Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Now That's a Tractor!

Camping reservations are coming in at the rate of two a day or so. After the big rush the first couple of days when we began taking reservations on May 5th, things really quieted down. Those who knew what they wanted booked them right away! Now, the weather has been beautiful and people are starting to think about camping.

Looking at our reservations, it's easy to see that our busy time is going to be between June 27th and August 4th.

I promised you some more "before and after" pics.

The time frame difference is about three weeks. All we need is some water! The watershed website says they plan to put the plug in the dam on the 31st and let the water rise. 

Oh, one more before and after...

Remember the cute little tractor I used last year? That wasn't a tractor.

This is a tractor...

I get a real tractor to play with this year!

We also have an old shop truck. Really old. It's a 1965 Chevy 30 series one ton with a flatbed hydraulic dump box on it. It's been parked right where it sits for at least two years. Some of the people on the board mentioned getting rid of it, but I wanted to see if it's salvageable. 

1965 Chevy one ton.

First thing is to see if it'll fire up. So I open the hood to see what we're working with. I expected to see a big inline 6 cylinder. But what do we have under the hood?

A 283 cu in small block V8!

283 Chevy V8

One of the best engines Chevrolet ever made. The 283 Chevy V8 was the precursor to the famous 327 that was used (with a few modifications) in the Corvettes of that era. With a single two barrel carb, it produced 175 hp. And, it's really something these days when you can open the hood and recognize everything you see!

The truck as it sits is not worth very much. $1,000 maybe, and that's mostly because of the engine. Someone rebuilding a 1960's car would want this engine. And the odometer shows only 67,000 miles.

The battery was dead as a doornail, and wouldn't take a charge. I put some cables on it, and got nothing. Puttered around a little bit and found that the connection at the starter was bad. Repaired that, and it turned over! I checked the oil. Black as can be, and kinda thin looking. Almost looked watered down. Apparently the old pickup truck didn't get any maintenance.

I took off the breather. It was one of those old oil bath filters. Poured some gas directly down the carb, and she fired right up! 

And promptly died.

Turns out the gas tank was dry as can be. I put a gallon in, and after a couple of more tries, it eventually sat there idling nicely.

One possibly major problem. No brakes. The pedal goes right to the floor. There's no fluid in the master cylinder. 

So, it needs a battery, an oil change, and some brake work. And the flatbed dump works perfectly, but it would need a box built around it to make it more useful. So maybe between $500 and $1,000 depending on what's needed for the brakes and if we do the work ourselves here at the shop. That would be enough to get it useable for around the campground, but it still wouldn't pass a safety for highway use.

So we'll run this stuff by the powers that be at the next board meeting.

Anyhow, that's enough man talk. Here's one a little more for the ladies.

Some of you had asked for her gluten free blueberry muffin recipe! It can be made with regular flour as well, so she's adapted the recipe to make it gluten free and included the instructions...

Blueberry Muffins

Cream together
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar (next time I make this I will reduce the sugar to 3/4 of a cup)

2 eggs and mix well

Mix in
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

Mix and then add to wet ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour (for gluten free - substitue 2 cups of gluten free blend* and 1/4 tsp of xantham gum)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

Stir in blueberries
1 ½ cups blueberries

Bake at 400 degree F for 25-30 minutes

This recipe makes about 18 large muffins. Keep muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator and warm up as needed)

*Gluten Free Flour Blend

2 cups rice flour (white or brown or a mixture of the two)
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour/starch (same thing)
1 teaspoon xantham gum

Stir well before using and store in a container with tight-fitting lid.

Subsitute equal amount of flour blend for equal amount of flour in a recipe.

I find it easier to triple the mix and store it for future use...

6 cups rice flour
2 cups potato starch
1 cup topioca flour/starch
3 teaspoons xantham gum


  1. Cool "toys" for you to play with! It would be a shame to see that truck scrapped. Hope the board sees its value with your talent restoring it.

    1. I doubt the truck would be scrapped, if the board doesn't agree to getting it into working condition then Kevin would try to sell it and I am sure that someone would want it.

  2. Jim is really hoping you can save the truck. And now he really wants a tractor. I did put my foot down about that.

    1. We are hoping that Kevin will be allowed to get the truck into working condition too, it would be handy to have just to use around the park.

  3. Once that truck would be restored it would surprise the powers to be how much they could use it for. Another nice thing is the lack of electronics which is so easy to maintain.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. The truck wouldn't be "restored", Kevin would just fixed it up enough to get it to run so that we could use it around the park. He loves that he can see everything under the hood and knows what everything is. KISS (Keep it simple stupid) makes so much sense!

  4. Love that truck and as you say, that 283 was probably the best engine gm every made. Easy to work on, and a great performer, hope you can get it running.

  5. Thanks for the recipes! Now the guys can ooh, and ahhh, over all the machinery.

    1. Thanks Nan, we will put some more recipes on in the weeks ahead.

  6. Oh man, a small block chevy! That's awesome.
    See, you're more adventuresome than I. I *might* try firing it up after throwing some gas down the carb, but that would probably be it. If the "powers the be" don't see the value in putting that thing back in working order, I'm not sure where their heads are at. So what if it's only for around the campground? I'm sure you could find a use for it.

    1. Kevin loves this type of stuff! We can think of quite a few uses for it that would make things a little easier and quicker around here.

  7. I really like these manly posts. Recipes, not so much!

    1. Glad that you enjoyed it then Dugg, I am sure Kevin will include a few more over the summer.

  8. Thanks for the recipes - love when you talk food!!!

    1. Thanks Connie, we will put some more recipes up in the next few weeks.

  9. Those old engines sure had a lot more room under the hood than now days. When I open the hood on my truck, there probably isn't enough room to even get your hand in.

    1. Maybe that's one reason why this one still works because there is less stuff to go wrong with it.

  10. Once again your employer lucked out in getting a knowledgeable auto mechanic in the bargain at no extra charge. They'd be foolish not to kick in $1000 to get that thing running ASSUMING that future managers will take care of the equipment including that DYNOmite tractor. Boy would we have loved to have that on the farm in Virginia. Thanks for the recipes Ruth. I've got to get busy and make some gluten free bread rather than relying on Whole Foods to supply it to me as I move out of the land of Whole Foods and into the back woods. LOL.

    1. We should know next week after they have their board meeting to see if they approve the go ahead for Kevin to fix it up.

      Hope the bread making goes well Sherry.


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