I have not posted or visited blogs this week, as there have been a lot of things going on. Late last week I decided to replace my 96 Chevy Blazer as it has been a "money pit" for the last few years.
It loved gasoline even more than I love Diet Mountain Dew, which is saying something. In addition the air conditioning compressor died, the front driver's seat needed re-upholstered and I no longer trusted it on long trips as its' wheel bearings and CV joints had been subjected to a daily diet of stream crossings, which is not conductive to longevity.
Friday was mostly devoted to making the deal for a 2005 Ford Escape, and then cleaning out the Blazer and transferring my base of operations to a 2001 Ford Escape, which I have used for the past year for long distance photographic trips and general- purpose travel. The 2005 Escape in turn will replace the 2001 for this purpose.
It is with mixed feelings that I think about subjecting the 2001 Escape to the beating that I gave the Blazer and two Ford Ranger pickup trucks before it. I wish I had had someone photograph some of the stream crossings I have made with these vehicles. Once I was crossing when two people were traveling down stream by canoe. One shook his head, and said, "I don't think I would have done that!" It basically boils down to a choice between a twenty minute to 1/2 hour drive to reach my favorite spot if one doesn't cross the stream, and goes to the nearest bridge, or five minutes or less if one uses the fording, which is featured in the post of April 30th.
For those of you who are familiar with Tom Wigley and his famous Land Rover, I must say that I still think he has me beat. I have seen photos of him crossing water much deeper than I and the Blazer have attempted.
I was in Pennsylvania's Elk Range from Monday afternoon and returned Thursday afternoon. It was a moderately productive trip and I hope to post photos from that trip soon, and return to visiting your blogs.