Life: Welcome Home!

West Vail Shell TowWell, here I am back in Vail, Colorado. I’ve nearly unpacked all of the things I stuffed into a storage unit for the summer and am slowly working my way through a mound of mail that accumulated in my absence. When I found a check for $148.00 with a “void after 90 days” stamp on it, I wished I had made an effort to put someone in charge of my mail while I was away, as it’s beyond the 90-day limit on that one. The guy who sublet my apartment kept it in great shape, and the guy I asked to look after The Old Lady kept her running. For those of you who don’t know, The Old Lady is my 1970 Volkswagen van. Mostly, this vehicle gives me fits. But I’m attached and can’t bear to get rid of it. Lately, The Old Lady has been running pretty well, but it has ongoing electrical and fuel system issues. I started it the other day, put on my headlights, threw it in neutral, and hopped out to see if my taillights were working properly. But when I walked around to the rear of the vehicle, I saw gasoline (!) spewing out from somewhere, forming a glossy puddle on the black pavement. I switched her off ASAP and walked over to The Vail Garage to consult Peter, my mechanic. The photos will help illustrate how I ended up getting The Old Lady to the garage:

Tow 1

I haven’t had to get a tow in quite a while, but I decided that it was necessary—with fuel gushing out right near two backfiring tailpipes. The tailpipes were actually smoking while gas was pouring out on the second time I attempted to drive it over to the garage.

Tow 2

I think it would be fun to be a tow truck driver. They probably get to hear lots of good stories, and they get to spend time on the road. Jason, from West Vail Shell, came to my aid here. I sat up front in the cab for the two-minute trip, which reminded me of the other longer journeys I’ve spent in the front seat with a tow truck driver with The Old Lady strapped onto a flatbed behind us. AAA-plus allows up to 100 miles of towing for free, so once when I broke down in the Mojave Desert, I got towed more that 90 miles from Barstow to Riverside, CA.

Tow 3

And then there was the time I got towed in Santa Monica when my clutch cable snapped, and the time I got towed when the electrical system failed on the highway to Pasadena, and the time I got towed in Limon, Colorado after I watched a guy start my air filters on fire with starter spray that ignited…ahhh. It’s good to be home.

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6 responses to “Life: Welcome Home!

  1. Shawna Macnamara

    I’m so sorry to hear, and see. I’m still in that awkward phase with Basel. A little afraid to be alone with him, but past the first kiss, we’re progressing. Keep me posted, would love to see her in Nov.

  2. Shawna Macnamara

    I was on the AAA website and it said that in order to upgrade to Plus you had to be a basic member with fewer that two tows per year for TWO years. Is that for real? Were you Plus when you had the Mojave tow? If so, wasn’t that under two years?

    • Wow…that’s news to me. I just went right for the AAA Plus. So, um, no. I didn’t have the basic AAA coverage for two years before that summer in CA…during which I got towed at LEAST three times by AAA.

  3. Update: fuel hoses were trashed (but fixed) and some electical problems worked on (but not totally resolved yet). Cost: $140.

  4. What are you doing hangin out at 911. This stuff is so funny that you could easily publish a book on this topic. Just think about it. Shawna’s comments are equally hilarious

  5. To prevent fires, have them spray just a little started fluid tight after you start cranking the engine – I had prior experience with this on my Dad’s old pickup in the early 60’s. Hang in there!! xo Dad

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