To Pickup a Pickup Part II Thanksgiving and home

It was nice to have a Thanksgiving meal. Actually it was just nice not to have to be bumming around the college during break. Did I mention that I work in the cafeteria at my school. Yeah, I have had a lot of cafeteria food since September. In the morning we started loading the truck onto her chariot, so that all we had to do the next day was leave. The plan was to go to my grandpa’s cabin which is closer to the border than our current location.

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Drew and I loaded her up fairly easily. We took her for a spin around the block, since I had never towed anything in my life, and Drew wanted to get re-familiarized with the Toyota. I was nervous at first, but slowly gained confidence, as well as found out how to do wide turns. Drew hates the truck (Toyota) because she really likes to pull to the right,(later on after we left Idaho I had the wheel turned a good portion to the left most of the time, and was going perfectly straight).

The Toyota was seeming to take hauling the truck fairly well.  I say “seeming”, as the truck didn’t have all the other parts in the bed yet and well, there wasn’t a fairly steep grade. We found out later , (of course at a most inopportune time) that will take the wind out of her pretty quickly.

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Once we arrived back at the house we began to load the truck up with everything else, which filled up the bed pretty quickly. After all of our unloading and such before we knew it, it was dinner time. Folks had been showing up all day and we had dinner at the upper house on the back side of the property.

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There were quite a few people there,(remember I had never met my grandfather before) all of which were strangers to me, but very friendly. Again, Drew and I were especially happy not too have mess hall food. It was nice to meet people, all of which were interested to see Mick’s grandson. After that delicious meal, Drew and I continued to organize the truck for the next day’s trip.

The trip was to go to my grandpa’s cabin 60 Miles closer to Kansas, which was fine with us. After having breakfast and and packing up we took a family picture in front of the truck and said goodbye to Barbara.

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Onward we went, for this was the first true test of trailering the truck so we had some stops along the way to make sure everything was good, in which it was. Before getting to the cabin we dropped the ol’ girl off at a friends house not too far from the cabin, but before we started going uphill.

The cabin was awesome. It looked like a log ski lodge and had a fair amount of space inside. According to my grandpa he and a friend went in half on the property and built it up from there, and eventually he bought out his friend’s share. Aside from having a few acres and a lodge in the hills this place had a mineral hot springs that he had diverted to a few different hot tubs on the property which had the temperature adjusted slightly. We were amazed at this place and drove  around on a four wheeler just cruising and looking around. The most amusing part of the property was where the water from the hot tubs let out into the stream that ran through the property. That area was warmer than all of the rest and created steam as well. Their Stafford-shire terrier, Rouge, was always running around in this swimming hole.

DSC00711DSC00680After having a good time at the cabin we had to depart. After saying goodbye to my Grandpa, Drew and I started our long drive and picked up the truck slowly heading back to the Wheat State.  The road home had a few bumps along the way, and one happened pretty quick.

I’m going to share this, and don’t ask how, just enjoy it for what it is worth. Drew & I ended up on a dirt road going up a hill and realized this a little too late, when we started to encounter little bits of snow and ice. I made the mistake of stopping on the ice making it so we were just slipping and sliding on the ice. Luckily some hunters who saw us coming up came back and helped us out of this situation by guiding Drew to slide back in certain ways. They also reminded me that I had chains in the back of the truck, (don’t ask how I forgot that I had these) which ended up being the real life saver. After much swearing and getting things in order we thanked the hunters went back down the hill and continued home, a different route.

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Another bump in the road occurred not too long after we started our journey and got onto the interstate. All of a sudden we started shaking a little bit and started swinging a little bit, we figured that it was just the wind from passing a semi truck, but after we passed it it continued. We pulled off to the side to investigate and found out that the lug nuts on that side were loose so that the tire was moving in and out rubbing into the fender of the trailer and cutting off the outer edge of the tire. Had we gone any further we would have had lost the wheel and had a huge mess on our hands. Here’s where another interesting tidbit came into play. We didn’t have a jack, (or so I thought), so we ended up using the vintage bumper jack that came with the Plymouth to lift up the dolly and adjust the tire.

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Onward we went.

Drew and I talked as we Drove through Idaho, Utah Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas. Drew had to take the wheel around 11 o’clock because I was getting pretty bad. You will recall in my last post that I am a farmer at heart. Up with the sun and down with the sun. Any of you who know me very well, know that once it get’s dark I get sleepy. So I had to make sure Drew was awake and that he should take over because I was starting to become delirious and see things in my slightly blurred vision. As Drew could tell you this is when I got really grouchy and tired, I am amazed Drew put up with as much of it as he did. I drove around for at least 5-10 Minutes looking for this one gas station that was 10 cents cheaper everything else around. I was really grouchy and angry as I was looking. If any of you ask him in person i’m sure he’ll tell you a slightly different version. Then again, our entire trip was in the middle of nowhere, so he didn’t really have much of a choice.

I drifted off to sleep but the next thing I knew I heard a pop and woke to hearing Drew say we blew a tire on the dolly. After much anger we got out in the cold and took the spare and bumper jack out of the back and went to work.

As we headed onward we had another one, again,  at 5 o’clock in the morning and only 50 miles from McPherson. Unfortunately we had one spare, which was used a couple hours ago, so we were in a dilemma. We weighed our options, and Drew said that we should take one of the front wheels off the Plymouth and put it on the trailer. It sounded great, and it worked. We got out, in the very cold, and jacked up the Plymouth, on the dolly, by putting the bumper jack in the engine bay and lifting it from there. Then we put one of our flats from the last time on the Plymouth and took it’s good tire and put it on the trailer. The Plymouth tire was bigger than the original one on the trailer  so we had to take the fender off the trailer. After that the trailer had a slight list to one side, but at least we were rolling again. As we were driving away Drew said ,” I”m going to take up drinking after this trip because of you!”

We arrived at the college around 7 o’clock in the morning, in which we parked the Plymouth in the lot in front of the school, where students tend to put their recently acquired projects while they arrange a place to put them. The Plymouth sat there until 3 o’clock. Drew wanted to take a shower and crash for a little bit, and I stayed up and got ready for the next day.

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Later that afternoon, we brought her over to the shed that I already had set aside and set the ol’ girl up in her new home. I was just itching to start tearing her apart, but wouldn’t have a chance yet because of upcoming finals.

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We had an adventure that I am sure I, nor Drew, will forget, and will tell our friends and family of for years to come. And yes, Drew and I are still friends.

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About mecklin21

I'm a Southern California kid who ended up in the middle of McPherson Kansas pursuing a degree in Automotive Restoration at McPherson College. I own a 1940 Plymouth Pickup, which I am restoring, and enjoy adventures, writing, & photography.
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