Our first breakdown



After a fun week in Lake City, Colorado, spending time with Mike’s middle daughter and his former brother-in-law, we were on our way to Denver to visit friends. About five miles out of town, the engine started over heating.  After a couple more miles, we found a large enough spot to pull over so Mike could diagnose the problem.  The news wasn’t good.  The air conditioner’s compressor had seized and snapped the fan belt.

With our Coach-Net membership (Triple A for motorhomes), we arranged for a tow to Gunnison, about an hour away from LC.  Coach-Net told us that the wrecker’s shop could fix the problem for us.  With six hours before the wrecker arrived, we headed back to LC in the Jeep, did some work at Mean Jean’s and grabbed a late lunch at the Cannibal Grill.  When the tow truck arrived, we learned from the driver that his shop could not repair our problem. In fact, he didn’t think there was any shop in Gunnison that could repair it.

Change in plans again.

Because it was mostly downhill and not far away, Mike decided to drive the coach back to LC with me following in the Jeep and the wrecker following me, just in case.  We boondocked at Mike’s ex-brother-in-law’s place.  Mike researched belts and then drove to Gunnison to pick up three different lengths.  In a diesel pusher, the engine is under the bed, so we had to pull everything off and lock Charlie in a carrier to make sure he didn’t jump down to the ground through the engine compartment. After lots of elbow grease and cursing, Mike realized that none of the belts were the right size.

Not our best day.

Mike called around and found out that the belt he needed could be shipped to Gunnison, and we could pick it up in the morning. We thought the day’s craziness was over.

We were wrong.

While I was tidying up in the kitchen, I noticed Meeko, our 3 1/2-year-old rat terrier/Australian cattle dog mix, had his head stuck in the handle of a grocery bag we’d been using for trash.  (Meeko has a trash fetish.  He loves to get into the trash. He is not happy when you tell him he can’t; our normally sweet, easy going bark baby snarls and bares his teeth.) I touched him on the nose and told him no and then moved to remove the grocery bag handle from his head.  He bit me.  Hard. Hard enough to draw blood.  He made a deep gouge in the pad of my thumb and broke the skin on my index finger.  More than the pain, the sadness and disappointment were overhwhelming.  It’s hard to remember that our domesticated “babies” are, deep in their DNA, wild animals that react instinctively. Mike made it better by bandaging me up and putting on “Mary Poppins”.  “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!”

Lesson learned.  No more trash where Meeko can reach it.

We’ve been to Gunnison and back today, returning the other belts and picking up what we hope is the right belt. Mike is working on it as I write. Fingers and toes crossed that this does the trick.


6 responses »

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