Tuesday, July 29, 2008

On The Road In The Longroof

It is now Tuesday evening and I decided, actually my friend Carri decided for me, to get my butt online and blog about the rest of the trip On The Road In The Longroof. She called me today to make sure I had gotten home, as her sister Wendy mentioned to Carri, see them here, my last blog was Saturday from the Mississippi Welcome Center. I am grateful at least someone cares! Love you Wendy.

As I mentioned, I had stopped at that Welcome Center to, hopefully, let a severe rainstorm pass on by so I would not get caught out in it. Well, I blogged, had a bite to eat and decided to get on down the road to see what would happen.

At the pit stop I did shortly thereafter for gas and vital fluids, I accidentally left the headlights in the olefalcon on. Normally, when I do this on any newer car, and someone points it out, I will comment, "It's okay, they'll go out when the battery runs out." I must remember, that is a distinct possibility in my newest vehicle. Anyway, as I was walking back out from the gas station, I noticed the driver's side tail light had burned out. I had checked all of the lights prior to leaving the AutoZone I had stopped at the previous day, and all were in working order. No, the gas station I stopped at did not have any bulbs, but the one next door did! so I went in and got one. As I was standing in line, I struck up a conversation with a Dad and his son about the upcoming storm and they mentioned they were heading the opposite direction as me and it was a duesey of a storm. (I doubt those were their actual words but you get the idea, I hope). I went out and did a 65 Hours of San Antonio light bulb change as the storm was blowing in.

As I was leaving that gas station, heading east, the same direction I am heading on I-10, at the highway in front of it, the rain was picking up and blowing like hell into the van through the area where, normally, there would be a wing vent window. Well, the olefalcon needs some work and replacing that wing vent is one of the things it needs.

So, here I am getting freaking soaked and I am not even in the middle of the biggest part of this storm yet. And while, most of the time, Ignorance is Bliss, I realized I did not want to get on Eisenhour's Freeway System, no matter how much I loved it at this point, in the worst thunderstorm to hit coastal, southern Mississippi that day. So I started looking around for something to get under. I looked back and the canopies over the gas pumps were full so I headed out to the north to try and find something else. I did find an office complex, new, yet, significantly, vacant, so I pulled in the parking lot, turned and backed around and around, much like Jim and Regina and I did so many years ago in that brown Ford 250 in that Wizard of Oz-like tornado when I spent the summer On The Road with them, trying to face my rain attracting vent window toward the south to keep the rain from blowing in.

So, there I was, smugly sitting there thinking how I had beat the rain to the punch and was only slightly damp. I lit up a cancer stick, opened a bottle of water and reflected on the olefalcon and its, and my, future.

It took a few moments to sink in, but I realized I was getting wet. I looked up at where the water was coming from, through the rubber seals around the door. They were shot. I then looked to the passenger side and water was pouring in that one also. I looked to the rear of this old window van and rain was coming in every window! The windows on the up storm side were the absolute worst. Now only that, all of my belongings were soaked!

Here, I must interject, I knew the seals were bad, but I did not connect that knowledge with the nearly horizontal rain I was currently in. Yes, those rubber seals need to actually work for the rain to stay out.

As this rainstorm was nowhere near over, I set off in search of cover. I found it at the Interstate overpass. While all of the space under the overpasses was taken, due to the rain falling the way it was, the area down wind (rain) of the overpass got no rain due to the bridge actually blocking the rain. I pulled to the south of the overpass, not even under it, and no rain fell on the olefalcon. The last car, I was in front, in this line up of four cars, while physically under the overpass, was getting pelted with rain, due to the wind.

So I commenced to setting all of my stuff up on those brand new tires to keep my stuff dry. Thanks is given here to WallyWorld for me having those tires to set stuff up on. It was comical. I had clothes laid out to dry, towels, shop cloths, sheets, sleeping bag. I looked like a Hillybilly Hoon from Hooterville. There was a hitchhiker under the bridge in front of me and if I had offered to pick him up, he probably would have turned down my offer, without a second's hesitation, even if I delivered him to the door front of his final destination.

So now, I am sitting there, drying off, and I thought I would log on the the net to check the NOAA website I have as a favorite to see what's up with the future of this storm. Once I had done that, I realized there was about ten more minutes of downpour and then it would slack off to near nothing. During this time, I checked my emails, checked out the bus, the CDM, and those off the wall car guys at Jalopnik.

The rain started to lighten up so I set off on my way. You see, as the storm was moving from the northeast to the southwest, I knew the worst was now behind me and it was, well, at least as far as the weather was concerned.

Now Counters, as I mentioned, it is now late Tuesday evening, and you know I returned home safely.

This evening, I did the Triple O, that is Orlando, Ocala, Ormond run. I drove down to pick up my former lover, Kim, who was arriving from her 3 week vacation in the Metro Detroit area, at the Mickey Mouse airport they have down there. Return her to Ocala and head on back the Birthplace of Speed.

For the record, 246 miles, 4 hours, 31 minutes, one pit stop, one nature call stop, one quicky stop at the Ockahumpa Plaza on the Turnpike, twenty five minutes at the airport, and no tickets. Gotta love those kids in those Lexus IS250 (Ormond to Orlando) and the Honda Accord (Ocala to Ormond) with their speed detection devices. Thanks.

Til the next time.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

On The Road In The Longroof

Well Counters, I sit here in the Welcome to Mississippi center at the Louisana border, grabbing a sandwich and letting the olelongroof have some much needed rest. She has been a work horse and, so far, has not given me one major problem.

I owe all of you an apology. I was hoping this trip would be similar in nature to On The Road By The Numbers. Unfortunately, the mechanicals on the oldlongroof aren't quite up to my thoughts of what they would be. As such, stopping is a real challenge and major urban, even suburban, driving is out of the question. I stop for gas, oil, brake fluid, check the coolant, and I am back on the muchmaligned, by me, highway Eisenhour built. For the needs of On The Road In The Longroof, it is perfect. I guess I will have to wait for another time to show you the 60' statue of Ronald Reagon in the library plaza somewhere in central Louisiana.

Pierre took a shot of me with my new olelongroof outside its previous home. I am thinking that tomorrow you will see it at its new home on the World's Most Famous Beach.

Below are a few shots of the olelongroof in roadtrip form. I did not include a shot of the stockpile of vital fluid the olelongroof needs for this run.

Those tires, sheets and pillows for that mattress standing edge against the driver's wall.

The atlas on the passenger seat has not been opened once. It is I10 all the way to the east coast and down...come Jerry Reid where are ya when I need ya?

The rear of the olelongroof on this roadtrip. Double click to see what's in the rear window.

Yeah CDM, I know, flying 1,100 miles to pick up a 45 year old car and drive it sight unseen to its new home. I could have had it shipped for the same amount of money I will probably spend but what fun is that? Also, as you have previously mentioned about me, "Ignorance is Bliss".

Thanks to you, the dirtsister and lil jim for your comments.

See ya'll later as I have to get back

On The Road In The Longroof.

Friday, July 25, 2008

On The Road In The Longroof

Hitched a ride with a friend of the jeep junkies to the airport in Mickey Mouse Land and got into San Antonio right on time. Pierre was waiting to pick me up.

Went over and picked up the olefalcon and I am presently eating a Tommy Lee ham and cheese sandwich on semi stale Wally World bread at a rest area on I-10 in central Texas.

Stopped by Wally World for the cheapest set of 5 185/70 R 13 tires. Bought them, went outside to have the boys install them. The first lug nut the guy started to take off, he stripped the threads, and, I bet, he did not use any WD-40 on them at all. He then had me paged and I came on back and got the news that he could not do anything on that olefalcon. I said I understood, got him to blow up my air mattress and went back to shopping for food for this excursion.

I went back out to the olefalcon to bring in the tires to return them, and the dude I bought them from, not a half hour earlier, told me their policy is not to accept returns on tires. I was dumbfounded and tried to talk him into it. No luck. So I now have 5 brand new tires sitting uselessly in the back of that longroof. Oh well.

The Falcon runs greats. All lights, wipers, signals, headlights, lighter and speedo work. The gas gauge does not. So I will be picking up a cheap gas gan on the morrow. Lots of power, well, for a 6 banger, but needs some definite improvements in the brakes and steering. I am sure the thejeepjunkie is already figuring out what we need.

Gonna try to make Houston tonite, about 3 hours at 50 mph.

Anyway, gotta close for now and get back On The Road.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Traveling Around The Flatlands

Yesterday, while driving back from Palatka, I was traveling through the middle part of the state, north of the Ocala National Forest, and remembered how parts of Missouri and Arkansas were as flat as the interior portions of the Sunshine State.

The following two images were taken in southeast Missouri.

these next two are taken in southeast Arkansas,

and these last three were taken in north central Florida.

To me, the similarities are uncanny.

Wonder how I will feel about south Texas? You can bet I will let you know.

What I Saw Today

Mr. Perry's Red Honda.

So today, while I was out setting up my transportation to Mickey Mouse land tomorrow, I stopped by to get my, now thinning, hair cut.

As this is the first haircut I would receive here in the Birthplace of Speed, I just went to one of those places where "Walk Ins Are Welcome".

The dude, Mr. Perry, was the stylist on duty. I told him about my pending trip and the lack of air conditioning in the Falcon89 and mentioned to him, "It cannot be too short, it will always grow out".

I commented on the pretty red Honda picture on the cabinet in front of me and he told me it is now his daily driver and it is parked outside. After I got scalped, we went out and he showed it to me. While not my bowl of rice, it is a nice ride.

For what it is, it is really sweet, after you overlook his teenaged son's damage to it.

He cranked the stereo and dropped the car via it's on board hydraulics.

In the above photo, he dropped just the passenger side of it. Took a pic of the dropped side but it didn't take well, so you won't see it.

Tricked out gauges and super clean dash.

Below are the hydraulics.

Not one TV

But two of them.

With regards to the damage, it has a clear hood on it to show off the chromed out engine. Apparently, last weekend, his 17 year old son was using the car and went over one of our high bridges without having the hood secured in place. It flipped up and broke, as well as breaking the windshield. These clear hoods are not often found done at the U-Pull-It on 17-92. It is shipped out of California to the tune of $2,200. I asked Mr. Perry what he had in it. Something near $50,000.

I will stick with my $2001 longroof.

And, that is What I Saw Today.

Rental Cars, Airport Shuttles and Limosines

So I went out to the Daytona International Airport to find a cheap rental car to the Orlando airport. $88. Plus gas and tolls.

So I went to the Daytona office of the Orlando Airport Shuttle to get the price of hitching a ride to the Orlando airport. $55. Plus, I cannot leave my car at their office while I am gone, so another approximately $22 for a cab there. Plus I need to be at their place 20 minutes away at 6:30 am for an 11:48 am flight.

So I went to the jeep junkie's shop to get his advice. He called one of his clients, Aristocrat Limosines and got me a personal car and driver. $100.

Guess which one I am taking tomorrow morning at 7:45?

My New Longroof

Well, it is early Thursday morning.

I returned from a trip to meet with Manuel Labor down Mickey Mouse way, and then a long, heavily rain influenced, trip up to Palatka to meet with the Original Jeep Junkie and then on back to the Birthplace of Speed.

Got home around 8 or so and got a short nap in so now I am wide awake. Sorry for your luck.

What I thought was a quick trip not quite to Mickey Mouse Land turned into an all day excursion to get more parts for the jeep afficionados in my family.

Upon arrival at the Original Jeep Junkie's place in Palatka, it turned out He had left for the day, so I am back there tomorrow to find an, original, oil bath air cleaner and wheel to be forwarded to the bus.

I would include images here but, know, it is just not that exciting. Plus the bus will probably post pics anyway. If he doesn't, he should.

So, I am anxiously awaiting my $210 flight to San Antonio to meet, yet, another Frenchman selling me a bill of goods. Pierre is to meet me at the airport and transport me to my latest longroof. I am thrilled, yet a little apprehensive.

You see, this 48 year old unemployed construction worker is flying to a city he has only been in, 32 years ago, buying a, sight unseen, 45 year old vehicle, and driving it 1,155 miles back to the Birthplace of Speed.

Sound like an adventure?

Hell Yeah!!! I can't wait.

I mean the absolute worst thing is the olefalcon blows up somewhere in Deliveranceville and I get to shoot my way out of things. If I only owned a gun. I can always call CDM or the foam guy to bail me out.

The best? A killer road trip, which will be my second this summer, and ya'll get to enjoy it also.

At least, I hope you enjoy it.

I have found some fun stops along the way, although I doubt the Crash Site of Patsy Cline can be topped. But we will see. Since I will be in Texas a good part of the trip, think BIG, but who knows?

I dropped an email to the jeep junkie earlier...stay tuned here..by the way, when I was in Mickey Mouse Land earlier today, speaking with Cute Christine, whom I had not met before, but I had met her husband, Daring Dave, over cocktails at the Casa Amadore, and she and I were discussing my tardiness upon arrival. I related to her the story of how I was leaving the Home of the World's Most Famous Beach and the jeep junkie and I were talking and he mentioned I needed to drop off some stuff to the Original Jeep Junkie in exchange for this oil cleaner thing, and, as a result, I had to whip a Uee and go pick up those doors to exchange for that oil bath cleaner.

Yeah, I know, those words, oil bath, and, cleaner, don't seem to work, but we are not Jeep Junkies.

Anyway, Cute Christine thought the name the jeep junkie was just so funny and, actually, got a belly laugh out of it. Although, there is absolutely no belly there to speak of.

So back to the email to the jeep junkie. This olefalcon89, oh yeah, my new longroof's designation by FOMOCO is a(n) 89, so the numbers still work, needs new tires so my first stop is going to be at the local Wally World to get the absolute least expensive tires, read cheapest, tires I can get and then to move on to the slowest traveling highway east.

After that, ya'll just have to stay tuned.

Tomorrow, I will blog about the cheapest Rent-A-Car you can get from Daytona Beach to the airport in the city of the Mouse but after that you just have to

Follow Along, By The Numbers.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I Scooped AutoWeek!

Autoweek, a magazine, of which I have been a subscriber for a number of years, celebrates their 50th year of publication this year.

They published, in their 50th anniversary issue, a Roadside Oddities list.

Included there was a place I shared with all of you counters earlier this month.

Scroll down to just below the huge catsup bottle.

Remember my European Tour through Tennessee. Check out Paris.

Remember, you got pictures from By The Numbers.


Bought a Longroof

I have been looking for a longroof ever since my oleragtop got smashed up last year. The bus emailed me with condolences and told me to buy a longroof.

So I have looked at many and had not yet been able to find the right one.

This old 68 Mercury Colony Park is nice but it has a 390 in it and would get about a mile per gallon.

This rare ole 65 Falcon 2 door wagon looked good but the guy wants $3,850 for it, no negotiating.

I wanted something like this ole 62 Chevy.

or the tow vehicle in this shot.

But my mind kept coming back to this shot of this Ford Falcon, after all, the driver has an button down oxford shirt on.

The right longroof, at the right price, never showed up until I found this one on ebay out of San Antonio, Texas.

I won it last night at 11 o'clock for $2001.00.

It is a 1963 Ford Falcon, the predecessor to the Econoline Van. Ford, for a time in the early 60's, was actually was thinking of spinning off the Falcon as a separate brand, ie Mercury and Lincoln. They rethought that and incorporated the Falcon brand into Ford.

It is a sharp old truck as these ebay photos show. I spoke with the seller to set up arrangements to pick it up. He is a colorful old French guy, Pierre Baron, and owns an estate liquidation firm. He, primarily, focuses on old airplanes but often gets cars as part of the estate.

He sells them on ebay, as he did with this one. He told me he was flabergasted at the amount of response my new longroof got. It seems last year he was unable to sell an old Rolls Royce but at the time of auction close, there were 11 of us bidders for this longroof.

So we were making arrangements for me to come out. I was planning on hopping a cheap flight out of Orlando tomorrow but he is unavailable at that time. So I asked about Wednesday afternoon. He mentioned I should check the weather as a pretty bad thunderstorm is expected that afternoon. Well, I did and this is what I found out about that thunderstorm.

So I am going out there on Friday afternoon, arriving around 3:30. Pierre is going to pick me up and take me to a smaller airport where he keeps his stuff in a couple hangars. I am excited.

Saturday, I asked the jeep junkie if I could get this longroof for $2,000, can I buy it? He told me I could. Well as you can see, I bought it for $2,001. When I was talking to Pierre about the financial transaction, he asked how did I want to handle it. I told him I would bring $2001 in cash with me. He said, I'll tell you what, I'll give you a discount, make it $2,000 even. I took him up on that offer so as not to have the jeep junkie get mad at me for going over budget. I think that last $1 is what got me this beauty.

It has only 77,000 miles on it.

Straight six with a three on the tree. the Kid, when he stopped by after basketball today, asked me if that was a manual. Ah, education. For those uneducated, it is a manual.

Even the cool little step works.

It has a real solid undercarriage and just minimal surface rust. No dents, a couple pings and the bumpers are straight.

I am looking forward to getting this baby and getting it in ship shape for the Turkey Run this fall. Who knows, it might even be available for the right number of dead presidents.

I am not sure what I am going to do about the title of this blog, though.

Just for the youngster, Austin

Got that old pickle truck in the mail today. Costs two bucks to buy but $3.80 to ship. No ebay postage scam, just the good ole USPS needing to buy gas. Enjoy it kiddo.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fishing, Fireworks and Flats Boats

Yesterday, after a delicious meal with the Ormond Beach Lee family, the Kid and the jeep junkie were heading out to fish down under that big bridge.

Of course, when Cheryl saw this parking spot, she was not amused.

Got great shot of this pelican and 1/2 of the jeep junkie.

Mom watches the Kid baiting a hook.

All of the sudden, the jeep junkie jumps up on a bench and looks out over the water and we all see this.

Those are not people out wading around, that is a sunken boat.

Luckily, this area of the intercoastal is only about 3 feet deep so Dad sent the kids wading to shore, with life jackets, finally.

Then he and his buddy started bailing the water out of that boat and started heading for shore themselves. Fortunately, this happened in shallow water, close to shore. All arrived safely.

Now, of course, the jeep junkie had to go down to the launch ramp and get the full story. Apparently these dudes were from Georgia and down on vacation. That old flats boat had not been driven in at least 5 years and when they pulled that partially filled boat out of the water, the rusted trailer started cracking in half from the weight. the jeep junkie told them to stop and empty more water out of that boat before trying to pull it from the water.

the jeep junkie did comment they had a fishing story to tell the rest of their lives. We do too.

I only wish I had walked up there for more pics but I knew the jeep junkie would get the story, just not the pictures.

So anyway, by this time the girls had left and the jeep junkie was able to get a chance to talk to his Bud, as Cheryl frowns on consumption in a city park where there is signage prohibiting it. I did, however, notice nearly every fisherman and woman out there was doing the same thing.

As we were talking about these idiots from Georgia, the Kid came up with the following story line about Emma and Bubba.

Bubba asks, "Emma, did you get that thar $25 motel room down in Daytona Beach yet?"

"Naw, honey, they was all fulled up so I got us one over at that cool biker motel for $27 per nite."

"Dang it Emma, that is a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer per nite more, you are just gonna half to give up one of them thar Big Mac's you eat every day."

"Bubba, you are so mean to me. That means I only get two Big Macs a day?"

"Yeah, girl, that's right."

"Can I at least get me a couple of those cold Pabsts from you then?"

Bubba responds, "I reckon that will be all right. Hey, do they have a place at that motel to park our boat, too?"

"Yeah, Bubba, the lady said it's all safe and evathin' since the Outlaw motorcycle gang will be in Charlotte for the big truck race. Plus, she said they got a lot of stuff going on now."

"Yahoo!", exclaims Bubba.

So Bubba heads out to the gerage and commences to mix that two cycle gas and oil combination up and fills up that machine, pulls on the starter rope and it, surprisingly, fires right up.

Bubba picks it up and heads out to weed eat all the weeds surrounding that old flats boat.

Once that was done, he grabs the tire pump and starts putting air in those old, flattened tires, readying it for the big trip to Daytona Beach this weekend.

He couldn't get them old tires filled with air so he climbed under that front porch he is so proud of and took a couple tires off his house so he could mount them to that old boat trailer.

They hook that trailer up to the old Dodge truck, throw the kids in back and head on down. Making it down in the late afternoon and Bubba decides he is gonna take the family out on the water in his flats boat.

They head on out, with no life jackets on, just before dusk. Bubba, being the fearless guy that he is, doesn't bother with putting suntan lotion on his neck, further worsening his problems. Nor does he make sure the plug is in the boat. About 100 yards offshore the boat sinks and the family has to wade back to shore, and Bubba, he is still looking for his dignity.

And that is the saga of Emma and Bubba and the flatsboat, as inspired by the Kid and embellished by me.

We had a good time working up the story line for that episode in the life of Emma and Bubba and hope you enjoyed it.

Later on, we got to see some fireworks shot off on the Beach in front of one of those hotels near the Taj Mahal. It was pretty cool. Earlier we had seen them shoot off down at the stadium where the Daytona Cubs were playing. No, bus, you are not the only one with that situation.

The following is not fireworks, it is the Moon and looked real cool, almost orange, and better than the fireworks.

Got this final shot of the CJ as I was heading back to the Beach.

Another good time with the Ormond Lees. Thanks for having me a part of it.