So. Just over a week ago, I drove out to Limon, Colorado to exhume the van. In Eastern Colorado, the wind blows hot, and the sun burns so bright that even my memories of the event are washed out. The plan was to get the van going and then leapfrog it back to Colorado Springs, me driving with a friend following in her car.
I had high hopes; the Old Lady miraculously started when I went out to check on her in May, but this time, she just wouldn’t fire up. And the left front tire was flat. Again. Wade—shed owner—had his uncle come out to meet me, which was great since his family owns a towing business. Before yanking the van out of the shed, we tried everything within our power to get it going. Neither of us being mechanics, we had flames spouting from the engine compartment when starter spray lit one of the air filters. Stressful. But nothing a few panicked screams (and some water) couldn’t fix.
Based on previous experience, I knew enough to wait to retrieve the van until I had a decent chunk of money saved. I bought the thing for $1000 in 2003—and then few weeks later spent more than that replacing the engine when it blew up in the Mojave Desert.
The trip to Limon ended up being less painful that I thought it would be. Only $60 for the tow to a shop, and then only $21.60 for an oil change. But I knew that the mechanic who worked on it had to do more than an oil change. He had to start it, too, and when I asked him what he did, he said that he just turned a screw or two on the engine block. Um. Maybe. The tire? Just added air.
I wish that the world were as generous as that mechanic in Limon, Colorado.