Story of Us Blog Post 6: Our Adventures Number 1 Part 2

Our Adventures Number 1

Part 2

What can you say about a pickup truck? 

        “If it ain’t covered in mud, It ain’t a real truck.”

        “True love is when a girl loves a guy as much as her truck.”   

        “If you think this truck’s smokin’, you should see the driver!”

        “Some of us grew up playing with tractors and trucks. The lucky ones still do.”

I’m not sure that Les and I can ever say any of these things about our little truck.  Our little truck is a 1996 Dodge Dakota with a coat of red paint that has seen far better days.  She is a sturdy truck that is easy to maintain mechanically since it doesn't have all of the bells and whistles a newer truck would have.  But with her age, there are many things that are not pretty about her and that could fall apart at any given time.  Her interior is not very attractive.  The under dash has fallen apart.  The dash itself is peeling as are the door panels.  But lately, the biggest concern has been the oil light, the oil pressure gauge, and the oil level.  

Les and I agree and disagree about a lot of things.  We agree on one thing for sure and that’s our feelings about our little pickup.  Buying a new truck makes little sense due to the price of vehicles today.  First of all, we don’t have the money for a new truck and second, if we are going to buy a brand new off-the-lot vehicle, it won’t be a pickup.  Our pickup is not a daily driver.  It’s a weekend truck at the most and used for work and not pleasure.  We both want a pickup that is older and with few electronic components than newer trucks.  That’s what makes our little Dodge the perfect truck.  Her age, however, makes her a not-so-perfect truck.  The odometer wasn’t working when we bought her four years ago, so there isn’t telling how many miles she has on her.  Her odometer reads about 230,000 miles. 

This story is an extenuation of blog post 5 posted on December 21.  It all started December 14, when Les and I decided to spend the weekend together for a bit of fun, relaxation, reconnecting, and working on the farm.  Part of the plan for the weekend included leaving our little pickup at the farm so that Les could have something to drive other than his semi-tractor while at the farm. 

She went into the shop the week before.  The oil light had come on and the oil pressure gauge was indicating low pressure.  The mechanic didn't find anything wrong.  Her oil was changed and that was that.  I left at around 2pm Friday for our weekend adventure and arrived at the farm around 5pm.  I looked down and the oil pressure was gone, and the oil light was on, yet again.  Les checked the oil level and there was little oil left in the engine.  Fortunately, I keep all fluid types in the truck, and I had about 2.5-3 quarts of oil left in the jug that we added to her reservoir.  We were off and running for our weekend of reconnecting, relaxing, and working on the farm.

Friday may have been dreary with intermittent rain, but Saturday was met with clear blue skies.  After pastries and coffee from one of the many local restaurants with sweets, we drove to Comanche to make a deposit and found ourselves finding a mechanic (Bill Ellis Tire Station) to figure out what the leak was all about.  The mechanic found a leak in the oil pan, but he was not able to repair it.  We picked up more oil, an oil pan to put under the truck when we stopped places, plus a few items for the farm.  We limped our way back to Dublin where we stayed for the night at a local inn (Relax Inn).  The oil level was holding somewhat, and we felt like I would be able to drive our truck back to Bryan to our mechanic. 

We got up Sunday and ate at a local spot known for its buffet.  Granny's Clarks satisfied our carb need for working at the farm and off we went for Hico.  Sunday also served up clear blue skies, but it was colder with plenty of wind.  The drive to the farm wasn't as pleasant, as the oil pressure would come and go, and the oil light was mostly on.  The decision became clear that our little Dodge would not make it back to Bryan.  We did make it to the farm.  

Monday morning was met with a bitter cold and more rain.  We ran by a local mechanic to talk about the truck.  We left to figure out what we wanted to do.  I called my son Daniel to get me.  He was on his way by 11am and expected around 2pm.  We still had to work out where he would pick me up.  We then ran to the farm to secure all of the wood and supplies that Les uses while at the farm.  We tried to use the Dodge to jumpstart our semi-truck which failed to work.  All we ended up doing was draining all the oil she had.  Les found one quart in his truck, so at least she wasn't fully void of oil.  All that was left to do was wait for Daniel to arrive at the farm, which was mandated by the oil issue.

Daniel found his way to our property in Hico about 2:15. After a late lunch at the Koffee Kup in Hico and with my leftovers in hand, we bought more oil and collected our little truck back at the farm.  We drove back into Hico for gas and left the truck with a local mechanic (Full Throttle).  Their list of instructions included:

     1) determine if the engine is worth fixing

     2) assuming it is, fix the oil leak, resolve the oil pressure, and oil light issues

     3) fix the 1st and 2nd gear sticking problems

     4) fix the tachometer

     5) fix the missing windshield wiper and the missing license plate holder

We are still waiting to hear news about our little truck.  Time will tell. 

Life is short - eat, drink, and hold the one you love!  There's nothing more important in life!!


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