Thursday, March 31, 2016

Life On the Road - 2015

I've been quite the blog-slacker during the past year-and-whatever.  I even don't have any really good excuses other than just living life, driving Ol' Rusty, and working on other projects/hobbies.  I mean, it's not like your just sitting there, clicking the refresh button every few minutes, anxiously awaiting another riveting post about your favorite internet car noob, right?  Right?  You HAVE?  Seriously?  Wow, I'm speechless.  I had no idea.  I really feel terrible now.   Well, then you're going to be even more disappointed in this rather insubstantial drivel that I'm about to unleash on the unsuspecting cloud, that henceforth can never be removed from the virtual wasteland that is "the internet" (much like an errant Kardashian selfie).

Since my last blog entry, Ol' Rusty has logged 4,400 miles.  Mostly back road drives on weekends,  after work, and several smaller shows and cruises.   However, there has also been a few more substantial memories which I will share with you now.

September, 2014:

We try to take a drive on the Old Columbia Gorge Highway once a year, this year we took it in Ol' Rusty and weren't disappointed by the weather, the scenery, or the experience.  We stayed on back roads (Hwy 212) all the way from our house, up to Troutdale, OR, and onto the Historic Columbia River Highway.   We visited each of the historic sites along the route such as Multnomah Falls,  the many other water falls, and the historic Vista House.  We continued winding down this narrow, flashback to a simpler time beneath the reddening maple branches and along the Victorian style ornate concrete guard rail until we reached the end of the historic leg at which time we exited onto the bustling I84. We then drove up I84 to the Bonneville Dam where the Federal guard joked that he may need to confiscate our car to which we chuckled, nervously.  After touring the facility, we continued East through The Gorge to the small town of Cascade Locks, OR to get ice cream at the Eastwind Drive-In.   After we stuffed ourselves, rolled back onto our feet, and bottomed out the shocks on the unfortunate car, we drove back West on I84 back towards Portland, and home.  There are few drives more beautiful than this and I strongly recommend the experience with or without a classic car. 

A view from the parking lot of Vista House
The WHOLE family.  The fuzzy one is "Angel".

A look at the damn.. err dam.

October, 2014:

Later in October, we joined our club, the Mustang Wranglers, for the annual "Fruit Loop Tour" cruise.  The area around Hood River, OR is known for its many orchards and agriculture.   In the month of October, during the Fall harvest, the various orchards and farms open to the public.  The Mustang Wranglers gather up a parade of cars and drive this Fruit Loop route stopping by several choice orchards and pumpkin patches for the hording of much produce.  It's amazing how much harvest can be stored in the trunk of a Mustang, like the cheeks of a squirrel preparing for Winter.

Parked among the apple trees.
A farm.

Another farm.

July, 2015:

It seems that the most memorable events we've attended were made possible by our membership in the Mustang Wranglers club.   The Wranglers get invited to some pretty spectacular stuff, and, by extension, so do we.

The 2015 Oregon International Air Show at the Hillsboro, OR airfield was an incredible opportunity to park our Mustang on one of the runways as an additional attraction for the air show.  In doing so, we got a front-seat view of the performances.  Although the temperature on the tarmac was 95 that day, we were able to setup a canopy to hide under to try to stay cool.  This particular air show included performances by the Blue Angels, Lucas Oil Jump Team, The Red Tail Squadron, the C-130 "Fat Albert", and many other stunt performances.

Sitting on the tarmac.

Watching a "hammer head" maneuver.

Mustang Love.
September, 2015:

The 6th Annual Cruise to Historic Downtown Oregon City was a fun car show where several square blocks of the downtown area of Oregon City, OR was filled with various cars.  The Mustang Wranglers took over one street of an entire block.  It's a relaxing event with lots to see as you walk around the town, chatting with other car enthusiasts and visiting the quaint local stores and restaurants.

Classic grace among modern muscle.


March, 2016:

Fast forward to March 18, 2016;  The date of the 60th Annual Portland Roadster Show at the Portland Oregon Expo Center.  Again, the Mustang Wranglers were invited to take part in an amazing event, this time setting up a Mustang display in a huge, historic show of primarily high-end vehicles.  We were lucky enough to be chosen among the six cars to participate.   Guests of the show included Chip Foose and Dave Kindig.  It was at this event in 2010 that I met Foose and received a signed jacket (for free) and "Jack" from Gold Rush in 2014.

Our club met up in Hillsboro, OR on the preceding Wednesday and then drove as a kind of a group to the Expo Center about 20 miles away.  I say "kind" of a group because it's really hard to stay grouped up on heavy traffic on Hwy 26 into downtown Portland but we all got there at fairly close times.  We setup our display and then I hitched a ride back home with our awesome club President, Dan.  We went back to spectate on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and then, finally, on Sunday afternoon to drive Ol' Rusty back to the ranch.  We didn't meet any celebrities this time around but it was a really cool experience and it was great to get to park in the vendor lot with a three-day vendors pass.

There were so many great cars there that I can't post all of the 140 pictures I took.  I'll just share some of my favorites.

The Wrangers display

Ol Rusty standing proud with her high-end buddies.

A Foose creation

There's just never quite enough horse power.

I loved this 38 Cabriolet.  Watch those speed bumps!

Such a cool little bus.  Isetta-like front and a hunched stance.

The Bat Mobile before Batman was cool

What more can I say?

I loved this car mostly for it's ornamental "easter egg".
So, those are the highlights of our year.   I've ordered the parts to install my freshly-rebuilt AOD transmission.  We'll catch you up again soon I hope.

Update 4/6/2015:

The temperature in April climbed into the high 70's today which was pretty rare.  So, I loaded up the family to take a top-down drive to get dinner at the Dairy Queen in Canby, OR.  My wife suggested we take the Canby Ferry which is a ferry service across the Willamette River between Wilsonville and Canby.  We pulled onto the ferry behind one other vehicle; A late(er)-model Porsche Carrera.  After the ferry got under-way whom should extricate himself from the little car but a rather large, bearded, man who looked very familiar to us.  "Oh my God, it's Todd Hoffman", I muttered to my wife.  He got out of his car and followed the ferry operator into his cabin for a few minutes, presumably for a crash course at ferry driving.  When he was finished, he came out and asked what year Ol' Rusty was.  I answered his question and asked him one of my own; If he would have the time for a selfie.  He agreed, we took the selfie, and parted ways.   Oh and the Dairy Queen Bruschetta sandwhich was delicious!

Todd Hoffman stars in Discovery's Gold Rush TV Show (if you didn't know)


  1. THERE YOU ARE! You never call, you never write.......LOL! Sero=iously, I am thrilled to hear you have been enjoying the Mustang so much. What fantastic memories are made with your family. Aint this what it's all about?! Thanks for the update!

    1. Thanks Sven! I'm sorry I haven't been haunting the blogs lately but it looks like your amazing build is coming together nicely! Take care.

  2. You're living the Mustang dream I hope to one day. When that is??? Who knows!?!?!

  3. I bought a 1968 Mustang today.
    I blame this blog for making me want one. :-)

    1. LOL! I'd like to say that I'm sorry for that Keith, but I'm NOT! Muahahahhaha! :-) Enjoy your new hobby/project! Congrats!

  4. Thanks, I plan to enjoy it as much as the rust will let me. ;-)

  5. Great story and pics Alex! Yes, you keep our dreams alive of someday driving our own cars. Looking forward to getting back to SusieQ and spending a little quality time under the hood!!!


    1. Thanks RJ! Wow, I had no idea what you've been up to for the past year or so. Great job on that AgBot. As a software developer with a hobby interest in embedded systems and mechanization, robots "Do it" for me. :-)

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