Monday, June 1, 2009

Roadtripping History

Blogging about Roadtripping has me looking at old photos and thinking about Roadtrips over the span of decades. Like the Roadtrip in the picture. That is at Yellowstone National Park. In my now antique 65 Mustang Fastback.

That Mustang went on a lot of Roadtrips. It always managed to add to the adventure by having a mechanical problem at interesting times. Like once the clutch started slipping while I was driving up the hill to go down Lombard Street in San Fransisco. On another Roadtrip, in the same town, the Mustang overheated on the Oakland Bay Bridge. I had to stop on the bridge to cool it down and add water.

The best Mustang breakdown took place in Hollywood after watching a Laverne & Shirley taping at Paramount Studios. About 2 miles from the studio, that same clutch, that vexed me on Lombard Street, went in to total malfunction mode, right by a full service gas station. I coasted to a stop and waited til morning for the gas station to open. They were able to get it fixed by afternoon. That made for a day of wandering around Hollywood.

I'd learned that wandering around Hollywood was a fun thing to do, due to a car malfunction, years before, when I was 13, while on a family Roadtrip to Disneyland, the car had a problem while driving in Hollywood. So, my dad had it worked on at a gas station. Maybe it was the same one where I had my car worked on years later.

It was on the family Roadtrips, as a kid, that I learned the joy of Roadtripping. My mom and dad always made it totally anxiety free. We'd have a mechanical problem and it'd just become part of the trip. I remember our family trip to Yellowstone, a 64 Chevy Impala pulling an Arrowhead trailer. That Impala overheated going up super steep Deadman's Pass in northeast Oregon. It was a two-lane road then. Now it's Interstate 84 and it's still a steep climb and downhill ride.

On our first family Roadtrip to Disneyland we were only about 25 miles from home when the trailer axle broke. Did this end the trip? No. My dad took off the axle, found a guy to fix it in a town down the road a bit. It took a couple hours. My dad got the axle back on the trailer and we were back on our way. I can still remember this so clearly, back on the road and mom handing us homemade potato rolls with ham.

I think I'll quit blogging about Roadtripping right now and give my mom a call.


Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

We always had older vehicles when I was growing up and experienced several break downs during road trips. The best one was on a trip from Long Beach, MS to Waco, Tx. At the time I believe we had a Pinto Hatchback, after my mom played Dukes of Hazard on a few hills, we were no longer accelerating and came to a dead stop. Something went wrong with the fuel pump. I remember my dad rigging something up with a hose running from the engine somewhere to where he was sitting in the hatchback. He blew into the hose every few seconds to keep the car running. I remember begging to blow in the hose...for some reason I thought it looked a bit like fun.

A.Jean said...

Again, haven't been to you blogs in a while, but they always bring a smile or two. I love the Roadtripping. I found the comment here about the best ever and the cleverness of Dad. Never heard of a human fuel pump, but with some machanical knowledge I can see how that worked. Your discriptions are always clear enough to just take me along. My family always made an annual trek from SoCal to MN. Always a different route and in a '51 Kaiser for ten years. Air conditioning was the "50-60 mph" type and chapped lips by day number three. There was always a canvas type waterbag or two strapped to the exterior, for the occasional "vapor lock."