Jump and the net will appear-Extended Adventure-July15-August 4, 2019 (1 Viewer)

65swb45

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Since the webpage crashed six times when I tried to add a pic to the existing post, here’s the pic from Island Park in its own post:
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65swb45

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Day 11-Thursday, July 25th: Mountain Home

I had enjoyed the evening breeze in Island Park so much that I decided to sleep in the tent with no rainfly. I awoke to discover that it had been the coolest night yet of the trip: 47 degrees. Couldn't help but think of the 100 degree temps back in CA. Cooked a nice breakfast on my new frying pan and packed up by 8AM.

@ginericLC had recommended that I take the more direct, rural route across Idaho which would take me past Craters of the Moon. Of course the opportunity to avoid subjecting all the other traffic to the 40s preferred road speed didn't hurt, and shortly I was on my way across the backroad. Craters of the Moon is a lot like our own Fossil Falls between Mojave and Lone Pine, but probably on twice the scale. I got out and hiked around for the better part of an hour.
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The drive out of the hill country into Mountain Home gave me my first pangs of homesickness. The canyons leading into town reminded me so much of our very own Hunter Canyon on the south end of Saline/Death Valley. Geographical distance between the two has to be almost a thousand miles, but it seemed like home would be just around the corner.

The map app in the phone actually got me all the way to Eric's house in Mountain Home with only a couple of resets. I just drove in, no prior phone call. Eric and Gabe were in the yard when I got there. It wasn't hard to spot the place: six cruisers in high viz locations from the street! MVS at its finest!

Despite it being 2pm on a 96 degree day, I got right to work on the task at hand: stripping an FJ62 front axle. Why? I forgot to tell you! I'd made a deal with Gabe a few weeks before, after Eric posted the axle for sale on MUD. I figured what the heck? How hard could it be to tote an axle back to CA? And I agreed to buy it!

With some help from Eric and Gabe, and a little coaching from Eric's dad who was visiting from...Sheridan Wyoming!...and a LOT of water [it was literally raining off my forehead] the axle was done by 4pm and parsed out into totes and buckets and trash bags on the roof rack of the 40, and visiting commenced. I finally got to meet the famous Ginger, creator of the many fine pieces of Landcruiser artwork Eric has proudly displayed over the years.

In a unique set of circumstances, Eric's parents had come to visit, so the spare bedroom was occupied. BUT, Eric was in the middle of testing a high-end RTT on one of his many trail wagons. So I got to sleep in a pretty trick little setup. It had been so hot in the daytime that I didn't think much of going to sleep with nothing but a sheet. But the weather did indeed drop in the wee hours of the morning, and I awoke to a chill. Before falling asleep again, I heard the call of the coyotes moving across a nearby field. We have coyotes in Granada Hills. But they are quiet.
 
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65swb45

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Day 12: Friday, July 26th-Elko-Running on Empty.

I left Eric’s before anyone was up and rolled back into town for a bite at McDonald’s and some gas for the truck. Didn’t think too much of it. The maps of Idaho and NV showed a few towns along the way.

The weather was cool; another storm was moving through. The scenery driving into Owyhee country reminded me a lot of the Mojave. Stopped several times just to soak it in. America. Yeah trees are cool. But there’s just something about the desert.
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65swb45

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The miles rolled on, canyon after canyon filled with life, and plateau after plateau with ubiquitous creosote and vistas of clouds. A cloudburst that lasted 30seconds. A road into a draw that I am sure had a house at the mouth of the draw at one time (it must have) though there is no evidence of one.

And no towns to speak of, just an occasional building/outpost. 194 miles from Mountain Home to Elko. 12mpg with an 18 gallon tank should net me 204 miles. Cutting it pretty close.
Cross into Nevada. Oh great! I just gained an hour back. I was supposed to meet my friend Sam in Elko at noon. Pretty sure ill make it now...unless I run out of gas! Well, there’s supposed to be 4 gallons in the rear fuel cell. But I never checked to see if the secondary fuel pump works!

Now I’m climbing up into Gods country, rolling past a stream heading downhill behind me. It’s just awesome.
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65swb45

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The problem is, I’m still 27 miles from Elko and the gas guage has been on E for almost 10 miles already! Weather’s not looking great, and I’m reasonably sure I’m not going to see a gas station until i hit Elko. So I toss the dice and keep driving slowly.

I’m doing all the uphills at just over idle, watching the vacuum guage to make sure I stay out of the power valve. I switch from coasting on the downhills (did I mention NOBODY is on this road!) to shutting the ignition off altogether and dead sticking it (manual steering, manual brakes, meh)

So I finally roll into Elko, at least 15 minutes later than I would have been if I’d driven normal speed, and I roll into the first reasonably priced gas station I see, fingers crossed that I don’t conk out in their driveway ( that never happens, right) and I fill up. 17 gallons!

So I guess my round-number filling in Mountain Home was pretty close to full after all! I text Sam and find out she’s been in town since Thursday night. We meet for lunch under drizzling skies, then head off to Lamoille Canyon to a campground I reserved a spot in based on a recommendation from Danny @Solace in Solitude
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65swb45

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Day 13: Saturday July 27th-Ruby Valley

Now I’ve been casually pushing Sam to take her ‘86 Toyota 4x4 out on the road, because I’m really starting to wonder how she’s going to manage the MM40 if she can’t bring herself to even drive the pickup. Nonetheless, she showed up in her Ford.
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This had certain advantages for this adventure though, especially in terms of creature comforts. The day’s objective: find Ruby Hot Springs, the place Sam took her ‘86 4x4 to when it was brand new, and hadn’t seen since. Me, I was just happy to finally be exploring the Ruby’s.

So about two hours later I’m wheeling the piss out of this Ford Escape through some miserable powder-soft two-track with a berm two inches higher than the diff knowing there’s nobody out here. Maintain just enough momentum. We finally reach the springs, and they look just like the pictures, except.... I have a saying that you never see the bugs in a postcard. Well Ruby hot springs was completely infested with deer flies. Swarms of them. I swatted at least 40 off that landed on me while I made the 1/4 mile hike from the Ford to take the pictures.
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So we drive back through the powder-soft two track that is now a three track from our previous passage and back into the mountains for a lunch stop near an old mine.

I go wandering off into the hills after lunch and discover a graveyard of antiques.
 
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65swb45

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These things would have been shot to hell and rusted to hell in Kali, but out here, they are out of sight, and out of time.
The views from the top of Harrison Pass were stunning. Pictures don’t do it justice.
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65swb45

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As we rolled back over the hill, I noticed a rattlesnake, freshly killed, but not flattened. Three-footer. Best I can figure is that it took a head trauma that knocked its brains out.

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Since our trajectory put us closer to town than the campground, and since it was already after 4, we decided to and try out the famous Star restaurant.
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The food wasn’t so much unique as it was unique in how it was bundled. Portions were beyond big.
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Prime rib was definitely a whole pound .
 
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Mark - This is such a great write up! And yes, a long term friendship was born out of your visit to Cody. I am looking forward to our next visit and more importantly, our next story telling session!! Please know that your trip has inspired me to get out and explore more in my 40. My first trip in Colonel Mustard is to join the gang for the trail ride to 'Cruiserfest' in a few weeks. Wish me luck!!
 

65swb45

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Day 14: Sunday, July 28-Solitude

Well after a hearty breakfast of bacon, danish, oatmeal and coffee, Sam and I parted company. I had a morning of hiking planned, and she had to get back to Ridgecrest for another meeting over her water crisis. I’ve mentioned before, this hearty 74 year old soul drives a 1959 2 ton Ford with a 750 gallon water tank to a local well every two weeks and hauls her own water back to her house. :cool:

I packed some snacks and a few bottles of water into my daypack and went for a butt-kicking hike up Thomas Canyon in search of a ‘lake’. What I saw was an amazing series of waterfalls, alpine meadows, late season flowers and, eventually, a pond. It was probably only a couple of miles each way, but with 2000 feet of elevation gain, starting at 7k, it took all morning to acclimate.
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65swb45

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I spent the rest of the day enjoying the solitude back in camp as one by one all the weekend warriors went home and I had the whole side of the campground to myself. I leisurely went through all the camps picking up scattered remnants of firewood until I knew I had enough for my own camp for the evening. Then I went back to my lounge chair (really the first time I got to use it in two weeks of hauling it around the country) and read a historical book on Fort Independence between 1862-1877. Drier than the desert, but informative.
 
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65swb45

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Day 15- Monday July 21st: Reno

When I originally picked the Ruby Mountains as a stopping point for my adventure, I had wandered into the Battleborn Cruiser clubhouse on MUD to see if any of the ‘locals’ had anything to say about the place. Ironically, I saw that someone named @airon23 in Reno was in need of some carburetor help. So I reached out to him and told him I would be making my way to Reno on my adventure if he was still in need of my services.
Aaron quickly replied that help was still needed, and I penciled a stop over at his house for Monday night.

I packed while munching on some cold cereal and then made my way back onto Elko for, you guessed it, McDs. Then I started another grind. The Karma Cruiser had been running flawlessly up to this point, and after a couple of good days rest, I was ready to grind out some more miles. I think I was in Reno just before 1, and I grabbed some lunch before heading over to Aaron’s. Fussy map app missed my off ramp, but I managed to backtrack, reset the app, and get myself back on track with only about 5 minutes wasted. Map lead me right to his house, where this smiling young man came out to greet me. I never asked him, but I think he’s the same age as my son.

After downing a couple of bottles of water (it was a very warm day), it was out to the garage for an inspection of Aaron’s Cruiser. I had him pull the air cleaner off for a better look at the carb and environs, and sure enough, the no-idle symptom was due to a burned ICS wire. We elected to bypass the factory wiring in favor of a straight 12v hookup to the coil. Once the wiring was in place, the Cruiser started right up. Time to shift gears.

I gave the truck a quick once over and determined that the steering box was completely shot (you could literally hear the worm gear and sector shaft slapping against each other!). The rear end wasn’t too much better, and the transfer case was in need of service. Aaron’s got a lot of work ahead of him. The good news: he’s a pretty smart and handy guy, muy savvy on Internet searching, and has a good attitude about the truck.

IOW, it will get done.

We decided (ok, I decided for him!) to do the valve adjustment in the morning when it was cooler outside, and went in for dinner. While the family was there, they left shortly for church, and Aaron and I were left to split a pizza between us. Afterwards I pulled out the guitar and we went through some old Beatles songs, songs he knew because his father used to play them on the guitar. Eventually the family returned, and there was a little more music time before lights out for this working family.
 
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didn't you have a sleep platform configured into the 40 ??? or is that in rufftoyz or whatever her name is ?
Anyway, interesting trip.

Congratulations on your granddaughter, what a summer !
 

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What a fun trip Mark. I was glad to meet you and enjoyed our time together. Your guitar and singing made for a really a fun night. Your help on my FJ40 was very much appreciated. Also I learned a lot from watching you work and your diagnostic skills.
Since I know you didn't take too many pictures I'll post a few. By the way I'll be turning 40 as in FJ40 although my FJ40 is a little older than me.

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surfpig

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What a fun trip Mark. I was glad to meet you and enjoyed our time together. Your guitar and singing made for a really a fun night. Your help on my FJ40 was very much appreciated. Also I learned a lot from watching you work and your diagnostic skills.
Since I know you didn't take too many pictures I'll post a few. By the way I'll be turning 40 as in FJ40 although my FJ40 is a little older than me.

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House calls!

:cheers:
 

65swb45

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Mark - This is such a great write up! And yes, a long term friendship was born out of your visit to Cody. I am looking forward to our next visit and more importantly, our next story telling session!! Please know that your trip has inspired me to get out and explore more in my 40. My first trip in Colonel Mustard is to join the gang for the trail ride to 'Cruiserfest' in a few weeks. Wish me luck!!

Great to hear/read that Bob. I have already got some mileage out of the ‘tent’ story with the impromptu playing cards and basketball! And the beach ball story: :censor:
 

65swb45

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didn't you have a sleep platform configured into the 40 ??? or is that in rufftoyz or whatever her name is ?
Anyway, interesting trip.

Congratulations on your granddaughter, what a summer !

Yes John, the permanent platform is in Ruftoys. But a good Boy Scout is always prepared, which is why I made the temporary accommodations for the Karma Cruiser. Definitely not as fancy as Ruftoys, but still better than sleeping upright in the driver’s seat, which is something I’ve done more than once in the 45. ;)
 

65swb45

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Day 16: Tuesday July 30th- dump trucking

After a quick bowl of Raisin Bran, I headed back out to the garage and we warmed up Aaron’s truck and did the valve adjustment. Then I drained my cooler and swapped in a fresh gallon jug of water that Aaron has frozen for me (did I mention that all my house calls were doing this for me along the way?) Then I was off to Wallyworld for a little restocking of road fare.

In the last 7 years I’ve spent a lot more time hanging out with a tribe of desert hippies than with cruiserheads. What can I say; they just appreciate live music a lot more. One of these hippies is a retired fireman whose claim to fame is dragging a full-sized stand up bass out to the desert, an instrument he affectionately refers to as The Dump Truck. Roger is also a good singer and guitar player, but he is predisposed to backing up a stronger lead, which suits us both well. We have done five hour marathons to very appreciative audiences.

So since Roger lives about 10 minutes up the road from Aaron, and I’ve been to Reno exactly one time in my life previously, it made sense to drop in and see him. We have a big shindig coming up in October, and some other musicians have been asking me to work on some predetermined set lists. So there was a little business involved, but it was strictly the business of entertainment.

Roger and his wife have a nice six acre ranch, with a lovely home they built themselves. And they’ve got a workshop worthy of any man cave you’ve ever seen on TV. They were busy entertaining two of their grandkids when I got there with the finer points of operating a backhoe. But the kids were more interested in driving around grandpas custom pedal car, a Rube Goldberg contraption specifically built for Burning Man. Problem was Grandpa had relegated the car to a loft in the man cave that made getting it down a real chore.

So I volunteered to help him, and in short order we got the car onto his forklift and brought it down.
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