In marched the two truck mechanics looking as if they had just finished a long shift in a coal mine. They were black and filthy. They were very friendly, professional and competent looking, but they were covered with grease and god knows what else. After their first pass through Beluga's light colored and clean interior Mr. David sprang into action and covered our carpet and off white leather furniture with every available towel and scrap of plastic he could find.
Gritty electric cords snaked through Beluga, from front to back. Tools spread out over the floor where Mr. David's towels didn't reach.....oh my, oh my.
My freshly laundered bed clothes fluttered in the wind from an industrial strength shop fan. My closet open and gaping.
A relatively benign and easily fixed problem became a little more difficult when the technician informed us they had no parts to fix this situation. It was too late to overnight them......The earliest they would be in Grand Junction would be Monday, the latest Wednesday. No, we couldn't stay in Beluga while we waited, regulations forbid anyone living inside the repair bays. Hmmmmm.
So, we'll just get a pet friendly hotel room in the area and wait, right? Another seemingly easy task that became very difficult. Every place I called had no vacancies until Monday night. Evidently the Grand Valley Kennel Club's 50th anniversary 4 day dog show was in town.....
|are we there yet?|
Finally a lovely front desk manager at the LaQuinta took pity on us and found a room for the night. Just that night, however. Our sweet dogs had been in the jeep, with a few quick "get busy" breaks for 12 hours at that point. Such good dogs, such troopers they are.
|3rd cutting and the Palisades colored by the setting sun|
The only realistic alternative to sleeping in the jeep for the weekend was for us to drive from Grand Junction to Denver (a mere 520 miles round trip), pick up the needed parts, turn right around and drive back to Grand Junction. Simple.
Our mechanic, Kevin, assured us that if we did that he would put them in and we'd have Beluga back in our hands at the end of the day.
So, after a brief but sound night's sleep at LaQuinta (thanks Gabrielle) we loaded up the dogs in the jeep and off we went. The ride was as beautiful going as coming. We marveled, once again, at the beauty of the Palisades, Glen Canyon, the Great Hogback, Battlement Mountain, the Colorado River, the electric yellow of the Aspens and the blue blue sky.
We won't talk about the periodic traffic jams that these beautiful fall colors caused along the way, or the squeeze down of lanes caused by road construction near the Eisenhower Tunnel, or the mass of Denverites (is that a word?) trying to get to the mountains for the weekend...
|beauty everywhere you look,|
even reflected in van windows ahead of you....
Luckily our crack Mechanic, Mr. David, is also a skilled negotiator because the woman in parts at Wagner Caterpillar Dealer in Denver was not inclined to give us the will call parts. She said that they did not hand over valuable parts to the general public. I won't go into it, but Mr. David came out with said parts and we headed back over the mountains to Kevin and Beluga.
We believe that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Instead of lemonade we had gin and tonics on our beach chairs under a shady tree between repair garage's parking lot and the road. The dogs appreciated the cool grass and we were able to flag down a passing Domino's pizza delivery man. Pizza by the roadside at dusk, does life get any better?
Kevin was true to his word and Beluga was repaired to our satisfaction and pulled out of the repair bay at 1:30 a.m.
Dave and I were completely exhausted as we drove to a nearby rv park and tried to set up quietly. I won't bore you with the embarrassing details of my complete mental breakdown when trying to find our site in the dark. Needless to say Beluga's usually competent navigator was not......
We're staying at the pleasant RV Ranch in Grand Junction for a few days to recuperate from the busy Boulder wedding festivities and these crazy last days.
(Speaking of the wedding, I took no pictures at either the pre or post parties nor the Wedding itself. I was busy enjoying myself and my family and friends. As people send me photos, I'll show them to you)