No cross country road trip would be complete without a little car trouble, right?
The first time we broke down, we were towed by a wonderfully scruffy man named Tim – he told us all about growing up in Moab, Utah and the beauty of the barter system in the old days. He towed our crippled Subaru 100 miles (thanks AAA plus membership) to the West Gate Inn on the outskirts of Grand Junction, CO.
After a second tow the next morning (to the local Subaru dealership) were told it would be fixed on monday (this was Saturday).
Ashley made sure to tell the Thrifty rental car agent it was our anniversary, and we made our way out of town in our sweet (discounted) Chrysler Sebring. The original plan was to spend a night with our friends Michael and Taylor in Ft. Collins before checking into our B&B in Boulder to celebrate our one year anniversary (woohoo!). So we decided to stick with it. Ft. Collins is a great town, and we thoroughly enjoyed our day there, as well as our anniversary the next day in Boulder.
Our excursion across Colorado really was a wonderful way to forget our predicament and celebrate friends and an AWESOME first year of marriage.
But it was definitely a bummer to have to turn back around on Monday morning to backtrack 4 hours to Grand Junction. Especially when we realized that we only had 3 travel days left (we’d been on the road for nearly 3 weeks), and we weren’t even half-way to our final destination!
The mechanics assured us that it was an extremely low fluid level in our front differential and maybe even a bad front axle that had caused the warning lights and untimely failure in our trusty steed. This explanation didn’t seem to add up, but the car started fine when they handed the keys back, and with our first stop at Chik-fil-a, we hit the road out of Grand Junction in high spirits.
One hour later we found ourselves 25 miles out of town, munching on cold waffle fries on the side of the highway, and waiting for our 3rd tow of the trip. This was a crushing blow to our spirits. We had wanted to be in Wichita, KS that night, and instead we were headed back down the now all too familiar stretch of highway to yet another night in a slightly stuffy Grand Junction motel.
I was convinced the transmission had failed, and was calculating how much a 1997 subaru impreza with a new front axle and freshly lubed front differential would go for on the Grand Junction junkyard market, while Ashley was looking up the cheapest one way flights from Denver to Knoxville.
However, we were still encouraged as we counted our blessings – a great road trip so far, good health, and a good character building challenge, fresh into year two of marriage 🙂
Tuesday morning started off with two eggs over medium in the motel lounge and the news that a faulty air sensor had been the real culprit all along. What a relief! We were so excited to be able to finish out our trip the way we started. The smoky, slightly funky smells of our camping gear wedged in every nook and cranny of our car never smelled so good.