Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Evils of Slave Cylinders

Nov. 15, 1970, Monday, continued
Old Oatus just rolled merrily along today, without breakdowns or other disasters to distract us. We made it to Garberville early in the afternoon and took on fuel. Oatus took 14 gallons after roughly 75 miles of traveling; the Family Dog took two bucks' worth. Mostly we just trucked today, watching the countryside slide past at 30 m.p.h. That's flank speed for us.
The sun came out, attended by healthy white clouds, and the shadows began to lengthen when we passed through Eureka and Arcata. Finally we sought a berth for the night at Patrick's Point, 15 miles south of Orick. It's one of Governor Reagan's State Park Blasphemies which requires hard coin and demands that all animals be locked up or otherwise restrained.
Poor Nigel Woofer took to the leash with total dismay, having sat on his tail all day with me in the Family Dog. He was looking forward to a good romp and I know he feels double crossed, poor lad.
But the place has showers.
One last note: it appears as though Oatus needs another water pump and it stands to reason that the best possibility for locating one is in Crescent City. The question is: can we make it? Stay tuned.
Nov. 16, Tuesday - HAH! Ruddy water pump is shot. I went off to find a Park Ranger for information on available junkyards. McKinleyville has several, he said.
Chris hopped into the Family Dog and zipped off to the south in search of another pump while I stayed aboard in order to slap another coat of exterior stain on Oatus's Port & Starboard side, since the weather has decided to clear.
At 16:00, Chris returned with a $4.50 dead replica of our latest casualty and got to work immediately installing it. So. We're trapped on Patrick's Point 'til tomorrow. However if all goes well, tomorrow night will find us in Oregon!
Nov. 17, Wednesday – The sun never did come up this morning – the fog just got brighter and a drizzle started up, drifting in through the trees as softly ans silently as snow.
Finishing up the water pump didn't take long. By 10:30 Oatus was up and running again so we got underway and started moving out of the park. I got to the main gate and pulled over to wait for Oatus.
Oatus however failed to arrive so I backtracked until I finally found him about 300 yards from our original berth. Chris was covered with leaves and debris from crawling about underneath the truck and was in an ugly mood.
Who could blame him? The slave cylinder to the back tires, starboard side, had blown a leak, destroying the hydraulic continuity of Oatus's brakes!
Chris and Oatus aren't speaking.
I got underneath with our flimsy screw jack and somehow managed to get the tires of the ground; then split for McKinleyville to locate a 15/16” socket for the lug bolts.
The rest of the day was spent tearing the whole works apart. As usual, a million miles' worth of dirt and debris had accumulated and gotten into the works. The piston in the cylinder was dirty and sticking.
By dark, everything was reassembled and apparently operable so we decided to get out of the park before we got charged another night's rent. I hear the Oregon State Parks are free. Good news if it's true.
We tied up for the night on a frontage road on the east side of Highway 101.
Well, if one slave cylinder is fouled by dirt and the like, what's a body to think about the other'n? HA HA! Tomorrow we operate on the other'n, just to find out.

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