I always thought Jeeps were the go-anywhere car that didn’t stop working until they die of exhaustion, like a mining pony! But alas, this Jeep seems to have needed a few little boosts. First the tire winch in the back was broken due to the hasty unprofessional treatment it received at the mechanics some time ago. The result was that the spare tire, an enormous twist of rubber, could only be carried in the car itself, and not riding the undercarriage as it was intended. I called my brother, who happens to be a mechanic, and asked where I could get a wheel winch. He replied, “What the hell is a wheel winch?” My brother’s a good mechanic but a very cheap one, I think he works mostly on $2 lemons the local teenagers get for their first car. When he realized what I was talking about he directed us towards three local junkyards, all of which first asked the same question my brother had, and then replied they didn’t have any Jeep parts that young. A quick search online revealed they also were not available for sale new. I figured I was screwed until after a week of searching I found one in Connecticut and had it sent right up here. Now I actually have enough space in the car to use the new SUV air mattress. My life as a Jeep wheelin’ gypsy is about to begin.
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After the wheel winch was fixed a new shiny “radio” was installed. It was a magical music device that could read files off of a memory stick or something similar. I hadn’t realized the technology existed. I’m still stuck in the age of FM and AM I guess. In any event I had to search numerous local stores before I found what I needed at the Wal-Mart in Keene. It came with a jumble of wires that didn’t match the Jeep in any way shape or form. Apparently this Jeep was a prissy little thing that had a “premium” radio which was apparently another species to the regular ones. Back to the store to get different parts. Finally it was working, but now the car battery was dead from sitting in the driveway for two weeks. A quick jump, a little ride to Gardner, and low and behold the radio actually worked! It was loaded up with a psychotic cornucopia of music, anything for any mood, any day. I think if anything this may have given the new device a touch of schizophrenia. It’s OK though, I was having a lot of fun with it and laughing our asses off at various points. I guess trolling for “best of” albums gives you a lot of random weirdness, in addition to the already strange music singing about bifurcated tourists and lessons on how to spell damnation. “With the d and the a and the m and the n and the a and the t-i-o-n!”
So after the battery was charged it was time for some more DIY customizations. First the car needed screens so that if I did sleep in the car we could roll down the windows for air and avoid the bugs. This was easily solved with some sticky Velcro and plastic screening. $12 for one and a half windows worth of Velcro which melted off in the heat, though it is still mostly stuck… for now…
The other thing I needed was a privacy curtain so that people could not look through the windshield and see my sorry figure drooling in my sleep. So I pulled some leopard spotted polyfleece through the handloops on the ceiling and safety pinned it up. Polyfleece blocks out a substantial amount of light for its weight and it doesn’t fray. As an added bonus the leopard print adds 100% kitsch!
Lastly the roof rack need to be added. As sad as it sounds the Jeep’s roof rack did not have horizontal bars, meaning I could not attach a roof container onto it for storage. So it was another trip to Keene, this time to Home Depot where some wood, plastic tubing, and metal bits were procured, to create what was needed. It looks like a pretty sturdy, if not rustic-looking, contraption. I think it’ll work just fine!
For now the car customizations and repairs are done, but this will probably be an ongoing process as necessity arises. Meanwhile everyone is biding us adieu and asking all sorts of questions. The family in particular are concerned I’ll be eaten by bears, other scary wildlife, or in the case of my mother, the crazy homeless people she hears live at free camping sites. I have no doubts whatsoever I’ll see at least a few people with more than a screw loose but I think I can deal with it. As for bears… they’ve got nothing on me.
And to end this entry I decided to post a photo of a couple adorable Chihuahua Dachshund cross puppies. Why? Because my cousin Tanya is visiting this weekend and she brought them with her so I decided their cute must not be kept secret! Though I can testify the solid brown one hates me. Can’t win them all…