Thursday, July 08, 2021

Eastward, Ho! Days 32 & 33: Travel to Zookiemelt, mileage notes, a couple of new rigs to examine

 Wednesday, July 7

Long travel day from near Kuttawa, KY to near Bedford, KY.  About 235 miles with a slight detour due to a "check engine light" coming on while driving near Beaver Dam, KY.  Martha googled a nearby O'Reilly's Auto Parts store in the town of Rosine so we went there.

Uma, the VRRV, seemed to be running fine but I wanted to find what error code was being reported by the computer!  It turned out to be a failed Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor.  Nothing safety or performance-related.  Luckily, the O'Reilly's didn't have the part.  I say luckily because while I would have paid the $159 the tech quoted me, it wasn't the best price by far.  He said try the nearby Ford dealer, so there we went.

The Ford dealer didn't have the part in stock either, now here's the kicker, their price was only $109!  Heck of a markup at the auto parts store eh?

Since they didn't have it, Martha found it on Amazon for $60 and it'll be at our next campsite near Bardstown, KY this coming Tuesday!  Man, the markups are incredible to me!

Some Mileage notes now that we've arrived at the primary purpose for this long VRRV trip.  The Suzuki Samurai (and other models) rally called Zookiemelt, at the Dirty Turtle Offroad Track near Bedford, KY.

The VRRV had Start miles as: 72698 and it read 74745 at our present campsite inside the Dirty Turtle facility.

That means we covered 2047 miles while meandering through Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky the last 32 days!

Had we followed what Google Maps says is the direct route, it would have taken us about five days and 1147 miles, given that I don't like to go above 250 miles a day in driving. So, 900 extra miles incurred.

We calculated the Sammy's miles driven, after subtracting the towed miles and came up with 1031 Sammy miles! Not too bad.

Late afternoon, we got to the campsite, set up camp and then spent some time meeting the folks who'd already arrived for the rally.  Mike W of New Mexico, my Samurai Guru, greeted us warmly along with his lovely wife Laura.  He introduced us around we just chatted.  Most of the other rigs and drivers will be arriving on Friday I believe.

From a heyday attendance of 2-300 Suzuki rigs, the expectation is perhaps 40 rigs in attendance this year.  I hope there's more, am learning quite a few things about my Sammy and I find it neat to see how folks have modified theirs.

Thursday, July 8

Some more folks arrived, one of them being Brent and his wife Nikki who have been the organizers of the rally since 1999!  I found out from him the origin of the rally's name: Zookiemelt.  The Zookie part I'd already guessed was a reference to the Suzuki brand emphasis for the vehicles attending.  The melt part was because the event used to be in Attica, Indiana in a location that was known for really hot temperatures in the summer!  So one went to the rally and "melted"!

Brent's Rig, basically a Vitara body, a Geo Tracker Engine and 
a Sidekick Tracker chassis.  Neat.

There were more folks to meet and I watched them unload their rigs from the backs of trucks and trailers with interest.

Later in the morning, Martha and I took the Sammy and drove over the Ohio River into the town of Madison, Indiana.  Cute little town, lots of buildings in the historical register apparently and in its heyday had been an important logistical hub involving steam boats, and Indiana's first railroad system.

We had lunch there at this hole in the wall tavern called Shipleys:

After lunch, it was a short walk to a nearby park along the Ohio River:

The clouds moving in, we decided to head back to Bedford before the post office there closed so I could retrieve an Amazon package.  Made it to the PO in time, no issues except for construction delays crossing back into Kentucky.

More rigs had shown up, to include this incredible rock crawler rig with barely any Suzuki Samurai parts left on it.  Tim Porter is the owner's name, he basically put it together himself.  This thing looks like a beast!

As I understand it, the rig's axles are designed to pivot both at the left springs and what passes for a front bumper on this monster. Ditto for the rear axle as well.   I hope to be able to capture pics of it in action over next couple of days, very impressive.  Nothing like this in my future of course, but still impressive!

As it rained yesterday afternoon, it would also rain on the area tonight.  Rain and thunder on and off through the evening.  Hopefully the trails won't be too sloppy tomorrow when we're planning to go driving with Mike W and Laura in their rig: Li'l Zilla.

Spent the evening helping a fellow driver troubleshoot what appears to be a short circuit issue in his rig's wiring.  Each time he turns on his ignition, it blows the ignition fuse.  Sound familiar?  Unfortunately, disconnecting his ECM didn't render same results as on my Sammy.  He thinks its the coil which he'd mounted close to the exhaust pipe for his propane-driven engine.  He thinks he may have "cooked" the coil....

What's neat about this community, the call went out via FB asking who had a spare coil.  One participant who's showing up tomorrow said he'd bring one with him!  How's that for help eh?

Here's tonight's sunset:


Blaze Our Way said...

YAY! Sounding like it is shaping up to be a fun "melt"! I love when the community comes together for things like this. Common interests and everyone having fun swapping stories. I saw a Samurai being flat towed behind a Ford p/u last night. I'm guessing he wasn't making it to the rally. :( Hope you have a great time playing in the mud!

redlegsrides said...

Very friendly folks so far! Ever to help and give advice, answer my questions....

RichardM said...

Pretty cool! I just watched the video. Which contest did you and Martha enter?

Philip and Sharon said...

Been watching your posts for years. They never cease to amaze me. Thank you for your efforts. Enjoy the rally.

When you have packages delivered to post offices, do you just have them addressed "general delivery"?
And do you have to arrange that in advance with the post office?
Can respond to philipmerlier at gmail . com. if unable to respond here.

Thanks so much, Philip

redlegsrides said...

Thank you Philip. Make sure you pick a small town PO (avoid towns with multiple POs)... Put your name, general delivery, post office town and state and zip code and then follow the zip code with a dash and 9999. The 9999 is the secret sauce. No prior coordination required with the post office but sometimes it helps to call ahead when you know it's ready for pickup as sometimes they move it to another post office for whatever reason nearby.