Another step forward...

As this week winds down, I can report that work on Phiona has progressed forward.

Monday, 7:23:12

For comparison sake, I am showing a photo from Monday, 7/23/12 and another from Thursday, 7/26/12. On Monday the car looked much as she has for several days. But on Thursday, I was very surprised and happy to see the changes with Phiona. I saw they had extensively taped off the car. Mike, the owner, was nearby and he greeting me, smiling broadly, and obviously very happy to show me how much work had been completed on my car. Steve, the painter, seeing me there, also came out and told me he was very close to starting the actual painting.We discussed, again, the color scheme, black fenders, running boards, headlights and spare tire cover, with a dark blue upper body, including the trunk. The car is taped so that the door pillars are exposed and will be painted in blue. Also, the window openings are taped from the inside so that the color overlaps into the openings. Steve further talked to me about the car being close to being painted and then the follow up steps to finish the paint job.

7:26:12 Nearing paint stage

On friday, I also stopped in and Steve, I and a couple of the other guys chatted about a '65 or '66 Thunderbird they have finally painted and the wet sanding and buffing procedures. I asked several questions about how they did those tasks and Steve was very receptive and willing to talk about the procedures and how it applies to my Pontiac. He will be on vacation this next week, the last week of July, so he will probably start painting the first week of August. August, of course, is when I will be starting on my month long sojourn and explorations in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. It is looking like I will be away for this part of the restoration, but that I would really like to see in person.

Now I am contemplating hanging around here through the first week of August, so that I can witness at least part of the final paint stages on the car. I have made no specific plans on where I will be on my vacation, so it all is flexible.

Remember the damaged parts that were wood grained in Illinois by Crin Dima? Well, this week was frustrating in dealing with UPS and inspection of the package that held the items. Long story, UPS has some serious communication issues within its' organization. UPS's email to me said they would contact me to inspect the package, but instead the local UPS had their local route driver stop to pick up the package, this, naturally, while I stepped out. A call UPS to complain, resulted in them accepting that I send photos of the package and damaged items. This was to suffice for a physical inspection. Next day, guess what? the driver games by AGAIN to pick up the package. The notice on my door, said they would attempt a final picked up on Thursday. Another call to UPS and a promise to contact the local division to NOT come for a pick up. Can you guess the next? YEAH, a driver stops, yet again on Thursday to pick up the package. What a cat and mouse game that was, and a lot of wasted fuel and time all around. 

Shortly after the third stop here, UPS sent an email saying they declined the claim because the packaging was not adequately  cushioned. Crin called me shortly after I received the claim refusal to check that I had also received their notice. We both had to agree that the contents probably should have had more padding and Crin was content to accept the claim denial. But he reiterated that he would re-do the damaged parts. I sent the parts to him on Friday, and he will get them next Thursday. To avoid any conflicts with UPS and claim conflicts, I had my local UPS store pack the items. Crin, also had to agree, that in the future, he may have his UPS store do the packaging, which would hold them accountable for packing and padding. I will talk with Crin next week and also let him know that he can hold on the pieces after he completes his work and let them dry for several weeks. I'll be gone anyway and assembling those wood grained parts will be towards the end of reassembling the car.

Pertaining to my plans to escape the heat in Phoenix, I am really feeling the urge to go exploring and for adventure. That said, I've also been researching the areas that I plan to visit and what trails or places of interest are calling my name. For sure, I will visit the Arizona Strip, the area north of the Colorado River, which, in reality, is geologically more closely tied to southern Utah. Toroweap is the remote place, 61 miles on unpaved roads to the edge of the Grand Canyon. I've visited there several times over the years and it has no facilities, so I'll need to be prepared to really rough it with primitive camping. In researching more about trails near there, I came across a place that I have read about from online. This is a remote hike to ancient Native Indian rock art, pictographs, that they believe date back to 1000 B.C. The extensive mural of figures is colored and life-size. They were not reported until 1986, though evidence exists that cowboys were there around 1914 (ie, graffiti). Reading online, I found it is a real hike to find them and many have still not been able to locate them. I believe, after last night's internet investigation, that I now have reliable maps that will help me find this treasure. In many ways, I'm reluctant to broadcast about these ancient murals, so that fewer people will attempt to go there and possibly damage or disrupt what has been, until more recently, a place and creation that has escaped notoriety for 1000's of years. My stay near Toroweap (also known as Tuweap on the maps), will probably last about 4 days. 

 Me at Toroweap overlook, August 2008.

If anyone is interested in joining me on this discovery and adventure, I'd welcome the companionship. Be forewarned, though, about the remoteness and primitive nature of the camping…

After Toroweap, I hope to go to a bit more civilized location further west on the AZ Strip.  That stop is Bar 10 Ranch. They have accommodations for guests and offer several activities including full meals. I hope to horseback ride, hike to the Grand Canyon and explore there for about 3 days. My dates are still undetermined. Their website: Bar 10 Ranch at the Grand Canyon

From there I hope to go to Zion National Park in Utah. I've visited there before, but this time may go to another "dude" ranch and while there possibly horseback ride, hike AND (this really excites me) do some canyoneering which would take me to a slot canyon in Zion and do rappelling down into the narrow canyons. Since these are guided hikes and adventures, I will be able to tackle this without much fear of injury or being stranded in case of some unfortunate mishap (think of the movie, "127 Hours", which some have already reminded me about). I would not attempt this type of exploration on my own, thinking that I do know my limitations. Here is a link to their website and the canyoneering activity. Watch the video: Canyoneering in Zion National Park - Hotel - Resort - Ranch - Zion Ponderosa 

Before I leave on my adventures, I'll note my plans and will update as I go, when I am able. Much of this trip will put me in places without electronic communications.