Readying for The Lone Star State
I took some time this afternoon to finish Phase 1 of readying THE CLAW for the road. By now, I have the routine down and it starts at a local car wash where I make fine use of 75-cent power-vacs. Here some Wallowa County, Oregon grass. There some Lake Michigan sand. Here some road maps from the last trip across The Rockies. There some pine needles from Southern Pines, North Carolina (yeesh, that was 10 months ago!). Within fifteen minutes, I’ve gutted and vacuumed THE CLAW and am ready to reload the few items I store in it year-round.
Next up: top the coolant, oil, and power steering fluids, eye the belts, reattach that weird cord that always comes undone (don’t you love old cars?), check the electric tape on that one thinga-majiggy, and pour a little water/baking soda mixture over the battery nodes.
Final step: polish the dash, shake the floor mats, wipe down THE CLAW and THE ANTLER on the roof rack, tally my Starbucks coffee bean bags sent from Dad (redeemable at any Starbucks for a free cup of Joe), and set the pepper spray and pocket knife into their easy-to-reach slots in the glove box. I hate to think about the darker sides of road trips, but I’m a woman travelling alone with a car-full of belongings and (oh, did I mention this yet?) I BROKE MY FOOT AGAIN so I’m also somewhat limited wearing a foot bootie. I might be able to throw a knock-down punch and rip through a stealthy osotogari (turning neck throw), but it never hurts to be prepared with backup, either.
THE CLAW has 215,000 miles on it and was built in 1989. The 740GL model comes with heated seats, a moon roof, fold-down seats, and retro-fab door handles and knobs that make driving it feel a little space-shippy (in a good way). When all’s said and done, this backseat provides six feet (at a diagonal) of storage space. That works out to about two large Rubbermaid bins tall and two across, with some room on the side for longer/awkward storage. I can repeat this arrangement from front to back and get everything except my bike into the back. Shotgun is reserved for my laptop, my cooler, and a few other odds and ends.
Anyone else as excited as I am? Now if only I could get my AC fixed before heading to The Lone Star State…