Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Missouri?

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Amskeptic
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Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Missouri?

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:46 pm

. . . . when I am due in Jackson, Mississippi? Yep.

With this "lifestyle", if it so happens that you are driving from from Arkansas to Mississippi and the 96* heat/humidity/bug index totally destroys your night's sleep to tatters, you get up at 4:30AM and you Drive North. That is what I did. That night was a disaster of buggy bity sticky heat, but in this Mississippi River Watershed, there is no escape. The land barely is able to drain the rain to the ocean. The fields all have deep ditches that try to allow the watertable to drop below the crops, and these ditches are swamps of fetid fertilizer-turbo-charged scum that makes mosquitoes insanely happy. I found what I thought was a decent campsite under some stately trees in the middle of nowhere, but it was actually Mosquito Dancing and Dining Martigras, I provided the dining, they provided the dancing. When my blood started decorating the headliner of the BobD as I attempted to smite these torturers, I called it a night. Drove from just outside Little Rock to 100 miles south of Saint Louis, and earned a full 15% drop in humidity and a good 10*.

The next day's campsite work area was pretty and I was able to color sand the remaining wheels in relative peace. But the evening, though cooler, was buggier still, and I was two days of grime tastier to the insect life outside of Sikeston, Missouri. I gave this spot up at a more reasonable 7:00PM when a horde of tiny mosquities rose from the piles of felled trees and vines where some industrious soul had attempted to make a road through wild vegetation. That was going to be my spring plate bushings camp-out. No, no, no. As I drove out at my self-enforced speed limit of 14 mph on these long county gravel roads, I was accosted by a pick-up truck guy.
"What are you doing out here?"
"Driving through."
"From where?"
"From the last paved road outside of Sikeston."
"Where are you going?"
"To the next paved road up ahead."
"Then where?"
"Jackson Mississippi by Sunday night."
"Well, it seems strange that you would be driving out here."
"I am enjoying Missouri on a whole new level than the usual Saint Louis concrete."
"Well, we have had problems out here."
"Really? What sort of problems?"
"Drugs. Vandalism."
"Seriously? Out here?"
"Oh yeah, people come out here and make trouble."
"I can't believe that these beautiful fields and trees and sky and peaceful sounds could possibly inspire trouble."
"Oh yeah, we have had problems."
"Well, I tell you what, if I ever decide to become a trouble-maker, I will pick a different car than this big ol lime green VW because it sure has attracted a lot of attention."
That made him laugh.
"So what are doing, sight-seeing?"
"I have been sight-seeing this big beautiful country for eight summers now, and my way gets paid by people who also have air-cooled VWs who want to know how to keep them running by themselves. I feel pretty lucky to be able to take the gravel roads through life."
"Yeah, well I have to take care of my family, I have been farming this land for my whole life and every year I feel more owned by my responsibilities, I don't know if I will ever be able to retire, when I think about it. Well good luck on your travels . . . " and he tiredly stuck his Chevy Silverado back in gear and drove off to his family.

I camped at a parking lot across from the truck stop whose lights appealed more to the bugs than me, a welcome change. Hit another gravel road and don't know how, but took a labyrinth bunch of turns and ended up on the Levee. The Mississippi River Levee:

Image



So I drove down the levee:

Image

Caught a shot sort of under the bus . . . :

Image

. . . . and took a turn down through a thicket into the flood plain . . . where not a soul was to be seen:

Image

I spent the day color-sanding the bumpers, carefully, deliberately:

Image

. . . . and got them damn good and dusted up along with the newly color-sanded wheels on the 8 miles of dusty gravel roads back to the main road which led me to the interstate.

Tomorrow? Jackson Mississippi. 96* they say. 67% humidity. It shall be a motel night though them electricical lights spook me these days.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,730 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,865 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 132,040 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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glasseye
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Post by glasseye » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:04 pm

sigh...
"This war will pay for itself."
Paul Wolfowitz, speaking of Iraq.

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hambone
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Post by hambone » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:05 pm

It just gets epic-er...
I can't believe you're still driving around out there...
Well we miss ya out here in the rainy NW. Seems like 20 years ago you were here.
http://greencascadia.blogspot.com
http://pdxvolksfolks.blogspot.com
it balances on your head just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine
your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat

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Sylvester
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Post by Sylvester » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:45 am

North Mississippi has to be a lot different from South Mississippi where I go alot. I would love to drive the backroads north to south one day.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue, I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace. Where never lark, or even eagle flew. And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod, The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:10 pm

hambone wrote:It just gets epic-er...
I can't believe you're still driving around out there...
Well we miss ya out here in the rainy NW. Seems like 20 years ago you were here.
I am beginning to taste the epic-ness of it all. It is strange. Me? Mr. I Hate Change is thawing out to the adventure. Maybe I will start seeking out people instead of avoiding them.
Colin :cyclopsani:
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,730 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,865 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 132,040 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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hambone
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Post by hambone » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:10 am

You already did, as you began this great IAC adventure. Ya can't stop a boulder from rolling down-hill.
Sure brought a lot of people together too.
http://greencascadia.blogspot.com
http://pdxvolksfolks.blogspot.com
it balances on your head just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine
your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat

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BellePlaine
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Post by BellePlaine » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:39 am

hambone wrote:You already did, as you began this great IAC adventure. Ya can't stop a boulder from rolling down-hill.
Sure brought a lot of people together too.
Yes it has. We are a community created from the love of these old cars but now we are bound together in so many other ways too. We now have our shared experiences and history together.

I love how the BobD actually IMPROVED over the course of 20 thousand miles!
1975 Riviera we call "Spider-Man"

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whc03grady
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Post by whc03grady » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:42 am

BellePlaine wrote:I love how the BobD actually IMPROVED over the course of 20 thousand miles!
He's got to do something to counteract the depreciation he inflicts upon it by driving it. :blackeye:
Ludwig--1974 Westfalia, 2.0L (GD035193), Solex 34PDSIT-2/3 carburetors.
Gertie--1971 Squareback, 1600cc with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection from a '72 (E brain).
Read about their adventures:
http://www.ludwigandgertie.blogspot.com

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Gypsie
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Post by Gypsie » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:47 pm

Maybe he could come over and inflict some depreciation on my rig... :pirate:
So it all started when I wanted to get better gas mileage....

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hippiewannabe
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Missouri?

Post by hippiewannabe » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:31 pm

Amskeptic wrote:. . I have been sight-seeing this big beautiful country for eight summers now, and my way gets paid by people who also have air-cooled VWs who want to know how to keep them running by themselves. I feel pretty lucky to be able to take the gravel roads through life."
"Yeah, well I have to take care of my family, I have been farming this land for my whole life and every year I feel more owned by my responsibilities, I don't know if I will ever be able to retire, when I think about it. Well good luck on your travels . . . " and he tiredly stuck his Chevy Silverado back in gear and drove off to his family.
Poetry.

And there you have one of life's conundrums. Some people say our life is nothing but the sum total of our experiences, others say it is nothing but the legacy of family we leave behind. These two things are often in conflict, the burden weighs heavy.

I am frequently jealous of the freedom and experience-gathering of Colin and similarly unencumbered free spirits. But then ,when my teenage daughter tells me she hates me, I think, what the hell am I doing?

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sped372
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Post by sped372 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:37 am

Seriously, pick up some fiberglass screen at the next hardware store you come to. We shut a piece in each front door to cover the front windows and put little magnets along the bottom. I'm sure you could rig something up for the slider windows as well with magnets.

There's no reason to endure the mosquitoes when less than $10 worth of materials and no modifications to the bus can solve the problem.
1971 Karmann Ghia - 1600 DP
1984 Westfalia - 1.9 WBX

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