Page updated: 07/06/2001 03:20 PM
So, I think you guys need a lesson in how to be prepared. I'm gonna give you a good example of how not to be.
I'm pretty handy with tools and do most all the work on my cars etc. so don't get me wrong. I am usually pretty well prepared for just about any emergency on or off road. I keep my cars motor home etc. in good working order because I live by the credo that it's a lot better to get it done on the garage floor than out in the street of on some big granite rock, mud hole, well, you get the idea. So now I'm going to tell you about my last trip to the TDS run held every March.
It all starts out with Matt Osburn turning up at my house to gather fire wood for the camp fire. he's down there doing just that I figure when all of the sudden he comes up to the door and says he's stuck (dirt driveway and it's raining) in his motor home. huh! I says! Lets take a look see. I go down and sure enough, he can't move that behemoth thing at all without it skidding over into another friends dump truck and back hoe. Well, I take the old Pokester (my jeep) out of the garage and latch onto him with my 12K winch leaving myself on the concrete. I yank that baby over far as I can get it and then walk down to direct him on the intricacies of backing down a steep muddy driveway in the dark when ya can't see squat and your pucker factor is tingling because if you screw up your in the middle of the frieken road where there's a car a second doing 60. Anyhow, he's planning on going back up and trying to turn around so's he can get a not so dangerous point of action on the situation. I however see an opportunity to have a little fun and slowly back him down almost to the street. I see there's no cars coming so I yell, hey back that thing outta there and hurry up! He is sort of discombobulated at that notion, but does as I say. well, by this time I'm starting to see the humor in it cuzz I know he's just crapping his boxers at this time. I yell--Go man, go! he does and when he's clear out in the street and there's cars a commin lickity split down the road I yell for him to haul ass! hahahahaha! he leaves me standing there with mud all over me and half the dammed neighborhood. All the sudden it dawns on me that the joke may have backfired. I have all this mud all over me and now I have to go up and re-wind the darned cable which is full of mud. Well, I should have known that this was just the beginning of one weird and fully screwed up trip for me.
Now I figure I got all the ducks in a row right. so, I get Pokey all hooked up and am ready to rock out! Everything seems to be going ok on the way down. And actually it does, but it's not the prelude to a great mechanical trip. I get to the site where we are going to camp. There's going to be about 50 of us and lots of MH's trucks/tents coming so I get there early to mark out the same spot every year. I see that TDS (the club putting on the meet) is already in attendance. But nobody on my side of the wash yet. It's real frieken muddy and I know I should disco Pokey and walk back out to get it. But do I do that you may ask? Hell no! I figure what the heck! I never been stuck in 25 years of attending this event and I ain't worried about it now.
There is a pretty huge mud bog in the road so I get out, just to be cautious and take a look see! I think I can make it ok. I do of course being the extreme mud bog aficionado I am. I make it ok and my confidence is building by the minute. In my minds eye, I just know there's club members over there across that wash eye balling me. I get pretty much over what I concider the tuff part and feeling like I've got it mad I trudge on. Well, I get out into the sand a little further and all the time thinking to myself, which wasn't to hard since I was by myself, that I should disco that dammed jeep. Yep! Right smack dab into the sand she goes. Oh man! now what! No problemo! I got all the stuff made for extracting stupid people out of such situations don't I! I grab the shovel which there ain't none because I left them all at home. Boy! can it get any worse? Hold on it even started yet! Using my superior intellect of which some think I ain't got. I decide on one of Aileen (my wife) frying pans as a good substitute shovel. Well, Im down there digging away with it, elongating it as I go, and figure I can yank that baby outta there with Pokey no sweat. course in the mean time I figures out that I'm still alone and well you get the picture. I unhook the jeep and try to drive the mh out before I'm busted by anyone I know for being inadequate between the ears. It don't work. I get down and further elongate Aileens frying pan and in the process burn the living daylights out of my arm on my brand new exhaust that leaks like hell. Still got the scabs to prove it too! I get the jeep off and started in order to get someone from across the wash to come jump in the mh while I pull her outta there. Now what! the jeeps injection is deciding to run at 2K and wont go down no matter what I do. Well, this presents sort of a problem don't it! I can't go over and ask some guy I don't know to come help me out with the engine screaming like hell the whole time I'm trying to explain the problem now can I. so, I drive down the wash hoping it's just cold or something and it'll settle down in a while. I do, it don't! I'm so pissed off I open the hood (with my new handy automatic hood openers) and yank the diddly out of the throttle positioning sensor. That wire thing for those unaware of what that is. Anyway it stops. I mosey over to the other side of the wash trying to act like nothing is wrong, hopefully I'll get some TDS member that understands without to much babble about it. I do. He gets in his jeep and follows me over there. Well, I just had an operation and had a bunch of drugs on the seat next to me and carton of ciggs and three empty corona bottles that somehow got emptied on the dirt road in. Its a long road ok! he gets in takes a look around and gives me a knowing look through the window. heh heh! Kids huh!
so, I take pokey up to the third lever on a snatch-em strap and bury it to the hilt in 1 second flat. Well, that ain't gonna work! so I say, hold on man! I can yank a tank out with this huge assed winch. I hook it up and park the pokester behind a 4 ft hill of sand. I sticks my newly burned to the bone arm out the window and yells at him to hold on! He does! I pull the pokester right through that sand hill and the mh moves not one inch. Now here comes some good old boy's from the other side of the wash to witness this fiasco. I'm wishing I was somewhere else. One of the older guys, younger than me says, it's gonna take three jeeps to pull this thing out. Ha! No way I think to myself in silence not wanting to draw anymore attention to my lack of smarts. There's another guy there that says hold on now! get s radio out and calls someone. He says it's his buddy with a hummer just over the hill and he can do it alone. Now I doubt this very much but don't want say anything in case he's right. naturally I don't want some overgrown army truck to outdo my bitchen jeep! Well, this guy pulls up and being the astute wheeler I am I have the snatch-em strap already hooked up. He hooks onto it and tells me to get in. I do, he does! it yanked that mh out of there without spinning a tire and all they way to hard pack. wow! I was impressed. Soon as they left after me offering them everything from beer to oral sex I said to myself, I coulda done it! I get the mh over to where It's going to be parked for four days and stick it right in the right spot. walk back and get my jeep as if nothing was wrong. Yes, I believe those guys were over there laughing their collective asses off thinking I would stick it again. heh heh!
all right, who's next? Brad Kilby shows up and i quickly get him on the radio and tell him he better just darned well wait till I get out there and guide him in. he does, and I guide him right into a stuck. MH, trailer and jeep all! Stuck to the gills. Hahahaha! As I'm giving him my expert advice on how to get it our, Bret cullpepper drives slowly by and asks where he should park. hahaha! the gaul I swear! By this time I've decided that all the rest would have to make their own way in cuzz I wasn't gonna waste my talents on anymore of them. People start showing up and when Matt shows up I ask him where the wood is. He says he didn't get any. What! You telling me you spent two hours stuck in my driveway and didn't get any wood. Hahahaha! Oh boy!
anyway the next episode was when I decided I better go out on a night run and keep those kids out of trouble. I'm noticing that the jeep is acting a little strange and side stepping etc but attribute it to unseen mud. I was just going to park up on the flats and watch all the shenanigans anyway. I watch Kilby turn in a wash and the rest just drive right on by. he pops a bead right off the bat! We get that fixed and yank on the rest of the boy's chains for not following like their supposed to. They are unimpressed with out whimpering and eventually show up. Maggie and Jeff from the "L" are there and help us out anyway. After Kilby unincumbers another tire off the rim ( note to self, bring starter fluid next trip) in a very precarious spot. We spend some more time getting it back on, but no big deal. LOL's anyway. Still no buddys to help out.
Eventually everybody shows up and we're off to another run. everyone slowly climbs the rocky hill and when it's my turn pokey won't hardly get off the flat part. Now what the hell's wrong I says to myself, even though there was a passenger. As it turned out (Kilby to the rescue, the rest are sitting up on the hill going duh!) I blew a rear hub and was getting kind of sideways. I was pissed off and wished I hed not of even come out anyway. I got back to camp and figured everything would be ok. Well, it wasn't!
The next morning I'm wondering why my new and improved solar panel wasn't keeping up with the batteries. I try to start the generator and of course it's a no go. I start the mho and let it run for a bit. Decide the generator will start now and it does. Course ay Ann's supposed to run the en and engine with the switch on both or you could blow something out. The alternator most likely. Well by the time I realize what I had done it was to late. The alt was flat man! Dead lined. kaput! Oh hell! It was the last day anyway so I figured it would be ok. (later info on the dead alt)
Everyone took off and Matt O. Brett and I hung around for a while. It was getting late, but what the hell! I'm totally paranoid by this time and was wondering if the mud was dry enough so I could pull out ot there. It was thank God! heh heh! I get out to the road for the fast track home and pass Matt. he goes a different way than I so I' alone again. No sweat though right! I got it all under control now. What could possibly happen that hasn't yet!! I start pokey up to air up the tires and while I'm doing that I see this green stuff pouring out from under the hood. hahaha! the heater hose rubbed a hole in itself on the valve cover. Man! So we leave.
I'm tooling down the freeway and just before I gets to the bottom of the grade the engine starts sounding funny. Yikes! Now what? I figure if I make the top of the grade I'll have it made, but no way man! That baby is acting way to weird and I have truck parking and some lights at the bottom. I pulled it over (thank goodness) and pull the engine bay cover to see wuzzzup! Damb it! I changed the plug wires and left them laying on the valve cover and they were burned clear through and arcing all over the place. Holy shitoly man! That could have been the end of both the jeep and the mh. Hey! any fires in my mh and I'm calling a cb. Way to much gas in that thing to fool around with.
Well, Now I'm in sort of a predicament, what to do about the wires and that dammed alternator was just keeping the lights going as it was. Hoping it had something to do with the four wires arcing all over the place I went to a gas station and ask if they had wires. Fat chance right! Well the woman behind the counter said she had a set for her trooper. Hahahahaha! I said well I'll buy em and make em work. I went back to the mh and one was long enough. After wrapping three rolls of electrical tape on the others I decided I better come up w/a better solution because there wasn't any way to hold the trooper wire on. I went back to pokey since it was out of commission anyway and yanked the longest wire off the solenoid. It has both ends the same as a chevy. It worked perfect. I shut all the lights off and start her up to look for sparks. all s well. Now all I have to worry about is getting home on battery power and no alternator. I start up the grade and all goes well. The lights are brighter even and the alternator is dead lined in the middle. hmmmmm! Strange! If I had my wits about me I would have figured it out right off, but hey! I was on a roll of super stupidity.
all I wanted to do was get that pile of junk home at that point. I did finally do just that. Is this saga of the dumb and witless over? why hell no man! did ya forget who you were talking to? I let the mh sit not wanting to deal with it just yet being that I'm mentally impaired it seems. I fix the jeep up of course. Finally after 10 days I decide to go out and pull the dammed alternator. I tested every dammed solenoid in it and there's 5 of them. tested everything I could think of. I'm reaching down in there to remove it in it's precarious spot and it all of the sudden dawns on me what the problem is. Lets see now, I ran all the way home with lights and didn't need to change to another battery, why? Because the God dammed belt was loose of course. hahahyaha! I had to walk around the yard a bit to digest that one.
Well, Like i said ya got to be prepared all the time like me or ya could get yourself in a jmb. so take heed! Oh yeah! I told Aileen the pan was good for omelets now since it was sort of elongated and the right shape already. She wasn't amused!