Friday, May 2, 2008

Cross Country Adventure, Volcano Eruption

Pine Mountain

Hello again from Pine Mountain, The week started off with hot almost summer like days then on Tuesday we went to cool marine layer days that are more normal for this time of year. Here at the ranch we have spent the week rebuilding our old John Deere Tractor. We finally finished putting it back together on Thursday and now it is running like new again. It should last us another twenty years or so as long as we can afford the fuel to run it.

Friday I went down to town and restocked my supply of drawer handles and hinges from our local hardware, Lampert Country Hardware. Now I can build a few more end tables and bookcases. I stopped by the Pine Mountain General Store and picked up a few groceries on the way back. It is a sign of the times. Food and gasoline goes up in price every week. Here at the ranch we survive better than most because we grow our own vegetables in our greenhouse, have a milk cow and a few chickens, and raise our own beef cattle.

This week our story is about a cross country journey in an old pieced together truck. First we have our usual sections on alternative energy, health and nutrition, travel for less, and treasure hunting.

Alternative Energy

Here at the ranch we have our own power. It is furnished by our 2 wind turbines and our water turbine. We also have a few solar panels that charge up a battery bank. Our horizontal turbine looks like a small wingless airplane on top of it’s 80 foot tower. We purchased that one from Our vertical turbine we purchased from, and our water turbine in the dam of our pond came from an Alaskan alternative energy company

Have you ever wanted to try and produce your own power but the high cost of commercially available units has put it out of your price range? Do you like to make home projects in your garage? A good place to start is the book called the alternative energy bible. This book shows and tells you how to can produce your own energy in easy inexpensive projects. Go to and get your copy while they are still available.

Today the cost of fuel is going up in price almost on a weekly basis. Gasoline here in California is now at the $4 per gallon level and it is still going higher. If you can increase your miles per gallon of your vehicle even a little it helps your fuel budget in a big way. There is a way to improve your mileage, increase your horsepower, and reduce your emissions all at the same time. You will be able to turn your vehicle into a fuel efficient one with only a few readily available items from your local hardware. The instructions are easy to follow and there are many diagrams so you can see how to do it too. It does not matter if you have a gasoline or diesel engine vehicle it will work with either one. Go to to learn more while supplies last.

Health and Nutrition

These days everyone is concerned about nutrition and health. Most of our food is over processed and has very little nutrient value. Our food looks great but not much more. If we want to stay healthy in today’s world we are forced to take supplements. The question is: What supplements will provide what you need for the least amount of time and money? I believe one of the best supplements out there is called acaiplus. It is a blend of vitamins and minerals plus acai to promote health and long life. They also have vitamins to help improve your long term and short term memory. They also have an energy drink that gives you steady long term energy. To learn more about these products go to Check out Acaiplus, Feed My Brain, and White Lightning.

Travel for Less

Do you like to travel but you never have enough money? In these days of rising prices, how would you like to travel and save money to? Learn how you can save enough money to take that once in a lifetime vacation. Go to and learn how to travel for less.

Would you like to go on a cruise and only pay a small portion of what everyone else pays? Would you like to go on 25 free vacations? Go to to find out how.

Learn from the experts ways to travel for free. These ways are easy to learn. Go to to learn these ways. You will be glad you did.

Have you ever longed to travel on your own schedule and enjoy your vacation? Would you like to travel for a living and see new and interesting places every day? Do you like to write letters to your relatives telling them about your recent vacation? You have what it takes to become a travel writer. All you need is a little instruction and you can have a dream job too. Go to and learn how you to can become a travel writer.

Adventure and Treasure Hunting

Do you watch movies like Indiana Jones and wish you could do that in real life? Do you like a good mystery? Would you like to use modern methods and tools to find long lost treasure?

All this is possible if you learn from the best. Stan Grist world renown adventurer and treasure hunter has written a course complete with step by step instruction on how to become successful.Go to

And check out his course “Creating Wealth Through Adventure”

And now for our feature story

Cross Country Adventure

It was a year ago in March. I had an old 1978 Toyota Chinook camper. I took the camper off the Chinook and put it on a 1992 four wheel drive ford ranger. I took the pickup body off the Ranger and put it on the Toyota. The Toyota rear bumper stuck out 2 feet beyond the ford bed so I put a platform on that. I built a wood camper top for the bed and loaded up the things in my storage shed and set off to drive to my sisters farm in Ohio.

I left San Diego and drove north on interstate 15. When I reached interstate 40 I stopped for gas. It was 10 AM. I headed east. By noon I was in Arizona. At 4 PM I made it to Flagstaff. There was still snow on the ground. I stopped to eat and filled up the gas tank. The wind was cold but my truck was warm so I drove on through the night. Just before daylight my batteries started to die. I was 20 miles out of Albuquerque New Mexico. I pulled over at this old gas station and tried to figure out what was wrong. The alternator was only a week old. The alternator had an output but somehow it was not getting to the battery.

The wiring in that old Toyota was a nightmare. The truck had been owned by an electrical professor so he had rewired the truck with all kinds of strange circuits and bypasses so the Toyota book was no help in trying to figure out the wiring. I did not have time to rewire things so I dug out a battery charger and a 1800 watt generator. I put the generator on the platform on the rear bumper and ran an extension cord to the battery charger I hooked the charger to the battery. I fired up the generator and at least I had power again. I filled up the gas tank and the generator gas tank and left Albuquerque. It was 8 AM on the second day. The wind had really started to blow. It was blowing at 50 to 60 miles per hour causing dust storms and low visibility. I was able to drive about 400 miles between generator fill ups.

Things started to go wrong again. The Toyota had a 4 cylinder engine. Just before I left New Mexico and entered Texas cylinder number 4 decided to quit working. It was not getting any spark. The professor had put a separate computer module to run each cylinder and # 4 was not working. Texas and Oklahoma are pretty flat so I limped along on 3 cylinders. I stopped for the night at a small rest stop in Oklahoma. The next morning I awoke and scraped the ice off the windshield and drove through Missouri. Just as evening approached I made it to St Louis. It started to rain. I pulled over at a rest area and when I came back to the truck it would not start. The guy next to me was driving a bus and his battery was dead. I still had battery power because of my generator so I gave him a jump and he was able to get me started with a can of starting fluid. I headed for Indianapolis. Just before Fayette Illinois another cylinder quit. It was flat terrain so I kept going. Just before the Indiana border a third cylinder quit and I could not go any farther. I rented a small u haul truck and a dolly and started towing my truck.

I thought my problems were over but they were just beginning. I did not get 20 miles before the u haul truck started to overheat. I put some stop leak in the radiator and put more coolant in and kept going. I made it past Indianapolis and headed for Ohio. I stopped at a truck stop and found the U haul truck was now leaking oil. I put oil stop leak in and 3 quarts of oil. I made it to Columbus, Ohio. I stopped at another truck stop and found that the oil and coolant were good but now the transmission was leaking. I put stop leak in the transmission and a gallon of transmission fluid and headed for my sisters place. I only had 60 miles to go.

I turned in my sister’s driveway just after midnight on the fourth day. I unloaded my truck and then returned the U haul to the drop point in Ohio and told them they need to fix the truck. I stayed a few days at my sister’s place and fixed her boat and several other projects then flew back to San Diego . That was my cross country adventure.

Pine Mountain Evening

Well it is evening once more and I am sitting by the fire in my gas fireplace drinking my sample coffee of the day. Tonights choice is Blueberry cinnamon. It is available at . This is definitely a different coffee and a unique taste. Squeekers my African Grey parrot is sitting on his perch chomping on peanuts. We have spent the evening watching a nature film on television. Well my coffee cup is empty. It was good to the last drop. The movie is over now so I put Squeekers in his cage turn off the fireplace and head off to bed. Good night everyone see you next week.