Remember what I was saying about uncertainty regarding the capability of the Big Bad Blue Bronco to make this trip. Well, I was, as they say, "spot on" on that one. The trip started well. I got off just after 0800 and was just coming over the pass at Monument, Colorado -- about 35 miles into the trip -- when the BBBB began coughing and limping and making all manner of sounds with flashing lights to go with it. I took the nearest exit and coasted to a stop light and prayed it would start again. It did, but with no oil pressure it didn't want to stay that way. I managed to coax a little pressure out of the engine at the red light and by the time it turned green we limped across the intersection and into a little parking lot. The whole time, I swear I could hear the Bronco whimpering, "I'm am not pulling this thing one more mile, much less to Texas!"
I found a safe out-of the-way parking spot and messaged my son, Josh. Pretty soon, he was calling back that he was on his way with my trusty Highlander. I could not ask for a more handsome and reliable hero, especially over this past year. He never lets me down.
My dogs, on the other hand... Because I am such a good dog owner, and kind, and considerate. Before I did anything else, I put the dogs on the leash and was going to take them for a little walk. Within moments, they'd slipped their collars and both took off across a four-lane road. It took two of us, but they were finally corralled and releashed (with tighter collars) and back across the highway and back into the car to reflect on their transgressions.
Within minutes of Josh's arrival, we had the Bronco unloaded and the Highlander hitched up and loaded up and I was ready to go again. The loading and unloading took a little time because along with a chair for a friend in San Antonio (I have to get rid of those chairs somehow), I am carrying over 100 blankets in all sizes from baby to twin size bed for a special drive being conducted by Project Linus for the military dependent families evacuated from the triple tragedies in Japan. I am delivering them to San Antonio and will write more about it later in the trip.
Josh limped back to Parker in the Bronco, and I turned the Highlander onto I-25 heading south. The trip after that was pleasant mostly, except for the sound of gas being sucked through the carburetor at a ridiculous rate. At 8.8-11 miles to the gallon, this will be one of my costlier camping trips. But as I slipped past the Spanish Peaks and over the Raton Pass, the enjoyment of the trip came back in the scenery and the wildlife.
We're camped near Santa Rosa, New Mexico, and one dog walk away from bedding down for the night. Will write more tomorrow.