Monday, June 13, 2011

May 19, 2012

Thank you Alan for your subscription!

10:45 P.M. It was a long, hard day... We got rolling around 8 A.M., and were moving along well enough through the scattered dead vehicles. The scenery here near the Shenandoah park is breathtaking. And the terrain is hell on the old Scout. Twice she over-heated on us during a long uphill pull. Which required us to stop and let the engine cool while Kevin or I trudged off looking for water or anti-freeze. It wasn't too hard to find, we both wound up simply draining it from one of the many derelict vehicles along the road into a couple gallon plastic jugs. But that wasn't the worst of it.

The worst came when the rear universal joint decided that it had enough. On the downhill run, of course. Thank God that Scout has disc brakes on the front, if they were drums we'd be dead. With no engine braking, and the weight of the trailer and all our gear pushing on us, it was all those brakes could do to keep us from flying off the road, or worse, smashing into a vehicle. When we finally came to a stop at the bottom of the hill, the rear brakes were smoking, and the front discs had turned blue-ish black. No doubt they were glowing cherry red as we came down that hill.

After catching our breath, and some discussion, the three of us decided that it might be best if we find another vehicle. So I dropped the trailer, gave a look under the Scout to make sure nothing critical had been damaged when the drive shaft made it's hasty exit, put it in four wheel drive, and off we went.

Several hours later we'd found our new ride. And what a ride it is! At a small volunteer fire department in Harper's Ferry, we found an old Army deuce-and-a-half which had been converted into a tanker truck. After about an hour we had the pump and tank removed (threw some fire hoses around the tank, tied to a phone pole, and drove the truck out from underneath!). We scavenged a good, heavy tarp from the fire department, and some PVC pipe from a local hardware store to make a cover for the bed. Fortunately someone had already rigged up a 2 inch hitch receiver on this beast, so then it was back to the highway to pick up the trailer.

The truck rides like a buck board. It's noisy. And it spews black smoke when the throttle is open. But I have no doubt that it will get us wherever we want to go. Plus, I find that our fuel options are much wider now. The book I found under the driver seat says it will burn diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, fuel oil, or gasoline with one quart engine oil per 15 gallons added. I'm sure all the gasoline left is probably bad by now, but I know there's plenty of fuel oil as we head further north.


  1. A lucky find!

    Thanks Mayberry.


  2. Actually, you can find these at VFDs all over. I've seen dozens myself.