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Old 07-19-2010, 03:21 PM   #1
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The 5000 miles warm up

On Friday, we haul our vintage tow vehicle west. The trip from Central Maryland to the NW corner of Montana is around 2400 miles. On the way back, however, we're "looking at colleges." Or for the religious, a sacred site at which thousands of dollars will be burnt in an offering to the gods of higher education.

The northern route takes use around Chicago, up to Minnesota and across. The "central" route has us dropping into Colorado and running through Missouri. Unlike the Airstream (which tows beautiful), I'll have a car trailer with the '66/67 Dodge D200... the aerodynamic equivalent of a brick. I'm just hoping everything holds together until we roll into Big Sky Country.

I'll drop an occasional post from the road as connectivity allows. And I'll keep my eyes open for rolling aluminum.
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:00 PM   #2
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We leave Saturday for Minnesota and then points west. Keep us posted on your whereabouts and we just may see you on the road.

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Old 07-19-2010, 04:09 PM   #3
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I am sooo confused

The D-200 is GREAT! hard to find and built of iron. How come it gets towed?
And, all my relatives begged to go to the U of Maryland to the Engineering school. The best. How come you, in Maryland, look out of State? Kids should have to pay the out of state portion of tuition..... it will teach a perspective for life.
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:13 PM   #4
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Have a good and safe trip and mind the choices for fill-ups in MT - they can be few and far between.
Consider the gas bills 'practice' for tuition....
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for the good wishes. I have decided that one never has enough "hardware," particularly when lashing down a vehicle.

So, why not drive the D200 2500 miles? I don't think I could afford the divorce.

The Dodge is less a vehicle and more machinery. I've made headway on the restoration, but I have a fair ways to go, particularly in "cab comfort." The goal for Camper Special "Ed" is to serve as a vintage tow vehicle for rallies after we move west. With a little persuasion (and outright bribery), I think I can convince my beautiful wife to tolerate short trips with Ed... but not 2500 miles in four to five days. Besides, we're flying our daughter to Montana and picking her at Grandpa and Grandma's for the trip back. I'm sure she'll enjoy the rear seat of the Titan crew cab (with a/c) far more than the bed of the D200 with "natural air."

As a Montana native, I'm familiar with the long, dry stretches. I'll pack a five-gallon can of gas for "just in case."

Oh, and as for where kids go to school... I have three daughters. I can barely understand simple sentences let alone the mystical reasons why they like a particular school. As for our youngest, she's looking at agriculture/equine science. As one might imagine, there are good programs in the west including Colorado State. And despite my hopes, I haven't talked any of my daughters to finance college like I did (logging camps and the GI Bill).

I'll post a photo of "Ed" lashed to the trailer before I go. Hopefully, I can get the darn tongue weight down. The trailer's axles are towards the back and Ed is seriously front heavy. One way or another, I'll drag the whole shooting match to Big Sky Country. Next year, we'll be towing the Airstream west... and behind something other than the Titan.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:49 PM   #6
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Have A Safe Trip

Ken,
Have a safe trip home. I wish I was following along. I've always wanted to visit Glacier National Park and it sounds like you might be going near there.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:59 PM   #7
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Loading the Dodge backwards may help to reduce the tongue weight on the trailer.

Bill
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:05 PM   #8
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move the lead weights to the back of the bed ;-)
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
And despite my hopes, I haven't talked any of my daughters to finance college like I did (logging camps and the GI Bill).
I'll never forget the "Parents' Indoctrination" session that we attended.

That's where we first heard about "The Bank of Mom and Dad", and how this bank was expected to finance the degree that was to be the goal of the whole exercise.

The young lady that gave the presentation did it so well it hardly hurt at all.

Have a great trip.
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:56 PM   #10
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Are you going to use the Dodge engine or replace with something more modern? If you are to replace it, get rid of it now. Nice light truck to tow.

Yes, CSU has a well known vet school and a very good one as my wife has often told me though she got other BS degrees through the vet school and is not a vet. The parties may be better in Boulder though. I didn't know college was for education from books. I thought drinking (my era) and sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll (a few years later, but I was ahead of my time) was what a college education was.

Three daughters to worry about. I feel for you. You get to pay the bills and are powerless about what they do in college.

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Old 07-21-2010, 08:18 PM   #11
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ha ha ha. i hate to tell you this... both my husband and I were the 'spoiled' kids with private school tuition... i went to school for 4.5 yrs w/ no degree to show for it, and my husband went for 4.5 yrs and got an unrelated job and plans to quit and become a farmer in 2 yrs.

his poor mother said something like... "$150,000 education and you want to be a farmer?!?!"

i believe it was the 'rich dad / poor dad' writer who said he'd spend the $$ on buying a dairy queen for his kids rather than a college education...

but looking back, i wouldn't have done it any other way. but i will for my kids
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:46 PM   #12
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Good luck with the trip.

We made the trip west over the past 2 weeks, catching US-50 west of St Louis and picking up US-54 in the Ozarks. We only drove 20 miles of Interstate after connecting with US highways.

I was surprised at the good condition of the roads until we cleared Dodge City. May you find better roads and lighter headwinds for your journey.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:11 PM   #13
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I had thought about loading the Dodge back end first but I think moving it back on the 18' trailer will accomplish about the same purpose. I had a long night tonight throwing the doors and hood back on. Getting them to fit right will take more time than I have right now.

I'm keeping the original 318 "poly." This is the precursor to the common Dodge 318LA. The poly (also called the "semi-hemi" or the 318 "wide" was actually a pretty strong engine. Of course, with the 4.10 rear I could pull the Airstream and a ton of lead with the old slant six. A friend of mine picked up one of the not-quite-rare-but-close 318 poly 4 bbl intakes. The OEM exhaust system is terrible, so I'll put headers on and a very big single pipe. It really shouldn't take much work to build an engine that pushes 400 ft/lbs of torque... which is my magic towing number.

Back to trip, I grew up not far from Glacier. It really isn't a big deal for me, but it really is pretty country. Truth be told, though, I give the nod to the BC Rockies. Some truly amazing stuff up towards Jasper.

As for college, what are you going to do? My grandfather had a 5th grade education... and believed in education in the way only an uneducated man could. My father made it through high school, but no further. I was the first in my family to graduate college and receive a post-graduate degree. I know there's a good deal of BS involved in the process, but I just want our kids to have as many opportunities as possible. Fair or not, the lack of a college degree screens people out of some opportunities. And, I think, an education has value in and of itself.

When I first rolled into Gonzaga (a Jesuit university), a crusty old priest told me there were only two things the university could do. Teach me how to think and teach me how to express what I thought. The rest, he said, was mostly helpful if I ever made it to a quiz show. Unfortunately, I never did make it to a quiz show. I did, however, manage to make it out of hardscrabble, blue collar mill town and see some of the world. I'd like to think education made me more open-minded, more tolerant, more curious about the world. Of course, it failed miserably in keeping from buying silly money pits like an old Dodge truck and a vintage Airstream.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:15 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
It really shouldn't take much work to build an engine that pushes 400 ft/lbs of torque... which is my magic towing number.

Truth be told, though, I give the nod to the BC Rockies. Some truly amazing stuff up towards Jasper.

When I first rolled into Gonzaga (a Jesuit university), a crusty old priest told me there were only two things the university could do. Teach me how to think and teach me how to express what I thought. The rest, he said, was mostly helpful if I ever made it to a quiz show.
400 lbs. That's more than you'll ever need to pull that trailer, but why not?

Banff to Jasper is pretty amazing and all the Rockies are special. We were not so far from your hometown a week ago. I like all mountains.

Good analysis by the crusty old priest and it appears that Jesuit education has served you well. Having gone to a very good high school I was well prepared for thinking and expressing, so I took advantage of other college opportunities. I got back to thinking in grad and law schools. My father was also very good at thinking and expressing and that's where I learned it first, so I think you have prepared your daughters well.

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