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TR: Whiskey, Rattlesnakes and Dirt! A Wyoming Westy at play.
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wyomingresident
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:59 am    Post subject: TR: Whiskey, Rattlesnakes and Dirt! A Wyoming Westy at play. Reply with quote

TR: Whiskey, Rattlesnakes and Dirt! A Wyoming Westy at play.

Spring is a low time for me. Coming off of a great ski year is always difficult, and man this is one to remember... I know guys still skiing nearly every day. Our weather, while punctuated by a few days of good weather, has been a Rocky Mountain crappy spring. All rain and snow.

Mrs. Skiing-in-Jackson got tired of me moping about the house and kicked me out on the road. Last Off-Season I went to Moab. This year I wanted to stay in Wyoming.

Points East were the course. Here are the Tetons. I love the Tetons, they are the awesome.

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North of Shoshoni. I wanted to find a spot where I could take a break from driving and this was it! I just drove out into the desert and stopped here:

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Just North of Thermopolis is the home of Wyoming Whiskey in Kirby. I called and asked them for a tour. Wow. I asked if I could snap a few pics and they said it was cool. Some people from town and a guy I used to work on the river together with are partners.

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There were these copper boxes with constant streams of clear liquid flowing inside. Brass locks were placed there by the Feds as the whiskey is not taxable at this point and is not ready to be consumed. I guess it is a procedural point as one could snag a sip anywhere in the process, but rules are rules. I was informed today that Congress in 1964 passed a law decreeing what "bourbon" is and strict laws follow it's distilling, manufacture and aging.

I'm glad to see our government is doing something to protect the average man.

Watching the pure whiskey flow by was memorizing. You can see the stream in the pic. One is @ 120 proof and the second distilling brings it to 130 proof. The color comes from the charred barrels. Although I graduated college from ECU in NC, I never drank a lot of bourbon, I stuck to rum and Natural Light.

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The 100% copper distilling tower was 40 feet tall and was manufactured buy Vendome of Kentucky. Just hearing the interesting history of this company was amazing.

Mash cooking. It looked like the stuff that almost digested the main guy in Waterworld.

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Barrels of Wyoming Whiskey aging, with the Feds in charge of distribution, I got no taste! Whatever. I'm sure it would have been just tasty.

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I was hoping to take my freshly tuned up, primed up Vanagon out on the road. It was bleeding for some road time. I wanted to find some cool roads to explore. Confidence level was high.

I drove a bunch of roads I shouldn't have in the red circles. Outta control!

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I knew there were petroglyphs in the area and wanted to see them. I was taking a break from the dusty roads and a white hybrid mini BLM SUV rolled up. They asked me if i was there to see the petroglyphs and I said, "Oh Yeah"! I was informed the site- about 3 miles down this rough dirt road was closed due to vandals. They got me through the locked gate then split to do their own thing, I told them I'd meet them at the parking lot in a little bit. I guess they trusted me.

Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Things usually work out just fine.

What's a Spring trip without petroglyphs?

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And this crazy alien guy carrying a laser hammer:

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You can see the graffiti scrawled across this drawing here. Somebody needs to be castrated.

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This was an especially interesting one:

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^^^Wait a minute... WTF!!! I'm sure this guy was real popular around camp. Must have been eating those elk antlers again. This guy is my hero.

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I drove right up to this thing. Lest we forget where life as we know it comes from:

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I almost ran over this guy. He was relaxing in the warm Spring sun. I'm lucky the Man doesn't come rolling over me when I'm relaxing. He was maybe six feet long- and in the middle of the road. At this point I was way out there and didn't grab his tail (like I almost did). Driving to the hospital with a rattlesnake bite would have sucked:

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They weren't fooling.

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These guys below refused to get out of the road. I came to a complete stop once and they stayed out front of me. So I gave em a run for their money. I this picture I'm going about thirty and they are moving along so sweat. I slowed down again to give them a chance to duck into the sage, but no, they wanted to race and took off ahead. I eventually reached about 45 mph behind them then they moved off into the sagebrush. I've had them run out in front of me- and pass- at 60+.

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This is really a pic of my sweet Redline Monocog. Set up 32 x 20 w/ 2.3 tires. Sooo much fun to ride...anywhere. This was a fork in the road where I made some lunch. It is great to have a bike to stop anywhere and take a break from the driving. Also, I treat my bike like a dingy as it may have to transport me to safety in the event of a catastrophic mechanical failure. Which has happened in the past.

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I'm very proud of my new tires. I was expecting them to be loud on the pavement, but they were very quiet. Big Horn Maxxis 27x8.5x14.

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Ahhh...Roadside repairs:

Hmmm, where do I start... my mechanical nirvana didn't last too long.

Once the engine got really hot (me thought) it was running rough, not usually the case and I found this broken vacuum line. I carry an impressive array of tools and repir parts. They are in my Bus if I drive to Wilson or anywhere. F*CK! I had no fittings to replace this, as there was a reduction in hose diameter:

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Imaginative thinking was on the order. I tried a few things, but eventually I cut up a Wells Fargo pen from the drive thru and inserted in onto the lines like this- worked great.

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Fix broken vacuum line, adjust timing (2x), Bus still running like sh!t- replace fuel filter, bus still running sub par, check fuel lines and drive home pseudo tail between legs figuring out fuel issue. I had a old but working fuel pump on me, but was too lazy to replace it. That would have been the cure. Vanagons hate fuel pumps and consume one about every 18 months- not matter how much or little you drive.

Re: Things just working out (again): I originally split town to get some projects finished- I have several things I'm way behind on. I was diligent and did my work- and ran into the guy who I was supposed to get it to the day after I returned. Sweet!

Thanks for reading!
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1621
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AWESOME trip report! Love the photos and the backstories. We definitely need more of these on this forum instead of more conversion debates and change your fuel line comments. Thanks for sharing!
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aswah
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for posting... now I need a trip! This year we are only taking a few short ones then next summer doing a two month Alaska Trip... great pictures and thanks for posting
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enjoyed but I know one place I won't go, have a snake phobea.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story & drive. Thanks for not running over Mr Snake -- I brake for all reptiles.

We've travelled quite a bit in WY but I know there are many places we've yet to discover. Glad the petroglyphs were mostly intact -- more and more they have to keep those (and other archaeological sites) a guarded secret to protect them from the knuckleheads.
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Classicvibe
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done post! Your reporting was great, and among other things, it helps us to visualize places to take (or not) our vans. Everyone loves to see another van owner using the van as it should be used. I tried posting a step-by-step adventure about my daily commute to work, it just didn't have the same effect.
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RGS Paul
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the photos, looks like it was a blast.

99% sure that's a Gopher snake by the way, completely harmless. Good job not running over him or messing with him anyway, best not to touch snakes unless you are sure of the species.

Paul
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fastwagens
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

very cool and great pics.
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purplepeopleeater
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice mcgyver move there.

Also, interesting native porn there...even back then perverts wrote on bathroom walls Very Happy
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love it. My favorite way to roll: miles of road, a few ideas and NO schedule.

Well done! Who's next? Wink

<jealous>
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Mundopacheco
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realize this is not a fuel pump thread, but I wanted to make a comment. It was mentioned that Vanagons consume a fuel pump every 18 months. These things are 20+ years old now and you can expect all the nastiness that you might get from any 20+ year old fuel tank. Moral of the story : replace your fuel tank with new, install a new pump and filter, and replace all fuel lines.
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wyomingresident
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just did all of that stuff, or at least most of it.

I am amazed at the ability of how one tank of bad gas shuts down a Vanagon. I can change a fuel filter in about two minutes and not get a drop of gas on me.

The bog crap shoot for me = picking gas stations on the road.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wyomingresident wrote:
...The bog crap shoot for me = picking gas stations on the road.


That's one reason why we fill up at half a tank -- to reduce the effect of any one station (other reason is an old guy thing).

I also carry a bottle of gas treament just in case (for the tank, not my prostate).
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psych-illogical
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not wanting to continue the fuel-pump-life diversion, I just wanted to say, nice trip report. Thanks for posting. I agree with others here that people oughta do more of these. I think most of us purchase our Westy's (or tin tops for that matter) with at least some dreams of adventure. I'm sure that not all of us follow through on those dreams but many do. I'd love to see more TRs on this forum. Heck, the motorcycle forum I spend a lot of time on is DOMINATED by TRs. Fun to read and adds fuel to the fire.
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