Sneaking a peek

If you wou’d not be forgotten
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worth reading,
or do things worth the writing.

from Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard, An Almanack For the Year of Christ 1738, Being the Second after Leap Year, invoking an adage of the day

After dinner last night we accepted an invitation from our hosts to venture past the edge of the campground and beyond the trees to see the progress they’ve made on expanding the park. We thought they’d never ask.

From our campsite we’ve heard the trees fall and felt the earth move, and we’ve seen the trucks come and go. Our curiosity has been killing us since we were here in May. So we happily boarded Mercy, dropped the transfer case into 4WD and crawled up the rough and rutted road to the construction site.

What we saw took our breath away.

The project basically doubles the physical size of this campground, with new sites and expanded amenities set on a hilltop surrounded by woods. As much as we love this place now, we can’t wait to come back and park Ernie in this new section.

That’ll happen, by the way. Deb and I are already talking about returning in mid-October for fall foliage in The Ozarks.


Mercy was equipped by the previous owner with a number of aftermarket bits, none of which came with instructions. We’ve downloaded what manuals we can — we do that a lot anyway — and we’ve watched a bunch of video tutorials.

Today I devoted my early morning to figuring out how to retract the soft top, which was both obvious and easy, and remove the upper door panels, which was even easier but not immediately obvious.

I saw no latches or clips on the panels. Exerting a little force here and there, carefully, I looked for something that moved in the right direction. It took me about a minute to discover that each panel simply lifts straight up and off. Three pins register them to the lower doors, and they stay solidly in place whether the doors are open or closed.

Folding back the top is a matter of releasing a pair of latches at the upper edge of the windshield frame, above the sun visors, and pivoting the front section of the top to the rear, lifting it by its hinged bow.

I also took a look at how the rear panel over the tailgate comes off, but I didn’t remove it today.

This, I believe, will be the extent to which Mercy goes “topless.” There’s much more we could do — it’s a Jeep, after all. We can remove the entire top and even the doors if we want to. We’ll have to see how it goes.


No doubt about it, and just as I predicted, Ubi Libertas Blog has changed. From its beginnings nine months ago as daily commentary on politics, policy, culture and public life, with a focus on Liberty, it’s become intensely personal — a travelogue, a collection of observations, a recounting of a day in the life.

This life. My life.

The quotation at the top of today’s post came to mind recently. I got to thinking about how it applies to Ubi Libertas Blog.

I’ve always tried to write stuff worth reading, and your kind compliments tell me that I’ve been somewhat successful in that regard. For most people there would be no reason to do anything more, or anything different.

Thing is, for a long time I wasn’t sure I was living a life worth writing about. Now I believe I am. And these days that’s what I mean to capture in this blog.

The guy who spouts minutia about RVing and describes what he had for dinner is still the guy who’s committed to Liberty and would die to defend it. This unconventional American Life I live on the road — and writing about it — doesn’t diminish Liberty.

It’s an expression of it.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath