Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Trials of the Road

The day had come to slide it in and leave the wondrously tall and windy state of Colorado. To keep it interesting and prevent us from seeing the same scenery, we decided to go south over the Raton Pass through New Mexico and east from there. The truck was running a little funny after the fire, not to mention the 80 gallons of black and gray water that was a solid chunk of ice in the tanks. I can imagine the strain Ol’ Blue was feeling with the added weight in the higher altitudes and we were about to push her to her limits to get us out of there.

No room for error (excuse my dirty window)

     Before long we were navigating on I25 headed thru the pass on our way south. This pass was one of the lowest in elevation across all of Colorado. It climbed to a towering 7800 feet and seemed like it was going to take forever to get to the top. We had made it 48 miles along the 50 mile pass when I saw the worst that could happen; I saw a trail of transmission fluid in the road, coming from Ol’ Blue. She had gone as far as she could up this very steep incline. There was no room to pull off the road; there were only 4 lanes of flying traffic with no shoulders, only steep drop offs on either side of the road. The lil one and I had to leave daddy and haul butt into New Mexico to grab some transmission fluid. While waiting on s a state trooper pulled up to help keep traffic over. The hubby explained the situation but because we were blocking a lane of traffic we would have to be towed; no matter if I made it back before the tow truck or not, the call had been made. I happened to get back into CO right after the tow truck got there; they are almost on standby at the base of all the passes.

 We watched them hook up Ol’ Blue with a monster of a truck. It was only 1 ½ miles to the top, there happened to be a weigh station there and that was the nearest he could drop us at. This ended up being a very costly mistake in navigational plans; it costs us $325 for a 1 ½ mile tow. The normal fee for this was $300 just to hook up to you and then extra for each mile, we were blessed to have gotten such a discount on the cost.

      After all the excitement just getting up to the top of the pass we got to test the brakes on the way down. I’ll tell you, after going down it myself previously, my butt cheeks were quickly clenching at the thought of all ‘what ifs’ that could happen. My mind was racing while trying to keep it between the lines as we curved downward into the valley below; the hubby was carrying all of our earthly possessions behind him, not to mention him being hurt in an accident too. I was greatly relieved to have made it to the bottom and into the valley floor welcoming us into New Mexico. Even out of the mountains there was a beautiful view of them in the distance with the desolate rocky desert between us. 
The truck was acting up in spurts, almost as if she had a mind of her own; for a few miles she’d run great and then just lose all power for the next 45 miles. It took us roughly 10 hours to go 300 miles. I think it was 3 days to get from Colorado to somewhere in the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma as a small RV park on the side of the interstate.
     The hubby and I had reached out to everyone we knew who may have any knowledge of a diesel engine and a solution. One friend’s son had a few ideas, we tried them. They didn’t work all the way so we went onward to his next steps in the solution. Eventually between all the brain storming we solved the issue; a map sensor, from the wrong type of truck was installed after the fire (they are not one size fits all type of parts).

our view at the RV park in the middle of nowhere, OK
     This was a very good lesson in auto mechanics; when replacing sensors with used ones, make sure they are from the same kind of motor. The lil one learned a lot about chasing down wires and re-taping them, making sure they are no shorts. We spent about 6hrs in an OK rest area under the dash repairing more of the fire damage. We got lucky as this was one the nicer rest areas to have stopped in, aside from the extravagant welcome center they had a dog park; this really helped out a lot. Finally Ol’ Blue was really and truly fixed, except for the A/C, but then again beggars can’t be choosers, can they?
love being back in the rolling hills of the South

     We ended up borrowing money from friends and family, only to make it back to the Alabama area closer to family. What started out as a 3-4 day trip ended up being a week with a few extra days spent somewhere in the middle of OK and a couple of nights at Wal Marts in KS, AR and TN before making it to Lawrenceburg, TN. We made it to the sis-n-law’s house, or driveway to be exact. Our plan was to spend time with family and stay for about a month. We’ll see how this plan works out, as well as they have in the past, I ‘m not holding my breathe on it to.

Until next time….

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.  ~Confucius 

No comments:

Post a Comment