Monday, June 15, 2009

The Trip Home

We are home, our bags are unpacked and we're planning our next adventure!

We woke earlier than planned, packed a few last minute things and left long before sunrise. By 6 AM we had driven 175 miles and were in Ridgway as the first customers for breakfast in a small cafe.

Dust storm on the reservation.
Dust storm on the reservation. (Larger version)

Sand on the move.
Sand on the move. (Larger version)

Sheep grazing on grass on the shoulder of the road.
Sheep grazing on grass on the shoulder of the road. During the trip we encountered sheep, prairie dogs, cattle and deer, many deer, on the roadway. (Larger version)

As we neared Rico we both had the same thought: spend a few minutes at Rico Hot Springs. I'll have photos later in the week.

I always enjoy the trip across the reservation. It was windy the entire way and for several miles we traveled though a dust storm. A section of the road is being paved so we had to stop and wait a few minutes. We were first in line and had a memorable conversation with the flagman. He was a colorful character.

We typically get 48 to 49 MPG but on the trip back we hit 50 for the first time!

Now that we're home I'm back to diagnosing the problem with our other vehicle which is currently getting zero MPG since it won't start. Well, that's not quite true. It will start first thing in the morning when the temperatures are about 50 degrees. After the air warms a bit the fuel pump doesn't get a current and never engages. Appears I have two choices. One, fix it now or, two, wait until the fall when temperatures are cool to cold and it will fix itself. Since the cistern is down to 900 gallons, the garden is thirsty and we have overnight visitors next weekend I think I'll choose the first option.


Blogger Tim Hodgens said...

Welcome back.

Re. your 0 mpg car...if all else fails, give a call to "click and clack the tap it brothers" ( They're great fun, and I don't think they have ever been stumped. Be forewarned, however, that they like to give their callers a bit of a tough time before they get around to answering their question.


6/15/2009 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

I enjoy listening to the brothers on NPR. Also, I've seen them on PBS. Having never had a brother they cause me to wonder what it would be like to have a brother and be close to him for many years.

I really should retire this car and buy a pickup but I think I'll fight this one a little longer. I got 350,000 out of my last vehicle and it looks like this engine is still solid. I have 218,000 on it and have never added oil between changes. Amazing for an american gas engine.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to check

6/15/2009 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

0xygen sensor?

6/15/2009 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Buffalo, good to hear from you!

No, I don't think it's an oxygen sensor. I'm getting no codes. The car should start and run with a faulty oxygen sensor but should use a default program for oxygen/gas mix.

I'm going to check for a bad electrical connection. It appears the fuel pump isn't getting an electric current. I checked the inertia switch and it seems good. I pulled the fuel relay to see if the contacts were clean.

It could be the fuel pump but I'm not convinced yet.

I've had a fuel filter for a few months that I've intended to install. I'm going to change that first.

Ironically, I filled the tank just before the problem developed. If I have to drop the tank and replace the fuel pump then I'll have to pump several gallons from the tank. I have two gas cans that are both full so I'll have to empty them in order to empty the tank.

The toughest part will be tracing the wiring and squeezing my hand/arm into tight places.

Life could be easier but it wouldn't be as much fun.

6/15/2009 10:32:00 AM  

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