Sunday, June 30, 2013

Uh Oh. Part Deux

The sunrise as we left Colorado
Written by Karen
While we were staying outside of Denver, we noticed our temperature gauge on our VW Vanagon was getting a little squirrelly. So, knowing that we couldn't be really overheating a mere two minutes after turning the ignition key, we took Chinook in for a little mechanical TLC.

After a full day of intense pampering and mechanical tweaking at the VW day spa, we were told that Chinook was in fine shape to take on the vast grasslands of Wyoming.

Full of good cheer and endless optimism, we left Denver with many happy memories of good times spent with friends and family while we were in Colorado and headed north.

We left the cities and towns of Colorado and entered the lush green rolling hills of Wyoming.  Spring comes quickly here - slipping in through the wooden back door - and leaving just as quickly. It wouldn't be long before the vivid spring greens that surrounded us with color and fresh smells would turn dry and brown.

We commented to each other that it was fortunate that Chinook was in good mechanical shape - all rested and relaxed from the mechanical ministrations from his day long spa day - because ranches (and people) were few and far between out here.  And in this heat....

And, then I - because I was driving at the moment - looked down and gasped in disbelief.  Our temperature gauge/red overheat light was blinking at the very top of the range.  At the same time, Adam noted that he could smell coolant.  Not good.  Whatever was fixed in Denver was fixed no more.

We slowed down our speed a bit to try and take some of the heat off of Chinook's engine as Adam read the map for the closest town.  We limped into Lusk, Wyoming and promptly overheated.  When Chinook overheats, he does so in spectacular fashion: tall eruptions of coolant steam filters upward out of the back side vents and a pool of coolant dribbles out of the back.  And then Chinook, like a recalcitrant toddler, absolutely refuses to move any farther.

Lusk, Wyoming is the least populated county in the least populated state. It is also small enough to walk through and it is small enough where everyone knows everyone and everything that goes on.  It didn't take too long for people to notice that Chinook had decided to stay put for a few days in Lusk.


Anonymous said...

im sorry..brings back memories for me..not good memories..idea of what should be..but not..i would go get fixed donna would entetain..i would talk a lot to god and pray sometimes with strong feelings..bories hope all goes well..enjoy the place..love dad

Observers of Life said...

Hi Dad!

I can totally relate to your memories! It's funny... a big reason that we have a blue VW Vanagon bus now is because of the great memories that I have as a kid traveling around in the old family blue VW Vanagon bus in the summer!


Gustav Burkard said...

How frustrating is that - don't you wish you could return to that VW day spa for another 'facial'? What went wrong? Sure hope the next guy knows how to fix it correctly. Thanks for the update and travel safe.
Gus & Cam

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that you weren't stranded on the road--I hope that the van gets fixed soon. Steve S

David in SF said...

Yes, memories of VW breakdowns, both as a kid growing up, later with my *own* VW van, and now vicariously through your travels. Hopefully the mending has already begun...