Sunday, January 06, 2008

Day Five to Asheville - Sunday, December 30th - 28 miles to go!

Five days to Asheville - this is getting ridiculous. It shoul dhave been two, but driving between 40 and 60 MPH had slowed us down. Worse yet, having to drive only by day, because the alternator was charging too little, and hitting the New York, New Jersey traffic made it slower still.

(When I wrote this sentence originally I mistyped alternator as "laternator." Seems so appropriate now.)

After stopping the night before, I let the engine run for a few minutes, and hoped to recharge the battery once again. During the evening I was able to watch the Patriots conclude their regular season with the perfect 16-0 record with the come from behind win against the Giants. Even my mom enjoyed that game.

It was raining. I put on my trademark Gortex hat and went out to the start the car. The battery was low, and so I found a guy with a pickup truck to help me jump the car. He pulled up to help me out, and we let the battery charge a bit while we stood and talked in the drizzling cold rain. He was headed to California for a 3 month long job as a boiler repair guy at a refinery in LA.

Once I went to the start the car I would not start up. I had no sense of engine problems upon letting it idle the night before, but no matter how much I tried the car would not start. It had lots of charge, and even sounded like it had fuel getting to it each time I initially turned the key, but it would not start.

My new found friend from Florida who was headed to California stayed to help. We stood in the slowly increasing rain, and tried several times. A diesel emergency repair truck came into the parking lot. The shop happened to be right in front of my car, and they were working on this Sunday morning. The owner of the shop was in the truck, and I thought that this was exactly what I needed. He pulled out the ether to work his magic, but the car still would not start. He stood and looked at it and said, "It got spark. It sounds like its getting fuel. I been doin' this fer 22 years, and I can't say I ever seen somethin' like this. It won't even take the ether."

Great. So I have the unique situation with my '86 740 Volvo Diesel wagon. Unique cars - unique problems I guess.

We said goodbye to our friend from Florida, and called Elijah and Rhonda. They drove up to Waynesville from Asheville to pick us up.

We left the Volvo and the trailer at Midway Motel in Waynesville, NC on Sunday, December 3, and 28 miles later we were at Elijah and Rhonda's house in Asheville, NC - but their house is another tale. The tale of the 1986 740 Volvo diesel wagon will continue tomorrow. Tomorrow would be Monday and we could deal with it then.

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