We planned that Friday, May 1, 2015 our drive would be from Provo UT to Grand Junction CO, about 5 hours. The best laid plans do go awry. We got to Fruita, CO, just east of the UT/CO border, filled the MH with diesel and started up the mountain passes to Vail, CO. Planned to go through Grand Junction, CO and travel another hour or two. We started up the pass and the MH just would not pick up speed. After a couple of 18-wheelers passed us and our speed could not get faster than 15 miles per hour, we knew we had a problem. We could get up to 60 miles per hour going down hill, but that did not help going up hill! At Parachute, CO we pulled off and parked in front of a Shell Station. A call was placed to our insurance company and two hours later we were picked up by a flat bed equipment hauler and taken back to Grand Junction. Watching this truck driver put the motor home on his trailer gave me a whole new respect for truck driver skills.
We had disconnected the Jeep and drove behind our trailered rig to get to a business named Bear Automotive. Do not break down on a Friday night, anywhere!! The owner was still on sight (thank heavens) and allowed us to park in his lot, gravel and within 10 feet of a train yard….an active rail line with Amtrack at least twice a day and several freight trains also. He made sure that we had a 120 power line to the MH. Monday May 4th was the first time they could look at the rig and that was in the afternoon. Due to the symptoms that the MH presented it was thought that we may have gotten bad diesel. Bear Automotive changed the fuel filter but did not find any water in it. We stayed another night and after paying the repair bill, we headed to the local Cummins Dealer. They took one look, found that some bolts had come apart under the engine, bolts that kept the air in the system to allow turboboost to get more umph to the engine. Do you like my mechanical terms? Four hours with them and all was well. We decided to spend one more night in Grand Junction, but in an RV Park to have full hook ups.
In the process of getting to a RV Park, one more incident on the trails resulted in the windshield breaking and the refrigerator popping out of it’s upper placement. We got into a new park, Moon Dance RV Park, which had full hook ups, was clean and not to close to either the railroad tracks or I-70. The next morning Wednesday the 6th we called a mobile RV repair person. He looked at the frig, popped it back in place and recommended that we have it checked out for leaks and secured into place. He would not be able to work on it until Tuesday, May 12th. We had also been working with Glass Brokerage and the insurance company for windshield replacement. They had to order the glass and it would not arrive until Wednesday the 13th. We decided to spend a week at Moon Dance RV and we got a discounted rate. Nice people, had laundry facilities and a good place to stay.
We spent the next few days trying to burn time. Thank heavens for McDonald’s free wi-fi. Mother’s day was celebrated with both of us getting pedicures and a nice dinner out. A few days earlier Jack got a new pair of glasses and .is now seeing much better.
The refrigerator was fixed as planned on the 12th. We then traveled to the Glass Brokerage where they allowed us to dry camp in their parking lot. While Glass Brokerage waited for the windshield to arrive we decided to go see one of the sights in the area.
May 13th we visited the Colorado National Monument, a National Park since 1911, established by John Otto, before the Park Service. The roads and tunnels were build, primarily by hand with pick and shovel by the CCCs in the 1930’s. The borders along the road look much like the ones on the way up to Mt Rainier. I am guessing if we looked at other roads built by the CCCs that the guard stones would be much the same. This Park is part of the “greater Colorado Plateau” which covers parts of four states and includes the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Arches national parks. The area is semi-desert and as we drove through, it reminded both of us of the Northeast Arizona landscape. The formations in these canyons are like “sky-scrapers-in-stone.” The views are breathe taking and pictures do not do the Park justice.
When you are driving through the park, it is amazing. We recommend, if you are in this area, stop by. It is well work the time.
While all this manipulation and repairs were going on, I was in communication with Tonya, my friend from nurses training. She lives in the Denver area. We worried together about snow and getting across the pass and expected us to have finished our visit before they headed out to a long weekend in Minnesota. That is not happening. They left this morning and we are still here in Grand Junction. The plan is that the windshield will get put in this am, be done about 1 pm and we can get on the road.
We will fill with diesel on our way out of Grand Junction and go as far as we can. Our reservations for Buckley AFB in Aurora, CO begin Friday the 15th and we will be there a week. Tonya gave me a list of things to do and I also some some additional things on line.