Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Repack the bearings before you hit the road"

So, a common refrain from friends and advisors was that before I bring the Scamp home I repack the bearings. I got good descriptions of how to do this myself before I remembered that I don't actually do this sort of thing and I was kidding myself if I thought this was a good time to get started on that learning curve. So, Wayne, pictured earlier, and the nice man who sold me the Scamp, told me of a good local garage where I could get this done. He nicely followed me to the garage (because the trailer does not have working lights, and I needed the garage to hook up the temporary lights I had borrowed.) At the garage, I was again told how "adventurous" I was to be towing the Scamp with my little car. (It was around this time that I began to wonder how often men are told how "adventurous" they are when they do this sort of thing. I was, in other words, tiring of what now seemed like a euphemism for "crazy".) Here's the Scamp jacked up having its innards lubricated, and being towed by my great little car:

Where did I put that rabies vaccine certificate?

So, I won the Ebay auction, because, as I said earlier, my competitors didn't seem to understand the basic rules of how not to let everyone know your strategy, or maybe they just didn't have a strategy. I had a strategy. It involved first, thinking obsessively about the auction in the days leading up to it, second, driving friends and family a little nutty with my need to share my obsession, but most importantly, waiting until thevery last remaining seconds of the auction to place my bid, which meant setting alarms, making sure I had no urgent reason to leave the computer, making extra sure I had a good internet connection, and then hovering over my keyboard in the final few minutes. My strategy worked, and I won, with a bid that was several hundred less than I would have been willing to pay.

The seller was quite accommodating of my need to wait to go get it until after my semester had ended, and the risk of having all my plans laid to waste by lake effect snow had become real. So, in mid-December, I left Utica in my hatch-back Honda with my passport (because I would have to travel through Canada to get to Michigan efficiently) and proof that my faithful companion, Lu, had been vaccinated. I drove to West Bloomfield, MI in about nine hours, where I got to see a dear old friend from graduate school, and then drove up to Kalkaska the next morning to get the trailer. Here it is when I went to pick it up, along with Wayne, who sold it to me, and my little car more than ready to tow it away. He, by the way, clearly thought I was at least a little crazy to tow it with my car, although he called it "adventurous".

So, to begin with, I found my "Happy Scamper" on Ebay back in November 2011. It looked to be in not such great shape, and was located in Northern Michigan. (Which is a state that it took me a while to locate on the map of the U.S. in my mind. It turns out to be on the other side of Canada, and this took a while for me to wrap my East Coast mind around.) But the price was right and my competitors on Ebay didn't seem to know how to bid without completely laying their bidding strategy bare for all the world to see, so I got it for cheap. In fact, I got it for several hundred dollars less than my upper limit. Here are a few pics of what it looked like as advertised on Ebay:


Okay, I have finally found my motivation to work on the Scamp trailer that I bought on Ebay this past December. (It turns out it was stuck to the bottom of my need to do the dishes, which was itself squashed next to my production quotas for Celeste Friend Designs, which was itself in serious competition with trying to do at least a half-assed job of teaching my introductory World Religions course.) And now that I am actually working on it, I wanted to have a place to keep track of the renovations, which have officially begun in earnest. So, here it is, another blog to keep track of yet another project.