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Owings Mills, MD
Miles Today: 0
Total Miles: 450
Days on the Road: 21

"Come to kindly terms with your ass, for it bears you."
This space left intentionally blank as punishment for forgetting our camera yesterday. We saw so many great signs and, get this, buzzards eating a carcass. Never again.
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Badunkadunk's Rethunk (Vanagain)
N 39°23.878 W 76°48.807
Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 - Day 21

Hey look what we got!

Yes, we've done a complete about-face. A few days ago we were completely convinced we were going to buy a new car. We were talking about dropping 6 grand, or more, like it was a foregone conclusion. We were looking at several candidates to be Badunkadunk Jr, but it only took one of them to get us to rethink our whole strategy.

Yesterday we drove out to Hagerstown, MD, to have a look at a 1988 Vanagon. It was beautiful on the outside, and ran strong, but something about it didn't grab us. John Muir writes in How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive that before even starting a prospective VW, you should "Walk around or find a quiet place, assume the good old Lotus and let the car be the thing." Of course this book was writeen in 1962 or so, and also uses terms like 'bread', 'cat', and 'karma' quite liberally. We laughed about the Lotus advice, and honestly I'm laughing about it still, but in a way he was right on, as they say. The car just didn't feel right. The inside was pretty dirty, which was a bit off-putting, if not a huge problem, and it was this light blue color which felt cold and icky. Badunkadunk on the other hand, is all about the wood paneling and earth tones. It's warm in there; homey. We like it, and it's where we live, at least in theory. (Our butts are in Owings Mills but our hearts are in... Asheville).

There's also something about the newer Vanagons that feels too... regular. They sit a bit lower to the ground, the seats are comfier, they have power steering and they're so quiet that you don't even have to yell to be heard by the person sitting right next to you. Who needs that? The headlights aren't even round. (They work, however, which can't currently be said for Badunkadunk's, but hey, who needs to drive at night?) We took the car for a ride, put her through her paces, and were unimpressed. It didn't feel like home.

So, there you go. We've changed our minds. We're taking some of the money we would have poured into a new car and pouring it into this one. We're embracing our car, loving it, fixing it. Not abandoning it. It was bad karma, man, it had all us cats feeling blue.

Today we ordered our new engine, pictured above, from Fast German Auto in California. On top of that, we're going to put it in ourselves. We'll have help, Anthony's brother has been kind enough to offer his much needed assistance, and we're thinking of flying the Niederman in for some contract work. We also ordered a couple of books. That should do it.

Bear with us as this process unfolds. We realize this isn't much of a roadtrip so far. Believe us, nobody realizes it like we do. Soon this site will have grease all over it and everyone (all 10 of you) can be entertained by our ridiculous fumblings as we perform a heart transplant on our beloved Badunk. We promise to take lots of pictures.

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yesterday tomorrow