Deb and I didn’t get back to the campground yesterday ’til well after dark. We’d spent the afternoon on The Mountain, lingering longer than usual — she was dogsitting for her cousin at the cabin, while I was occupied at his garage doing maintenance on the Ranger.
Bonus #1 We were there late enough to take in the sunset.
Bonus #2: For the first time since we boosted Mercy’s lighting, we got to try it out in real-world conditions. The setup worked exactly the way we hoped it would, giving us a lot more spread and a bit more throw.
The maintenance I accomplished yesterday on the UTV was basic and unambitious. I pulled the cover off the buggy and carefully cleaned the cab’s polycarbonate windows. (We do like to photograph our adventures, and now our pictures will be clearer.) I pulled the winch cable all the way out and inspected it, finding one suspicious kink we’ll need to keep an eye on.
The Ranger’s latches — cab doors, cargo bed — were stiff and balky, so I hit all of them with generous shots of white lithium grease. The doors are designed to lift off, but the passenger door refused to budge. A little more grease solved that problem, too.
Finally, I disconnected the battery and removed it to get a better look at electrolyte levels, topping-off all the cells with distilled water. We still may replace the wet-cell with an AGM, but so far, so good with this one.
I expect my next round of puttering to address chassis lubrication — each of the 11 zerk fittings (two on each A-arm, two on the sway bar and one on the shaft) will get a shot of grease. I’ll check and adjust tire pressures, and while we have the air compressor running I’ll remove the air filter element and blow the dust off the best I can.
The airbox on the Ranger, by the way, is located at the rear of the engine, smack-dab between the rear wheels. It seems obvious, at least to me, that dust kicked up by the tires can clog the filter quickly, so there’s a good chance we’ll replace the paper element with a K&N at some point.
Now, was yesterday all work and no play? Hardly. Clear skies and temps flirting with 70°F demanded that we take the Ranger out for a spin, and we did that before putting effort into any of the other stuff.
We rode over to the site cleared by the backhoe last week, parked and wandered awhile. Our aim was to connect the cleared area to the trail we rode to the summit on Friday — and although we weren’t successful, time spent in the woods is never wasted.
So maybe yesterday didn’t produce a compelling tale of adventure. In this American Life, most days don’t — but when we’re conscious and present, every day has its own satisfaction, joy and wonder.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.