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Adventures with Big Blue

campfire

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This is the story of a blue truck and its adventures. TOC:

Purchase and Initial Repairs
1600-Mile Test Drive to Lake Superior (Duluth & da U.P.) - Summer 2012
Fall-time Along the Mississippi River (Fall 2012)
Cassville Wisconsin (Fall 2012)
Dubuque & Mt. Pleasant (Fall 2015)
Northwoods Wisconsin (2013)

Lake Superior Circle Tour (Summer 2013)
Back Along the Mississippi River (Fall 2013)
Moving up to Yooperland (Fall 2014)

Other adventure threads:

Adventures with The Great Smaug
Northwoods / Yooper Beauty
Westward Bound I
Westward Bound II
Westward Bound III
CK5 U.P. Overlanding Trip 2016


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Original post:

This is the story of a blue truck and its adventures. Other than body work, it has few modifications. So rather than start a build thread for all the changes I didn't do, this thread is going to focus more on what has been done with the truck. Thanks to mosesburb for the inspiration. :thumb: I'll fill in mods as they go, but so far I have been using the truck more than modding it.
Ready? Here we go!:popcorn:

Several years ago I became the owner of a 1983 K10 with a 6.2L/700R4/208 drivetrain. It was originally blue with silver stripe (Sierra Classic trim), but the truck had lived its whole life in the rust belt, and the cancer was spreading. The box was losing cross-members in an alarming fashion, and the sheet-metal rust had been painted over several times (in spots). When I got it, whole truck had just been through the latest treatment of "paint over rust" primer ("You just spray it over the rust, right?" :eek1:). So the first order of business was to stop the cancer and get some decent paint on the truck.

My family has had the rear half of a 1967 C10 step-side (trailer conversion) for years, but the wooden bed & crossmembers had rotted away. I found a 1982 step-side C20 in the junkyard and pulled the cross-members, running boards, and wood-fastening strips, and grafted them into the '67 bed. The running boards were grafted because my truck has dual fuel tanks along the side of the bed, right where the '67 steps would have gone. The '82 running boards are humped to fit the tanks underneath. The '67 bed was chosen because it has the spare tire mount built into the driver's side fender (and the box was in better shape). The '82 frame was cut in half (another trailer conversion) and received the rotting-out '83 fleetside box.

This is how the truck looked after I started grafting pieces together. If you count the bondo, I see 11 different shades of paint on the truck at this point. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I can find of the truck in the bodywork phase of things.

pa091060-crop2-jpg.155397
 
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campfire

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Lacrosse

The truck didn't get to sit long after the paint job. In fact, a few items (such as the tailgate and fuel-tank selection switch) didn't even get finished before I decided to give the truck a 1600-mile test drive. My wife and I decided to take the truck up to see the shores of Lake Superior. Starting in Eastern Iowa, we took the Great River Road up to Lacrosse, WI. This area overlooks the Mississippi River with picturesque bluffs.

1-Lacrosse.JPG

3-road.JPG

4b-bluff.JPG

4-bluff.JPG
 

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Sign time

It also includes traffic patterns that I initially found confusing. I always assumed that obeying signs was the default behavior. :haha:

I wasn't familiar with them prior to this, but since this trip I have found numerous signs commanding folks that turn to obey or ignore traffic signs. :screwy:

2-stopsign.JPG
 

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Taconite country

Upon entering Superior, we were greeted by the Burlington Northern Ore Docks.

Superior, along with its twin city of Duluth, MN, and nearby Two Harbors, MN serves as a shipping port for taconite from inland mines. These docks are used for loading freighters for the trip down to steel mills throughout the great lakes region (Think Edmund Fitzgerald).

View entering town:
10-Ore Docks.JPG

covered conveyance on right, uncovered conveyance on left:
11-Ore Docks.JPG

13-Ore Docks.JPG

14-Ore Docks.JPG

Rising over the highway as seen in the first picture:
15-Ore Docks.JPG


Note: Autocorrect is trying to convince me to change the above spelling to "taco nite." I think it's hungry.:haha:

10-Ore Docks.JPG

11-Ore Docks.JPG

13-Ore Docks.JPG

14-Ore Docks.JPG

15-Ore Docks.JPG
 

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Duluth Bridge

After coming through Superior, we found ourselves in Duluth, Minnesota, home to a famous aerial lift bridge:

20-Bridge.JPG

24-Bridge.JPG

21-Bridge.JPG

For those not familiar with lift bridges, the deck travels vertically up the towers to make room for ships to pass underneath. Like a drawbridge, but the deck remains horizontal. In a few posts, in a different town, I will put up pictures of another aerial lift bridge as it appears when raised.

22-Bridge.JPG

23-Bridge.JPG

20-Bridge.JPG

21-Bridge.JPG

22-Bridge.JPG

23-Bridge.JPG

24-Bridge.JPG
 

streetrodchev

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The wife and I were in Superior this last October, and we took the tour on that old whale back boat.
 

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The wife and I were in Superior this last October, and we took the tour on that old whale back boat.

Neat! This trip happened in the summer of 2012, and at that time we didn't wanna stop to take the tour. We went back last summer (2013) and also didn't wanna stop. [spoiler alert] Both times we were eager to get through Duluth to get to the North Shore.[/spoiler alert] We've though about going back again to actually see Duluth, but each time we've considered it we opt to see somewhere new. And everywhere we go we end up with too much to see and not nearly enough time to see it all. So the bucket list just keeps growing.:rolleyes:

Where are you located? Was the boat worth seeing?
 
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streetrodchev

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Where are you located? Was the boat worth seeing?


I liked the boat, but then I do like the old iron and how they work.

I am in Dodge County, kinda between Milwaukee and Madison. Where are you?
 

campfire

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Well, we will try to get the boat on the menu for next time...

We are an hour West of Madison currently, but most of this year was spent an hour North of Wausau. At the time of this trip we were coming from Eastern Iowa. So I guess we've been all over the region...
 
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