A Horse or a Deuce and a Half?

Now. I am fairly certain that most of you are familiar with what a horse is. However, I am also fairly certain that I will have to explain to a fair portion of you, exactly what I mean when I say Deuce-and-a-Half. That is a two and one half ton military vehicle that had a wide variety of forms and uses.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

This particular beauty is actually on sale right now for $3500! I kid you not. It has a Hercules engine, and is known for its ability to get just about anywhere.

http://www.vintagemilitarytrucks.com/M35A2%20No%2003.htm

Although I rather doubt the color was a cherry red, this tanker is probably similar to the tanker that my husband drove when he was in Vietnam. While he did not talk about Vietnam often, I do remember him telling stories about some of the interesting modifications he made on that particular Deuce and a Half.  He said it would go just about anywhere, and he had ample opportunities to prove it during his time in Vietnam. From the looks of this video, I would have to agree!

I’m not sure exactly what, Mick, changed on his tanker, but it had to do with a need to get up certain hills, that were open to sniper fire, as quickly as possible. Evidently it involved, how shall I say this. Acquiring? Requisitioning? How about, Procuring. However it was obtained, certain quantities of JP-4 were needed to make this possible. Mick was able to use it, to fuel that truck engine, for brief periods of time, to attain the top of those hills, and reach cover, in an expeditious manner.  JP-4? Ah. Well, yes.  That’s the name of the jet fuel he was hauling. Evidently that made, the procuring process, relatively easy. Work with what you got!

I wonder what it costs to replace just one of those tires.  TIRE SIZE:365/85 R20 

Cough, choke, sputter, $650 a piece? Only $300 used?

Now about horses?

$1700 will get you this beauty! Of course, that smile could just be relief that the horse stood still for the picture. No. To be fair. The horse looks relaxed, yet alert, and in good condition.

https://www.equinenow.com/horse-ad-1169562

Then there is this pretty Palomino for just $9975! It is not all just about the paint job! Although a Palomino often does rate a higher value, just on looks, this particular horse is what they call Well Broke. There’s halter broke, green broke, broke, saddle broke, and then there is well broke, and very well broke.

https://www.equinenow.com/horse-ad-1181992

As a comparison? For new shoes? Average for a set of four? $120.

How about the cost of a good western saddle? You see, I may not know what it’s like to ride around in a deuce and a half, but I do know what it’s like to ride around on a horse, with a cheap saddle.  A good saddle, that fits both you and your horse, is not just important, its vital.

Gulp, gasp, seriously? $1000.00 to start? Okay, I will admit, it has been about 45 years since I priced a good saddle, but oh my! You can get a good used for $800ish, but still.

So what does it cost be a cowgirl these days? I found this site. Reality has set in!

https://cowgirlmagazine.com/the-cost-of-being-a-cowgirl/

I do have a good friend, and previous horse owner, who suggested that I stick with a deuce and a half, because you didn’t have to feed it everyday!

Why am I pricing  deuce and a half’s and horses? Plus investigating their upkeep?

I am glad you asked!

My beautiful new van, and my gorgeous little trailer, are finding it harder and harder to get to spots, that are safe for us to stay. I keep hearing about places to go to, and friends have told me different locations to try, I have even had one dear gentleman take me Jeeping, looking for ways to get back to the forest, in areas that are relatively free of EMF and toxins. We just can’t get there, but we sure had a lot of fun trying! On my own, I’ve already put some bumps, bruises, and little cracks in my beautiful new van. The graceful line of that front end skirting, has already had one or two, more than “counsinly” greetings, with  dirt/rock/gravel roads. How could that possibly happen? You’re inching your way down one of those very rough dirt roads filled with gravel, and some good sized rocks. You get to a spot that looks pretty doubtful, so you get out and you check. Will she make it? If I straddle those dips, and chuck holes, just right? You go forward a few inches, and you get out and check again. Then you go for a little bit more, and you check once more. Now you think you’ve got it beat, and she slips on those rocks, and, yeah. Crunch!

My poor van!

That long wheel base can get me into trouble too. Then crack!

Thank goodness, her lights swing up, and I can pull them back down!

I even thought about removing that beautiful little skirting up front, however, if I did that, then I would be finding the ground with my side boards and that’s just not acceptable! Got to have my steps with this beauty.

This van is so exactly what I would want down to the Last Detail, in many ways!  She even has actual gauges, that have actual numbers, not Idiot lights, or just high and low points marked with a line. She even has a fancy tachometer up on top of the dash. That little 318 is a real Workhorse. She doesn’t even notice the trailer, even going up hills! Oh, she will downshift, but it is so smooth, you hardly notice, and she can still get out there and run with the big boys. Plus, I am getting about 13 and a half miles to a gallon! Which is very exciting when you think about the fact that poor Sassy, was only getting about nine mpg, on a good day. My beautiful new van is also a very easy ride compared to other vehicles that I’ve been in. Since I’m spending a lot of time out there on washboard dirt roads, that is one aspect of my van that I truly appreciate! So despite the fact that we are having some struggles with limitations on How Deeply we can go into the forest, which I’m certain my son actually appreciates, I have decided that I would much rather have this van than a horse, or a deuce and a half.  Since we have run out of places to stay here in Arizona, we have decided to expand our Horizons! We looked into ways of trying to stay in one spot, in one location, even just one area, and it simply has not worked out. So. Macha and I will be going through New Mexico, and possibly even Colorado, over the next few months looking for new Forest, and BLM dispersed camping locations, that are a little easier to access.

Adventure!

How this van happened, was strictly by the grace of the good Lord! It was certainly not something that I could do. I am guessing that you’ve noticed by now, that I have definitely decided, that she, is a she, and with all of the wonderful aspects of this beautiful van, her graceful lines, to her graceful way of going down the road, to say nothing of how she was acquired, I have decided to call her, Gracie!

P_20180211_172102_p.jpg

Until next time, Gentle Reader!

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