(Note: the beginning of this story arc starts here, you should probably go back and read that if you haven’t already.)
(Note 2: This post was hand-written when I was in the U.P., the publish time is approximate.)
So, I’ve decided to head back early, not for my sake, but for the Bus. I need to order parts and swap the head, and until I do that I can’t go joy riding all over the U.P.
If I had another week to spend up here it would be different; I could order parts in Newberry, hang around for a week for them to come in, then swap the head out right here in Paradise. God knows that’s what John Muir would have done! I don’t have the luxury of time, though. I start my new job (officially) on July 1st, plus I have three Masses to play for this weekend, and it would be hard (not to mention it wouldn’t look good) to reschedule them now.
The plan is to stop for breakfast tomorrow at Java Joe’s in St. Ignace, as is the tradition. While I’m there I can use my neat and nifty new smart phone to order parts online and have them shipped overnight. I’ll drive home oh-so-carefully, keeping my lead foot at bay and one eye on the oil light. Then on Friday I can take the head off.
I suspect a new, loaded head is going to cost Stupid dollars so, unless I’m wrong, I’ll take the old head to Spring Valley Motors in K-zoo and get one of their used-known-good heads. Then I can take that over to my friendly local machine shop in A2 and have them install new valves. it takes a village, eh?
So, I’ll get the used-known-good head back on Monday and can get it installed that afternoon. That gives me Tuesday to tinker. Now job starts Wednesday, I work Thursday, Friday is my day off. Friday is also the annual Baroda Fireworks, with the traditional “lets see how many people we can cram into the Bus” event. Ah hah! There’s a method to my madness!
I’ve learnt a lot this trip. First, the mosquitoes are TERRIBLE! I mean, I douse myself in bug spray and the damn things just hover in a cloud 3ft. from my body, waiting for it to wear off! That’s not hyperbole, that’s the truth! I’ve never seen them this bad before. Second, always know what gear you’re in. Third, there’s something about my Bus that makes me happy, makes me balanced, makes me Me.
I don’t understand it fully, but my Bus completes me somehow. It’s probably the first thing in my life that I was passionate about. It’s never been a smart investment, It’s never been reliable transportation, It’s never been in good shape (as long as I’ve owned it), but it’s never been about that. My Bus shows me, again and again, that it’s okay to not know all the answers. Hell, when I bought it I didn’t even know the questions! And, somehow, It always knows when I’m in need of another lesson in humility.
The Bus has been hemorrhaging oil since I got it out of storage in May. I ignored it because I didn’t know what was wrong and I didn’t want to admit that. Since I was ignoring the problem, I was also ignoring the Bus and not driving it. I’ve put <600 miles on it since May, no wonder I’ve been feeling depressed!
WELL NO MORE! I’m going to replace the head, drive to the Baroda Fireworks (and back), and keep driving, and tinkering, and adjusting, and tweaking.
And you, dear reader, will be my witness to these events, these repairs, these road trips. You will keep me honest and motivated, even when I don’t know what’s wrong.
For now, we’ll see how this head job goes.