July 3rd, 2011

Now that the trip is finishing its second week, I thought it would be good to talk a little bit about my horse car, Sam.

Sam as a new car, June 2010

Sam has been a trouper on the journey so far.  About 10% of the total miles for the trip have been covered, and he has done it with aplomb.  He just keeps going and going.

One of the major expenses for the trip is gasoline.  Sam’s EPA rating for highway mileage is about 25 MPG, but thus far on the trip he has far surpassed that.  With the AC going pretty much all the time, and at 70+ MPH speeds on cruise control, he has been averaging about 28 MPG.

He laughs at hills.  He blows by other cars when passing.  He handles well, even with the 150 pounds of cargo box and hockey gear sitting on his hitch.

Sam on the Icefields Parkway in Jasper NP

The only problem so far occurred just outside of Dawson Creek, BC when a mean ol’ Nissan kicked up a rock that put a star in Sam’s windshield.  Given the nature of the chip, I knew that it would evolve into a large crack if not promptly treated, so I stopped at the first store that I knew would both be open on a holiday (Canada Day) and stock the necessary salve: Walmart.

I got the repair kit, found some shade in the parking lot in the shadow of an RV, and set to work.  Things might have gone better if the syringe hadn’t had a crack in it, if the RV had stayed parked, or if the adhesive donut applicator thing hadn’t failed under pressure (spewing resin all over the place), but I think the repair was mostly successful.  The chip is still visible, but the star pattern is mostly gone.  Sam will be getting a new windshield soon anyway due to a crack that’s mostly concealed by my Minnesota State Parks sticker, but I’m trying to delay that as long as possible due to the hassle of finding a replacement on the road.

Sam has surgery after taking a rock to the forehead

What Sam needs now is a good bath.  He looks like a good Subaru — that is, muddy — but I don’t think the numerous bugs are good for his paint.  I’ve sprayed him down a few times along the way, but I really need to spend an hour or so to give him a long soaking and maybe a new coat of wax.  Wouldn’t hurt to vacuum his interior, too.

So yes, on the car front, everything has been great.  I’ll do my best not to make you hit a moose, Sam!

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  1. mom
    July 3rd, 2011 at 23:54 | #1

    Glad to hear that Sam’s surgery was mostly successful and that Wal-Mart was there for you in your time of need!

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