Daily Archives: 21 March 2011

Joshua Tree

I was scolded a bit today for coming to a halt on the blog. “The trip didn’t end yet and you left us hanging in Mexico!” All true, but I have not been in a “sharing” mood. I did hit the road over the weekend, leaving San Diego for Joshua Tree National Park. If things go well, I expect I’ll update more, even though I have no idea what/where/when ……
You can fill in the blank.

The Rover still has me concerned, but that is mostly due to the unknown and the Gunshy Factor. Mentally, I’d be feeling better if the 40 year old parts failed, and not the 4 month old parts… but I wasn’t given a choice in all of that, and craftmanship is a dying art.

The winds were howling last night in the park; it felt like I was riding in a ship at sea when I climbed up into the roof tent. The Rover is parked so that I am somewhat sheltered by the truck, as I hide out behind the open tailgate, with a Smithwick’s. A particularly nasty gust hits the tent and the awning support rods shoot off into the air like a released spring and land behind a large boulder.
The rain hits before midnight, but by morning there is no sign of it in the dry sand. I raise the hood of the truck to check everything. This act attracts three Harley riders from Hutchinson, Minnesota. We chat, exchange stories, and find out that we all know some guy in Fairbanks. There is a guy from Buenos Aires who drives out of the campground in a mid-eighties Land Cruiser that has been completely converted: only the cab is original. He stops and fans the flames by telling that he has driven up from Ushuaia and is on his way to Alaska. DAMMIT! I want to tell him that it is still -40 degs in the Yukon, but I don’t. We trade info on the routes we’ve taken and I give him a couple of Alaskan secrets.

The Rover’s first gas tank gave me 12.8 MPG, which is dreadful compared to the 19.2 we were getting prior to the meltdown. The last fill showed that it had improved to 13.65, still nothing to write home about. The linkage to the gas pedal has been troublesome again, and I noticed that a bolt was left out when the motor was re-installed. I’ll have to crawl under there in the morning, remove the plate and tighten that all up again. I’ll have to make do with the missing bolt, since it is an odd size, but it’ll get me to a hardware store.