IAC West Through Iowa

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Amskeptic
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IAC West Through Iowa

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:27 pm

Seriously enjoyed Minnesota and the forum members who have been a loyal and beer-proffering group. I love the countryside, and I love the small towns in the morning, and the slow pace in Belle Plaine, and I shall endeavor to hike my camera up the staircase at the malt plant and shoot some photographs up there next year, if I don't, in the meantime, blow myself up cleaning fuel filters in thunderstorms . . .

I had to get to some wanton destruction in Iowa. Lilpig88 and his lovely wife had a lil lilpig to show me, the lilpig who decided to get born last year's appointment morning. She is a yuuuuge one year-old now. We were unusually chatty out there on the porch.
Eventually, we got to the Westy:

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We drove the Westy. It was a fine-driving machine because lilpig88 ain't no slouch when it comes to the care and feeding of a VW, this thing was pretty much sorted out. With precious little else to do, we embarked upon an AFM flap measuring scheme using sockets and extensions and a nifty little drug-dealer scale (and you know those things better be accurate, kilo after kilo). Did we arrive at 121 grams for start of movement? I think we lubricated a sliding door in there somewhere:

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Then, casting about for something to do, I committed NaranjaWesty windshield mayhem upon that poor car.
That is a pained lilpig88:

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But, harte Pause, ze kancer must be eradiKATED schnell! This windshield channel is pretty much on its last legs:

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It had a smelly "fiberglass" resin mess consuming the badly needed space for the windshield seal to butt against the pinch weld. We did exploratory dremel surgery and decided that some of the mess might be sufficient support for the rebuild of the channel with filler, then again, maybe it is time for a new channel section:

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I rubbed out some of the paint on the front of the car to find a pretty decent finish underneath the orange peel. Then I left. Can you believe it?

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Camped who knows where. Took off my wheels and rotated them. Performed a badly-needed oil change at the 55,000 mile interval. Got accosted by a cranky Dodge Ram pick-up horn. Not once, not twice, not three times nor four, but five blasts of horn from this purple pain in the ass pick-up.
"What are you doing here?"
"What are you doing, having a seizure on your horn button?"
"That's no way to talk to me."
"Well, that is no way to get my attention, either."
"This is private property."
"I don't think so. We are in the middle of a road."
"Well it is how I get to my fields."
"And it is how I am getting to Spearfish, after a fashion."
"Spearfish? Where the fire is?"
Two hours later, we have discussed at length, his entire life story , his teenage history, his time in Korea, his marriage, his kids, the oil company, his dad who invented a trick windmill, his Dodge, his in-laws, taxes, pipelines, Canadian tar sands, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump . . .
"Who do you think should be President?" he asked me, waiting.
"I like Donald Trump! He is stirring up the muck! He is just stirring it up! He is bombing the bullshit so thick you can't tell what he means and what he doesn't, he is the best thing to help us see how bad it is!" That's what I said.
"Yeah, you got that right, durndest thing, ha ha, he sure is stirring it up! Stir it up, all right, but he is too out there to be President."
. . . we discussed Muslims and Christians and Nigroos . . .
"I don't have a problem with the Nigroos, I was in the war alongside a Nigroo, I used to play with the Mexicans when we lived in Texas down at the border. Nigroos, Mexicans, it was the Japs my daddy was worried about, the Japs. Heinzzman's the name. You know why we have two "z"s? So the Germans knew we weren't Jews. We came from Germany, you know. My daddy was good with turbines. Germans knew how to make stuff . . . "
"That is why I drive a German car," I interjected.
" . . . take that camper of yours, that's a German car. I'll bet it is pretty reliable. Say, that is a nice one. What are you, driving around the country? I have lived here all of my life except when I was stationed in San Diego as a young man, then we moved to Texas when I was a boy."
We discussed guns and more guns, America, the media, corporate control, the picnic he has to go to and doesn't want to . . . .
"well, I gotta get to the picnic. You should visit us at the house, my wife would get a kick out of you. You can stay here as long as you like."
This while I had been holding my strainer plate for well over an hour, wondering if dirt from the road had blown all into the gaping hole in the middle of the crankcase . . . . .

Hit the road a bit late with fresh oil and rotated tires and a new understanding of pipelines and viscosity and pumping and maintenance budget shortfalls "you bet there will be leaks", and I pondered this eighty six year-old's life born and raised right here, the house now abandoned to fields of corn:

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Drove pretty much across South Dakota:

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Got passed by a Chevy Silverado towing this old splitty pick-up covered in all sorts of parts:

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Arriving at the outskirts of Spearfish, I could see an orange glow, the smoke of the fires in the clouds:

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The smoke was bad at dusk as the air cooled and sank down. Gave up on my campsite outside of Spearfish and drove to Wyoming to get out from under the smoke. Found an excellent little spot with running water. Running water! Some irrigation deal, and it did not smell bad. The dead skunk did every time the breeze shifted.

In the morning, I drove to mpls_ham's storage unit and we put in a day on his 1970 Westfalia, a very nice example with a little rust showing up on the floorboards, perhaps, but a candidate to become one of the long term survivors for sure. We did ourselves proud sounding like a bunch of old men grunting and grimacing and peering through reading glasses and massaging failing joints as we limped through a front wheel bearing repack and three out of the four brake reconditioning. Nice smoke-free day with the sun heating up the atmosphere. No photographs, mpls_ham?

He, too, offered beer and a place to camp and work on my bus.
"Oh no, but thanks," I replied.
No, I had to "get going to Gillette, see, because my fuel filter and pump could be a problem and I would need time to fix it."
"Well, it's July 4th tomorrow, you could work on it all day here and still have a day to get to Gillette."
"Ahh, bububah gaah if but when it it see, filter, it me flush no. Thanks. THANKS, but."

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I am such an ass. If you are reading this, Scott, the fuel pump died two exits west of Spearfish with this:

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Right HERE, the fuel filter clean-out did NOTHING for me. The car would not start:

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Rain began to pelt. Wind began to gust. Itinerant Avoidant began to get sloppy. Fuel clamp began to slip off the fuel hose. I say without (too much) exaggeration that I have done this a thousand times since October 26th, 2015, I have successfully clamped the fuel hose so I can remove the filter and clean it, but rain pelts? I become gasoline-garnished butter fingers and there is lightening getting way close . . . . and I am swimming in fuel under a dark bus and I can feel static in the air. Mr. ShuddaHadABeerWithScott begins to have his doubts about the entire enterprise. After some tender ministrations to the AFM contacts, I got the pump to "run" (scream in agony) until here::

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So, I camped. Here.

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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

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asiab3
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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by asiab3 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:31 am

I have to ask: do you find the empty vastness of these drives comforting? I think I do, but I don't know yet.

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And do you REALLY drive those lengths without music? The sound of freeway RPMs just lulls me to sleep otherwise. In fact, I had a conversation with a service station attendant this morning…

"Next time you want to nap in the lot, let me know and I'll shut off the lamp post next to you."
"Thanks, uhh, I didn't want to drive tired but I didn't want to raise any attention lest I am asked to leave. Gotta get safely to Oregon this weekend…"
"No way sir, I appreciate it. I wouldn't want my family out there with drivers all tired like that."

I guess I will try some silence on this trip and see how far I make it. Off to a picnic that I DO want to go to,
Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
100k miles with me.
279k miles on Earth.

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SlowLane
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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by SlowLane » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:47 am

asiab3 wrote: I guess I will try some silence on this trip and see how far I make it.
On the freeway, no-one can hear you sing. :flower:
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom."
- Terry Pratchett

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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by Jivermo » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:11 am

Great write up. Some fires!

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dingo
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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by dingo » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:28 pm

yeah..some good travel writeups....enjoyed that with my morning coffee. keep em comin..

is itinerant and Itinerant Jr gonna cross paths gonna cross paths ? going opposite directions on some remote Idaho backroad (for full dramatic effect)
'71 Kombi, 1600 dp

';78 Tranzporter 2L

" Fill what's empty, empty what's full, and scratch where it itches."

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asiab3
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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by asiab3 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:29 pm

SlowLane wrote:
asiab3 wrote: I guess I will try some silence on this trip and see how far I make it.
On the freeway, no-one can hear you sing. :flower:
Take the frequency of the generator hum as "Do" and you can "Re Mi" your way all the way to the hills of Austria!

Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
100k miles with me.
279k miles on Earth.

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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by SlowLane » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:58 pm

asiab3 wrote:
SlowLane wrote:
asiab3 wrote: I guess I will try some silence on this trip and see how far I make it.
On the freeway, no-one can hear you sing. :flower:
Take the frequency of the generator hum as "Do" and you can "Re Mi" your way all the way to the hills of Austria!

Robbie
Find a stretch of concrete highway and let the expansion joints set up a rhythm.
"But officer, I was just dialing in the right beat for "Flight of the Bumblebees". No, I swear this bus can't do 121 mph."

And the rumble strips can add a loverly vibrato to your arias.
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom."
- Terry Pratchett

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Amskeptic
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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:17 am

asiab3 wrote:I have to ask: do you find the empty vastness of these drives comforting? I think I do, but I don't know yet.

And do you REALLY drive those lengths without music?
Robbie

I find them beautiful. Sometimes I am cranky because the clouds overhead are damping my plans, sometimes I am idiotically happy and singing, sometimes I need to give myself a stern talking-to (to wit: poor eating habits at Panera), but most times my mind is quiescently taking in the rush of wind against the front of the car and still (!) marvelling in the moment that those connecting rods and rocker arms and breaker points and distributor are propelling me back there.

Try no music, Robbie, and get into the exact moment of existence now. I allow one "thought" in the background, an imagining but it is real realization that we all are on the surface of a planet close to a star. Here. Now.

Then again, I loved music while driving when I was younger. It helped to flavor and define me. Jethro Tull and the Squareback in 1977, ELO and the Road Warrior in 1979 (my girlfriend's favorite), Killing Joke's "Brighter Than A Thousand Suns" with the BMW 530i in Los Angeles 1987 . . . .
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by asiab3 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:03 am

Try no music I did! Yesterday was 525 miles, and 400 from Los Angeles to Sacramento were nothing but crankshaft purr, generator hum, stomach rumbling, and too too many thoughts. Interesting. Not sure if I needed it or enjoyed it more. Maybe both equally.

Must go run off yesterday's BBQ lunch..
Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
100k miles with me.
279k miles on Earth.

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lilpig88
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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by lilpig88 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:05 am

I personally go back and forth between music/podcasts and hours of nothing. Having traveled I-90 and the back roads from Iowa to Montana/Alberta more times than I can count, I still cannot get enough of the long expanses and open road...I find thoughts and listening desires ebb and flow with the changing weather, time of day and landscape passing by...you'll love it!

Also, details on my first visit with Colin coming soon!

-Andrew

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Amskeptic
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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:57 pm

lilpig88 wrote:I personally go back and forth between music/podcasts and hours of nothing. Having traveled I-90 and the back roads from Iowa to Montana/Alberta more times than I can count, I still cannot get enough of the long expanses and open road...I find thoughts and listening desires ebb and flow with the changing weather, time of day and landscape passing by...you'll love it!

Also, details on my first visit with Colin coming soon!

-Andrew
I, for one, await with bated breath.
Itinerant SawzAll
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by TrollFromDownBelow » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:27 pm

I think the radio works in the bus. Probably half decade since I turned it on.

Bus and the Harley ... Listening to the rythem of an air cooled internal combustion engine; music to my ears.
1976 VW Bus aka tripod
FI ...8 completely solid lifters.... now it's both kinda noisy and leaky, but she sure runs good!
hambone wrote: There are those out there with no other aim but to bunch panties. It's like arguing with a pretzel.
::troll2::

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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:16 am

TrollFromDownBelow wrote:I think the radio works in the bus. Probably half decade since I turned it on.

Bus and the Harley ... Listening to the rythem of an air cooled internal combustion engine; music to my ears.
Having just pulled the Teton Pass yesterday and Lookout Pass today, I have to agree, 4,000 rpm with a Type 4 is music.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by Jivermo » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:39 am

On my long trip in summer of 2013, most of the time I was quite content enjoying the mechanical sounds of the bus engine humming along, and the wind blasting in the wing vents, whipping stuff around in the back. Coming out of North Charleston, I decided to dodge the 94 degree heat by heading west into the Blue Ridge. Cylinder head temps reached 412 degrees as I gained altitude up in the foothills, but cooled as I reached the mountain roads. To celebrate the cooler air washing over me, I put on the Rolling Stones "Sticky Fingers", followed by the Allman Brothers, "Live at Fillmore East". Roadside hikers were treated by a grey bearded old fart, blowing by in the bay window Westy, yelling out the words to "Statesboro Blues", with the now rare sound of an air cooled engine in good tune providing the background instrumentals.

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Re: IAC West Through Iowa

Post by mpls_ham » Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:33 am

I'm sorry you had troubles with the pump. I was only a phone call away and would have been there with a trailer, but I get it. At least the wind carried the smoke away from you.

Thanks again for another day of your tutelage. Evangeline seems to emanate a glow after a day with you, like a day at the spa.

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