Today's article is going to mainly be a photo essay. It is said a picture speaks a thousand words and in this case, I think that's truer than not.
I'm composing this article as I sit parked on the beach in the SoCal city of Manhattan Beach. My son's home is approximately three miles from the beach and the office he works at is conveniently about half way between his pad and the beach. So, this is not a bad arrangement.
So, the good is that while My McVansion has suffered an automotive heart attack, I'm fortunate enough to have close family in an idyllic location, especially considering the weather conditions back at my eastern base camp in Keyser, West Virginia. The temperatures there for the past several days have been in the 0-10 degree range at night with 25 to 50 mph winds creating wind-chill temperatures in the -10 to -20 range. Additionally, they have had a nominal blanket of snow on the ground.
So, here is my current location as I compose this piece for, you, my loyal readers --
|A small party of onlookers on the beach |
in the late afternoon sun
|A tanker at anchor off Manhattan Beach|
|Some volley ball beach babes practicing|
|Not a bad place to live - if you can afford it|
|A Pacific Ocean sunset at Manhattan Beach, California|
The bad part of this situation is that My McVansion sits about five miles from my present location with a large cavity where its heart (its engine) resided until yesterday. Since my son was kind enough to let me have his car for the day, I took a little time late this morning to visit my micro-condo on wheels and take a look at its current condition.
Here are some current photos of the "patient."
|My McVansion with its chest cavity empty - its heart has been removed|
|The engine block undergoing steam cleaning|
|One of the two heads and the camshaft|
awaiting cleaning and machining
|This may be the "bad boy" - one of the pistons is very badly damaged -|
the other seven pistons had their miles showing, but were generallyin much better condition.
The NOT Ugly!
So, while this is not a convenient or a planned set of circumstance and turn of events, I don't see anything truly ugly about it. First, I get to enjoy some great time with my son. This is something we haven't had the privilege of having very much over the past decade or so. Second, I'm located in a warm, sunny and very pleasant environment. One couldn't ask for a better situation under the circumstances. Third, this failure of automotive technology was neither planned nor was the expense in the budget, so it's going to take a significant bite out of my resources. However, it will only alter my lifestyle a very small amount.
The upside is that I will have a like new engine in the van that should last many, many miles. This will provide reliable travel and opportunities for exploring more of Americana and the adventures that lie ahead.