Thursday, May 2, 2013

Just Lovely!


I've been having a lot of trouble getting the Jeep to start lately so a couple of days ago I decided to take the falcon out of mothballs, register it and start driving it again. It wouldn't start and further investigation showed that the battery is bad and on top of that the starter is out.

I took the Jeep over to Gill's yesterday and got the bad news today that the engine is a goner in it. Now the jeep is at his place so I'm afoot until I can get it back and get the falcon on the road. Problem is my tools and jack are in the Jeep so I can't change the starter on the falcon until I can get the Jeep back here.

I've pretty well hunkered down in here all day because of the cool temp and high wind. The wind has been real high most of last night and all day today so I probably wouldn't have done anything anyway. (Looks like it will be again all night tonight) Even though the front part of the roof is secured now it still rattles a lot when the wind is out of the east. That kept me awake for a good part of last night since the wind is out of the north east. Its also been another damn sand storm all day. I still haven't fixed the charger and it was also cloudy all day so the solar hasn't done too good which means hitting the rack real early tonight. (No movies for me to watch.) This is one of the times when I think this place really SUCKS!


  1. The nicest places still have their draw backs. No place is perfect. I like the Southwest part of Texas, but maybe that is because I only visit there (grin)

  2. Sorry to hear about the problems you are having with your cars.

    I have been thinking about you guys down in Terlingua knowing how terrible the winds can get. Was hoping your roof was secure enough not to rattle anymore. However with these winds everything rattles.

    It could be a lot worst. You yourself have said that had you not moved to Terlingua you would be living in a seedy apartment complex.

    Even with all the shortcomings and challenges that living in the desert encompass I would much rather look out my front porch and see a beautiful landscape albeit barren...than have to put up with some drunk neighbor listening to his gaudy music and fighting with his wife.

    The weather should be beautiful this weekend.

  3. DD, I agree, but at times it gets pretty trying around here!

    MsB, I would rather be here than the other alternative. Guess I'm just feeling sorry for myself. ;)

  4. "Guess I'm just feeling sorry for myself."

    Well, it's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it. ;)

  5. wish i would be there to transport yu dude -back and forth- no hurry .I just lost my Chevy Tracker (my daugther wreked it front hit) sold for $ 550 although could have been repaired or donated) felt sorry seing it go. I have my Linoln 96 (consumes lot of gas) . When I visit BigBend I allways rent a car (paid with AMEX rewards mainly,having saved 6 months). That s what i ll do and hope yu survive till June till i get there unless a good friend ,sure someone will kick in do that help. I ride a bicicle also -for short runs- here in Houston Tx and the Bus (emergency if any) but of course there s NO Bus there. I feel yur pain man, and pray issue will be solved soon. That s the BigBend of course, I understand. that s how one learns to love it and why I m considering Sanderson Tx (if not Alpine due to higher costs $$) Again keep us posted. BEST !(excuse my spelling as English NOT my first language)
    Houston TX

  6. Pablo, I was getting worried about what Gill said about the engine being trashed. It is and has been for quiet some time and had been running real bad since the fuel regulator got replaced. Gill replaced a bunch of vacuum lines and the Jeep runs good now and is using much less fuel. I'd imagine it has quiet a few more miles in it, but in the mean time I'll be trying to get the falcon ready to go back on the road. At least I'm back on the road again.

  7. Glad you are back on the road! I hate being stranded!

  8. Glad dude yur back again on the 4 wheel/gas stuff that keeps us alive here in America (horses or bikes not good any more in those BigBend distances) Hurrah !

  9. I enjoy the blog. I notice that you have both a 3rd wheel trailer and a stick built structure to live in. I'm considering desert living but not sure which way to go.

    Could you discuss the pros and cons of both for us desert novices?
    How do they perform in the elements including wind, rain , and heat?
    How are they for warmth?
    How are they for the long term sanity of the inhabitant?
    Are they comfortable?
    Anything else you can think of?


  10. HJ, yes being stranded sucks especially when the nearest place to get supplies is 25 miles away.

    Pablo, I'm thinking about getting a bicycle for real short trips, but it would kill me trying to ride very far. I do have a small chainsaw that I'm thinking about putting the motor on a bike. Would be more fun and less work.

    Anon, you or someone else asked me exactly the same questions some time back so I won't answer them again. Feel free to search the blog for the answers.

  11. Crappy times make the good times better - hang in there :)

  12. Dani, believe it or not I just put the key in the falcon, turned it and it started right up. Weird to say the least. Maybe having the different battery in it and a solar panel charging it for several days had something to do with it???

  13. Let me know if I can help find parts for the jeep or Falcon.

  14. SUERTE, looks like I'm good to go for now. Thanks for the offer.


  15. Driving in West texas and Terlingua Tx

    When we first came to this area we asked someone how to get to a certain place. The reply was, "go to the middle of nowhere and take a right, then go even more to the middle of nowhere - you’ll be within a few miles from there".

    That was a pretty fair statement at the time. Now, things are closing in a bit. It doesn’t feel so isolated and the distances seem more manageable. That’s one thing about West Texas - the distances. It’s 1.25 hours to get to the nearest hospital (if you can call it that), 3.5 hours to the nearest commercial airport (5 hours to the next nearest), 3.25 hours to reasonable groceries and a real hospital, 7-8 hours to a real city, and only 30 minutes to a bank branch and a post office. All of this is on good straight roads with speed limits of 70-75 miles per hour.

    Every so often I’ll drive the 3-3.5 hours to go shopping, spend maybe 3 hours hitting the butcher shop, grocery store, liquor store, pet shop, home center and wholesale grocery and drive back the same day. You need to be very organized to do that run.

    Our neighbor who is building a house has to make the trip about once a week and it doesn’t seem to phase him. Texans are used to distance and they usually talk in terms of hours instead of miles, it’s easier because some places aren’t far but they are hard to get to. When we came down to look for a place to buy the realtor put on 250 miles one day just showing us around - pretty usual for her but we were exhausted. Some days that 250 miles yields no sale.

    A drive across Texas from El Paso in the northwest to Brownsville in the southeast is a hard two day trip and I’m not talking backroads but interstate highways most of the way. Personally, I’d do it in three days just to get in some quality scenery time.

    Texas backroads are a treat. You can drive for miles without seeing a soul on the road. You can pass through very small towns without seeing anyone on the street. Yet you can stop at a farm stall out in absolute nowhere and they’ll have sold out the melons for the day.

    It’s interesting. In all this open, deserted country, people are far more observant of speed laws than around cities. You can be driving down a stretch of road that is absolutely straight for 15 miles and no one is doing more than 3-5 miles over the limit and most are right on the limit. Texans don’t seem to mind driving.

    So, being so far from anywhere, what do you do in an emergency? Well, you mostly hope that there isn’t one. If there is, the ambulance is 30 miles away or more but usually a Sheriff’s Deputy is only 10-15 miles down or up the road. And, they’re all good at what they do.

    They loaded me up in the ambulance one day and trucked me up to our non-hospital. We had to go through a Border Patrol checkpoint on the way and some windy mountainous country. From call-in to delivery was about two hours including a pretty thorough exam at our house prior to leaving. Of course, if I’d been very bad off they’d have transferred me to the real hospital another two hours away. If you have a really serious problem your chances are poor.

    If you choose to live out in the boondocks you need a couple of things: good health and a real appreciation for the inside of a motor vehicle, because here you’re "going nowhere in a hurry, fast".
    posted by Jack Hennessy 2006