The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #48 in ID,UT,WY,CO,KS,MO,IL,IN,KY,WV,VA,MD & DE 6/1/00
2,888.34 miles this trip, odometer now 65,438 total, miles this year 12,984.
From , Delmar, MD, Hi Everyone!
After I sent the last letter out from Boise. I had a nice visit, Dave & I saw Rita & Mica off on a flight to Spain, Dave took Erin & me to the movie “U-571” and I was ready to head east. However, when I arrived in Boise the weather was unsettled and I figured I would wait for better weather before going over the divide. The longer I waited the worse the weather got, they were talking of snow in the valley and the temps were down in the low 30s at night. Again, I’m 500 miles too far north about two months too soon. On the morning of 5/11/00 there was a heavy frost and the mountains east of Boise were snow-covered. After that things started to get better.
On Friday night “The Kings of Swing” were playing at the Morrison Center were Dave is an audio engineer. He told me that Erin (in the eighth grade) had computer designed a logo for them that would be projected onto what is known as a cyclorama (a large curtain at the rear of the stage) above & behind the band, this I had to see. The music was good and the logo that Erin designed was impressive. These computer kids will put us all out of business.
After the band concert I would have been ready to head east if it wasn’t for the chairs. They are antique oak chairs with loose joints. Dave was calling to get estimates to have them re-glued before Rita gets back from Spain, after hearing some estimates, I told him we could do it. I should have kept my mouth shut. Because they had finishing nails in some of the joints, it looked like we would not be able to take them apart to re-glue them. We found some glue called “Chair Doctor” that can be put into the joints through a small hole with a hypodermic needle, it saved the day. We got three of them glued OK but two of them need parts that I will try to fabricate when I get to MD.
The trip East was perfect, the weather was perfect, had good tail winds all the way. The old GMC was purring like a kitten. When I needed fuel I always found the best price, $1.26 in WY at a Flying J so got a cent off making it $1.25. I crossed the divide on I-80. Then dropped south on I-25 to I-70 to I-64, saw a big billboard along I-70 in MO that said “INTERSTATE 70 IS IN TROUBLE, GOT ANY IDEAS”. I had to agree with them, all the Interstates are in trouble. I have noticed in the past three years the traffic on all roads & streets is increasing at a high rate, at least 50% a year. It is impossible to build roads fast enough to keep up with the increase in traffic. When I observe the traffic I see most of the cars have only one occupant. So it looks to me like the solution to the problem is to stop making more traffic lanes and build a good Mass-transit system and we will have to learn to live with it. If we don’t, we will soon run out of real-estate to build roads on, and it would be a good way to stop using so much oil.
I lost a good hour trying to get through the Hampton Roads Tunnel to Norfolk, VA on I-64, a good example of the above situation, just too many cars and not enough tunnels. Got to my sister-in-law’s for dinner. Her twin 17 year old grand-daughters showed up to give me a bad time, they have been double trouble since they were in diapers. They were telling me about going to NC to sing with a high school choir and they had won all the first prizes. They are good but I told them there must have been some politics involved if they won ALL the prizes. They finally admitted that they were the ONLY high school choir in the competition. Had a nice visit and the next day had lunch with my son Mark on the Eastern Shore, and then had dinner with my daughter Jenny. Next day the bad weather caught up with me and followed me up to MD where I backed the old GMC into the shed at my son Jeff & Alexis’ where I’ll get some work done on it.
The weather stayed bad and I started giving the old GMC the tender loving care that it has earned. Also had some projects to work on for Jeff and Jenny’s old car (my transportation while I’m here) needed some attention. The battery had gone dead and after taking another good battery to put in it Jenny got it started. I went to see Christian play in a little league game before I headed back to Delmar and when it got dark on me, the dimmer switch was messed up and I couldn’t dim the lights so I ruffled lots of feathers. The brake light that is only supposed to be on when the parking brake is on, would not go off. So I had some work cut out for me to get the rusty, trusty old car ready for a few more weeks of life. I took the dimmer switch apart, cleaned it and it works again. I found the brake light switch shorted so disconnected it. If the die hard old car is still running in August when it’s due for inspection, I’ll have to put two new tires on it. I wonder if it will ever just give up. It has over 240,000 miles on it, I think it will soon die of old age.
I see the old GMC is going to need some new tires & front brake pads before too long. I ordered a transmission filter and it should be here soon so I can service the tranny & final drive. I overhauled the carburetor again and put an electric choke on it, I have never been able to get it adjusted right since I had the engine rebuilt. I found where the high oil consumption was going when I was cleaning the carburetor. The last time I overhauled the carb. The engine did not have a high volume oil pump and the carb. was fairly clean, a high volume oil pump was installed when the engine was rebuilt. This time when I took the carb. apart I was amazed at the amount of black crud in the compartment where the vacuum line comes from the PCV valve on the right side of the engine. Some time ago I read a report someone had written about high oil consumption after a high volume oil pump was installed. He put a 1/8th inch restriction in the PCV line and it solved his problem. I am doing this and I’ll let you know how it works. If your engine has a high volume oil pump and you have high oil consumption, remove the carb. and check the area where the line from the PVC line goes into the carb. I am supprised that the engine re-builders are not aware of this problem with the high volume oil pumps on the 455 engine. I’ll keep you posted after my next trip.
Till next time, Dallas, or Dad if it fits.

Me & My Shadow, with Gertrude, Gus & Keith on the road.


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