Saturday, June 23, 2012

Some days...

Day 7
Sorry volks, when your car pukes an engine your day just turns bad.

I made it up to Pike's Peak and down but on the way back to the hotel the car died.  I coasted to a stop and got AAA on the phone to get me a tow.  COP BAIT did get a sheriff but she simply made sure we were okay and had a truck on the way -- no hassle.  Engine is on the ground and I've got a couple options for a possible 1600cc (stock) replacement to get me home.  Won't know more until tomorrow.  So pictures and updates are delayed until further notice, sorry.
Not the kind of view I like to see; it's generally not going to be good news.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Easy day, busy night. Details tomorrow.

Day 6

Oops...sorry, had a good day sightseeing, then meeting volks as they arrived and by the time I was ready for bed it is too late to write about the day.  Didn't even get a cigar, phooie!  Tomorrow we're driving up Pike's Peak and afterwards I can write about today, which will be yesterday by then.  Until then, here's a couple gratuitous pictures from the Garden of the Gods...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

We've Arrived!

Day 5
Know what I liked best about Laramie?  Leaving.

It was a short driving day for us (yeay!).  Traffic was scary going down through Denver but after our fuel stop in Castle Rock we entered beautiful, forested hills.  Ahhh, it was like being back home, only five thousand or so feet higher.
Now this is a pretty sight: Hills, winding road, and lots of trees that are green and taller than 8 feet.

Find the airplane.  Yes, we're near the Air Force Academy.
Arrived at the host hotel, Springs Inn, just as the day was warming up.  Unloaded and relaxed.  Met Rich, who is Bob's dad.  He came up from Texas.  And Marion and his wife from Georgia.  Oh, and Dave & Annie Hall from England.  Yes, a Type Three'r from ENGLAND is here (any one from the ol' DDB reading this?).  More volks will be arriving tomorrow; it'll be a good crowd.

Rich, Brian, and I walked to the Phantom Canyon Brewing Co for lunch.  That's where we'll be having Friday night dinner.  Good food and a few decent single malt scotches.
Walking distance from the hotel.  Party on, Garth!
 The evening was spent with a nice, thick, mello, Padilla Series '68 out on the patio.  On the patio I also met Sven, from Germany, who's here with his friend Michael for a physics conference.  It was really neat to get his input on America's roads and driving (apparently we're pretty laid back and have wide roads).
Home sweet home for the next four days.

Wyoming: The Land Of Nothingness!

Day 4 – This is being posted today instead of last night because we had NO internet service.  I wrote this up last night.

Wyoming:  The Land Of Nothingness!

Okay, at least the southern part.  More on that later…

I topped up my brake fluid reservoir and also got a spare gallon of 15w-40 diesel motor oil (cuz it’s high in Zinc) and Brian got some bungee cords to secure his hood, then we left south Ogden, Utah, and finally trekked eastward into hills and valleys…you know, scenery and winding roads.  It was a very nice change of pace.
No need to click the picture, it's just the welcome sign to Wyoming.
After we crossed into Wyoming -- along with +35mph winds -- Brian’s hood popped up AGAIN so we pulled into Evanston to put some more bungee cords on it.  The parking lot we used was an old gas station converted into a fireworks store so we went inside to check it out and use the restroom.  Ended up chatting with the owner and we saw a LOT of super-duper-really-cool fireworks – the kind that would land me 25 to life in prison if I shot them off in Oregon.  We did buy some non-fireball shooting types that are Oregon legal:  They launch little army men that parachute down.  I got some neon sparklers and some other parachute-style fireworks that I think the kids (okay, me) will like.
If there was only some way I could sneak these puppies into Oregon.

Three different parachute, Oregon-safe, fireworks for me, er, the kids.

We stopped in Green River at Penny’s Diner for lunch.  That was one of our stops from the last Invasion two years ago.  Nothing exciting put probably what contributed to our future sleepiness.  Oh, the NASCAR contingent was west bound.  We stopped at Little America so I could check it out and saw more NASCAR haulers.  I wanted to get a picture of my car with one of them as a backdrop but by the time we got out of the gift shop they were done fueling and were parked next to other trucks so there wasn’t any space.  Bummer.
Penny's Diner.

We eventually got out into the greater vastness of nothingness known as southern Wyoming.  Driving in the winds with 18-wheelers screaming by us was fatiguing and we were really sleepy so we took a 30-minute nap at a parking lot on the side of the road (literally).  That really helped out and we were able to trudge onward.  I commented that there seemed to be far too many trucks on the road and they were getting annoying, like pulling in front of a line of cars so they could pass another trucker 2mph faster.  When the 2012 Corvette in front of you mashes on his brakes to an 18-wheeler cutting him off you know they don’t care about anyone but themselves (which seems to be much of society today).  Anyway, Brian told me later he decided to count the cars & truck coming the opposite direction and he stopped at 60 trucks vs. 40 cars.

We hit Laramie at about 7pm and filled up.  Brian was deep into his gas reserves and that last stretch of nothingness (where some trailer folk actually eek out a living) was 219 [actual] miles and had my baby gulping down 8.37 gallons of fermented dino juice.  We decided to hit Cheyenne and spend the night there but when Brian turned on his headlights he got a plume of smoke from under his dash sooooo we’re now spending the night in Laramie…in a motel that has no internet service and no Sprint phone service.  Oh yeah, the winds picked back up and there’s no where to have a cigar.  And the bathroom fan doesn’t work so we have that door and our room door open to air out the failed fumigation experiment Brian and his butt executed in there.
I don’t like Laramie.

-- Pictures along the way --
Because I was bored and I want some Ohlins shocks for my Ducati.

More borning lay ahead.  Windmills are to old Volkswagens like heads on spears are to humans.  Unfriendly territory.

Yup, more boredom ahead.
Wheee!  +50mph winds for my fatigued body, yeah!  Thankfully they were mostly tail winds.

Monday, June 18, 2012

What happened today? A whole lot of BORING!

Day 3
Today was basically uneventful and BORNING.  I like these little trips because they allow me to see different places in the US, especially the places where I would NOT want to live!  I can check southern Idaho and northern Utah off my list of places I would not live (we already know Kansas is one of them).  Eastern Oregon, sorry to say, is one of those as well.  I guess living west of the Cascade mountains has spoiled me.  I love the greenery, the winding roads and temperate weather.  Hope I haven't offended too many volks; it's just my opinion.
See the flags?  That's how windy it was.
 There was a strong west by south westerly wind which was, thankfully, a tail-wind for us.  So our mileage was positively affected.  My best mileage was 28mpg.  With only two stops for gas my total for the day was 13.16 gallons, with just over 219 miles on the last fill up (8.0 gallon fill).  Oh, I also dropped from 91-92 octane to 87 per Brian's recommendation.  No pinging.  Tomorrow we finally head into the mountains (yeay, curves!) so we shall see how the engine handles the load going up hill.

Oh yeah, at a rest stop we looked at the small puddle of oil under my car and it's coming from in front of the engine so we know what that means:  Main seal.  Uhg.  I should be okay for the trip and can replace it once I'm back home.  Anyway, oil loss isn't terrible.  I did notice that the backing plate on the left rear wheel is wet looking and a check of the brake fluid reservoir shows a drop in the level so I have a small leak back there.  Let's hope it doesn't get worse.
Stitched panoramic view of BORING, between Idaho and Utah.
Dinner was at a great Italian restaurant, Zucca's.  We each had a seafood spaghetti and mussels that were great.  Cigar for the evening was a 90+ rated Alec Bradley Prensado...which left me disappointed.  It started off great, rich and spicy like a smokey chilli pepper but after a little while it petered out.  Like, I couldn't keep it lit!  I'd light it, get a good draw, then only one or two more and phthft, nada!  Brian was there and saw I tried and tried to no avail to keep that sucker alive.  Not happy with that.  Let's hope that was a bad cigar and the other one will be okay.

Okay, here's a video when we were bored today.  It's Brian in his Notch running with magical tires:

Oh, click me to see our route on Goggle Maps.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Yawning is a GOOD thing!

Day 2
We left our first gas station at 9:10 and made good time.  Then Brian’s hood unlatched.  So we pulled over and he pushed it back down and we were back on our merry way.  There is a safety hook so we weren’t worried about the hood flying open – them German engineers are smart volks.  But a bump later and it unlatched and we were on the side of the road, pushing it back down.  And repeat.  So annoyed by the frequent stops we pulled out some duct tape and further secured the hood.  Nope.  It came undone again a little later.  Uhg.  After some fiddlin’ around we saw that the catch was ‘sluggish’  so we sprayed some oil on it and worked the release…yup, that’s what it needed!  The catch was now moving back to the locked position like it was supposed to and it held the hood down.  We were back to uninterrupted driving.
Two small sections of scary gravel along the beautiful Umpqua stretch weren't fun.

Long stretches of uninterrupted driving.  Yawn.

Temps were in the upper 80s so the drive was a tad on the hot side but not unbearable like prior drives.  We both are leaking a little oil but I seem to have more coming from the center line of the engine and a little from the right side.  I did need to add a ½ quart of oil mid-trip and will likely need more in the morning…which reminds me, I need to check the oil sump cover and make sure the acorn nuts and drain plug are snug.  At least my tires are less than two years old and holding up, heheheh.

I had quite a few long, straight stretches with a purple Notchback in my sights.

Gas mileage for me was in the mid-to-upper 20s so that’s good.  We made it to Ontario, OR, about 6:30 Pacific time, 7:30 Mountain time as that is the time zone we’re now it.  I put in 20.02 gallons of 91 octane in my car today.

The day ended with a nice Carlos Torano (Exodus 1959) cigar sitting behind our cars in the parking lot, enjoying the cool evening air.  Let’s hope the rest of the trip is uneventful.  Yawning is a good thing when you’re driving a classic vehicle cross-country!