In the morning, Wednesday, August 8th, I am leaving to go to the Tahoe Boat Show again. I went there in 2009 and my boat won a trophy.
This year my friend is going with me with his boat that I have been helping restore for the last year and a half. I hope he wins a trophy. It should, he did a wonderful job on the boat. His is a 1937 Chris Craft. Named it "Making Memories"
I have always been worried about my old tow car breaking down on one of these boat show trips. Especially on the way there. I have now towed this boat about 11,000 miles with this car. I have AAA, but that will only haul me 200 miles.
My old car is 32 years old, bought it new, owned it almost half my life. It has 265,000 miles on it with 120,000 on the last engine. I love the car, and I get many comments on it.
So on this trip to Michigan, I thought once more, "What would I do". Well, on the way home at about 10 AM on Monday morning, driving on US highway 34 thru southeastern Iowa, the engine suddenly quit running. I was just south of a town called Eddyville. I steered it into the driveway of a farm house! Larry VanGenderen is his name, and I am so grateful to him and his wife.
Then I got out and proceeded with diagnosing the problem. After about 15 minutes, I had determined that the injector pump had failed. Larry came down with a small tractor and pulled my rig out of harms way further up his drive way. Then I called AAA. They could send two tow trucks and take me to Des Moines, Iowa, about 60 miles Northwest. But no one now days understands these old diesels. And the cost could be several thousand dollars. Larry, the farmer, suggested a salvage yard for a pump. And I carry tools to do the job. These solutions just didn't feel right.
Thank goodness for cell phones.
I called rental places. No rental trucks had hitches. Then I thought of my thoughts of what I would do on the way to Michigan. I called used car dealers. I found a 2004 Chevy pickup truck in a town about 40 miles south in Bloomfield.
I asked Larry if I could hire him to take me there. He did and we had a good visit on the way. The truck was a good solid used truck with 109,000 miles on it, very clean and tight, gold in color.
It had new tires, a bed liner, running boards, most of the bells and whistles. They wanted $12,995, I offered $11,000, and ended up paying $11,225. My credit card had a 20k limit. I drove out of town with a new used pickup truck.
After I got hooked up to my boat, we put the Olds in a better place to await my return. I asked Larry what I could give him for his help. "I need nothing, but bring me some IDAHO spuds,"
I am returning to Iowa on Monday morning with a tow bar an a hundred pounds of spuds. I will not leave my baby in Iowa! This trip will cost about $700 in gas. Less than a repair bill in Iowa.
Google GEARED GREEN and watch Larry's JOHN DEERE tractor pull. He and his family farm 4,000 acres and compete in the pulling circuits in the summer. They are good people, good neighbors, and I thank you, Larry and Cindy VanGenderen!
I showed you I wrapped the boat in saran wrap. Then it blew off. This was in Laramie, WY.
And here is my boat in the water at Alganoc, MI
The boat on the left of mine is Chad Durren's. I met him on line about four years ago. His boat won second place in this class.
And we had a fine time, he and his father. Thanks, Chad, for coming.
Another online friend and his wife came to see "The Other Woman" also. Mike and Stephanie Sindel from Defience. Ohio. He found my blog about two years ago, and we have been chatting since. He owns a Chris-Craft Riviera, which they take out every evening for a ride from their dock on the river where they live. I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of them. Thanks, Mike and Stef. Here is their blog http://woodie.ppworks.com/cruise/ Then click on CRUISE LOG.
Well, no pictures yet. The chip I bought for my camera is 4 gig. I new a 16 gig would not be recognized by my computer, so I thought surely a 4 gig would. Not so. I'll have to wait until I get home to down load thru a cord.
Two more cyber friends came to see me. A couple from Defiance, OH, and a local guy I bought parts for my boat who has a shop here. Thanks Mike and Stef Sindel, and Mike Murrley.
This is the get ready day. Launched the boat this morning, with the help of my neighbors Randy and Karen Reed, who flew in late Thursday night to join me here. When it came time for the boat parade, we went out, but the water was so rough from the wind, we came back in. Sorry, no pictures yet.
The main part of the show is tomorrow. Judging and the people come to oooooo and ahhhhh.
A friend from the boat forum, Chad Durren, brought his boat Lily from Illinois, and he is tied off right beside me. We have been chatting on the forum and by e-mail for nearly 5 years now, it is fun to meet him and his father.
But I made a major boo-boo. I left home without the chip for my camera. So the photos are on the internal chip, and I have no way of getting them off, until I buy a cord.
I wanted to show what happened to my saran wrap. It didn't work. It was partly shredded in just 35 miles at Pocatello, and at Laramie, WY, I had to remove the rest. So I hope it doesn't rain too much. Here in Nebraska there were tornado warnings for yesterday, but so far it is nice and sunny. And I had a TAIL wind all day long. Eighteen miles per gallon.
I drove 685 miles, left at 6:45 AM, arrived at 7:30 PM. Two fuel stops and three saran wrap stops. Now to find something to eat.
I found this on E-bay and bid on it. It is a very rare 1959 Century 19 foot Resorter. The "Carrier Deck" front deck makes it VERY rare. I drove up to Seattle area on Friday, spent the night with Norm and Marge Nelson, then picked up the boat on Saturday morning. I was home by 1 AM Sunday morning.
Now who wants me to restore this boat for them????? Or buy it?
Here are some pictures of Howard Hughes' wooden troop carrying flying boat that he built from 1944 to 1947. This plane flew just 8 months after my boat was delivered to my home town. For more, GOOGLE Spruce Goose. It could carry 750 fully equipped troops.
These last two are models of the construction out of birch plywood. The skin is about an eighth of an inch thick, made of 9 plies of very thin birch layers. The wing span is 20 feet longer than a football field. It is made of 95% wood. A man can walk upright in the wings, and thus service the engines while the plane was flying.
I'm from Idaho, born and raised on a farm. I spent 2 years in the Army during the cold war, and 5 years in Salt Lake City. The rest of my life has been in Idaho. I have 6 children, 21 grand children and 26 great-grand children, scattered in California, Texas, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Arizona. I am the youngest of seven with only two of us left. I have strong family ties and I am a religious person with strong moral ethics. Like L'll Abner says, "I got scruples."
I have been an airplane pilot for fifty years, owned 1 plane and worked as a corporate pilot for 10 years. I have owned 6 boats, 22 cars and several dogs and cats. I was married to one beautiful lady for 42 years, 2 months and 5 days. Her generous heart got tired and she went to a better place in September of 2007. But this is not about sympathy. I am a happy person, never bored with several hobbies. I am also a computer adventure game addict.