Portland 2013 #1 – The Final Push

I’ve been hyper-busy getting ready for Portland! A lot of the work has happened in the 100+ degree heat here in Austin, and while I will *really* miss my people here, I’m *so* ready for Portland summer weather!

I put vents into two bathrooms and the laundry room as my final Big House Project before leaving. Humidity in the house is much better.

I cut the yurt down extensively to fit it better into the car and into my life. I’m not 100% done with the conversion, but I’m probably 85% done, and the Yurt Project is never done, anyway. I can work on it more in Portland.

I’ve done a shitload of work on the Metro, who’s fuel economy has dropped about 10 mpg recently, including:

1) Oil change with full synthetic oil

2) Compression test (which I messed up, and will do again today)

3) Bypassed potentially faulty heater core

4) Re-gapped spark plugs

5) Installed a cruise control, which will make the trip *so* much easier!

6) Decoded a pillow/seat configuration, with the help of a pillow from my beloved Mom, that is so comfortable I’ll actually have to be careful not to fall asleep. Last year was basically constant back pain for all 35 hours of the drive, and it took me several days to recover afterward.

7) Worked a bunch of jailbreak voodoo on my iPhone and iPad so they would talk to the computer on the car wirelessly while I drive. This will allow me to monitor all the sensors as I go to help diagnose the fuel problem. I can even being to describe how cool this is!

8) Abandoned installing the new front half-axles due to a missing part

9) Cleaned and vacuumed the car

10) Changed the fuel filter

…all of which I did yesterday, except for the cruise control.

Today I’m going to check the tranny oil and re-do the compression test before starting load-in. I want to be ready to roll before I go to bed tonight, because my goal is to reach Deming, New Mexico by tomorrow night, which is 678 miles. It’s definitely the longest single-day jog I’ve ever attempted, but I’m hoping the cruise control and new seat setup will make it possible. I have another marathon the next day to get to San Diego to see Touch, my friend from Burning Man. After that segments will be a lot shorter and more fun.

I’ve got a shitload of dehydrated Italian lunch meat and apples for the trip. I’ll be bringing at least one small cooler. Staying under budget for food will be challenging, but I think I can do it.

Back to work! Work, here, being “effort made toward making my life even more fantastic.”

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