San Diego Update

Arrived in San Diego with relatively few problems. Actually no problems. We did however get rear-ended. We also witnessed an armed robbery. All that aside, we have started this trip with many adventures.

We daparted T-town at around 9 am after filling up on some of Moms homemade cookin'. Starting a trip out in the right way is very important. We got on the road and headed straight south to Medford where our adventure was just getting started. As we were turning in to a small taco joint, the car behind us thought they would pass us but they actually ran into us....small problem.....the funny thing is, the guy sitting in the passenger seat jumped out and after looking at the damage his girlfriend had caused, he had the audacity to ask me this....

"Uh, are you going to pay for this out of pocket"

Huh? What? Apparently it was my fault he ran in to me. He claimed I didn't have my signal on, that my brake lights didn't work, and the list went on of why it was my fault. This 19 year old twerp almost got a backhand. Finally, after a witness to the whole thing emerged, the guy said he wasn't going to claim it. Classic

Later that evening after another few hundred miles we pulled in to a rest stop and gas station. We figured we'd give the truck a test sleep. While we were setting up for the inagural camp in the camper, we noticed three young men loitering in the back of Carls Jr. These guys looked quite suspicious. Even moreso was the running towncar sitting at the back of the parking lot, running, and waiting for them. We knew something was going down. These guys walked up to the front of the store, held a poor guy at knifepoint, and demanded that he hand over everything. Two knives, throat, gut, and a pat down. Apparently they only walked with the guys sunglasses, which were fake Oakley's. 15 minutes after this ordeal, the cops showed up, clued us in to what had really happened, and took our statements. Nuts. For the first day on the road, this is pretty good. Needless to say, we ended up moving the truck for a more favored camp spot.

More driving today and more surprises.... not in the landscape. It's flatter than eastern Oregon down here. We did however receive the gift of ELK. I love elk. They appeared about 100 feet from the road. Two large bulls and two cows.

We are in San Diego and heading for Mex in the morning!!!!

We are pumped and ready to roll.
Tim is the man and we are enjoying the trip, though it kinda feels like the trip before the trip.

1100 miles down, 8900 to go.


Updated Truck

Tim's been tweaking the truck. Here are some updates.

You'll see that the bed of the truck has been transformed into a sleeper. This will be nice for beach camping, parking lot sleeping and the daily SIESTA.

There have also been extensions added to the rack that will support a tarp for shade on those hot days, and a hammock for those other days. A combination of the two is probably ideal.

There is much to be done in the next few days.

Tim arrives in the pm
My brother Matt arrives from Boston
Matt Hartzell bachelor Party






Leave in the morning!


School starts August 25

This means I have......68 days off



Truck Update

The Truck is nearing completion. At least the work on it is....

Last week he mentioned that we should probably take the truck up to the mountain and scramble it. This means that Tim would put the truck through the ultimate off-road test, to see whether is was capable of sustaining a 10,000 mile round trip. The checklist for this off-roading excursion would include, but would not be limited to the following.

Standard test -

4 x 4 working.
4 hi
4 low
limited slip differential working properly

Tim's Test - (now comes the good stuff)

Rock crawl
60 degree pitch ascent
try to get it high centered
try and try and try to roll the truck
circular burn-out in 4 wheel drive, to the left, to the right, to the left, to the right.......
hi speed reverse-to-180-and drive off
..and last but not least....
at least a foot of air

The truck stood up to the test. So the confidence level in our vehicular choice is now at an all-time high.

Since my visit, a lot of work has been done to the truck as well. Here's a good look at some of the latest additions to the truck.

1. lights on the rack. These are "illegal for road driving, they're just too bright." As you can see they look bitchin' too.

2. Spare tire mount. Now this is my idea of a Baja rig. We'll carry two spares, multiple fix-a-flat bottles, a puncture kit, and a small compressor that can run off a cigarette lighter.

Here's the bad and the ugly.....

Upper ball joint...must be replaced

center support bearing for the driveline needs to be replaced...it's gone...toasted


The bell sounded - school is over!

The final bell has sounded.
The final card has been dealt.
The pencil sharpener has stopped.
The lockers are done opening.
The late work will not be accepted
The end had come.
Oh yes, the end is near.
It is clear, so so clear,
the sky that is, and my mind.
clear like glass,
clear like clear water
clear like the fluid in your eye.


Excuse me if that makes no sense.


A few pics from the trip to Idaho.


This is my favorite: Tim just discovered that the original spark plugs are in the truck. Yes, that's 167,000 miles on the same 6. We rushed to Napa immediately to pick up another set of the same kind!
draining/replacing all fluids

Truck Rack - primed.....time to paint

we got a problem

water pump replacement


w t f ???

What's the deal with us? We still burn coal to generate electricity? We still have coal miners? We imploded the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant? I just don't get it anymore.

I remember driving through South Africa. Every 40 miles or so (64km) there were strings of 3 or 4 nuclear reactors with huge steam towers. I'm not talking about 1 here, and 1 way over yonder. I'm talking about 3 to 4 towers right next to each other...like matches in a matchbook....like asparagus in a rubber band....like crayons in a box.....That's what I'm talking about. I'm talking about row or nuclear reactors and steam towers EVERY 40 MILES!

I remember watching the video of Trojan being imploded. W T H?

I remember hearing stories on the Japanese, and how they are something like 40% dependant on nuclear to power the country.

W T ? and What say you?


Surfing the web

I was surfing the web today, "researching" surf spots in Central America and ran across this beauty. When I started planning for the trip, I thought the surf in Mexico and Central America was going to be weaker, considering the season. Apparently we are going to be there for the peak surfing season. Hopefully the surf isn't too large! If it looks anything like this undated photo of Sunzal, El Salvador, this trip will be epic!


"The Trip"

The Trip:

A 6 week journey through Mexico and Central America
Surfing, Mayan ruins, fine cuisine, and adventure.

The Vision:

Doing board repairs, surfing with locals, making some new friends, giving away a few surfboards, handing out a few Spanish Bibles...

The Crew:

J Small, Tim Rousse (childhood friend and MacGyver), Jason Terwee (pick up in Costa Rica)

The Truck:

'92 Nissan hardbody extended cab 3.0 l V6 5 speed manual 4 x 4.

This weekend was the first weekend of "work" for the trip. I drove to Boise on Friday afternoon immediately following school. Laura stopped by and hooked me up with a ridiculous care package....mainly edibles to be consumed during the trip.....free good food (all using double letters) is very good!

After my first stop in the Dalles to urinate, I picked up a hitchhiker named Thunder. (I have a policy of picking up hitchhikers that I know I could throttle if it came to it). I didn't ask Thunder if that was his real name or not, I felt that would have been stepping over into his territory. Thunder it was. The peaceful drive to Boise was gone, and so was half my sub, an apple, chips, and many other misc snacks. Thunder passed out about 4 hours into the trip and caught his falling/bobbing/falling asleep head for the remaining 2 hours

Made it, a little over 7 hours and about $80 in gas. Not bad.

9 am Saturday began the work on the rig. Tim is not a mechanic, but I'm certain he could earn a healthy wage if he opened a small business. The great part about Tim travelling with me on the trip....is the fact that he can make anything run, blow-up, or die. I'm pretty excited about this!!! He popped the hood and within minutes, he knew the waterpump, timing belt, distributor cap, rotor, plugs, airfilter, pcv valve, vacuum hose, radiator hose, and all fluids were in sad shape. We replaced them all! I say we, but I mean Tim. My only contribution was the cash I payed for everything. It was a team effort. I buy, Tim install.

While Tim cursed and groaned on the truck, I was busy finishing a rack I've been working on for the past three weeks. I finished the welding, wiped it down with mineral spirits (steel is coated with grease so it wont rust) and primered and painter the rack. Together we think the rack could support about a dozen road killed deer, two dozen surfboards, 4 spare tires, 50 gallons of water, and 36.5 gallons of gasoline.....ALL AT THE SAME TIME.......this thing is BEEFY.

Tims best guess is this...Despite the truck having 167,000 miles, the spark plugs have never, repeat, NEVER, repeat, NEVER been changed. Yes, I say this thrice. Apparently the timing belt, which should be replaced every 60,000 miles is an original too. How this thing hasn't caused serious, ultimately fatal truck damage, is beyond Tim.

Other fixing options include, but are not limited to.....getting more than 1 speaker working, rigging up a locking method for the tailgate (it has no lock), buying one more spare tire, finding a trail jack, rigging up the bed and canopy for camping, and areas to hide either firearms or sharp cutlery. Crossing the border with guns and large knives....bad things happen.

We still need to collect a bunch of equipment for the trip, first aid, emergency road kit, camping gear, but after this weekend we are both resting a little calmer when it comes to heading south. The rig is nearly ready.

Soon I start shaping surfboards.