Friday, May 2, 2008

The Ginzu car trip

Today I picked up my elderly Suburban from the auto repair shop. With over 175,000 miles, every mile we squeeze out of her is a blessing. We are so in love with not having a car payment, that we will drive her as long as we can, and put everyone we know on our emergency "come pick me up 'cause I'm stranded" call list. (Thank goodness for cell phones) If it weren't for the family reunion a couple of years ago, I would have very few complaints with the Burb.

We were pulling our tent trailer to Tom's family reunion outside of Burley in early August. I was a little on guard, because at the same trip the year before, the fuel pump had gone out in the middle of the night outside of Mountain Home. Tom's brother drove from Burley in his expedition and towed us home. While we waited by the side of the road, the semi's would pass us and shake us. It was not a pleasant experience.

Forward to the next year, we had gotten off earlier, it was nice to travel in daylight. The closer we got to Burley, the more I was able to relax. We were within forty minutes when Tom noticed something wrong. He saw oil spraying out the back and onto the tent trailer. He pulled over and quickly realized, our transmission was shot. We hobbled into Jerome, found a repair shop, poured transmission fluid in and limped into Burley. An arm and a leg later, we thought all was good.

BUT, That's not all
During the reunion at the family cabin, Cam and Tom went exploring a nearby mountain in the Burb. When they were coming back and almost to the cabin, Cam told his dad that he had no power. They coasted into the driveway. After investigating, he decided it was the fuel pump (again!) The cabin is about 45 miles from Burley. He called a tow company to have it towed into town. Another arm later, we thought all was good.

BUT, that's not all
As we were packing up, getting ready to head home, Tom took the two little girls to the park one last time. They played for awhile and on their way home, he couldn't steer. By then, we were ready to use the guns the adults had been using for target practice, to put the burb out of her misery! (and ours) When Tom popped the hood, a belt had disintegrated and another part had melted. Tom's mom let us borrow a car to pick up the parts. So a trip to Burley to pick up the parts and head on back to fix it and be on our way. Of course, the belt was the wrong size! At this point, it needs to be made clear that the language used has been repented of. We hop back in the car, head towards Burley when we see a tiny shop not far from the cabin. We stop in and, luckily, they have the right belt and were happy to sell it to us for twice what it was in Burley. Yay, us! Tom, put the car back together. I no longer thought all was good.

BUT, that's not all
The store that sold us the fuel pump the year before, said we could bring it back and get our money back. We packed it in our trailer at the cabin. One of the girls wanted a pair of shoes, Tom pulled it out, set it on top, and got the shoes. When we got to the store, the fuel pump was nowhere to be found. We were beyond frustrated at this point. After driving back to the cabin and searching all along the way, we finally gave up, defeated, and headed home.

BUT,that's not all
On the way home, I was on edge. Every little click, bump or sound had me convinced that something else was going to happen. We made it to La Grande when the car shuddered. I started laughing! What else could I do? Shockingly, it wasn't the burb this time. One of the tires on the trailer had separated and blown up. Because it was so big, Tom had a very difficult time getting it off. After much effort, he finally got it off. Luckily, this happened in La Grande where there is a Les Schwab. Tom changed the tire, and we continued home. Now, not only was I waiting for the burb to fall apart piece by piece, I was waiting for the other tire to blow. When we pulled into the driveway, I threw open the door, jumped out and kissed the ground. I was home! I never want another trip like that again. With the money we spent on car repairs, we could have flown to Disneyworld, and stayed in a nice hotel for a week! That's another reason we are keeping the Burb. We put so much into it, we want to get more out of it. Strangely, Tom can't understand why I don't want to take it on a long trip ever again!


debsters said...

This story is absolutely amazing, that just wasn't fair, AT ALL. You've got me worried, we're driving to Utah this summer. I'm going to get a full tune up before we leave, you've been an inspiration.

terramisu said...

Put me on your call list! Growing up this happened to us all the time with our old van! We were stranded once somewhere around south dakota. Thank goodness for kind strangers with big hearts!

Jan said...

Nothing worse than a stressful trip involving a vehicle. You poor thing. A lesson learned for you and us all. Better travels ahead.

Deborama said...

thats crazy! Where are you going this summer?