Arriving in Coos Bay we decided to plan a road trip to our family cabin in Syringa, Idaho. Both my sisters' families were planning a visit to the cabin so it was a great opportunity to catch up with family and have some fun.
Kathy looked at car rental options and also came up with a list of cars for sale on www.Craigslist.org. I vetted the list and made a few calls. One car in particular seemed to be an exceptional deal, but it was located in Newport, Oregon over 100 miles North. I called about the car and satisfied with what I heard asked the seller if he could deliver the car to Coos Bay. I figured that if the car could make the 100 mile three hour drive it would likely serve us well. The seller agreed and later in the day we were packed for our trip and driving the seller back to his home in Newport. The car is a vintage Honda Prelude and would have been new when I was in sixth grade. However, the car is in exceptional shape, having been garaged and well maintained. The best part being the price, $750. The seller represented the car 'might' have a problem with the charging system and the car ominously included a spare battery and battery charger in the trunk. None the less it ran great and we dropped the seller off in Newport. The next day we drove to Corvallis and along the way the car died in the middle of a construction zone. No problem, we just quickly swapped out the battery from the trunk and proceeded to the nearest wrecking yard to obtain an alternator. After some lunch I installed the alternator. Unfortunately, I found more than a few gremlins lurking in the electrical system. Namely some fool had installed a Chevy alternator in the Honda and totally botched up the wiring and modified the mounting bracket. A long story short, the charging system was still a mess. We drove up to Portland and stayed with our friend Jeff and the next morning headed for Idaho. Since the car was so vintage it really didn't have much in the way of electrical needs so we abstained from listening to the radio and using the lights and made the 400+ mile drive no problem.
At the Idaho cabin we had a great week plus of playing in the river, kayaking and tubing some pretty fierce rapids. We also took a short hike to some hot springs. My uncle John is replacing the aged cabin and so we had a few work projects over the course of the week as well. We built a small natural stone retaining wall and peeled a few logs that will decorate the new front porch. It was great to see my sisters and hang out with my nieces and nephews.
While in Idaho I dropped the car at a local electrical shop for three days and with the intent of getting the charging system sorted out. The profiteer was a man of few words and simply asked if I wanted the car fixed. I said yes, and he said pick it up on Tuesday. I returned on Tuesday and he said the charging system was broken, duh!, and that I owed $90 and no, he had not checked on availability of parts or otherwise done anything. I decided to cut the losses and fix the car myself.
We then drove to Pullman, Washington for lunch and a walk around the campus at my Alma Mater, Washington State University. Back on the road we headed for my friend Terrys' house in North Bend, Washington where we had a great salmon BBQ and caught up.
Next stop Bremerton, Washington for my 20 year High school reunion and some fun catching up with high school buddies.
Then back to Portland to stop at Kent and Heathers home. We met Kent and Heather in Belize a few years ago cruising. They are now back on dry land for a time, but kindly act as our Oregon shipping address and mail drop. We've ordered lots of parts for the boat lately and it's always fun to stop by their house and hang out. We stayed at Jeffs' house again for the night. Thanks Jeff for your endless hospitality and putting up with our short notice visits.
Then back to Coos Bay. We parked the car and sailed the boat up to Newport, then hitch hiked back to Coos to pick up the car. Got a ride with a great old local fisherman and enjoyed tons of great stories during the three hour ride back to our car. Thanks for the ride Jack!
Before we left Newport I stopped at Napa Auto parts and to my utter surprise they had the parts on the shelf in their store to fix up the Honda, so next time we'll be driving a car with an operating charging system. Looking forward to the use of the headlights, windshield wipers, heater and stereo. The Honda is going to be a great little car for the next year or so. If all goes well we may even make a few hundred dollars when we sell it. Knock on wood.