Welcome

 

Gary, Suni & Courage

Gary, Suni & Courage


Tami in Hawaii

Tami in Hawaii


Whistler in Storage

Whistler in Storage

Greetings!

Welcome to our website.   Thank you for coming…

 

 06/02/2014

Well, we finally got started on our trip, and headed up the Willamette pass….

The M-35 was loaded heavy, and pulling a heavy trailer…

What an experience for an experienced truck driver… in some places down to second gear while the modern trucks blew past us on the uphill grades….

Whistler used a lot of fuel, but got the job done… and we refueled once on top, at a little highway town I don’t know the name of…

After that we headed south to Klamath Falls, which was interesting, never having been there… It was one of those towns that thinks the more stop lights you have, the higher class your town is…

Miserable for anyone just passing through…

After Klamath, we headed east, on back roads, state highway 140, and started encountering passes and more passes, in some country that alternated between dry forests, high desert, and irrigated farms growing mostly alfalfa….

The passes were incredibly slow in the WW2 era truck design.. Crawl up them, crawl down the other side to avoid having 25,000 lbs run away, with us on it pretty close to the nose….

I drove modern semi trucks for years…..

This was like a stone age trucking experience…

We ended up camping for the night about a half mile out into the desert behind a gravel pile as all the parks along the route had no over night camping signs, and we wanted to avoid the RV park in the middle of all the no camping areas, suspecting it was kind of an economic trap….

The place we camped was littered with deer carcasses and cattle bones.. The dogs thought it was OK, the humans thought it was a bit gross…

We started out shortly after dawn, thru more passes, across a vast dry landscape of mountains and plains….

After a town called Adel, on the far side of a pass, we got out onto the flats, and the trailer brakes seized up, one caught fire, and the other side locked up and blew the tire before I figured out what was going on…

So there we were out in the middle of nowhere, and used up two fire extinguishers getting the fire out…

Then I changed tires and wheels, but when I tried to start the truck, the starter motor didn’t engage, and kept running after releasing the start button, freewheeling…. not good!

So then a run to disconnect the battery terminal….

Soon after, I started loading up while thinking about the starter problem, and decided it was probably a relay solenoid mounted on the motor, and that we probably weren’t going anywhere soon…

After that, I checked the battery terminal on the post, and got direct short symptoms… very ugly….

And along came this young guy, from the farm in the distance… Pete, soft spoken, as decent as humans come, we discussed the problem, and he offered to go get his tractor and pull start us… and even disconnected the offending relay solenoid… and taped the lead over….

He also was also kind enough to haul off the blown tire and trashed wheel..

We traded emails, and he asked questions about the truck and engine, and he had even been to Zona Sur Costa Rica, where I have lived the last 18 years…

He realized that what we were attempting was a serious adventure…and he refused money for helping us…

All I could do for him was honk the air horn as he and his John Deere loader disappeared in the rear view mirror…

To me it was an exceptional experience… after years of people problems…

To run into somebody out in the middle of nowhere, who basically single handedly put us on our way again out of human kindness..

After that, we had about a 230 mile limp in to get to Winnemucca. No brakes on the trailer, and no way to restart the truck if we got stopped…

And in the distance, miles away, I could see another pass… not listed on the map…

It angled up the face of a bluff type mountain, for maybe more than two miles, you could see it was steep and long..

When we got to it and started up it, I had to drop down to second gear in the Deuce, and doing about ten MPH crawled up it heavy loaded, clutch slipping some, no trailer brakes, and an ever increasing drop off…. we are talking a couple thousand feet straight down by 3/4′s of the way up, often no guard rail, and very narrow winding road… at least a 7% grade the whole way…

I decided early on that it would be a bad idea to even look over the downside edge, and kept Whistler on the centerline so if something broke, I might have a chance of getting it against the inside slope of the mountain, knowing that on the other side was nothing but a couple of thousand feet of death…

I’ve driven loaded dump trucks out of mountain top quarries before as a day’s work….

This climb was beyond words, and perhaps the most nervy of anything I’ve ever experienced…

I think we got time lapse shots of that climb…if so, I hope we can get them downloaded and saved for the video…because it was an incredible experience, due to the technology of the M-35, and the preceding problems…

I related to it mentally as a reenactment experience of past M-35 drivers in wars…and if I never ever did anything like it again, it would be too soon… guts I have… but if I had to do it again, I don’t know if I could, having experienced it once…

The M-35 did it, but it was almost more than I was capable of being challenged with mentally.. I was shaking for miles afterwards….and did several more lesser passes before breaking out onto the high desert flats..

That’s the Mother of all M-35 passes guys….

Anyway, once out onto the flats, the Hero 3 camera maxed out on shots, and it was still a couple hundred miles to Winnemucca… so there’s a gap there, but mostly lesser passes, albeit ranging from near 5,000 to well over 6,000 feet…

And I was finally able to get into the flats and into fourth and occasionally 5th gear…and down to second on the down side of hills….

Got into Winnemucca after five, probably one of the most stressful days of my life….

Pulled into an RV park so we could communicate and have parts sent to us by a friend doing the emergency logistics work..One of the best shade tree mechanics on the planet….

What did I learn?

That America isn’t dead yet, and never will be as long as there are guys like Pete, who knew what to do better than I did, at maybe half my age…

It was a day I learned some humility and respect too, for all those legions of M-35 drivers of the past….they were most definitely men….driving 13,500 lbs of history in thousands of campaigns…..

Anyway, so here we sit on our soft sides in a RV park, waiting on parts in a few days…

Then back on the adventure poorer economically, but rich with real experience to share….

To be continued…..

 

 04/15/2014

Currently we (Gary and Tami) are waiting on our M-35 A2 Deuce and a Half military truck to come out of the shop,

Where she is getting a total makeover mechanically…

Our goal is to drive it from Oregon to Panama, and record videos of the trip,  to post on You Tube etc. to assist in booting up this website.

It’s a bit of a stunt, slant adventure, that we hope to share with all who have interest…

This website is to be a teaching job for yours truly, where I hope to share a lifetime of learning and experiences with those who hopefully will appreciate it..

It is also hoped to be a platform to boot some business start up attempts, to provide jobs for Indigenous people of Central America, who are currently having to survive picking coffee for a couple months a year,  and making do the rest…

These people have kids in school, have a culture of their own, and are the dispossessed on land they once owned all of…

I have lived in Central America for 18 years or so now….

so I do have more experience than the people who are “two year experts”..  but I am not negating what they have to say, just adding hopefully more depth for those who are searching to encounter on line…   Central America is a beautiful place, with every country different.  My area of experience is in southern Costa Rica, and across the border into northern Panama.   I went there almost two decades ago, escaping America, and have only been back to the US twice, including this time.

There is much interest now from people wishing to move out of the US for all the so very obvious reasons…  I hope to help you be able to achieve your dream, in some small way at the very least…  Freedom is the ultimate gift after having a life…

I am not doing this out of a personal profit motive,  my goals are to use my gifts and skills to leave the earth better even slightly for my having passed this way…  Any money I make tends to end up helping others however I can..  And I wouldn’t have it any other way…  I have lived simple for most of my life, and will continue to do so…

I once held down jobs, watched TV, drove a car to work etc. just like most of you are doing now.  But even when young, I knew out of instinct, that there was something wrong with the picture, and that there must be more to life.

I am likely to say many things that some take exception to…  I apologize for having an opinion that differs from some, but I am also quite practiced at going against the entire human race if necessary, to be on the side of what I feel in my heart is right…  as my long term friends are well aware and joke about…

At one time, a few years back, my oldest son did a word search of the web, looking for usage of the word “Neoindigenous”, and at the time it was only listed as being used for new poetry done in old styles, and my early writings…

So I have of course been pleased to see it is now in the lexicon as exactly the meaning for which I used it,  the blending of both retro cultural and technocult into a harmony to create a better path, than the one most of humanity still tramples…

And I found it humorous that we had to add a word to it even to get an online domain!  Finally!  I am not alone!  There are others in the community of like minds.

Anyway, welcome!  I hope I can share with you.

The M-35 Truck thing is due to having some appreciation for the beasts from the Military Experience..  I spent a couple years in the Aleutians during the end of the Vietnam war.   Those trucks hauled everything we needed.. in a place that had packed snow roads for most of the year.. ‘Never saw one in the ditch…   We got ours less than a year ago, and have been sinking imaginary paper wealth into it in copious quantities,  Numbers that boggle others almost as much as they scare us…  It ain’t been cheap, but the way I look at it, Having the fundamental of transportation is going to be critical in the years ahead, and rebuilding a classic is way better than paying $40 to $50 thousand for a much lesser truck, that will haul about 1/5th, and depreciate in value every year…  Sometimes crazy things end up happening if you think too much,  usually as a result of what you don’t know..  This has been the case…

But I don’t regret it.

We named her “Whistler” mostly due to the sound of the truck going down the road, with it’s turbocharged multifuels engine.  This is a common term in use by the M-35 Jargon heads for the A2’s with Turbos..

So her name represents the dream of every person who loves these incredible trucks,  from those who own and work on them, and the wives who appreciate the security they provide to family, friends and neighbors, to those who have not yet managed to find their own dream truck.

This adventure is about inspiring you to do that, and have your own adventures to share with the rest of us…

Because life is too great a gift to spend all of it working, and getting taxed to death,  there has to be a plan and an escape, or else you really haven’t done the gift justice..

Currently, I am using the wait time to collect the parts to build a centrifuge oil cleaner so I can use WMO (waste motor oil) and home brew bio diesel in Whistler, and am lucky enough to have my son’s help advising me, as he has built them before, and run on the product, and is a state champion auto mechanic..

When I get such projects completed, I will try to do videos, and teach my mistakes and successes…

Its like I used to tell my kids when they were little:  There are two ways to learn; by your own mistakes, and the mistakes of others. Guess which way hurts less?

I am thinking to make a small unit, that can be mounted on the truck, and run the pump off of the truck’s 24 VDC electrical system so that Whistler could literally cross a continent in Mad Max mode, with fuel provided by millions of dead vehicles via their lubricants…

For this trip, such a dream will be as a box of parts, now growing more full daily as the UPS and FEDEX guys arrive with the various pieces…

What amazes me is how insanely affordable it is, and it makes me glad we got the multi fuels engine, and are going all the way with a total rebuild of the truck mechanically…  Stem to Stern,  but thats better than continual break downs in interesting places…  Mobility is FREEDOM…

I chose the M-35 because it was the best Refugee option on the planet. I studied refugees, and saw that what they carried was what they got to start their new lives with.  And those with trucks got the most out of the situation, people and things…  and that the  best truck possible was the heavy duty 6X6 used for 50 years by our military….

And so, here we are, on hold, but not much longer, and we will start our journey… “Whistler’s Journey”

G