Friday, November 8, 2013

MR. ROVER'S WORLD TOUR

 Well looks like I am almost ready to embark on my Land Rover World Tour. I raised my kids worked until my job didn't want me and am ready to go, Mr. Rover and I have to get some final preparing done and then we are off to see the wild world. I suppose I will get jobs along the way, but I plan to circumnavigate the globe. I will do as many flintknapping and archaeology venues as I can along my journey. I will bring my guitar so I can play music and do some blogging and filming along the way.  I will try and stay with flintknapping friends and do camping along the way, may stay in some places for weeks and some for months. Fish for meet and pick plants to munch.
 Here I have paid a shop to start preparing Mr. Rover for the journey. Here the repair guy is actually installing a new tube bumper to sit on and it looks cool too, maybe some protection from rear end collision because I will be moving a bit slow...LOL..




 Looking at the directions to hook up the winch. I will need this in case I get stuck in mud or snow
and to pull out rocks here and there to flint knap.





 Out on the town with Mr. Rover,  here with a Bakersfield car club.
I think  Mr. Rover has a crush on this little Willies Jeep !
 At home after doing some mud womping.
 Rear bumper installation going on here.




Here Mr. Rover has his new bumper


 I BOUGHT MY LAND ROVER FROM GREG HARWOOD, IN CROCKET, CALIFORNIA. 2010
 HERE IS SOME ROLLER DERBY GIRLS WITH MY LAND ROVER AT MY FIST CAR SHOW. 2010
 2009 LAND ROVER TRIP TO MONACHE MEADOWS WITH GREG HARWOOD, SO. CAL. LAND ROVER CLUB.

 2010 MENDO RUN. LAZY BOOGARS.  ABOVE AND BELOW.


GETTING THE ROVER





LAND ROVER







LAND ROVER







LAND ROVER








LAND ROVER













THE ARTICLE REJECTED BY "ROVER'S NORTH"
THE ARTICLE REJECTED BY "ROVER'S NORTH" After I told everyone I knew, when they promised to publish it, but they were untruthful.




  My love affair with the Land Rover started when I was just a kid, about  5 years old or so I suppose.  My father had a 1947 cj “2 A” Willies Jeep, and his friend  from Santa Barbara, California Bill McCurdy had a 1962 Series  11A, 88  Short wheel base Land Rover.  When Mr. McCurdy sold his Land Rover, and bought another, my father bought it and that started our family Land Rover obsession.


 

.  My father made good use of the Land Rover when I was growing up, he used to take our family   up to a heavenly place called Monache  Meadows, every fall and spring.  Smells of high mountain sage, pine and river plants, the bright glowing high altitude sun and passing clouds filled our senses. And the ever present distinctive smells and sounds of the Series  Land Rover.

Six miles long, five miles wide and more than 8,000 feet high, Monache Meadows is often cited as the largest mountain meadow in the Sierra.

1964 MONACHE LAND ROVER TRIP


I began my adventures into Monache in the 1960s. My father was an enjoyed the off road challenges and deer hunting that Monache had to offer. Back then, there was not paved roads, as there is now, and it was a very rough trip. Today the trails are considered 4x4 beginner's trails but not back in the 1960s and early 1970s. There was almost no roads back then, just two muddy ruts.  There was an infamous hill climb called “the slide” that had many a muffler lying on the side. We would get out and watch dad spin dirt and spark boulders all the way up the slide, it was truly heaven for a nine year old. If I close my eyes, I can still see the Rover in a cloud of Sierra dust fighting its’ way over the slide. Once we came off the mountain into the meadow itself, we were allowed to ride on the hood and, if lucky, in the spare tire of the Land Rovers hood.

 Monache is named for the Native American Indian tribe that once occupied the meadow and we delighted in in inspecting the acorn grinding holes in the granite outcrops and examining the beautifully flaked black obsidian arrowheads that were commonplace there in the 1960s, you could see them shining in the sand as you drove across the sand spits in the Rover. Still another high point was the many Kern river crossings  as it snaked through the meadow.

Monache  4x4 road (34E38) now starts 1/2 mile past (21S36) the North end of Powell Meadow and ends at the South Sierra Wilderness on the West and Bake-oven Meadow on the East. Official end is at Snake Creek. pristine setting of the South Fork of the wild Kern River. The dirt road seems a bit longer but to the end the "Jeep trail" is 2.4 miles. Staging area is 4 miles North of the Black Rock Information Station (760) 376-3781 ex 276. Black Rock Station has maps, permits and general information; it also has the last potable water you will see of the Monache trip.

Right now I have a 1972 Series IIA Land Rover.  I bought my Land Rover off my nephew Greg Harwood of Martinez California, whom has refurbished many a rover. I take my Rover everywhere I go, like the family dog. It is actually my only vehicle, so I keep him in running order.  I named my Series
IIA; “Marauder” and it seems to fit. But the actual theme of the Marauder is a little more meaningful than just a sort of  cool name.  My father was a B26 Marauder pilot in W.W.II  and flew 46 deadly and heroic missions for the  456th Bombardment Squadron, 323rd Bombardment Group, 9th US Army Air Corps  in the European theater.  Although my father never spoke of his experiences, it was a huge part of who he was.  So the color scheme and the Marauder lettering, is a tribute to the brave Marauder men of World War two.  I take an adventure with my dog, Riley D.  Fudgesicle,  nearly  every week end, into the Mojave Desert, California coast or Sierra Nevada Mountains  or just weekly chores around the farms of Bakersfield,  every time I climb in, my dad’s memory and spirit is right there next to me.  The same smells, sights and sounds of our old trips make my memories come alive.   
I take Mr. Rover everywhere, and California has an extremely diverse  number of wilderness types, from the Lowest and hottest place in  America, Death Valley, to the highest peak, Mount Whitney, funny you can see one from the other and visa versa.  
 We would take long trips into the Sierra Nevada   Mountains,   Monache Meadows.  We would also take trips to Pismo Beach and meander through the sand dunes  . Later ( year)  my dad bought the Rover off Bill McCurdy and  took trips in it quite often. My father was an avid hunter and outdoorsman and made good use of the Rover.  My father was a persistant huinter, fisherman and back woodsman. Before their were many  environmentalists and or road there was my dad and his Land Rover. Old Land Rovers have a very distinctive smell and sound. The smell I suppose is a culmination of things, decomposing leather, old fuel,  grease ? I don’t really know, but when I smell it , it puts right back in  there with my dad in some sort of cerebral ghost trip with my dad.

The Land Rover I  have was my mid life crisis, it’s not just a car it is freedom, the the Black Pearl was to Jack Spero in Pirates of the Caribean movies. 

MY LAND ROVER NOW








1970s Monache Trip







1 comment:

John Atwood said...

Ray,

Just wanted to wish you good luck — it sounds like the adventure of a lifetime!. I look forward to reading your blog and seeing the photos/videos as you travel the world. Take care of Mr. Rover as well as yourself along the way! And remember, keep your head up and continue to keep faith! John