Thursday, August 16, 2007

Out ‘N Aboot

So I thought I’d take a few days off from the office… Since I hardly ever take any holidays. Thinking it would be a nice breather to get away from the world of motorsports and get a little fresh air.

Making a beeline south, I went down to Tacoma to visit Auntie Harriet and get away from ze Confuzer and Telescreen Monday morning. No cell phones, two way pagers, PBA’s or any other portable electronics with an on/off switch and my tray table and seat back returned to their locked ‘N upright position, with all of my personal belongings stowed away…

Thinking there’d be NO automotive related activities for the few days of sun ‘N humour… but little did I know that the price ‘O admission was to help in the potential loading of an extremely sick chebbie Camaroe, circa 1985.

And what a three ring circus that production turned into. As first we had to wait for the surrogate driver who’d been vainly scouring Seattle and the neighboring communities for a car dolly.

As we all congregated at the Clyde wrecking yard… It was quite entertaining as you know that ‘ol saying ‘bout “Too many cooks in the kitchen.” With Harriet and her 90 year old brother Tom trying to give us pointers… A total of six adults, two six year old children and four dogs, it was Comedy Central as everybody gave their two cents worth on how to load the portly Camaroe.

No shouldn’t we load it on flat ground? Why do we need a slope to load the 3,500lb vehicle? How do we get it onto the car dolly? Shouldn’t these ramps move, come down or do something? Why does the car dolly need to be firmly latched to the truck?

Since I’m the automotive “expert.” I was summoned over to the Camaroe where the hood was open and Catherine wanted to know where she could spray starter fluid. As the chebbie actually appeared to have “real” fuel injection with no removable air cleaner. But surprisingly the clunker Camaroe fired up on the first crank ‘O key. Albeit sounding horrifically awful as there was a horrible knocking noise as well as billowing clouds of black exhaust smoke.

You see the Camaroe is a project car as at the very least it has a rod knock if not more engine damage… As Catherine had bought it for her son William’s first car. I mean doesn’t everybody start out with an American V-8 muscle car?

After trying to drive the Camaro onto the dolly without it being latched onto the truck hitch, It was quickly discovered why that wouldn’t work as there was now a 3,500lb smoking muscle car having teeter-tottered the dolly’s hitch skywards.

Reversing off of the dolly, Catherine forced the protesting Camaroe up the grassy knoll. To the top of the yard in order to gain some slopage for the forlorn chebbie… In our second attempt at loading the wildebeest.

Meanwhile, Uncle Tom was fuming, since he couldn’t figure out where in the HELL his beef cubes for his dinner stew had disappeared to? Having left the door open while coming out to survey all of the commotion. Mary Ellen’s “Hoond” Luna had gone inside and helped herself to all of the thawing beef!

Next it was discovered that the two ramps were missing their extensions as Catherine was trying to figure out how to not rip the beast’s air dam off upon trying to drive onto the dolly. Using some scrap lumber as starting ramps, Catherine got the loudly knocking chebbie half way onto the dolly when it was finally discovered that the car dolly wasn’t the right type… Not being wide enough to transport a low rider V-8 muscle car.

And if The Camaroe’s a knockin’ Then turn the damn billowing clouds’ ‘O black exhaust smoke off!!!

So with sunset setting, we abandoned any further attempts to hoist the badly smokin’ chebbie and return to the scene of the crime at a further date. As our original plans to go to the Island had been scuttled by the Camaroe loadin’ adventure…

Tuesday morning we made our way leisurely over to Vashon Island to stay at Catherine’s beach cabin. Which was thoroughly enjoyable. As we spent most of a perfect afternoon in solitude on our very own sandy beach, with only sun, surf ‘N waves to relax in. As “The Mountain” was out directly across from us with the sounds of Alex & Elizabeth playing on the beach in the background.

Then after catching the ferry back to Fauntleroy to meet Catherin and exchange “Chittlin’s” Wednesday morning. We were off to see little Tahoma… Better known as Mount Rainier. As Mary Ellen had picked the absolutely perfect day for a two hour drive to the majestic mountain. Having become a yearly tradition, I pushed Harriet up the steep paved walking trail, as she partook in her yearly Mr. Toad’s WILD ride. But this is always worth the price of admission to me, as it was another glorious day visiting Mount Rainier in all of her splendor…

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