Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hojo Mojo

Yesterday I woke up at 5AM and realized that the truck mechanic had not called, so I called him.  I found out that they really had no idea what the problem could be, and further, they didn't even have the proper equipment to run engine diagnostics on the GMC.  Had they told me this up front like most logical thinkers would have, we probably would have gone back to Omaha.  I was pretty much fed up with the whole situation, so I told him to replace the fuel filter and we'd be on our way regardless of whether or not the truck was fixed.

We sat around in the morning and ate some breakfast while waiting for the part to get to the shop from Omaha, and it was disorienting to step outside with all the fog.  I also took the time to finish the last 40 pages of The Kite Runner.  I don't know if a book has ever brought tears to my eyes before, but this one did.  It's deserving of the praise it's gotten, and I'd say it's a must-read for pretty much everyone.

We ended up at the repair shop about noon waiting for them to finish installing the fuel filter.  While our truck was having issues, at least we never reached this point:

Then we hit the road.  We'd planned for a very long day of driving, but getting started at 12:30 didn't help that much.  I tried to Priceline a hotel at the 700 mile mark (Rock Springs, WY), but had no luck.  Really the only option in the area was a hundred miles further on.  A one star Howard Johnson.  We decided to take it, given that it would only be a short night to get some sleep.  Besides, my personal hotel star ranking index wouldn't be complete without a 1 star to reference.  Now all that's left is the elusive 5 star.

We drove, and drove, and drove.  Plans nearly changed when we heard that the other truck had ALSO broken down several hundred miles up the road.  Luckily they were able to get it back on the road after a brief wait.  Otherwise we would have had to switch trucks and wait again so Nate could scramble to make his flight out of Salt Lake City.

We drove well past dark, and arrived at our destination just after midnight.  The rooms were tiny, the TV was fuzzy, and I had to do some repair work on the shower before it would work.  The bed was surprisingly comfortable though, which coincidentally was the most important part.

We got up and on the road fairly early this morning, and after a brief stop in Park City to grab my bike from the other truck in hopes of actually using it a bit this week, we're on the road to Reno.  Last night's hotel stay should be made up for by the fact that I just snagged a 4 star resort/casino/hotel in Reno for a mere $55 a night.  Right now we're on the road just West of Salt lake City.  The drive between here and Reno will be a new stretch of road for me.

More to Follow.

P.S. In case you didn't figure it out, the truck is fixed.  After a misdiagnosis at one shop and a clueless second shop, our original guess at what was wrong was dead on.  A fuel filter needing replacement.  Had the first shop listened to what we thought it might be, both trucks would have been back on the road within an hour.

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