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Life Elevated

Posted on July 23, 2014 by No Comments

The only thing we knew about Fruita was that it was home to Mike The Headless Chicken and some good mountain biking. Probably more than most people know about Fruita. It turns out they have dinosaurs too. We were happily rolling along, so didn’t stop to camp at a recommended spot near mile marker 2.

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Instead, we left Colorado and were into Utah. Due to the pot laws, we half-expected to see police blockades and mandatory vehicle searches at the border, but instead just a big sign.

Things are flattening out. And, it’s hot. Really hot.

Who’s idea was it to go to Utah in July?

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Filed Under: Colorado, Utah

River Rats

Posted on July 22, 2014 by 4 Comments

It turns out the best way to get to the Utah border from here is to drive north to Kremmling, then cut down an unpaved road that takes you back down to the interstate near Edwards. That way, you don’t have to cross the Continental Divide again.

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It was a beauty of a drive.

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Somewhere before Bond, we came across a big river rafting outfit with tons of campers, teepees and revelers. One big party full of river rats.

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It’s good to be back on the road.

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Filed Under: Colorado

Back to the Bus, Part 2

Posted on July 21, 2014 by 3 Comments

Exactly 7 days after arriving in Denver, the bus was finally ‘ready’.  The upside of the vehicle SNAFU was that we had a good excuse to hang out with friends in Boulder and crush all competition on the croquet field. The mechanic covered the cost of our rental car, so we can’t complain too much about the delay.

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All winter, everyone had been telling us how nice Winter Park is in the summer. So, we decided to head up and take a look for ourselves.

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We made it up over Berthoud Pass at 11330 ft and the bus did hold together on it’s initial voyage.  Winter Park was rocking and it seemed like the entire town was out enjoying the perfect weather. Each afternoon, a storm rolled in for a few hours and got everything wet enough to give off that fresh mountain smell. Then, the clouds parted and the rainbows came out… then more sunshine and everyone back outside for dinner and live music at the park. Not bad at all.

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After cooling off, I did quick check on the bus and here’s what I found:

Compression was 110-110-100-110. Not ideal for a new valve job and piston/cylinder set. Possible cross-thread issue on #2 – and these are definitely not my heads. The right side was way too rich with fouled plugs (and burning fuel like crazy), carbs were not synced, and accelerator pumps were turned all the way in.  If I stomped on the gas pedal at idle, the engine would die.  So, after a quick attempt at a re-tune, I discovered the right carb accelerator pump tube was draining continuously at high RPM. Sticking my finger down there and bending the tube upwards did the trick of preventing fuel from being siphoned from it and then I was able to reset the pump adjustments to where they were, re-sync, and everything made more sense. Now, it’s running pretty well with typical mpg, but still seems a little sluggish.  I’ll put some more miles on it and give it another look. Regardless, we’re rolling on.

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Filed Under: Colorado

Back to the Bus

Posted on July 11, 2014 by 4 Comments

We started our day at 4 AM – we had big plans. Today we were finally getting back on the road!

The first half involved flying to Denver and it was completely smooth. Then, a $100 taxi ride to the mechanic to pick up the bus.

SNAFU time.

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The bus has been here about 3 months. Our return today was no surprise.

Still, there was nobody there – just a needy cat. I let myself in while Angela and Bode plopped down on our bags to wait. I figured I could just go get the bus and pull it around front.

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Our bus was in the back alright. Up on jacks. No engine. No brakes.

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So much for that idea of hopping in the bus and getting back on the road. At least we’ve got rainbows.

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Filed Under: Colorado

Dad’s Super

Posted on July 10, 2014 by 4 Comments

This post was supposed to end with a photo of me driving my dad’s ’79 convertible Super Beetle.

It doesn’t.

My dad’s had this bug for as long as I can remember and it’s been up and down the Galveston seawall a thousand times. But, it hasn’t left his garage in at least 5 years.

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While we were around, I figured I would try to get it going and take it for a spin. Unfortunately, the brakes have pretty much disintegrated – cracked hoses, leaking cylinders, peeling pads. Pretty much everything that can be replaced needed to be replaced. I managed to get it 75% done.

Everything rusts here – the salt air on the South Coast is a VW killer. Dad’s Super is rusted out from underneath and the axle nuts are pretty much fused to the axle at this point.  With all the wrong tools and a giant cheater, I managed to loosen the nuts and repair the brakes on 3 wheels. The fourth – not so much.

We’re trying to get ourselves moving again, so that joyride in the convertible will have to wait until next time. Until then I’ll have to think of a clever way to defeat that big rusty nut.

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Filed Under: Texas

Art Cars

Posted on June 19, 2014 by 2 Comments

Houston is home to the ‘largest art car parade in the world.’ A few weeks ago we dropped in to have a look.

I don’t think Houstonians have enough opportunities to let their Freak Flags fly, so this was as good of an excuse as any. What else can you say… it’s art.

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Filed Under: Texas

The Suit

Posted on June 10, 2014 by 10 Comments

I have exactly one suit. Probably, the only one I’ll ever own.

It mostly just hangs in closets. Currently, in an upstairs bedroom at Angela’s mom’s house.

I believe we’ve successfully dated it to 1998. I must have bought it for a job interview, but I don’t remember wearing it to one.

It’s not particularly stylish and not particularly comfortable. It’s sort of an olive color and the fabric isn’t very inviting to touch. I’m sure I got a good deal on it.

There’s one shirt, one tie, one belt, and one pair of shoes to go with it. They all reside in that closet full time.

There is a small hole on the right shoulder on the jacket. I really don’t feel compelled to have it fixed. If anyone ever mentions it, I’ll just act surprised.

Any time I’ve worn it, people tell me how nice I look. But, I think it’s just such an uncommon sight that they’re compelled to comment. I don’t feel good in it. Besides, it’s rare that I would have reason to wear it.

Monday, I wore it.

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Filed Under: Texas

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