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There’s No Rain, Until There’s Rain

On Thursday the forecast for the next several days was dry, dry, dry and hot, hot hot, culminating in temps reaching hotter than the surface of the sun on Monday.

So, it seemed like no big deal to leave the Edmund the Jeep’s sunrider top flipped open and the side windows laying in the backseat. It would give Edmund an opportunity to air out. Plus, I’m lazy and even putting the brand new trail cover on seemed like excessive effort, considering the forecast.

Saturday morning found me sweating like a beast, fighting poison ivy vines and shouting loud, nasty things at Mother Nature for even allowing it to exist. It was hot. It was dry. I was sweating like a maniac. There were no clouds in the sky. It was a lovely shade of blue. 

We spent the afternoon and evening at the Tri-Stage Wing Off in Cumberland, eating wings and enjoying some fine live bands. It was hot, but with a lovely little breeze; even after dark the temps were still up. Hot and dry.

Sunday morning I staggered out of bed much later than usual. Between being out in the heat for most of the day and staying up way later than usual, I was not moving too fast. I noticed the pond capstones looked damp. And then I saw that the firepit was full of water. Huh, it rained. HUH? IT RAINED? OH SHIT!

More rain was suddenly in the forecast. More? I’d obviously missed the earlier bulletin that rain was even a possibility. Probably should at least put the top up and windows back in. Not really thinking, I grabbed the top and flipped it forward…water cascaded from the happy little pouch formed by the top, what didn’t drench me poured into the jeep. Of course it did.

Prior to the top drenching, a brief peek inside revealed puddles in both the front floor pans and one back floor pan. Seriously. Not just some dampness, but so much water that I could not drive without the water going over the top of my shoes when getting in. It was a lot of water.

Lesson learned. Next time, use the fancy new trail cover or just put the damn top back up.

Today’s episode brought to you by #firstworldproblems!

chris on June 17th 2018 in Blogroll, Vehicles

It’s 44 degrees and we’re not smart

Thursday it was 82 degrees and I was stuck with the hard top on my Jeep. I was obviously anxious to be done with the hard top and get my new fancy Bestop Supertop NX slapped on Edmund so that’ll I too could take advantage of the super weather. Friday it was 70 or so for a while, until the temps plummeted 20 degrees in five minutes. And Saturday, the day I was scheduled to drive to Fairmont and put the hard top into storage. Well it was a balmy 35 degrees when I rolled out of bed at 8:30. Yep. THIRTY-FIVE DEGREES. I’ll let you digest that for a few minutes.

Ok. You’ve probably figured that 35 degrees is not a great temperature. And I concur. But I’m also going to throw this out…the wind was crazy. It was pushing and shoving things all over. Like, for instance, my Jeep as Bj and I drove down mighty I-79 to drop the hard top off.

So 35 degrees plus whatever crazy arse windchill = a poor day to change to the soft top.

Oh, did I mention that the soft top was still sitting in its box in my foyer in Morgantown? Well it was. Because it needed assembled before I could install it.

By the time we got to Fairmont it was a stunning 44 degrees. The sun was out, the sky was clear, the wind was still wreaking havoc. And there we were, in a vehicle with no top. Yep.
Now, the smarter of the two siblings had a parka, gloves and a wind proof polar fleece hat. The other was wearing a hoodie and a baseball cap. I’m not going to name names, you’ll have to figure out which was which.

The worst part of driving the 30 minutes between Bunner Ridge (which is where we actually had dropped the top off) and Morgantown? We did not see a single Jeep. What a wasted opportunity to pull the “We are so much cooler than you because we are out running around with no top on the vehicle when it’s only 44 degrees.”  card. I was so disappointed. Tragic. Just tragic.

chris on April 20th 2013 in Vehicles

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Redux

Some areas have legendary locations. Some have legendary cachers. Some have legendary caches. If you happen to be in the market for a legendary set of caches placed by a legendary cacher, then The Good, The Bad & The Ugly might be for you. Or you might be an idiot. If you are a really big idiot or a really nice person (guess which one I might be) then you might go after the wvcoalcat trio twice, just so you can drive your own jeep down to the river so that your fellow idiot-friend-cachers don’t have to undertake terrain that  “varies from mild to strenuous” that would otherwise be required to hunt down and kill find the caches.

So on Saturday loyal sidekick and I (idiot-jeep-owning-cacher) found ourselves at Snake Hill WMA awaiting the arrival of wvhunter (idiot-friend-cacher #1),  Gentleman-Carpenter (idiot-friend-cacher #2) and Aquacache (idiot-jeep-owning-friend-cacher who, much like yours truly , had already found these caches). Once the gang arrived, we headed out for the relatively easy The Good. Or at least most of us did, Aquacache had other caches to DNF at the time.

Loyal sidekick did the honors of cache retrieval, mostly because no one else was willing to go into the shrubbery after the ammo can.

Although wvhunter was plenty happy to give advice from his perch.

And Gentleman-Carpenter had was all over the signing and recording the first set of the coords for The Ugly. As usual, with this group, it’s all about teamwork. Roughly defined teamwork, but teamwork none the less. And so back to the parking area we went to rendezvous with Aquacache.

That accomplished (Score: 1 Find, 1 DNF, 1 I got nothing ’cause I’ve already done this) we took Gentleman-Carpenter & gave Aquacache the pleasure of having wvhunter in his Jeep as we headed down to the Cheat River. Now last time I was out this way the road was crazy overgrown with vines and small trees and other such non-sense. So much so that it took us 2 hours to get down to the river because we had to clear the road as we went. I was pretty much expecting the same thing today. But no! As luck would have it the road was free and clear! Not that it was a walk in the park, but as jeepin’ roads go, it wasn’t too bad. Then again I wasn’t sitting in the back seat getting flung all over the place while rhody tried to smack me in the face. After all, sidekick and I had our windows rolled up. Sorry G-C!

No wonder he decided to get out and walk!

We were happily able to get past the previous parking area thanks to some heavy duty ATV use and trudge onward a bit. Oh sure it was slow going and the jeeps were getting one heck of a pin striping, but really, why walk that extra .25 of a mile if you can drive it? We were doing pretty well when lo and behold, a tree lay between us and another precious .25 of a mile of trail. The tree, which was quite dead, lay at an angle that just prevented Aquacache’s Rubicon from passing under. Or so it seemed. But wait! He had a chainsaw for just such occasions.

Oh sure, it sounded like the electric carving knife my parents used to use on Thanksgiving. And sure it was not the longest chainsaw you’ve ever seen, but eventually it got the job done.

So while Aquacache chainsawed, the rest of us just watched and waited and hoped that when the tree fell, it didn’t land on us or the lead jeep. (My jeep was safely out of tree’s way.)

As I said, the baby chainsaw eventually got the job done, after a fashion. What it really did was drop the tree, now shorter, back down in the road. But with much might G-C, Aquacache & my loyal sidekick Little Wooden Boy manhandled the tree trunk into submission. Take that, Mother Nature!


Sadly, we finally hit an impasse that was…impassable. And so had to set out on foot to reach The Bad and The Ugly. It mostly went like this: Trudge, trudge, trudge. Look a boat! Trudge, trudge. Rest. Look a Boat! Trudge. Are we there yet? Trudge. You get the picture.

Even the GPS agreed that perhaps we’d not thought our plan through very well.

Eventually we got The Bad. Which was about the time some folks started questioning their decision to go after these caches. What were they thinking? Too late now, gentlemen. Too late now.

Actually what loyal sidekick was thinking was, “What’s going on in college football right now?” instead of “Why did I decide to undertake this horrific walk in the woods?”

And so onward to The Ugly, which wasn’t really all that horrific. However, we didn’t have to wait too long for it to reach UGLY as we started back towards the main trail. Yeah, I had the track log from April 2010. Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to do us an awful lot of good because: Mother Nature. Oh she is such a witch. Seems there had been an awful lot of nature growing between us and the main trail. An awful, horrible, ugly amount of nature. So we did the best we could, used the dry but slippery stream bed as our trail until we could reach the trail and trudged onward. It went like this: Trudge. Slip. DAMNIT. Trudge. Slip. Grumble. Trudge. This sucks. Grumble. Slip. Trudge. After an eternity we made it back to the main trail and only had….a scant 2 or so miles to hike back to the jeeps. Yes. 2 or so miles or more hiking. De-freakin’-lightful!

At long last, the jeeps appeared on the horizon. Oh glorious, cushioned seats! Oh the luxury! I offered up the keys to loyal sidekick and told G-C he could have the front seat. I would pay my penance and sit in the back and deal with the attacking shrubbery.

The ride up was about as smooth as the ride down and a lot quieter because we were hungry. I spent most of my time trying to decide what I was going to order at BW3 when we finally got back to civilization.


chris on September 17th 2012 in Geocaching, Vehicles

A Sweet Rave

I find it rather rude when someone something decides to throw a sweet rave in my own garage and doesn’t even have the decency to at least invite me for a free drink. Now admittedly, with the Jeep in the garage there isn’t an awful lot of extra room. Judging by what greeted me this morning though, I’d say the garage crashers had one hell of a good time.

You are probably wondering what the hell I’m rambling on about this time? This is what….

I decided to take the Jeep to work this morning. Instead of going into the garage through the house, which is what I usually do, I figured that I’d be wild and crazy this morning and open the garage from the outside. I pull open the doors and lo and behold one of the milk crates that is usually perched high above on wire shelves is laying by the rear passenger tire, it’s contents spewed as far and wide as physically possible in such a confined space.

I’m already running late for work, and I’m wearing a suit, so I’m not impressed that I’m going to have to clean this mess up before going to work. (Yes, I did consider just running it over, it is a Jeep after all.) I pick up the crate, jam all the excessive stuff in it and, since I can’t replace it on the shelf without climbing on the Jeep and STREEEETCHING (I’m wearing a suit remember), I figure I’ll just put it on the workbench which is in the front of the garage.

There I am, crate held aloft (it won’t fit beside the Jeep, our garage is small tiny microscopic) squeezing through the tiny passageway, when I see something resting against the driver’s side front tire. What the hell is that? It took me a few seconds a bit (I’d only been awake 45 minutes at this point) to realize that it was the little set of drawers that neatly contained all kinds of different nuts, screws, bolts, nails. It was no longer where it should have been – resting snugly in place – and the contents were no longer contained. To make my morning that much better, I realized I was not able to get around this new obstacle.

Still holding the milk crate aloft, while contemplating resting it on my head to give my arms a break, I realized that the entire front of the garage was a disaster. BJ’s bike was laying at the oddest of angles. The baseboard (stained and nearly ready for installation in the first floor bathroom) was knocked askew and now twined through the Jeep’s bumper. And there was a bunch of other items that had earlier been neatly stacked carefully placed tossed quickly on the workbench that were now laying in a jumble on the floor or on their way to the floor.

My brain was unable to process what was going on. What it was able to process was that:

A. I was going to be late for work.

B. I was not going to be able to pull back into the garage after work.

C. I really needed to put this milk crate down.

Being in that early morning haze, I decided that the only way to put the milk crate down was to climb over the Jeep’s bumper in order to reach the front of the garage (baby brother parked smack in the middle of the garage width ways). How I managed that in a suit will remain a mystery for the ages. That done, I dropped the milk crate on what appeared to be a sturdy pile of stuff, squeezed back to the little set of drawers which was spewing pointy items all over the floor, kicked it away from my tire as best I could and managed at long last to get into the Jeep.

Checking my watch revealed I might be able to get to work on time. I started to back out when I heard this strange “SHHHHHHH” noise. I looked around. Nothing. I began to move again. “SHHHHHHHH” What the hell was that?  And then THUMP! Down came my skis (still in their airline bag thankfully) right onto the hood. Startled by this new development I was unable to stop and THUD! they fell completely out of the rafters and landed on the garage floor. Which is when I looked up and noticed that some of the viking tent poles which were also in the rafters (yes, that’s what I typed, don’t ask) were somewhat askew and in possible danger of falling.

I gunned it.

I arrived at work just on time (it’s amazing how much difference leaving 15 minutes later than usually makes in a commute when it comes to traffic patterns). I’d been mulling over how hard the skis must have hit the hard top when they fell out of the rafters (and trying not to think about what knocked them out in the first place) during my commute. I figured it was just best to go ahead and see if there was any damage on the roof. Which is when I saw this.

(clickity to make bigger – I included measurements of my hand for reference on the photo below)

I took this one when I got home….It is of the back of the roof.

(I took the following two pictures the following morning with the little digital camera for better detail)

I looked a little closer at my hood and saw this.

Closer inspection led me to see some additional prints on the windshield and the rear window. Now typically when I park the Jeep in the garage I’ll leave a window down. Fortunately BJ had been the last driver and so the windows were up and the doors were locked.

Which is good. Because I don’t even want to think about what kind of damage whatever left those prints would have done to the interior.

Which leads me to this. What the hell was in my garage on Monday night? And, is it coming back?

chris on November 17th 2011 in Blogroll, Vehicles