Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings post-Detroit

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Amskeptic
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Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings post-Detroit

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:20 pm

Yes, TrollFromDownBelow, it was a marathon. Soon as I hit the Michigan state line on I-75 North, the marathon of teeth-rattling buckled concrete commenced. I was cruising pretty quickly and pretty tiredly in the evening hours as I dodged the more noticeable heaves of concrete slabs known as "Michigan's Roadways". Not knowing where Saint Clair Shores was, I wanted to get in close enough to enjoy a quick urban camp out/pass out, and then be able to meet up with the Troll and his dog, Duke at 9:00AM in a relatively refreshed state.

But it was not to be. I had written the directions out on my ancient leaking Starbucks paper coffee cup, and had sort of memorized the essential directions, like Harper, I knew there was a Harper in there, and with tired relief I found Harper so I dumped off the rattling concrete onto . . . even worse rattling concrete + potholes. This was in the 'hood, homey. This was Detroit on a Friday night. This was insane. The BP station was hosting a BlingBling Cadillac/Honda/Suburban HipHop Rattle Your Eardrums night and everybody was stoned. The cashier was behind a temple of plexiglass plates and chrome columns and the crowd was suffering the munchies and I was suffering the stupidity of the truly fatigued. A very stoned guy is following me down the aisles as I look for the bathroom. "You OK, man? You need anything? You sure?" I bail out of there into the chaotic traffic, damn Troll, you used to live in a nice part of town. This is grafitti and trash and boarded up brick buildings and sirens and crazed traffic crashing the potholes and pretty much refusing to obey those pesky laws red lights shit I aint bowing to the Man. Well Troll, I know times are hard and I guess you now live in a ruin somewhere around here, and I am just going to roll with it, I know lives sometimes have to do the downwardly mobile thing, and I will just park the BobD on the packed dirt front "lawn" and move that one-wheeled bicycle and duck around the tipped over washing machine and step through the filthy curtain where your side door and the entire frame fell out and I will only note that the breeze is welcome through that broken window you haven't boarded up yet, and I will not breathe a word of the multi-levelled redwood deck surrounding the swimming pool of last year's visit in the fancy house with intact windows, not a word.

But where am I going to camp? This noise and parade of edgy night people yelling and hollering greetings "YO! HEY! Where you been?" is no place for me to sleep. . . Then I looked at my Starbucks cup. Oh.
OK, there is a Harper, but it *follows* "exit at 12 Mile Road". That made all the difference. I bashed the BobD's suspension over to Interstate 94 to weave amongst the heaves and fast Chrysler 300s through Detroit to Grosse Point and a little beyond. It must have been 12:30AM or so when I found 12 Mile Road (which leads to Harper Yes, But The Improved Section) and camped behind a strip mall betwixt big bucket trucks used by those who replace large transformers on tall telephone poles.

I made it to Troll's Actual House at 9:15AM, and he could not know the happiness I felt to pull into a tidy neighborhood peacefully greeting the day and step through a real door into a kitchen with a coffee maker too. Although he promised to have an easy day in front of us, I did manage to get embroiled in a fierce war in short order. This was the "replace the missing exhaust stud" on the list. Lordy lordy. By the time I was done, we had orange RTV slathered on the Worlds Worst manifold-to-u pipe flange after using a huge electric grinder to try to make "parallel" surfaces. I had a 10X8mm step stud in the missing stud hole, but it was loose after the tapping operation, and I had two other studs pretty much decide to let go at torque time. Worse yet, the boss was cracked. I almost cried when I JB Welded that stud in place and told Troll that his left exchanger was being held on by one nut. He was quite relaxed about it, so the Universe punished him by pulling off a stunt whereupon the hydraulic lifter was alchemically altered to be a solid lifter henceforth. See how mystified he is here? So am I.

Image

We questioned and discussed our perceptions, our eyes, our sanity, our memories, our knowledge base, our advancing age, and decided that we two too would just "roll with it". And Tripod, the three-legged one-nut wonder, gave us a very nice cool evening drive. Unlike prior years, I scat the hell out of there at 11:30PM or so, the better which to heave and buck and rattle my way down Michigan's finest failing roadways free of daytime traffic back to the soothing only crumbling Ohio roads outside of Toledo.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,220 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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poptop tom
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings post-Detroit

Post by poptop tom » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:34 am

I never realized the roads bucked like that up there until friday, when I, myself, was driving the bus up in that area. 94 West to 69 North up to the Flint area to camp, and to Clarkston for Phish.

It's a consistent buck though. I mentioned to my passengers, "How could they get these seemingly looking smooth roads so consistently buck over every slab?"

Glad you found the right address Colin. Theres is some severely impoverished hood in the Detroit area. See you sunday.
Mr. Blotto wrote, "Boy - thanks for the offer, but a month in poptop tom's world means 5 years"

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Amskeptic
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings post-Detroit

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:49 am

poptop tom wrote: It's a consistent buck though.
Your eternal optimism springs forth once again through the ruined roadway cracks.
I ain't givin you no "consistent buck", nope, not after I had to bail out to the far left lane in my efforts to only have consistent buck. In the right lane, the road might or might not be at elevation with the bridge, and when lightly loaded VW bus suspension stoppers are getting involved, you know there are bumps.

If I was a state trooper, I would declare PTSD disability after only a year of that, even in a Crown Vic. "I-I-I-I c-c-c-an't TAKE IT anymore! I can't even walk down steps without flashing back to the buckled concrete roads. My shotgun went off and blew out the side window on the 94.68.5 overpass bump! NO! NO!"
C-C-o-o-l-l-i-i-n-n
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,220 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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yondermtn
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings post-Detroit

Post by yondermtn » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:46 pm

Hey Poptop Tom- Was your bus parked right next to a non-original blue bus at the Phish show?

I was there, sans bus. Great show and a really nice venue.
1977 Westy 2.0FI
1990 Vanagon MV 2.1 Auto

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poptop tom
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings post-Detroit

Post by poptop tom » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:54 pm

No. Not mine. The one with the althea westy sticker? Beautiful bus! The blue was too! Mine was closer to the venue. Sorta between the left and right entrances. Too bad E didn't meet up!
The show was incredible! And I've always loved Pine Knob. Saw the Dead there twice many moons ago.
Mr. Blotto wrote, "Boy - thanks for the offer, but a month in poptop tom's world means 5 years"

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hippiewannabe
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings post-Detroit

Post by hippiewannabe » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:36 pm

It is truly an embarrassment.

Our roads suffer from a perfect storm of:
- the highest truck weight limits in the nation
- weather that provides a continuous freeze/thaw cycle all winter
- under-funded maintenance
- half-assed maintenance work when there is funding

You also happened to arrive when near record temperatures provided an extra bonus of expansion-caused heaving.

Great story on your Harper Phase I experience. Drugs, loud music, customized cars. Who needs intact fenestration when you have all that?
When thousands of people believe a made-up story for a month, we call it fake news. When a billion people believe a made-up story for a thousand years, we call it a religion.

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