator, AC all work.  Roof is steel, more akin to a school bus than an RV, coach structure is aluminum, not wood.
Got transport again and ready to rock and roll.
It was last registered in Arizona, so today it’s off to get insurance on it, then get tags.  It already has a valid TX inspection sticker.
Life begins again.

Escape Route Version 2.5

Ford RV

1970s Ford

If the guy isn’t disinformationing me about the shape it’s in, this might be the next step in the long road home.  He says it’s got all new tires, spent the last 20 years under a carport, says everything works and is willing to provide the means for me to test everything before we finalize a deal.

Says it’s never had any leaks of any kind, roof, plumbing, and the structure, panelling of the coach is solid.  Says it has 60,000 actual miles on the gasoline engine.

If he hasn’t sold it by the time I can get to see it I’ll have a careful look at it first chance I can manage.

Reincarnation – Life after the evidence locker

dodge powerwagonWhen I came across this picture on the web a while back I was fairly certain I recognized it.  I believed and still believe it’s the truck belonging to the man and wife wood cutter couple murdered in Catron County, New Mexico while I was working Fox Mountain.  An incident I described in loving detail in the Adams Diggings book.  They were found several months later, a bear having dug them up where they were folded yinyang style into a 4’x4’x4′ grave in an ancient ruin site.

Damn I love that truck.  Nothing sissie at all there.  A guy could drive that thing around just about anywhere he might wish to go.  It’s been pre-disastered so the odds of anything bad happening in it would be nil.

Escape Route [or Rout] Projects and Such

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I suppose any vehicle as old as this one and built as this one was built would inevitably require some fixup before becoming a cabin on wheels.  I mentioned in an earlier post about the springs sagging, and the springs have arrived, waiting for the new shocks to get here.

But I’m going to remove that AC unit up there to get rid of the weight, replace it with a roof vent, which is in transit.    That’s a lot of weight up there to be carrying around for something I’m unlikely to use much.  And there’s evidence the roof structure doesn’t need the challenge it provides.

I covered that crack in the front window with Gorilla tape for now, but ultimately I’m thinking I’ll cut a flat piece of panel to place behind it and fill in the bubble-void with insulation foam. 

Probably put a compartment in it for a GPS receiver with a better view of the sky than I’d get from the dashboard.

I’ll run Delorme Street Atlas on the laptop when I’m trying to navigate around towns, but I truly love Terrain Navigator where there’s enough variation in the terrain to justify using it.  I’m rigging a stand for the laptop to swivel from one of the passenger-side neck-support posts.

This thing just posted by itself.  I’m just going to finish it, editing in the rest, I reckons.

Anyway, once I get the AC off I’ll do a complete over on the roof with this stuff, and new caulking anywhere my imagination leads me.  The critical path on this part is that I can’t pull off the AC until the 14×14 roof vent arrives to replace it.

I’ve been feeling the walls and ceiling inside and out, drilling through and squirting in a lot of that Great Stuff foam where I find a void, of which there are a sufficient number to allow me a sense of accomplishment.

Then there’s the matter of the cats.  I’m making that overhead into a travel space for the cats to enjoy themselves in while we’re on the road.  A place where they can’t contrive to get underfoot, or jump out at a gas station to find a new life for themselves.

Once we’re parked somewhere it will go back to being a bed, whatever, but on the road it will be a cage.  They won’t like it, but they’ll like it better than all the alternatives they’d find in the alternative Universe they’d be choosing for themselves if they got loose.

And against the advice of people who know a lot more than I do about these matters, I’m going to find, or construct a small trailer to pull behind for large bags of cat food, tools, extra clothing, and probably some prospecting gear.

This thing’s for sale in San Antonio [Converse] on Craigslist for $100.  If I weren’t so far from SA I’d snap it up, gut it and convert it to a light haul trailer with a top to pull behind the Toyota.  Might be a ragged out popup is sitting behind someone’s house within a 40 mile radius they’d part with at a similarly righteous price.

But I’ve messed this post up enough for now.  Maybe I’ll go into this more later on a post I haven’t already posted.

Old Jules

The Opera Ticket, The Backpack and The Feline Asylum

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Elroyjones and others who’ve asked for pics,  I don’t have this miracle out here yet so I can’t provide you pics at the moment of that specific one.  But the cool thing about living in the 21s Century is a person can meet himself coming the other direction down the road he’s going on.

Someone on Craigslist is selling one so much like it I had to look twice to make sure it wasn’t the same backpack.  http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/rvs/3189851591.html

image 0

image 1

A couple of things are different, but generally the same animal.  The Craigslist one’s 21′ and the Opera Ticket’s 18′, I’m thinking.  Same model, same engine, interior design somewhat different – this guy claims 18 mpg on the road.  The one I’m getting has a generator mounted below on this side, while this one doesn’t.

But the Feline Asylum’s got 76,000 miles on the 22R engine, sat up a decade after the man owned it was killed in a plane crash.  Then another man bought it, worked on a lot of it for five years, put a new set of tires on it, and before he was finished decided he has to move to Arkansas.  It has a few things to be done before it’s ready to head off looking at operas.

I’ll be back and forth this week getting things arranged while the cats chew their toenails and stomp around complaining.

Old Jules

Down Here Where It’s Sane

Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I try not to allow myself to get too involved in the kinds of things real people trouble themselves over, but for the past several months Real Reality’s been poking me and pinching me on the rump.  Real Reality’s an ego-maniac, thinks it’s important and if a person isn’t careful it can convince him it has something to do with anything, make a considerable nuisance of itself.

All these oak trees falling, others threatening to fall on inconvenient and distracting places.  Various new roof leaks.  A number of other nagging items not worth mentioning.  They’ve been taps on the shoulder by Real Reality I’ve suspected might be followed by a round-house to the jaw if I didn’t duck and dodge.

So, a few days ago when I came across a 1983 Toyota RV I can manage to squeeze me and the cats into [out from under trees] I felt more relief than I expected of myself.  I can quit wondering where I’m going to live, at least structurally and what I’m going to drive transportationally.  Opens the doors to more palatable geographic questions.

I’ve a number of issues I’ll need to wrap up here, depending on all manner of non-ponderables, but if things required it I could be out of here in a couple of weeks.  Or, if I’m left to piddle around doing it, a couple of months.  But one-way-or-another the engine’s running and the Coincidence Coordinators are giving their approval for me to get the hell out of Dodge before the snow flies out west.

The road mightn’t be brick, mightn’t be yellow, but there’s an exit ramp coming and if I can get this thing slowed down enough I’m going to cut myself loose from all this pesky Real Reality rushing around making a nuisance of itself. 

Old Jules

Giving the Devil His Due

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Before I leave Dennis Tolliver in the dust of history I’m going to share a couple of other anecdotes with you to round out your understanding of the sort of man was, might still be if he’s alive.

During the years I lived in Socorro I’d frequently stop in at Mel’s furniture store for coffee.  Often we’d stroll around the corner to Tolliver’s used car lot for the novelty.  Mel King

Mel and Dennis were close friends and both were trapped in self-images including a strong measure of outlaw-billybadass.  Nothing much was said about it, but it hovered in the background as scenery too solid not to be real.

One day we were huddled in the car lot office when a Navajo from the Alamo Rez came in with a small caliber pistol he offered as a down payment on a truck.  Dennis noted it was loaded with a round in the chamber, examined it and scowled.

Dennis:  This pissant thing?  What the hell do you think I’d want with it? 

He handed it back to the guy.

Navajo:  It’s a good pistol.

Dennis:  Good pistol my ASS.  Shoot me with this damned thing! 

He stood up and threw his arms out to make a better target.

Dennis:  Shoot me anywhere you want to with it!  If I have to go to the hospital I’ll give you the damned truck free!

The guy looked at the pistol, looked at Dennis, seemed to be considering it.  Then he just shook his head, stuffed the pistol under his belt and left.

Dennis:  Bastard was trying to set me up.  If I’d taken that pistol from him I’d have had cops all over this place.  A convicted felon in possession of a firearm!  If that bastard was real he’d have shot me and tried for the free truck.

I was more closely acquainted with a guy who’d grown up with Dennis, who enlisted in the army with him, served with him in Vietnam.  A man who had no use at all for Dennis Tolliver.  One day he explained his reason.

Several years before Dennis did his armed robbery trick in Grants the two of them found themselves in possession of some dynamite and blasting caps.  They were drunk, and went out on the Interstate blowing up traffic barrels, abandoned automobiles, whatever presented itself.

Eventually a police car came over the horizon behind them, lights and siren providing the drama.  Dennis floorboarded the truck, but the cop was on the tailgate in no time.

Dennis:  Light that stick of dynamite and throw it out on him.

The cap was taped around the dynamite stick with electrical tape.  The guy telling me the story said he lit it and tried to throw it out, but it slipped and rolled under the seat of the truck, him fumbling around under there for it.

Dennis, calmly:  You really need to get that out of here or that cop’s going to have us.

Finally the guy found it, tossed it out the window soon enough so’s it exploded outside the truck, blew out all the windows and the truck rolled into the ditch.  Dennis came out unscathed, but my bud got all his hair burned off, ended up in the hospital, then jail. 

Pissed him off royally, because he was charged and convicted for the whole mess, while Dennis walked.  Dennis even testified against him.

Worthless bastard!” was all he had to say about Dennis.

Old Jules

Pavement on the Road to Hell

So.  The  guy who drove this for the summer camp for kids provided more info.

1]  That FalVay living under there is dead.  Probably the big AC inside was Freon 12, which caused it to be useless maybe a decade ago.

2]  They traded up to a bigger bus.

3]  On ‘short’ trips it gets 4-5 miles to a gallon.

4]  It’s got a 2-speed rear-end.  ‘Overdrive’ of the old style.

5]  Engine’s good, sound, ran better on leaded gasoline, but it’s okay.

I concludes:

The car-dealer got this thing free and called it a trade-in.  He’s got nothing in it except an inspection sticker and some touch-up paint.  It’s been sitting on that lot most of a month with a price-tag of $1998,

But I’m guessing after it sits there a while longer a person would want to be careful not to offer him $500 unless he wanted to find himself living in it.

But with gas prices being what they are a few hundred miles to New Mexico could pass itself off as a black hole for money.

Gonna just have to watch and listen on this one.

Meanwhile, couscous turns out to be high priced enough to fight its way out of my diet.

There are some llama-critters down where I turn off the highway I stop and talk to when they’re close to the fence.  Those animals have the prettiest faces, particularly eyes, of any creature on the planet.  If I could afford to get married again, there’s one of them congenial enough I think I might ask.  Never talks back, always just walks over and stares lovingly, admiringly at me while I talk to her. 

It’s been a good many years since I’ve run across a woman did that.  Longer still since one managed to keep it up over the long haul.  Turns out I sort of miss it.

Got a feeling, though, this llama has staying power.

Old Jules

The New Truck Resurrection

Got me a new truck!

Now that Gale and Kay have finished up their last craft shows for the year and the marathon of preparing for the next ones is over for a couple of months I talked to Gale about this again.  The critical path to me getting transportation appears to involve dragging this one in where a real mechanic can work on it, or dragging  The Communist Toyota 4-Runner in for that purpose.  I’m completely stumped with moving forward repairing either of them.  Time to bring in the heavy artillery.

It’s been a year now, and I’ve been hoarding and pinching pennies and dollars all of 2011 to be certain I’d have the money to get one or the other a license tag, safety inspection sticker, and when I eventually decided I didn’t have the skill to fix either of them, a real mechanic.  I’m more-or-less there now, or close to it.

It’s a toss-up and gives me a case of the fantods choosing one as the better bet, but I’ve settled on the New Truck over the Toyota.  It has the potential capability of pulling some sort of dwelling on wheels, which the Toyota doesn’t.  [Unrequited Love – I Coveted This, Fiddle-Footed Naggings and Songs of the Highway, Cat houses and such, Thursday morning meanderings]

So Gale and I agreed sometime during the week after Christmas we’ll figure out how to get that New Truck on a trailer and haul it to a place where people know what the hell they’re talking about, truck-wise.

Makes my hard pound louder just thinking of having transportation again. 

Old Jules