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.....and, I'm up for air!

Discussion in 'Tyll's Blog' started by Tyll Hertsens, Nov 21, 2018.
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  1. Tyll Hertsens Contributor
    Cuppa Joe in the morning then off to the cliff dwellings.

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    The cliff dwellings are tucked back into a small canyon. They're quite hidden and you don't see the entrance until just before you get there.

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    From what the rangers told me, there was a wide-spread, long-lasting drought in the desert south west that put great stress on the Indian nations. So much so that it was near war with tribal units raiding each other for supplies.

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    This particular band of natives found a secure little hideaway to hunker down and ride out the times.

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    This particular band of some 30-50 individuals built the dwelling and lived in it for only about 20 years. Lotta work for such a short time.

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    There were no rainwater catchments. Can you imaging humping water for 40 people up 600 feet every day for 20 years?

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    Us humans are amazing.
     
    Terozzzz, Double C, cskippy and 26 others like this.
  2. youngarthur
    Hi TyII, glad you are well. Please keep these photos coming, as its nice to see parts of your Country, that I would otherwise miss.Stay safe.
     
    JTori, Quadfather and ExpatinJapan like this.
  3. Tyll Hertsens Contributor
    I'll try. 'Course stuff happens....

    Like I was pulling up to the stop sign at the I10 exit 1 in Ehrenberg when I came to a full stop and the engine died....and just wouldn't start again.

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    Ruh rho!

    Got a $600 tow five miles into Blythe CA and Shafer Diesel Repair.

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    Larry runs the shop, which is half the big open barn. His dad David has the other half for his hay transportation business. Larry's been repairing big semis and hay squeezes since he was a kid. A hay squeeze is like a fork lift for hay bales, and weighs 27,000 pounds and can pick up 8000 of hay at a pop!

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    Larry had Putt diagnosed the next day, but it took a week for the part to come in. So, I spent a week camped out in a hay shed with Bob (who lives in the derelict RV you can see in the picture above) and the yard dog, Wilber. Dart loved hanging with Wilber.

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    I don't like the engine in Putt. It's a Navistar VT365, which was sold to Ford as the Powerstroke 6 liter. They're an engine that's known to fail. My problem was with the high pressure oil pump the provides injection pressure, but the engines are known for headbolt stretch, which leads to leaky head gaskets...and worse.

    My plan all along has been to do an engine swap with a Cummins 5.9 liter 12 valve---an all analog engine (no computer) and considered one of the most reliable Diesel engines ever made. Unfortunately, I've been having a hard time finding someone I would trust to do the swap. After a couple days in the barn, I asked Larry if he'd be interested. He said it wasn't what he does, he fixes broke down semis. The he commenced to tell me I should swap in an old school Allison 545 for the computerized Allison 1000 currently in it, and a half dozen other things as he slowly talked himself into doing the job. I dropped $10000 on him to buy the engine and tranny, and I'll spend another 15K maybe on a second fuel tank, air ride driver seat, on-board compressor; and labor.

    But here's the really cool thing, he'll let me help him. All the gauges and most of the wiring harness will go away, a new analog gauge cluster will be installed and al new wires run. I'll do most of the electrical work. If I had to take it to a custom truck shop I'd never have been able to help. Now I'll know the truck inside and out. My $4000 repair bill was worth every penny.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
    Luckbad, Terozzzz, vinekly and 40 others like this.
  4. FastAndClean
    Tyll i was wondering, you travel and all but i always thought that you have a family, wife, kids, why you are not with them?
     
  5. Tyll Hertsens Contributor
    Kids are all growed up and out of the house. I tried three wives...it must be me. I'm untethered.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
  6. FastAndClean
    You crazy i know, but in a good way.
     
    omniweltall and Deftone like this.
  7. FastAndClean
    You gave us a hint that you will be back in the headphone world, correct?
     
  8. Whazzzup
    don't do it tyll.
     
  9. Tyll Hertsens Contributor
    No, I'm not coming back into the headphone world...except for one little thing, but we'll get to that shortly.
     
  10. wink
    Where to next?
    Pikes Peak, perhaps....?

     
  11. robm321
    I will certainly subscribe to the YouTube channel. You're living out my fantasy right now.
     
    Alphasoixante, Q Mass and audionewbi like this.
  12. Tyll Hertsens Contributor
    After Truth or Consequences, I headed south to Big Bend Texas for a motorcycle rally. Sorry, no pix, I plum forgot I was having so much fun.

    Then off to my very first, honest to God, nomad destination: Jamie's Van Build Party.

    Let me set this up for you: There's a WHOLE lot of homeless folks living in their cars...or I should say, surviving out of their cars. A nomad van dweller, in contrast, is home-free and living out of their cars. A nomad with their poop in a group has a bed, roof fan, solar panels, battery bank, inverter, toilet, and all the things needed to make their vehicle a home. The only thing separating a homeless person who's miserable in their car from a nomad who's living comfortably in their rig is the money, skills, tools, and knowledge to convert the car into a home. The money can be a pretty big hurdle for some, but the skills, tools, and knowledge is very, very difficult to come by. People will often give it a go without enough skill and end up with a rats nest of wires in their car and a potentially very unsafe situation.

    What Jamie does with the van build party is get people, like me, who have good rigs with lots of tools and skills together with people who are in need of help. I've got enough tools in my bumper tool box to rebuild my van, but it's done for the most part. If I want to use my tools, it's likely I'll have to use them for someone else.

    So, every year, Jamie organizes a van build party to get all these folks together to build rigs for people. He organizes group buys ahead of the even in concert with manufacturers so folks can get the parts they need as cheap as possible. He puts together teams of people and creates workstation out in the desert for carpentry to build beds and shelves. (It's pretty tricky to build into all the curves inside a vehicle.) We had a sewing team to make curtains and window shades. There are work stations for solar panel installs, and stations for internal wiring. Sometimes someone comes in and the electrical team looks in the car and sees a ridiculous rats nest of wires. One girl literally had what amounted to a beaded curtain of wires dangling helter skelter around the inside of her rig. so someone has to go in there and rewire the whole shebang before the solar team can hook up the panels. That was one of my jobs. Since I have electronic trouble shooting skills, Jamie also had me running around to folks who had weird issues.

    Pictures are probably better than more words.

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    This lady is confined to a wheelchair and it would have been impossible for her to build her rig. She came in with an empty rig filled with boxes of parts...she left with a completed living space. The was about six man-weeks of labor in her car when she left.

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    This is Seth.

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    His solar and electrical team probably did 8-10 complete electrical installs.

    Someone donated a Dodge Caravan....it was completely built out and given to a person in great need.

    Current estimates are about 500 vehicles were at the event with maybe 700 people total. All the jobs were organized with work orders. There were a total of 600 work orders completed.

    Personally, I'm exhausted, but my cup is full with the satisfaction of helping others and partying together, busted knuckles and all.

    I've found my tribe.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
  13. Tyll Hertsens Contributor
    Speaking of partying: When I pulled in, I stopped by Jamie's bus at center camp. I told him I had a couple of batteries that were about half good that I could donate. He said sure and we went into my rig to get them. He was wowed by Putt. When I told him I had trouble shooting skills and would love to help if someone came up to him and said they had a weird electrical problem I'd love to help by going to take a look for diagnosis. He said that happens all the time and maybe I should park right next to him. When I told him I had a Farkle Hut and he said what's a Farkle Hut, I showed him a picture. then he said, "Yeah, you have to park right next to me."

    Here's Putt and the Farkle Hut next to Jamie's bus at center camp.

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    The Farkle Hut got a work-out at the van build.



    Here's a video Tina did of me and the Farkle Hut.

     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
    Terozzzz, Double C, Sp12er3 and 22 others like this.
  14. wink
    Is Farkle like Yahtzee?
    In a lot of ways, Farkle feels like an over-simplified Yahtzee. Both are dice games. Both rely on poker-inspired combinations. But while Yahtzee requires a certain level of skill and knowledge to make the best possible hand, Farkle relies entirely on luck and greed.
     
  15. youngarthur
    This is just wonderful, a great read Stay well Tyll.
     
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