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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: May 3, 2009, 2:22 pm 
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Joined: July 29, 2006, 9:10 pm
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Location: Oregon, usually
AZ, SOMEWHERE WEST OF GALLUP, NM: I blasted past Gallup without even seeing it, my head in the clouds, apparently. Gallup was going to be my gas stop, but first time I noticed it was gone was when I passed the Welcome to Arizona sign with 200+ miles on the clock. Gulp. Fortunately there were billboards for a station up ahead, and when I saw the gas station itself, I breathed quite the sigh of relief.

Unfortunately the gas station and pumps and signs were decoys. The gas station itself was abandoned, abandoned a lot longer than the signs had been, and when I asked the nearby proprioters what the deal was, all they wanted to do was sell me Chinese copies of Native American artifacts, and if I wasn't going to buy any, they didn't know where the closest gas station was. Grr. I told them I had enough gas to get back to Gallup (in a one gallon spare tank I carry) and they suggested I might want to stop at their other store on my way east, maybe I'd find something I wanted to buy and somebody there would help me. Double-grr.

I took the first exit back east, and stopped at the store they hadn't recommended, figuring any place they didn't like must have something going for it--Chee's Indian Store and Rock Shop. The owner, whose got the place from her mother (etc etc for four generations of Chee) greeted me at the sales counter and was the most interesting person I've talked with on this trip. She introduced herself as Karen ("I have a Navajo name also, which I won't tell you."), she and I talked for about an hour on a far ranging line of subjects from...man, there was so much to talk about, the major categories were our differences (genetic, cultural, environmental) and similarities (ditto).

One environmental difference I'd never considered is, she lives on the high desert, she's lived 6000 feet closer to space than I have, which over a lifetime is significant for UV damage and other background radiation.

One cultural similarity is we've both read Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight", her because she has a young daughter and Ms. Meyer's teen vampire novels are all the rage with teen aged women, and me because I enjoyed Meyer's adult novel "The Host" and wanted to see if her young adult novels were up to the same standard. Anyway, we both had the same reaction, which is that Twilight stunk from a stylistic standpoint, and also stunk from the thematic side, and we both went "eeew" over the basic concept of this guy vampire in high school (he looks young because he got vampirized when he was 17) wooing a classmate, with lots of swooning and we-mustn't-ing and gazing longingly and resisting of urges, and the girls are going gaga and it's a major motion picture and it's Book One of the teen romance trilogy of the decade, and come on now, the guy's an 87 year old child molester, why isn't everybody grossed out by this? Because he looks great, that's why.

"To girls that age, it's all about appearance," she told me, and I had to confess there are plenty of men in my age group who feel the same way. Anyway, it would take an hour to tell you what we talked about for an hour, but the conversation (and a bottle of water) left me deeply refreshed, and ready to follow her instructions, back on the freeway west, to Exit 339, where there was no sign on the freeway but if I turned left and crossed the train tracks I'd see a gas station. A real one.

Back at the car, a couple of women wanted to take pictures of each other behind the wheel, was that all right? Of course,can I take pictures of you taking pictures of you? Of course. So here are Jeanetta and Barbara, who I suspect have Navajo names they won't tell me.

At the gas station (which was jumping, and appears to be a hangout for locals) my fuel pump started making a funny noise. Holy smoke, how am I going to get a fuel pump way out here! It turned out it was merely beginning to suck bubbles, which was cool, because it showed me exactly how much useful fuel was in that JAZ 8 gallon tank.

I never needed to dip into my spare gas can. I'd got 230-something miles (I'll have to dig out the receipt) which was a pleasant surprise, particularly since I'd done some freeway hooning with a Honda S2000. Bottom line is, I could take him at low speeds, but by the time I was in mid-4th he was pulling away like I was...well he was sure as heck pulling away at a fast enough pace that, had a policeman interviened, I could have used it as evidence we weren't really racing. Racing? Come now, Officer, if we'd been racing, would I have let him pull away like that? Aerodynamics makes a huge difference at high speed, but light weight is the answer for acceleration; it more than balanced his extra 60 horsepower 'till areo took over.


Attachments:
File comment: 61 years ago, the current owner's great grandmother sold rugs from a sheepherder's shelter on Route 66. Times change.
CheesStore.jpg
CheesStore.jpg [ 33.45 KiB | Viewed 1185 times ]
File comment: I'm ready to raise the bar on my photo ops, to only those women who ask for a photo. Here's one now.
JeanettaAtChees.jpg
JeanettaAtChees.jpg [ 39.1 KiB | Viewed 1184 times ]
File comment: Barbara is not the first person to have trouble getting into the driver's seat, but she's the first one who seemed genuinely amused by the challenge.
JeanettaShootsBarbara.jpg
JeanettaShootsBarbara.jpg [ 32.41 KiB | Viewed 1183 times ]
File comment: 8.444 gallons. Not bad for an 8 gallon tank. The JAZ 10 gallon tank is closer to 9 gallons in real life.
GasPumpAZ.jpg
GasPumpAZ.jpg [ 25.14 KiB | Viewed 1182 times ]

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Last edited by JackMcCornack on May 7, 2009, 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: May 3, 2009, 3:21 pm 
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Jack, you're gonna need to stop at least for a coffee / beer / something on the way up, I'm pretty much right on your way if you take the 405 up instead of the 5, and even if you do take the 5, I'm still only 10-15 mins away.

Moti

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PostPosted: May 3, 2009, 7:16 pm 
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Man, I so need to build a cheap sports car when I get older and get some time!

Oh, wait.... nevermind.....

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PostPosted: May 4, 2009, 4:34 am 
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Location: Oregon, usually
DECATUR TX Flashback: For those who didn't see the Locost in the third photo of it parked next to the Z-car (on the page before this one), here it is twice as big.

The cars' front wheels are in line with each other. You can see the top half of the Locost's left headlight peeking over the 280Z's left fender, the top of the Locost's roll bar is visible though the Z's windshield, and a few inches of the top of the Locost's windshield are visible over the back of the Z's hood/bonnet.

I'm a bit north of Sacramento, weather is good here, clear all the way 'till I cross the border into Oregon, where it's raining buckets. My last 100 miles are likely to be nasty. I'll let you know if I live, then I'll get orders out, then I'll finish this story, starting up again at the NM/AZ border. G'night for now.


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DecaturZ&7CU.jpg
DecaturZ&7CU.jpg [ 23.83 KiB | Viewed 1508 times ]

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PostPosted: May 4, 2009, 10:37 am 
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Deleted/edited/moved to improve chronological continuety.

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Last edited by JackMcCornack on June 27, 2009, 7:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May 4, 2009, 10:39 am 
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Location: Oregon, usually
Deleted/edited/moved to improve chronological continuety.

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Last edited by JackMcCornack on June 27, 2009, 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May 4, 2009, 11:10 am 
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Location: Northridge, CA
Dangit, you've already gone past my place.. :ack:

Moti

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PostPosted: May 4, 2009, 11:22 am 
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Joined: December 10, 2008, 8:19 am
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Location: The Villages, FL
Moti,
I have been followiing Jack's progress and all I can say is that he has been flying really low! He has been lucky IMHO to have only picked up one speeding ticket thus far or he has with held the total number!! The realibility thus far has been a feather in Chet's cap. Amazing!!

I had to laugh about the extra drain hole he put in. I drove a Lotus 11 in the rain for over an hour one time and when you braked for a corner, all the water would wind up soaking your feet and as you accelerated this huge wave would wind up in your lap!! Jack should have added a wet suit for his trip!

Bob Boone


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PostPosted: May 4, 2009, 11:25 am 
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DUNNAGAN, CA: Sorry I missed your message, Moti. I'm racing a storm, it should be serious by this afternoon, but I'm almost home.

Here's the last weather map of the trip, I'm at the bottom red 'x' now, I'll follow the yellow line and be at the top 'x' in five hours, weather depending. So I'll get wet but if I'm fast enough, merely soaked rather than drowned.

One minor challenge is--and I'll tell you all about it when I fill in the missing episodes--I don't have any front fenders any more. Frankly I doubt it will be much worse than the standard cycle fenders, but I'm sure I'll have a full report for you later. For the moment, I'm throuwing my luggage in garbage bags and slipping into my rain gear and taking that last blast on the open road. Wish me luck.


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LastMorning.jpg
LastMorning.jpg [ 30.87 KiB | Viewed 1449 times ]
LastDayWeather.jpg
LastDayWeather.jpg [ 68.1 KiB | Viewed 1456 times ]

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PostPosted: May 4, 2009, 8:15 pm 
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No fenders? This I gotta hear! :shock:

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PostPosted: May 4, 2009, 8:31 pm 
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Well if he had driven on I10, I would saw a wind gust caught them wrong and wrecked havoc. Those gusts can be exciting in regular enclosed cars.


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PostPosted: May 4, 2009, 11:46 pm 
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Woohoo! I made it! Films at 11

I don't have the time to write tonight, I'll maybe be off for a day or so getting orders out, but I'll get back to this topic and finish up the adventure.

The last 250 miles were wet wet wet. I didn't drown. I talked with one last policeman (excessive speed for conditions, exceeding the posted speed limit, no windshield wipers, no front fenders...allegedly) but it went okay. Hot shower, dry clothes, I'm ready to roll.

I cannot encourage you enough: take your Locost on a road trip. It doesn't have to be three weeks of it and it doesn't have to go from coast to coast, just get far enough from home that nobody knows you and people say, "Really? You drove all that way?"

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PostPosted: May 5, 2009, 12:06 am 
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dhempy wrote:
No fenders? This I gotta hear! :shock:


Hmmmm. Fender stay tubing appears to still be in place but the 1/8" x 1" steel bands that the fenders attach to are gone. So much for my redesigned fender stays. Based on the cycle fender reviews I'm guessing we won't see them on the car again. I can't wait to hear what happened either.

Congratulations on arriving home safely Jack. You are indeed a rugged locostering chap.

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PostPosted: May 5, 2009, 10:44 am 
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Joined: March 16, 2009, 8:56 pm
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Location: Prince George BC
do we have a total mileage on the trip?? i'm coming to the end of a road trip of my own. Nova Scotia to British Columbia, through the US. with trips to or through Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Yellowstone Nat'l Park, and we were going to do Glacier Nat'l park too, but a road there is closed right now, which would make for a nasty detour. We're (my girlfriend and i) are towing a 1200lb trailer with our '98 Golf.


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PostPosted: May 5, 2009, 11:08 am 
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Location: The Villages, FL
Go to www.randmcnally.com amd enter start and end points (with stops along the way) amd it will give mileage driving time for each segment.

I use this service all the time and it is free.


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