It was the most beautiful hike we have yet to be on: Colorful flower blooms lined the trail and the most breathtaking mountain cliff sunset and sunrise made this hike extraordinarily magical.
Welcome to New York where people hustle on the sidewalks faster than the cars on the roads and where the sounds of horns, exhausts, advertisements, music, more explode in the air. New York, an alternate fairytale where skyscrapers are enchanted and stretch so tall that they become invisible in the clouds and where colors — loud and sharp — blur to create a vibrant energy all its own . . .
With nearly every exterior light not working, we soon found the culprits: Wires were scattered with butt and screw-on connectors while other wires were cut without protection on the ends and therefore frayed ends splayed. Still more wires were leading to, well, unused wires. And all of this was apparently our Cortez’s norm.
Once more our Cortez refuses to fire up, leaving us on the hunt for a matching alternator, only to learn it would be our first Cortez part that did not have an exact match.
Andy and I stood back to look long and hard at our work. Even though it was a small task, this was our first job we could see, our first visual gratification . . .
Sure we could be embarrassed about admitting that we forgot to use our 1965 Clark Cortez’s choke . . . but instead, we are simply happy it means we can ditch the starter fluid and get our motorhome running easily!
It took six days — six long days — to tackle our brakes. It started with our first horror-filled rides in the Cortez then continued to a blend of wrong parts, sawed off brake lines, and angle-grinded exhaust pipes. However, it ended with us finishing the job, which I can say now — There’s no better feeling of accomplishment!
We followed the trail of flowers where butterflies danced in front of us, zooming in and out of the blooms to suck more nectar . . .
“LET’S DRIVE IT AWAY!” I yelled over the roar of our beast’s engine, pointing straight ahead to an unseen spot in the future where we would be traveling down some backcountry dirt road, following the Milky Way. Andrew honked and honked and honked the horn because OUR CORTEZ STARTED!
It’s our first stop at the Cortez since it was delivered and we learn it has a dead starter and corroded engine wires.
But we expected issues like this — and we will continue to expect this as we work on our fifty-four-year-old motorhome. But hey, we chose this because we don’t want easy. We want different.
Sure, there are discussions on ensuring all preparations are in order. There are talks on planning routes. There are conversations on emergencies. These, though, are not ones that we wanted to share. Here are our vanlife ramblings . . .
We’re expanding our blog in two major ways, which will hopefully assist others interested in accomplishing similar dreams!
As we work to refurbish, modernize, and customize our 1965 Clark Cortez motorhome, we are tracking costs and hours. Here is that overview.
In an effort to document our Clark Cortez’s overhaul progress, here is a breakdown of what we have completed and what is to come.
After our Cortez had its first inspection by Mechanic Andrew, here is what was uncovered.