Blog Entry #1 May 24, 2017: Cary, NC to Blacksburg, VA

Introduction:  The high level of Jeep preparation for this trip has thus far paid off nicely.  Looking back at the major trek that we took to the Western United States in 2013; it is scary just how ill prepared we were for that trip; and even less so for our trek to Mississippi in 2003.

Tech Stuff

This trip’s preparations: Replace 6 volt battery, clean and set ignition points, check timing, gap and replace spark plugs, change oil and filter, grease and lube chassis and drivetrain, rebuild generator, adjust voltage regulator. Since the western USA trek we have replaced all of the electrical wiring, rebuilt the braking system and fitted the Jeep with a dual brake master cylinder.

Anyway, it all paid off – no mechanical problems on the 5 hour, 170 mile back road journey from Cary, NC to Blacksburg, VA. This was particularly comforting on the last leg into Blacksburg which took us up progressively narrower and windier (vertically as well as horizontally) roads until at a couple of points we found ourselves dropping back to 10 mph in first gear on unmarked roads. It was raining lightly, accentuating the variations in green foliage surrounding and covering us on the damp, lush hillsides. It is surprising how much more you can observe at 10mph. Only once had the Jeep’s rear end attempt to pass us on a steep sharp downhill curve. We could almost see our own tail lights on that occasion.

May 24, 2018: Sharp curve back country trekkingsouth of Blacksburg, WV
Blacksburg, WV is the home of Virginia Tech. We selected this as our first stopping point because it is roughly halfway to Huntington, WV, our first formal destination. Ever since living near Ann Arbor, MI, we have enjoyed the eclectic atmosphere of college towns. Our hotel is across the street from the University which is kind of laidback on this time of year.

Next leg would befrom Blacksburg, WV to Huntington, WV for the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Spring Eastern Regional Meet. Our practice of minimal use of highways presented some challenges on the 5 hour, 200 mile trip from Blacksburg to Huntington, WV. Most of the backroads that we traveled were either logging trails or “improved” coal mine access roads. Before starting out, we plan to stop at a local bookstore to pick up some detailed maps to help us plan our route.

Blog Entry #2 May 25, 2017: Blacksburg, WV to Huntington, WV