Sunday, December 1, 2013

Return from Hell

We are on our way home from the 10 day trip from hell.   According to our GPS we should be home early afternoon today (Sunday December 1st).     

Our final night in Carrollton was spent in the Butler Park.   It was without a doubt the nicest part of our trip.   After we finally got Myrtle back from Gene and Son's, it was too late to hit the road, so we gassed up and tucked in for the night.    First thing in the morning, Gerry was outside (I was sleeping still) and a deer walked right past Myrtle about 10 feet away.   It was a quiet, peaceful place this time of year. 

It was -4 Celcius that night.   We were thankful to be plugged in, warm and cozy. 

We left Carrollton Thursday November 28th, elated that we were finally on our way, 7 days into our trip, we were starting day 2. 

oh oh....what's this?    173 miles down the road the oil pressure dropped down to nothing and Myrtle died.

Being American Thanksgiving, it was a huge ordeal finding a tow tuck.  We were a few miles before the border into Tennessee.  AAA in  Kentucky could not find an affiliated towing company in the area, so they checked with  AAA Tennessee, who also could not find a towing company in the area.   They gave me a list of private towing companies I could call myself.   She said I would pay for it, submit the receipt and they would reimburse me.  After about 12 phone calls, I finally found one in Nashville that had a truck big enough (or small enough) to tow us.   The fee was literally highway robbery.   $500.00 just to hook it up and $6.00 per mile.   That meant it was going to be over $800.00 just to get 50 miles down the road to Nashville!   

I called CAA at home to make sure AAA didn't steer me wrong about the reimbursement and sure enough, they approved the tow.  They were astounded at the price as were we and everyone we have spoken to since. 

Being Thanksgiving no garages were open, so we had to tow Myrtle to a campground.  We picked Yogi Bear's in Nashville simply because they were the only ones who answered their phone.    The campground backed onto the Opsry Mall, one of Nashville's hotspots this time of year.   They had quite the light show.   

We got up first thing Friday morning and drove around to a few Ford dealerships in the area trying to find someone who could take Myrtle in and get her fixed before we would be stranded for the weekend.  From talking to the mechanics we were both hopeful and seriously concerned.   It could be as simple as changing out the crankshaft seal, or as awful as the piston rods were pooched, which would mean a whole new engine to fix her.    The estimate is $8012.00!!!!     

Sadly, it was the latter.   Gene and Son's had either put in a faulty seal, or they had not sealed the crankshaft properly when they put Myrtle back together.  

Oil had spewed out so much it got on the bracket that holds the side step.  

The faulty seal.  :(

In fact, the oil had spewed so far it got on Albert!  

Mid-Tenn Ford, Nashville Tennessee.   Myrtle's semi-final resting place.   The people at this dealership were extremely nice.   They let us camp in their parking lot for as long as it was going to take to make arrangements.    They even let us plug her in so we would not have to worry about our batteries running low.    They also let us leave Myrtle there for as long as it is going to take to figure out what to do with her.   All at no charge.   

 Good bye Myrtle, you served us well.

We rented a U-haul and picked it up Saturday  November 30th at 10:00 a.m.  We were on the road by 2:30 p.m.  heading  home with heavy hearts.    We stopped in Columbus Ohio for the night, we had hoped we could drive all the way home in one day, but after 6 hours of driving we were too sore, too tired, and too sad to go any further.  

We are both crippled up from doing way too much yesterday, but we want to get home, so we will just have to grin and bare it for a few more hours.    So far the lozenges that Gerry takes to hold off migraines is doing the trick this morning, but he is rough.    I am not exactly walking, more like shuffling,  but I can be sure I won't heal up sitting in a hotel room.    Time to get home to our creature comforts. 

The good news is we have 4 days to get home before we have to return the U-Haul, and we should be home this afternoon with 2 days to go!   We have to take it back to Niagara Falls, N.Y. before Wednesday 10:00 a.m.      We could have left her in Niagara Falls, Ontario, but the rental charge would have been an extra $300.00 .  

Incidentally, our dishwasher broke down the day before we left.  We knew we needed a new one for some time, but didn't have a large enough car to pick one up in (we didn't want to use Myrtle for a shopping trip), so we had been putting it off.   We might  pick one up on our way home today, or we might go shopping in Canada tomorrow.  :)    I am inclined to try to get it over with today, because I am pretty sure I will be flat on my back for several days by days end.