Laugh or Cry?
Travel in the post apocalyptic world is apparently not for the faint of heart. Since 2020 I have heard all manner of horror stories about canceled flights, delayed flights, rerouted flights, rental car reservations that turned out to not be reservations, and jaw dropping prices for rental cars. But for those possessed of an adventuresome spirit, as frustrating as this chaos is, all of these things are merely challenges to overcome, an opportunity to make memorable new discoveries.
July 14, 1915 – “At 4-1/2 miles out at 11:15 Ford broke rear axle shaft. Sent for new one by hotel chauffeur who happened to come along. When it arrived we found we had no wheel puller, so could not put the new shift in. All tossed coin, odd man to walk back to hotel for whell puller.” Edsel Ford.
None of the travel related problems that we encounter in this new COVID induced era can compare to those faced by early automobilists. Just read about Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson’s epic coast to coast sixty two day drive in 1903. Still, the issues associated with travel in the modern era are maddening and are a source of anxiety that provides ample excuse for a stiff drink, or two.
Since the dawning of the apocalypse in 2020, our travels have been somewhat limited. For me it was the least amount of travel since 1959 (yes, I am that old).
We made a few trips to Needles, Caliifornia, 60 miles each way, for a conference and presentation. There were also a few trips to Seligman and Oatman, Arizona, one to Prescott, and another to Cave Creek. And there have been a few trips to old mining town of Choride, Arizona. And I have hiked a thousand miles or so on my morning walkabouts.
Well, I have talked with friends and travelers. I have read the articles. Now, as we countdown to the kickoff for the fall Heartland Tour, we have entered the fray. Rental car prices have dropped since early summer, but the price is still far higher than what it was on the 2019 fall tour. Availability is another. And that is a probelm even if a reservation has been made. Go ahead. Ask me how I know.
That and pressing deadlines for projects before we leave turned the stress dial up a bit yesterday. So, during lunch, I took a break and installed the alternator in The Beast, the ’51 Chevy that haunts my dreams. I had to move the truck and dirving is most always easier than pushing. It worked! Even better the amp gauge now shows that the sytem is charging.
An unexpected storm came up yesterday afternoon. The rain was torrential, and the bedroom window leaked. So, on today’s “to do” list there is a bit of caulking work needed.
Last evening I had the opportunity to dust off my ditch digging skills. At about 9:00 my dearest friend mentioned a loss of water pressure. Well, as it turns out there was a geyser in the alley.
I called the city and as the yard was flooding with water flowing toward the house, ditch digging commenced. I was using the Jeep lights to see, when my dearest friend informed me that that gauges had quite, and the dash was lit up like a Christmas tree.
I wonder if it is possible to peg the blood pressure monitor yet? If not, there are still several days before we are scheduled for departure on the Heartland Tour. Now, do I laugh or cry? #jimhinckleysamerica