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Fun with fuel and fan belts

Oh what a beautiful morning,

Oh what a beautiful day,

I’ve got a wonderful feeling,

Everything’s going my way.

–Chorus to Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’
Music from Oklahoma! by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Some days things just go your way! Bummer… yesterday wasn’t one of those days.

With our freshly-purchased ’63 Bambi in tow we’re headed south from Denver to Albuquerque. Enjoying the scenery. Life.

“Hey Matthew, why are we only going 20 miles per hour up these hills? What are we towing, a Bambi or a pile of rocks?”

Next thing you know there’s some father/son bonding going on under a greasy motorhome with iPhones in hand while Googling “Airstream motorhome bogging down, and deciphering what “obstructed fuel system delivery” actually means. You had to be there…

Later that night, the headlights go black somewhere between Trinidad and Raton and Google again delivers the answer: the alternator fan belt has broken, again. Only problem is we don’t have an extra fan belt… hmmmmmmm.

Our answer? Swap out one of the coach batteries with the dead motorhome battery.  But darn it, if every solution doesn’t come with another problem. Those batteries controlled the heater… and it’s 20 degrees out. No sleeping in our home on wheels tonight.

Hell-o-o-o, Embassy Suites! Nice rate, Priceline!

The next morning we get an early wake up call from Jim Statkus, owner of the Albuquerque, auto shop who repaired our carb and fan belt.

“I can’t believe you guys could drive down the highway with that vibration,” says Jim.

Trust us, Jim, vibrations were the least of our worries. And luckily, the vibrations turned out to be another Oklahoma wasp nest plastered to the inside of one of the rear dual wheels.

“Yes, officer, we are guilty of intra-state wasp transport.”

Next stop:  Flagstaff, AZ… and a good night’s sleep at the Courtyard Marriott. After a couple of extra spicy Dagwoods from the local Pita Pit, it was off to la-la-land.

Silver Bullet Starfleet log:  Wednesday morning 0800. We’re rolling westward on 40 again, now headed for Las Vegas to meet with Airstream design clients, and things are going our way. Fantastic snowy mesa views, historic Route 66 sites that sell tasty beef jerky, Hoover Dam, and, yes, more fun with fan belts… hey, life IS how you view it.

But looking back, we’ve been oddly fortunate with the weather. While working out in the hotel gym and watching the Weather Channel we’ve missed seven hail storms by detouring north through Kansas to pick up the Bambi in Denver, CO. Had we just taken the motorhome due west on Interstate 40 we would have certainly been pelted with “baseball-sized hail” and a tornado.

Some days just go your way, not because of what happens to you, but how you look at it.

Stay tuned, Airstream adventure-seekers… there’s an even zanier challenge around the next bend.

Click here for the next blog.

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