It didn't work, still overheating.           Starting to think I need another power plant.


Acid Cleaning

 I did score some acid crystals and was ready to run a mix through the cooling system of the lil Draggin. I had been putting this off while I did some walling of the cargo bed. I'd been wanting to make boarding harder for others and maybe keep my stuff a bit more “unseen”.
 Coming to the Compound had given me the chance to do some of this work and also relocate my entire fuel processing system inboard. I now felt it was together enough to do a run out and give the acid a good amount of time to do it's work at running temps.


Bridges Down

  Not knowing if the “closure” was natural or man-made, I rolled on with caution, senses on high alert.
 A few miles in I see where the road had been damaged and repaired at a wash crossing. So far it was looking like this had been caused by storms and flash flooding, that eased some of the tension. Passing that I soon came to a crossroad in what was once a small, even tiny, community. Now most of the buildings were slowly turning into mounds of desert weathered wood, corrugated roofing, and the never ending, wind blown, array of plastic based trash. To think that at one time they thought it was a good idea to make anything they could out of something that didn't easily breakdown into dirt.
  Turning west I continue on for a bit before running into another “Road Closed” blockade. I skirt this one as well and roll on. Some distance on I find the cause, a bridge that's been flood damaged and no longer connects to the broken pavement of the road.
  I work my way down into the dry wash and bypass the ruined bridge. Some time later I discover another one and do the same.

 A few more stops to top off the heat exchanger with water and I arrive at the Oasis compound. By now I know I won't be pushing on to the Big Playa with the lil Draggin' in this condition.


Rolling West

  Leaving the Rock Farm I overheat twice in short order (I was hoping the first was just because it had been leaking a bit from the lower hose). Seems like the work on the heat exchanger didn't help any.

 Finally I cross the last set of mountains and start down to the River, this time of year I'm sure the radiation level is high, but there's no other way around w/o going far out of my way.
 Sure enough, I'm reading high yellow on the gauges, temps at 117, and I'm overheating on the downhill. Damn, I'm going to have to stop and let it cool, . . . while I try not to burn.

 Crossing the River I have two choices, and one has no chance of topping up water. I take the other and start climbing a mountain pass, this will get me out of the burn zone and into cooler temps . . . it just may take stopping a few times on the way up.

 Part way up the sun drops behind the peaks, good time to stop, let it cool, and wire in the new driving lights I've been hauling around. Earlier this season I had changed out a failing switch, now was the time to test it w/ these new lights.
 With the lighting I was able to roll at night, that and the lower temps were giving me longer runs between overheats. That worked until late in the night when I pulled off of the route and into a spot where turning around or night backing was going to be a major challenge, not an ambush so . . . a place to sleep for the night.

 In the morning I find a quick turn-around and start moving south off the main route.
 I drive around the “Road Closed” blockage and keep my eyes open, comms on.
 Last year this way was open.



 My encampment was not far from this abandoned dwelling site.

 With the remains of rock quarries in the distance.

 While here I found someone that had the, almost lost, skill of working on metal heat exchange units.


The Rock Farm

 I had picked up some build work out at our friends' place, a place they called the “Rock Farm”. The land there was a mass of ancient lava rocks and dust that became caustic mud at every rain. The work was to create a deck that would allow outside activities in most conditions. They had a source for milled lumber and a way to move it. So it was time to move out there and set up camp for real.


Crew Separates

  Seven days here working on little upgrades. Like getting that panel I've been hauling around wired in. Getting closer to having some power accessible in the shelter.

  Stykz headed north to work on a project up at the big Playa. The plan is to reconnect 3 full moons from now. I'm going to relocate out to what my friends call their “Rock Farm”. Will be doing some build work out there.



 Last night I woke up twice, soaking wet w/ toxic sweat, and once in the early morn to a spattering of rain. At least the burn part is over, now I'll spend an unknown amount of time trying to clear the stuff out of my lungs.

 We late started the day heading into the next valley south. This valley has managed to stay as one of the healthier places around. Here we'll pick up both food stock and some supplies for Stykz to work w/.
 We feel safe enough to split up and do separate missions while listening to the air waves just in case.

 Stocked, we meet back up and start rolling farther north and back into the trees. As we move out of the valley and start climbing, the Draggin' blows the last of it's coolant. I search for a place to pull off the pavement and find the remnants of some foundation.

 It's nice to see flowers blooming as if it's just a normal spring.



 I knew better, rolling down into the valley w/o wearing my face-filter, now I think I'm toxic.

 The day started ok, we did a bunch of brake tweekin and got them into a state that we were willing to roll w/. It was going to be a lot of down hill until we reached the valley, then a small climb out the other side. We didn't need to stop for anything other than water and Stykz topping of his tank w/ some of the local fuel. The last time I rolled through here the air quality was only mid-yellow on my gauges, didn't even check this time.


Crawling to the Edge

 I sat watching as Stykz pushed most of his rather recently scavenged items out of his mech. It was, to say the least, amusing. All in his quest to find that centipede that had somehow been imported into Syma.

 Just one of the many minor adventures that we'd experienced in the last couple nights.


Water Canyon

  After departing Uranium Springs we made for the water course that I'd spotted on the way here. We spend the first night near that capped rock and did some scouting for a better space. Following the water course upstream the canyon became deeper and deeper. After a bit we found a spot that looked like it would work for us, the next morning we moved.
This became our camp for the next several days.

The canyon here was deep enough that we never were able to get down to the water.


Rare Views

 The heavy ion storms seemed to cause the Blasted Lands to glow. We suited up and went out to capture some images.

 I've heard from the residents that the recent storms have caused the greening of the vegetation. This is unusual and they've not seem it before.  


Storm Clouds

Having gotten our camp set up, as much as we could w/o the rest of the crew, we watched as storm clouds started rolling in.


Blasted Lands

 Before it got dark yesterday I found a track w/ almost nothing for recent travel. I followed that for a bit, skirting some severe erosion, and came out on the edge. This seemed like a safe enough place for the night.

 In the near distance was an abandoned home-site (I check for squatters) already stripped of anything scavengeable.

This was my view into the Blasted Lands this morn.

 Time to head in and find their enclave.


Crew & Water

Today I started out in the direction of Uranium Springs. An enclave of survivors that are celebrating another spring. Having heard of this happening, from someone last fall, I decide to meet the Crew there for a little funnin' in a safe haven before our cycle of travel begins.

The Crew, having separated last winter to spend some time w/ their tribes and families, or accomplish some personal missions, had chosen this place to re-gather before our summer travels.

So far the thought of funnin was getting thinner.


Mud Draggin'

 The gathering of Explorers, w/ mechs designed to handle the conditions of travel found far from any kind of assistance, turned into an event of snow, rain, and mud. I spent a solid two days, and part of a third, pulling their mechs out from the mud pit that the dry lake bed we camped on the edge of became.
 Guess who's mech was one of the most suited to that kind of situation.

 Now I get to chill and recoup up under the trees away from the mud for a day.



Yesterday, late, I rolled into a friends property. Some place to park-up a few nights before heading to the gathering. This community, though small, has itself a bit together w/ a working power grid. A pole that I can pull up to on the property is a luxury.



 Before reaching what passes for a river out here, I have overheated twice and dumped a decent amount of crankcase oil out. Seems that I have major issues w/ leaking main seals and unknown issues w/ the cooling.

 I swing farther north to avoid the nuclear burn zone and work my way up what's left of pavement though the mountains. The way is slow (just my style) and amazingly beautiful.

 Overheating once on the climb I stop to let the Draggin' cool and make myself some food. Hangin in the shade of the trailer and eating I set my canteen on the wheel. Once I pull out and start climbing again I realize it was still there when I started. Turning a "U" I go back and find it's still whole, run-over but still whole, sometimes I am fortunate. 



 Finely, after two weeks from my last transmission, I'm rolling . . . and hoping I did it all the right way.

 My first run takes me across one of the wastes before swinging around the edge of the second and arriving at a gathering of travelers. This run also has me rolling w/o any support mechs, if I have probs and can't fix it myself I could be in deep.

 I park-up just into the first wasteland, it's late and this will give me the whole day to deal w/ any issues that arise on the morrow.


Tear down

 A couple days of removing all the parts needed and I was down to this.