Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Continuing Saga of Station Wagon

I love Honda. Sweet Christ how I love 'em. This weekend I took off for eastern Oregon on a whim to go see a place called the Lost Forest. It's a bizarro stand of Ponderosas about 220 miles east of here out in the desert. The soils are such that it can sustain certain trees that normally require about double the rainfall the area gets, which basically equates to a random forest plunked down in the middle of sagebrush/scrub. It's adjacent to some sand dunes that are popular with OHVs (off-highway vehicles ... basically ATVs, dirt bikes, etc) and is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Interestingly, there's also a relict of an over-the-horizon radar site nearby. Needless to say, none of the "roads" are paved.


It was raining but I was determined to see the woods, dammit. The wagon and I went barrelling down dirt, mud, and bare rock roads at speeds that left gravity eddies as we passed. Even 4x4s were going slow through this shit. My poor wagon was at the hands of a merciless task master, which is probably why she bogged down twice. The first time I was able to get her out myself in about an hour with the help of lots of well-placed rocks, twigs, pine cones, pine boughs, and swearing. The second time was worse. We (the wagon and I) slid halfway off the road and no amount of rocking or traction would help. The mud was of an exceptional consistency, somewhere along the lines of soft wet clay. I was pretty far away from the rec areas at this point and hadn't seen another soul for quite awhile. After a coupla hours of trying to get the goddamn mud outta my way, I'd succeeded only in getting the wagon further off the road and deeper into mud. I was also filthy. The towing bill was gonna be counted in insanity dollars. As I prepared for the long walk out, lo and behold, a big truck came rumbling up and offered to help. Thank Jesus H. Christ that he had a tow rope, traction control, and off-road tires. I put the trailer hitch on, we strung out the tow rope, and I was thinking I'd be outta there, no sweat. Right.

I knew he was moving when I felt a sudden jolt as my car was jerked rearwards. Despite the most furious effort of my four cylinders, I did not get back on the road. Instead my car was dragged sideways as I tried every combo of steering and throttle, the front end scraping over big clumps of sagebrush and the back end plowing furrows down the muddy length of road. Mud flew in through the sunroof as I revved and revved. We continued like this for a good 50 yards before I finally angled out. As luck would have it, I had my snow chains in the trunk. Having never put them on before, I thought I did a pretty good job despite the massive amounts of mud under the wheel well and my cursory examination of the instructions. But I was only able to get one on. Thus equipped, I managed to twist and slide up the road to a dry spot and get the other chain on. At least the view was good.

I gave my saviors my map book of Oregon since they were sorta lost and saved me several hundred dollars in towing costs. Insert gay porn movie setup here. Anyway, I got to a gravel road an hour later after more puddles, mud, rocks, etc. I hurt the wagon pretty badly. Something began to vibrate sharply above 53 mph so I had to drive all the back to Eugene at about 45. I'm wondering if I have frame damage from the jolting on the trailer hitch or from the shock of driving down those roads. Doubtless my alignment's gone. Today I began to clean the mud and crap off the outside. There were sagebrush remnants stuck under the front end. I still don't know what I'm gonna do about the inside.

Man, my next car's gonna have to be a truck.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Help Needed

Damn, has it been a month and a half already? Sheeeiiit.

Verily, Chuck's graduation approacheth. I've been neglecting my duty to learn photoshop and insert Chuck's loving face into as many inside movies/TV shows as possible. The only screenshots I've obtained are those from Stargate-1 on the SciFi website. My attempt at shift+printscreening Conan The Barbarian failed. I do not have copies of Die Hard, Super Troopers, Big Trouble in Little China, etc. I need your help. Do you accept the challenge?