Monday, April 14, 2008

Hey! THAT was fun...

Never a dull moment around the Palace. Adventure is my middle name. Or is it Panky? One of those...

Yep, worked hard all week to prepare for this big awesome show down in Bodega Bay... about a 5 hour drive from here. Packed up the Shiny Van by noon with a big smile on my face. Ready to go!

But, Shiny Van wouldn't start. Made noise like it wanted to, but no go. Fighting back panic, I called Barney who sent our friend Bob over to help with some male mojo or whatever. Bob shows up, looks under the hood (just looks, doesn't touch anything), casually turns the key and tada! Started right up! I was baffled. I may have felt a little dumb. But hey... it's running and I'm behind schedule. Thanks Bob!

Barney suggested I take it by his mechanic for a quick look-over... but after driving
it around town doing my errands with no problems, I decided to get going. Good thinkin.

Driving down 101 was great fun... the sun was shining, the ipod & I were singing, the van was running as awesomely as ever. Woooo! I was dreaming of a very successful show. Some needed financial and social relief. Ah dreams.

Just past Laytonville, about 12 miles before Willits... I decided to stop at the rest area (rather than in Willits as usual), so as to cruise on through the next couple hours to my destination and hopefully miss the Santa Rosa traffic. I called Barney to let him know how well things were going, how lovely the van was driving, etc... as I was saying these things, I started up the van. But wait. No I didn't. It wouldn't start. Not the first time, not the tenth time. I was stuck.

Did you know there's a horror movie called Rest Stop? Uh huh. It wasn't quite that bad. Not scary or anything... just depressing. I sat for a while, trying to start the van using Bob magic. I wiggled stuff under the hood. I prayed. I asked a Harley dude if he could help but, "I don't fix no cars." Silly me.

Finally, I called a tow truck for a jump. What do I know? After an hour, he shows up and tells me I don't need a jump... and he can't tow me. He calls another truck. I wait.

I'm still thinking I have until 7am to get to the show and it could happen. Frustrated but hopeful.

A lady calls me to say my AAA card won't cover the mileage, so the tow will cost $50 and do I have the means to pay? Yeah. Whatever.

The second tow truck shows up and the guy is SO friendly and helpful. He pokes around and gives me some possible causes. None of which are as readily fixable as I had hoped. But, he is a good sport and tries to get it running for me. Then, we're off to the thriving metropolis of Willits.

The Nice Tow Guy tells me if he takes me to a particular AAA approved site, I won't have to pay anything. Ok that sounds good. In fact, this site also rents uhauls... which looks more like what we'll need to get this Shiny baby home. Great.

Well... I'll abbreviate the rest of the story. Between Ukiah and Willits there were no tow trailers to be had on a Friday evening. We loaded what we could into Barney's truck, headed to Eureka in extremely foul moods.
We were both exhausted. I was very sad and disappointed. I dare say Barney was a little more on the psycho side.

Saturday, we awoke with much more optimistic attitudes. MUCH. It took most of the day to haul the van back, but it was calm and sunny and actually pleasant time together after all. We learned some things that helped ease our minds... my van had not been ravaged by tweekers while we were gone. And the
suspect van parts would cost much less than we had previously been led to believe.

And hey, Willits and back on a 1/4 tank is great huh?

If you were at the Bodega Bay Fisherman's festival... I'm sorry, but I don't really want to hear about it. I'm sure it was fun and sunny and lots of people showed up. Keep it to yourself for now ok? lol. I can't take any more good news right now.


Fred said...

Bummer. Did you ever find out just what was wrong?

*TheMermaid* said...

I think we've decided it's the fuel pump. Apparently that's a common failure in newer chevys ... as it's located inside the fuel tank. Which also makes it a more labor intensive fix. But, barney says he can do it and save us the shop labor $$. He's got skills.

Fred said...

At least you have an idea of what's wrong and can deal with it.

The father- in- law had a car years ago that wouldn't start, off and on, and nobody could figure out why it was happening. He finally got rid of it, somehow, but how do you get rid of a car that has problems you can't figure out how to fix?