Dan and I and a bunch of other people were hanging out at Marta's
house one day, and he was talking about going across country on a bus.
Why in a bus? I asked him. Because he didn't have a car or a license. But
I did! No matter that my car was an old VW that I had never seen run and
didn't even roll. We would fix it up. So we did. I had brought it home
from my friend's house with a wheel almost falling off because the wheel
bearing was so bad, and it wouldn't run. So we replaced the wheel bearing
and struggled with why it wouldn't run. I heard a hissing noise at the
back of the exhaust manifold, and eventually figured out that there was
air escaping from there when we turned it over (and it would fire a
little), though not much. It would also run if we removed one of the fuel
injectors, though not very well, obviously, since it was running on three
cylinders. Then we noticed that there was no air coming out of the
exhaust pipe at all. So the exhaust was blocked somewhere. I took off the
catalytic converter and tried to force air through it... not happening.
So I took a pipe and reamed out the cat, completely gutting it, and put
it back on. The car ran happily. I guess that one fuel injector port let
enough air escape to allow the car to run or something? I don't know.
Anyway... Off we went, after driving the car a total of only 30 miles. We
had to push-start it many times going across the country, and we had many
adventures, but it got us 9,000 miles (out to San Fran, up the coast,
through Canada, and all kinds of other places). When I got back, I
realised that I hadn't checked the oil the whole time. It was exactly the
way I had left it... good car...
We ran into lots of really cool stuff on our trip. While at my grandparents cabin in Colorado, we decided to climb Carbon Peak, the mountain that their cabin is halfway up at 9,000 feet. So we threw a gallon of water in a backpack and started up. We didn't realize that the mountain was 12,000 feet high. We were a little bushed when we finally found our way back. It was also rather unnerving that as soon as we got to the top, marked by a lightning rod and an indentation in the rock, a thunderstorm started. We ran the first part of the way down. We didn't feel like getting hit by lightning. The mountain is one giant rockslide, so it was a bitch to climb. I don't know how the few trees that grow on that mountain manage.
One night we slept on the beach in Northern Californina and woke up to the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen. To our left was a driftwood field about 200 feet long and 50 feet wide. It was awesome. We picked up a hitchhiker later that day, still in Northern Calif, and took him to Washington, after bending some rims on a big hole in the road and borrowing a sledgehammer to bend them back with. The hitchhiker's name was Tadpole, and he had this kitten called Mormon that would keep trying to crawl down under the pedals while I was driving. I don't know how we all fit in that car. We had taken the backseat out, but for those of you who know Sciroccos, imagine three people, a kitten, a framepack (Tadpole's), a tent, a big (3ftx2ftx2ft) cooler, a lot more food, 2 duffles of clothes, a Whisperlite, several jugs of water, and various other items all stuffed into one Scirocco.
We were so full that the back window was completely blocked, which resulted in a cop pulling me over after following me for a mile with his lights on. I hadn't seen him. I only pulled over when he turned his siren on (I don't know why I wasn't watching my side mirrors- maybe they weren't adjusted right). He came up to the window and listed off what he had caught me for.... 50 in a 25, 55 in a 35, 60 in a 45... etc, and said that it totalled up to about $300 and something. Then he said, "But instead of me taking your money, why don't you take your friends out to dinner. Have a good evening." Nicest cop I ever met.
Yeah, it was fun!