Well, the move is nearing completion. We've just about got the house situated the way we like, and made a start at an herb garden. Tell you what, I can't believe how great this place is! It just gets more and more comfortable as we go on.
Earlier this week my laptop from work decided to go kaput, turns out the motherboard was a bit crispy 'round the AC plug area. This put a delay in me starting my route, and consequently allowed me to see Point Juncture, WA at the Doug Fir Lounge last night. After seeing my long-time friends totally vibe together and put on a solid inspiring show, I feel rejuvenated. I guess that was good, because today put my high spirits to the test. With my laptop repaired by a friendly Dell tech, I set of to begin my 1,000 mile trip through southern Oregon and Northen California.
As I crossed Blue Box Pass east of Government Camp today, one of my dummy lights came on in the instrument panel. This was cause for concern. Was is that my wet cells in my battery had dried up due to the 100+ degree heat from the weekend, or was it something worse? Turns out is was something worse. My alternator decided to call it quits today while I was many miles from the next town. My dash lights slowly dimming, clock completely dead, and all accessories shut down to conserve power and lessen the load, I coasted into Madras to have my worst fears confirmed by a friendly auto parts guy. The alternator was most certainly the culprit. He suggested I try to make it to Redmond and see if I could find a shop. When I arrived in Redmond, I pulled into the first parts store I could find, and the car abruptly died. Boo. The nice man there told me that their store in Bend had a remanufactured alternator, and that if we stuck a new battery in, I could make it there and pick up the alternator.
I would say that I'm decently handy with tools and cars and what have you, but my car manufacturer one-upped my skillz for sure. It was no problem to disconnect the electrical elements and unbolt the alternator from the bracket, the trick was HOW THE HELL DO I GET IT OUT OF THE ENGINE BAY??? I pulled, I pushed, I shimmied, I squeezed, I cursed, and I furrowed the brow, none of these efforts proving fruitful. There just wasn't enough room between the intake manifold and the firewall to get it out. I was nearing the point of despair when along came some very nice locals who asked me what I was up to, and upon hearing that I was trying to extricate an alternator, immediately postponed whatever plans they had and came to my rescue. We ended up unbolting one of the motor mounts, sliding my 2-ton floor jack underneath the oil pan, and jacking the engine up whilst prying it away from the firewall with a pick axe!
Long story short, I went from feeling totally screwed and helpless, hundreds of miles from home, to saved in a matter of an hour. These kind gentlemen refused any form of payment and departed as swiftly as they had arrived. To my disbelief, I was driving a functional car again, so soon after flirting with feelings of hope lost. Wow. Thank you, whoever you are, for aiding a fellow human in a time of need. Thank you.