Saturday, November 22, 2008

Weekend Worrier

Another weekend, another dent in the project. Out came the drawers and doors, up came the carpet. Like a kid, I raced through Molly looking for treasures. And I found them, too. Loads of receipts (pieced together, they tell a story), maps and magazines (National Geographics), a fire extinguisher (NIB), as well as a fuel pump (also NIB with an $80 price tag); new windshield wipers (why didn't I look before the arduous, rainy drive home?); tire chains (now we can go anywhere!), along with boxes of spare fuel filters, cans of oil, a grease gun, a jack, a big bicycle tire pump, belts, and the original plaque with the owner's name (among other things).

Still getting oriented. I'll have Carol and Henry (professional upholsters) come by maybe this weekend to look at the seats and beds. Once they're pulled, I can start cleaning and making lists.

Here's the damage so far:

Carpet is pulled and stored for future use as a template (if we decide to use carpet again).

Not my bad (luck). I'm just cleaning up...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Molidays!

We have decreed today a holiday--a moliday!

We're celebrating because Molly fits inside the shop. It's tight, but manageable. I can access three sides easily, as well as open her door--and reach the firewood bin. And I can still use the shop's woodstove. But mostly I'll be working on the inside. First things first--a bug bomb. Then the cabinet doors come off. The carpets come out. Cushions. Once she's gutted, I can start cleaning. With a toothbrush. From one end to the other. That's when I also start making lists. Lots of lists.

And, hopefully, priorities.

My river floating friend (and printing mentor), Mike Faris, stopped by with his camera and gave a hand. With Mike behind, guiding me by walkie-talkie, I was able to slip Molly right inside her new lodgings. I tied a line to the top of the bay door, then tied that to the refrigerator/toolchest--the bay door sags an inch or two past its frame. Mike estimated we had about a quarter of inch to spare on the top. We were in. Gentlemen, you know the feeling. I jumped out and sprinted about moving tools to make room. Tristan was doing a marvelous job of not talking. Unfortunately, in my excitement, I forgot to lower the CB antenna--and snapped off part of its bracket. An important part, too. The part that keeps the antenna from falling off.

Oh, well. That can be replaced.

The following images are thanks to the camera of Mike Faris.

Hail the mighty daredevils!

A little father and son time, Travco style.

Here we go...(will she fit?)


The antenna has been color enhanced for your viewing pleasure.

Heigh-ho! Life is great when you're five.

The End.

Stay tuned for more exciting adventures as dudleyclark and his extremely young children tackle the job of restoring a thirty year old Travco named Molly. (What will they think of next?)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Molly No Longer Unsightly



Molly Go Whitely

There's a limit to the number of pics I can upload for each posting. So here are some more:

Molly Go Brightly

Wash Day. She has to change her look immediately. She has to know that somebody cares. And if you care, you jump on. Truth is, I'm as excited as a kid at Christmas.

In line with one of the premises of this blog, I'm going to shut up. Sort of.

The Captain's chair.
It appears Hunny has found her little niche.

Dig the crazy wallpaper. Where do I get more of that?

At dinner, Tristan said Molly was going to teach him how to play soccer.

Just like on a boat. Molly is our playtub.

Not the ideal sleeping arrangement. I've thought of creating a different layout....but I'm the sort who's drawn more towards restoring than to rebuilding. So the layout stays. As for the upholstery...

Le bon temp rouler!

Today I hit the trifecta: we drove the Travco (Molly) home, my son Blaise turned ten, and my father died.

Molly as in The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Saturday was another gorgeous day in Oregon. The first storm hit, bringing winds and rain. What colors jangled on trees last weekend this weekend carpeted the ground. We drove to Lorane the long way and lunched at the little cafe. Blaise was given a giant cupcake with a candle by the owner. It feels very comfortable being there, especially when outside is driving rain. (There were two grim-looking, obviously very dedicated, thoroughly soaked bicycle riders sitting there when we arrived.)

Ken and his wife, Barbara, were very welcoming. It was good to see Ken again. I think it safely can be said we got more than a motorhome out of this deal. The motorhome: there she sat wearing a what-took-you-so-long expression on her face (if a motorhome can be said to have a face). It was Blaise's first time seeing her. Blaise was our documentarian. He drove back with me in the Travco. The filthy beast. A wasp at one point lazed on the video camera as it rested on the seat, during which period very little documentation occurred. He thought the ride back was cool. And it was. But not nearly so cool as having a ten year-old named Blaise.

The fuel pump didn't work. Jenna had earlier expressed her suspicion it wouldn't. I believed that it would. I believed that there would be absolutely no problems. I do that sometimes. A 1976 problems. Sad. I think all the rain softened my head. After Ken replaced the fuel pump with one out of a Toyota, it was discovered that all that new gas line I installed a few weekends back was connected to the wrong tube. (Gasoline pumped into space. How much did we lose? I had only brought 2 five gallon cans. Could we make it home with what was left?)

Excitement! Drama!

Ken had kindly cleaned the windshield wipers (not that it really helped all that much) and checked Molly's bodily fluids. When she first started up, the coach filled with smoke. Condensation. Steam. Finally, warmed up, her engine cover back on, I climbed behind the wheel. The tilting wheel. My head about eight feet off the ground. Rain chattering against the roof, I depressed the pedal and...well, we drove home, at times perilously close to the shoulder of the road. Obviously, we had enough gas. I dropped Blaise off at the house and he had the camera rolling when, after going around the block, I drove Molly into her new moorage.

And to top everything, I received a call that very evening from Bill, the former owner (one of them, I haven't sorted them all out yet) and we had a great little (insert baby screaming in background) talk about (what else) the Travco. I had to cut and run, get back to being daddy, but I invited him to come over sometime (he lives nearby) and reminisce.

Today, Sunday, I'll steal some time and start washing away the green streaks and moss. Right now Tristan is at my arm pleading for attention, so I gots to run.

And as for my father dying? Well, that's another horse altogether.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

'Twas A Sterling Day Athwart the World

The idea was (there's always an idea) we'd go to Ken's and I would wash the coach whilst the family roamed the land primeval. It is a bit of a drive, and seemed pointless to me to make the trek without the goal of accomplishing something. You know? But that's exactly what we managed to do. We drove there, had lunch at the little cafe, I showed Jenna Ken's old house and we walked the property (of course, she loved it) and then, after a short one-on-one with the Travco (made sure she was dry inside), we drove home. We won't go into how, later on, our son, Tristan, ate too much candy (he sneaked some) and threw up. Or how tired old me had to put shelving up at the school. What would be the point?

The following shots came from last weekend when I was working under the coach's belly.