Yesterday I took off from Des Moines at Midnight to Meet Austin in Ft. Collins, Colorado. It turned out to be a successful leg of the journey, after an energy drink, plenty of Chex Mix, and a thermos of the strongest coffee I’ve ever drank. It took 12 hours in total, which put me into Colorado at 11:00 am mountain time.
Austin and I spent and hour in Ft. Collins to grab lunch with friends and figure out where we were going to go next. Hitting the road again, we decided to push 5 more hours and make it into New Mexico, where we would camp on a National Wildlife Refuge. However, the heat, Denver traffic, and 900 miles all worked together to compromise the integrity of the Subaru.
About 45 miles from the New Mexico border, the engine started to heat up, so we pulled off at a truck stop. It wasn’t until we climbed out of the car that we discovered smoke billowing from the hood. Using all the two things I knew about cars, I opened the hood, let it cool down, and checked the fluids. After hours of pretending I knew what I was looking at, nothing appeared to be out of place, and the fluids were all good.
A kid not much older than us came up to us and told us he ran out of gas. We told him we would hook him up if he knew anything about the engine (he claimed to know about cars, but he ran out of gas so I was speculative to say the least). After talking for a bit and poking around in the engine, he thought it may be a bad thermostat, So we decided to have it checked out in the morning.
We crossed the street to a rest area and parked for the night. Nestled between two Semi-trucks, we grilled some chicken for dinner and stayed up late talking in the parking lot. Realizing I hadn’t slept in quite some time, we crawled into the trailer and fell asleep to the low churning of trucker generators.
Obviously this stop took us by surprise, but after calming down, we are all the more excited about the trip. In hindsight, we are ahead of schedule, as long as nothing major is wrong with the car. We’ll take it easy on the car today and probably see what a mechanic has to say. Next stop, Bluewater Lake west of Albuquerque.