Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Was it curtains for Tillie?

Who would have thought there'd be so much suspense involving a trip across country by two old folks in a VW? Especially after yesterday's "cliffhanger". Would Tillie finally go to the scrap pile? You will, I hope, be happy to learn that Tillie is just fine. The massive spewing of oil over the engine and the back of the bus was simply due to the oil filter having rattled loose (some roads really aren't in the best of shape) and literally blown off. The VW gurus in Ogden (very nice and accommodating folks like the rest have been) had her cleaned up (no mean feat I'm sure) and re-oiled and filtered by ten this morning. In fact they were on the way over to pick us up at the hotel when they noticed Tillie was leaking gas so back on the lift she went. (For those of you in the betting mode I suspect you can count that repair as a separate incident.) Finally we were on the road, in the heat of the day I might add, and headed to Boise. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, this meant we didn't take advantage of the clever scenarios we had come up with including taking Garry (from Boise) up on his offer to come after us. John also checked into having Tillie shipped the rest of the way to Seattle (the best quote was $650 and VERY tempting I must say). But, no, we're determined to do it the hard way.

Today was HOT. The air was HOT, John was HOT, I was HOT, Tillie was HOT. John has gotten a bit more "sensitive" to Tillie's needs, so every time her oil temperature gauge would begin to go up, he's pull over, open the engine compartment, and we'd twiddle our thumbs while she cooled off. As some of you may know, I'm NOT a big fan of flat, dessert countryside. So I suppose Tillie was just trying to give us something to get stressed out rather than getting sleepy gazing at scenery that pretty much looked the same as it did half an hour ago. The last couple of stops John just decided to leave the engine cover up while we drove. Finally the worse part of the day has passed. We stopped for a final fill up before driving the last 150 miles. And, wouldn't you know, Tillie won't start. Once again I found myself snagging a guy getting into his pickup to help me push start her. Poor guy. He only stopped for an ice cream but his added push made Tillie start much easier.

Passing the lava bed scenery you see in the photo, I called the VW guru Tillie has "visited" before in Boise to tell him to expect her. It seemed like a much better plan to just drive her directly there and ask Garry to pick us up. Suddenly we were within 100 miles of Boise (a cause of great celebration since we get 100 miles of free towing if needed from AAA) so our stress levels greatly improved. Finally Tillie arrived safely at the repair shop where she'll be seen to tomorrow. And we arrived safely at Garry & Yvonne's where we'll have a couple of days of non-Tillie driving!!!! And John can sleep without waking up thinking about worse case scenarios. (I, on the other hand, slept like a log last night and plan to do so tonight.)
Posted by Picasa


rkd said...

Does MapQuest have a search option for "least topographically challenging" route?

Bridge said...

i'm both very excited and very nervous about your arrival- hoping you and UJ are in one piece- nevermind Tillie! You'll be happy to know I already made contact with the VW guru here. Thinking we should take her out to lunch and you can swap stories and repair history!!