Friday, May 24, 2013

The Great Darby Road Trip - Day 3

 Mike Darby, well-known British car restorer and SABCC'er is on the road his newly-restored 1959 MGA roadster with daughter Stella, undertaking the dream trip of a lifetime. The Darby duo will be traveling from their Alabama Gulf Coast home to Southern California, then up the Pacific Coast to Oregon and then back to the Heart of Dixie. 

Stella has kindly agreed to send along a daily report of their progress as well as observations of the people and places that make up our nation.
Mike takes over the scribe's duties for today's entry. 

By the time this is on the website, we'll be almost 24 hours from Tulsa - leaving, this time. The Terrific Trio (Stella, Mike and MGA) left Tulsa on Highway 66 and made our way through dingy areas and semi-industrial regions for several miles, until we realised the trail had gone south and, owing to casual signposts, we ended up far south of our intended route.

All was not lost: we saw some places we'd never have seen otherwise, and we finally ran out of the rain that had gently dampened our parade for two hours - albeit not damp enough to make us put up the top!  We passed a church with husband and wife co-pastors, which caused us (or, Mike) to speculate about whether or not they shared the same vestments - i.e., 'co-habited' (ta-boom-tish- Ed.)

Oklahoma City traffic was quite busy and not awfully considerate of a small MGA. But, we made it through and decided to drive through the Black Kettle National Grassland.  It was very exposed country and, boy, did the wind blow.  There were plenty of wind turbines on our route, which we found encouraging, but we had to turn on our little heater to ward off the cool gale-force winds.

At one point we were nearly scared shitless by a big-arsed bird that took off across our bows and almost came to grief on our windscreen.  I speak with authority about the size of its arse as we had a close-up view of that area as it rose frantically over our heads, eclipsing the sun and the moon for several moments before gaining momentum and altitude.  It was about as big as Big Foot (I swear!)...or at least his pet pterodactyl.  We later had the opportunity to help a little turtle on his way from the middle of the highway to the other side.

We've made it as far as Pampa, Texas, where we're resting for the night. 
The MG is running well, returning about 27 miles per gallon, losing a consistent but acceptable amount of oil through its brilliantly designed Archimedes' scroll rear main seal.  A positive lip seal conversion awaits installation upon our return.  There simply was not sufficient time to make this modification before setting off.  The car is so crammed full of spare parts (and sparse luggage) that even the usage of one quart bottle of oil makes significant improvement to the space available.  We really do have the car packed to capacity!  

Mileage covered to date: approximately 1200.  Tomorrow's goal is Albuquerque, New Mexico, which will make about 330 miles for the day.  

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