Friday, June 05, 2009

Lucky Day

I was doing the speed limit, 50, and was about a mile from a turn near home when the car faltered, lost power and died. I depressed the clutch and started coasting. The road was smooth and had a slight slope so I thought I might be able to get close to the turn before pulling to the shoulder. I was wrong. When I came to the turn I bounced across the cattle guard and picked a path that avoided holes in the dirt road. I passed the mail boxes by more than a hundred yards, picked a spot and stopped.

Optimistically I tried to start the car. No go. Still optimistic I checked the cell phone for signal hoping I could call Julie. No signal. Only a mile to walk. My lucky day. It could have died a few miles back in the ten mile stretch through the national forest that has no cell signal and no houses.

After supper we towed the car home and this morning I began troubleshooting the problem. It appears the fuel pump has failed. We have 218,000 miles on the vehicle, so some problems are to be expected.

We have a small pop-up or folding tent trailer. Tomorrow morning we are leaving for Buena Vista, Colorado, for an annual vacation with Julie's family. Our route will take us across the Reservation through the Four Corners area. It's a fairly desolate road. I'm glad the car failed last night rather than tomorrow morning while towing the trailer miles from nowhere. This is definitely my lucky day.

We had reservations at a camp ground for the week. Julie phoned and was able to arrange lodging at the camp ground. It will cost more but the fuel savings of taking our second car will offset the additional cost. Tomorrow night we have reservations at Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgway, Colorado. We were able to change our reservations for a tent site. My lucky day again.

(We were a one-vehicle couple for eight years. The fact that we have a second car is another story about which I've been intending to write. Another time, perhaps.)

While Julie was changing reservations I changed the oil in the car. It was windy today. I couldn't find my pump to remove the oil by way of the top of the engine so I had to drain it from the bottom. Unfortunately a sudden, extremely strong gust roared through just as I pulled the plug. Check the photo below.

My biggest disappointment involves my baseball cap. I was wearing my favorite cap. It's a "Habitat for Humanity" cap that I bought at a parking lot sell in Telluride, Colorado, three years ago. I paid 25 cents for it. Julie washed it but couldn't remove the oil spots. No matter. I'll still wear it occasionally.

All in all, it was a good day.

Before photo.
Before photo.

After photo.
After photo.


Blogger graceonline said...

Lucky day indeed. I'm glad you're okay. Not surprisingly, I recognized physiological sensations on viewing each of the photographs. I responded physically to the first in a similar manner to how I feel when I see a homeless person on the street. (I see lots.) A mixture of pity, concern for your health, wariness accompanying a flash of wondering whether you might be a bit nuts, and frustration with a society, of which I am part, that has yet to solve this problem.

With the second image, of course, I felt comfortable again, a sense of ease as well as interest in this person. What is he thinking? What kind eyes he has. That sort of thing.

Thanks for the lesson.

6/06/2009 12:36:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I've been up near The Four Corners (though not quite that far) and can appreciate that it's bit isolated.

6/07/2009 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

I haven't laughed so hard in MONTHS!

PUMPING the oil out? Ever hear of GRAVITY, my friend? Obviously much........

Thanks for the comic pics, Paul.

6/07/2009 09:56:00 AM  

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