Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cedar Key - Day # 25 - MLK, the Phoenix and Junkers

Some national holidays just sort of sneak up on you when you live on the road.  It's hard not to be aware of the major ones like 4th of July, Christmas, and New Years, but sometimes you just lose track of when those other ones are.  When you live on the road 24/7 every day seems like a national holiday, and because you never have to "go home".....it's easy to lose track of those 3-4 day long weekends spaced conveniently throughout the year everyone else has marked in indelible red ink on their calendars.  So, here I was wondering why the normal vacuuming sound that normally occurs on Sundays in most RV parks when the weekenders quickly vanish back to their sticks and bricks lives did not occur.  By Sunday evening the park was still mostly full, and those pesky weekenders were still here.  I use the term "pesky" in a most loving, affectionate, and understanding sort of way, because we used to be them.  You arrive at the RV park, or whatever your RV destination may be for the long weekend, as early in the day as possible so as to maximize your time doing what you know you really want to do every day for the rest of your life, but know you're not brave enough to do yet.  You and your brethren create this beehive of activity throughout the park with your continuous walking of the pets, talking to everyone you see, setting up your site, getting out all your stuff.......even though you know you will never use all of it........and riding your bike, scooter, or whatever unusual mode of transportation you might have brought with you, around and around the park.  You get up early, and stay up late because you want to suck the life out of every single second, sort of dreading Monday morning when you have to put all your stuff away again, and slink back home to your sticks and bricks home, and workaday life.  I do not write this to make fun of, or denigrate those who have not yet broken free of that world.....I feel your pain, and conflict.  It is my sincere hope that my blog might help a few more of you escape the gravitational pull of conventionally lived life.

Monday morning it finally dawned on me that this must be some sort of national holiday long weekend sort of thing going on.....TLE chimed in saying "I think it's Martin Luther King Day"......uhhh....oh yeah!  "Wait a minute!", you think, we're supposed to go into Chiefland to pick up our "phoenix", aka: Thunderbird, from the Ford doctor.....hmmm....I wonder if they're taking a long weekend too?  Our baby has been in the shop for a week, and it's time she was back where she belongs.  A quick call to Tim in the service department confirms that they are open for business, and our date is still on.

Krash and Karen had offered (after I had dropped several not too subtle hints.....:D) to drive us into Chiefland on Monday to retrieve the T'Bird.  We had decided to sort of make a day of it and do some "junking" as I call it.....visit a few of the local thrift, junk and antique shops.  Surprisingly, there are quite a few of these places in town, and had they all been open on MLK day we would have been kept busy the rest of the day.  As it turns out Krash and Karen love to do this as much as we do, so we had a great time for a couple of hours with TLE and Krash finding treasures they could not leave without, while Karen and I showed "restraint".....okay, really, we just didn't find any treasures we couldn't do without, but we were looking!

Below is a picture of the coil culprits that temporarily turned our 'Bird into a phoenix, but as with the legend of the phoenix, she has risen from the ashes to fly once more.   In newer engines there are no longer distributors and spark plug wires.  Instead you have coils, like these, that plug on to each spark plug.  When the rubber boot begins to deteriorate  and allow moisture in, the resistance goes up and fries the coil eventually.  As it turns out there were two bad coils....2 down, and 6 to go.  Now that I know what these coils look like I think I'm up to replacing the next one that goes bad.....it doesn't look too difficult.

By the way, some have asked what size engine the  Thunderbird has......it is essentially a 3.9L DOHC 32-valve, 252 horsepower V-8.  The 2002 -5 reincarnation of the classic Thunderbird 2 seater from 1955-57 is a chopped-down version of the chassis and mechanical components used in the midsize Lincoln LS sedan (History of the Thunderbird).

After a couple of hours of junking we decided to head for the local Viejo Amigo Mexican Restaurant for lunch.  I had seen this restaurant a few times when we've been in town and wanted to give it a try.  I'm glad we did, because the food was pretty good, and the chips and salsa were excellent.  On a scale of 1-5, 5 being best, I would give Viejo Amigo a 3.5......and the conversation was at least a 6.

We needed to pick up some things at the Walmart, so we bid farewell to Krash and Karen.  We are really enjoying getting to know them here in Cedar Key.....and I'm not just saying that because I know they read the blog.....we sincerely have thoroughly enjoyed our time with them over the past week, and are looking forward to more adventures in our remaining two weeks here.........wait, did I say 2 weeks?  There is a lot of fun yet to be had!!

TLE and I arrived back in Cedar Key just around 4 pm with smiles of contentment on our faces.  It seemed like just a few minutes had passed before it was time to head over to Chris and Cherie's dock to watch our 25th sunset.  I usually only post one sunset picture each day, but today you get two.

# 25

Thank you so much for stopping by!

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