Sunday, June 18, 2017

Colorado--day 8

9:10 a.m. -- After working for two solid hours (cleaning the entire cabin, washing, drying, and replacing bedding and towels, packing and loading up the van), we got a nice early start for a long day of driving.

9:20 a.m.-- Mike noticed that one of the tires on the van was a little low on air, so he decided to fill it up before we went any further.  When he twisted the cap off, the whole valve stem broke off, and all the air rushed out of the tire.  So there we were on the side of a dirt road at the bottom of Mt. Princeton with a flat tire.
 Notice Noah is barefoot, because he had settled in for a 15 hour drive home.
 Noah worked on getting the spare tire ready while Mike removed the flat tire.  See those turdy-looking things behind Noah?  I spent several minutes trying to figure out what kind of animal poops in that shape before I realized they were old, dirt-covered hot dogs.

 After working in the hot sun on the dry dirt road, Noah opened the back of the van to find Sarah lying like a slug in a nest of blankets and pillows she'd made.  He put on an English accent and said, "Oh hello milady! Can I serve you in any way?  Perhaps lick your feet clean? Oh wait...they're not even dirty because you've been sitting in the chariot the whole time."  She just shrugged and said, "Not MY fault you didn't wear shoes." 

We drove into town to get the tire fixed.  Buena Vista is a small town, and it was a Saturday morning, which meant nowhere to get the tire fixed, which meant we had to drive 30 miles to the next town (Salida).  It took a long time, because you can't drive over 45 mph on the spare. The people at Big O Tires were wonderful, put a new valve stem on, only charged $15, gave us a free map, and got us back on the road within an hour.  By then it was after noon, and we had made almost zero progress toward home.

About an hour and half later, we came to an intersection where a woman was holding a cardboard sign on which she'd written "Any help appreciated".  I was in the middle of eating a bag of grapes, so I handed the bag to Mike to give to her.  He rolled down his window and yelled, "Are you hungry?  I've got some grapes."  Noah, oblivious, yelled from the back of the van, "No, thanks. I'm not hungry. Just thirsty."

By afternoon, we had decreased in elevation, and it was HOT on the dry dusty plains.

We had gone from 35 on the top of Cottonwood Pass a few days ago to 102, all within the same state.

8:00 p.m.  The kids wanted to watch a DVD, so I was looking through the selections, which we've been adding to since the kids were little.  Jokingly I asked them if they wanted to watch "Baby Genius: Trip to the San Diego Zoo".  They both said, "Oh yes! We love that one!" So that's what they did for the next 45 minutes.

We drove all night and arrived home around 5:45 a.m. totally exhausted.  You can't tell it in this picture, but these three furballs were thrilled to see us!

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