Even the short trips count

In June, my son and I managed to steal away for a night of relaxation in the woods.  We had a great time hanging together playing cards, going for a couple long walks, and even hitting the rifle and archery ranges for a bit.  Why didn’t the other family half come with us?  My daughter had four friends come to celebrate her 13th birthday and Martha stayed home as referee.  Perfect time for the boys to skedaddle  🙂

We stayed at the local chapter grounds of the Izaack Walton League of America. The IWLA is an longstanding conservation organization involved in the cleanup and preservation of wildlife habitats.

He is discovering the joy of archery with an old school recurve bow (no real animals were hurt in the making of this blog post. However, circumstances were not kind to foam-based critters).

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Pick a direction and go.

Last month our family lost our beloved family pet, a German Shorthaired Pointer named Kila.  Although I grew up with dogs, Kila was Martha’s and, of course, the children’s first dog.  She was a bit of a PITA to camp with, so she never showed up much here, but she was a huge and important part of our family.  Her loss was not a surprise, we knew she was ill about a month prior, but nevertheless it was tougher than any of us would would have guessed.  The following weekend we found ourselves with an open schedule and not a single one of us wanted to hang around the house.  However, we struggled to pick a destination to which we could travel and distract ourselves.  Therefore, instead of a predetermined objective, we decided to just jump in the bus (such a good treatment for the melancholy!) and go – somewhere.

We set our direction east, down the Northern Neck of Virginia, along the southern banks of the Rappahannock River, past Fredericksburg, Port Royal, and Tappahannock.  Out to eastern Virginia we headed; a region we always intended to visit more often but one Continue reading

Rear brake rebuild: Part 1

Like clock-work, Moby normally is on the road, after hiding from the winter’s salty roads, by April each spring.  March is always a time for wrapping up the winter to-do list, going through some regular maintenance items, and verifying all is well.  However this year, the sliding door project and some some work on the CHT sensor (future post) pushed emerging from hibernation back into mid-April.  After an oil change, valve and carb check, and some attention to a loose fan belt, she was ready to see the sun once again, albeit a few weeks later than normal.  Still, with our first camping trip a few weeks out yet, we had time to spare.

The first drive of bus season is always wonderful. To have the road out in front, the engine purring behind, and no urgency remotely close, one can just sit back, relax and enjoy – it is almost like going on a mini-vacation.  Though gratifying as this drive may be, it is Continue reading

The trip that almost wasn’t (Camping at French Creek State Park, PA)

The June Bug Classic VW show is held annually at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pennsylvania.  The last time I attended this show, I was a high schooler fresh into the VW world and as I remember, it was a great show.  Unfortunately, it was also a show that fell by the wayside as I focused on other shows and life distractions.  Now that the Bug Out VW show seems to have moved to a permanent home in North Carolina, I began searching last April for a replacement closer to home and rediscovered the June Bug Classic.  The Maple Grove based show is one of a small handful of regional events that hosts VW drag racing, a sport I really want introduced to the kids.

As luck would have it, both Monica and Tom were available that weekend and interested in making the journey.  In the weeks leading up to the show, we put together Continue reading

Sliding door R&R (long and a bit photo heavy)

At some point early last summer, the sliding door began uttering a horribly loud screeching sound when closing the door.  Despite new grease and varying speeds of closure, the stubborn, campsite awakening sound remained.  As a result, we began leaving the door open as much as possible, but obviously, though the mosquitoes thought it ideal, this was not a great solution and the problem landed on my winter hibernation to-do list.

Upon her purchase, Moby’s sliding door striker plate was too high and the latch hit the bottom of the hole in the striker every time we closed the door.  Adjusting the striker plate as low as possible solved the issue but this left the plate with no additional downward adjustment.  When I then examined the bottom door rollers and sliding door track, I discovered what appeared to be a groove worn into the track bottom which might account for some, but not all, of the drop required at the striker plate.  Subsequently, during this winter’s preliminary examination, I noticed that the sliding Continue reading

Great day for an oil change

Not that it really matters what the day was like.  It’s just good to be getting the hands a little greasy along with the arrival of spring weather.  Moby is almost back on the road! Just a few more items to tackle, most notably a problem with the back, right-side wheel hub.  Are they supposed to smoke? 😀

Draining the oil

One person’s treasure…

In my post the other day about a customized bug I saw for sale, Tom made a great comment that, when responding to, drew me into a new post.  His comment fits into a larger debate (Pandora’s Box?) about the value of classic cars in terms of the type of work done and how this work fits with the often-overused term, restored.  Note: the debate about the value of the bondo-filled, rust-bucket someone is trying to sell for $10,000 is an entirely different issue.

I know there are lots of opinions out there and that a definite answer does not exist, eye of the beholder and all, but I still enjoy listening to the various sides of this debate because I never fully made up my mind.  I do appreciate all-originals the most, but also really enjoy some of the unique twists that come out of customization.  However, in Continue reading