We joke here on-farm about how important it is to keep the ignition keys inside each respective vehicle, in the event that a neighbor might need to borrow one, some time. Well, I’m that neighbor and I have been driving HeadSodBuster’s rig, the black Yodi, the one which was given to him as a gift a decade or so ago.
|Can you say styling?|
It may appear to be only a hop, skip and a jump away from becoming a hill vehicle, but that just goes to show that appearances aren’t everything. Besides, after driving an automatic since 2002, it was nice to get back to a stick shift.
My old Chevy truck has three forward gears to go with reverse; my old Nova had a four-speed on the floor, but this Yodi truck has five-count ‘em-five forward gears. I have to admit that I don’t often get the rubber band wound up tight enough to warrant fifth gear, but when I do, I am bound to try and slip it [carefully] into reverse, when downshifting out of fifth gear.
It doesn’t want to go-and I AM sorry about that.
It’s kind of amazing that I am driving up to French’s Camp by myself in the first place. A year ago, when I had my own little Ford Ranger, I couldn’t muster up the moxie, settling instead for a ride up with SmallBoy, an adventure I wrote about in “The Attack of the Killer Seatbelt.” http://markyswrite.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-attack-of-killer-seatbelt.html
This year both HeadSodBuster and SmallBoy have been too jammed up to put in time prior to the festival, so I am representing HappyDay Farms, and the pressure is on. I told Bull after last year’s festival had ended, that I wanted a bigger role this year, so that I could earn my credentials.
I prattle on about credentials a lot, because I want to be able to access the music back-stage, but there are different kinds of credentials being established at ROTR. There are two types of volunteers, those who sit on the Group W Bench, blazing away, awaiting the next carport to be set up, and those who have a list of jobs to do, requiring some basic skills, who simply get shit done.
A set of steps, new table tops, a cabinet for an oven, whatever is on the list is what I am there to do. And if you do something that helps others out, they tend to notice that stuff. My role this year includes being at the kitchen, when Mel gets there at 6AM, to be sure there are no issues.
Again, folks tend to notice these efforts, and credentials are further established.
Therefore, if I need to up my personal ante, by finding my own way up to French’s Camp, then at least I must want to be up there pretty badly. Last year I risked life and limb in the back of SmallBoy’s truck. Laughing out loud, I remain. Not.
This year, I am bolder, but I still needed to have the briefest of instructions as to how to operate HeadSodBuster's Yodi. For instance, how do I take it out four-wheel-drive, when I hit the highway, and then return it to that position, when I got back on the Bell? It was really easy, especially after I learned that I needed the clutch to perform this operation, unlike the automatic in my Ranger.
I also had to have some basic instructions in how to access the driver’s side door, because you see, the handle is broken. There is a colorful piece of orange twine tied to the inner door handle, and extending out to be tied to the handle outside the door. One has merely to grasp the twine, and pull firmly in order to release the inner door catch and open the door. What’s not to like?
|This is where it gets tricky...|
Hey, that’s nowhere near as challenging as trying to open up the tailgate, which requires a sophisticated knowledge of trowels, which I happen to possess. You see, the handle is broken. One must insert the trowel into the opening mechanism, after lifting the tailgate latch, and twist accordingly, in order to pop the gate. Closing it requires similar machinations, with the addition of a good clout to the inside the passenger-side wall of the truck, to ensure that the mechanism clicks into place.
It has a music system but I have yet to extract any music, which is OK because I feel I need to keep an ear out for that rhythmic squeaking noise, which I have identified as related to the chassis. It does not increase when I rev the engine, so I figure I am good to go-until I can’t.
Which is exactly the way I would describe my participation in ROTR: I’m good to go, until I’m not.
Tomorrow: Setting up Camp