Home > Uncategorized > Two days in hell, with light at the end

Two days in hell, with light at the end

September 5/Day 50. By Monday morning I’m feeling a little more optimistic. I decide to crawl around under the truck to see if I can locate any damage, but find nothing obvious. Nevertheless, I keep looking. My intuition, as well as some long-established online friends I message through my iPhone tether, tells me there has to be something wrong with the fuel system. Inch by agonizing inch I examine the fuel lines, fuel filter, water separator and electric wires that comprise the undercarriage fuel system.

At last I find a crack in an electrical connector leading to a component that tells the driver if there’s water in the fuel. I pull it free, pick away the loosened bits of splintered plastic shielding around it, and firmly reinsert it.

Crawling slowly out from under the truck (I’m way too old for this shit) I get in the driver’s seat and crank the engine. I keep cranking it for 30 seconds, maybe a minute—after all, what have I got to lose?

She catches! After running rough for half a minute, she settles into the steady diesel rumble I know and love so well. I let her idle for an hour, stepping up to punch the accelerator every ten minutes or so, testing her. Then I use the considerable length of the asphalt parking lot as a drag strip, making several runs up and down with the trailer in tow. I feel nothing amiss.

I call Jane, my chief mechanic and encourager; after consulting with her I decide to make a modified run to Lake Tahoe through Carson City, where there’s another Ford dealer, just in case….

Everything goes well. I stop in Carson City for fuel and notice at the next pump an obvious Burner couple (you can tell by the dust coating everything) who left Black Rock City a day later than I did. We get to chatting and I tell my tale of woe, how if I had stayed like they did none of this would have happened, blah, blah, blah. Bless her heart, the young woman comes over and gives me a long, heartfelt hug. “It’s all good,” she says.

And it is. Tonight I’m sitting in beautiful Fallen Leaf Campground on Lake Tahoe, feeling confident and content. The past two days my most harrowing in memory, but they’re behind me now.

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