Tuesday morning, my car's new airflow meter had come in and after a brief trip to the supermarket, I was off again! Yay! Traveling at great speeds across the American West. I crossed the continental divide. I was in Wyoming. That state is barren. There's nothing for miles and miles and miles. It was in one of these great empty stretches, while I was trying to go 85 mph uphill, that my engine lost some power and the check engine light came on. AUGHHHHH!!!!!
The closest VW dealership to the middle of Wyoming is in a suburb of Salt Lake City. My car was still running, even if not at 100%. If I stop at a mechanic and they need a part, they're going to have to ask a dealership to send it. Probably one in the Salt Lake region. So I slowed down and kept driving for many many hours until I got to the designated suburb of Salt Lake. In the morning, I called the dealer. They gave me a 3:00 appointment. I checked out of my motel at the last possible moment and then went to a supermarket to get some lunch. At the deli counter, they were selling pistachio salad. I did not buy any, but I must launch into a tangent.
My mom used to make this sweet dessert that she called pistachio pudding. It was a tub of coolwhip mixed with pistachio-flavored jello pudding, mixed with walnuts and miniature marshmallows. I loved it when I was a kid, although my enthusiasm for it declined over time. For years I've wondered who could have come up with such a monstrosity. Apparently, it's the Mormons. I can also give you a fun office decorating tip from Utah. If you have people who might need to fill out paperwork, you can decorate the pens! Get a flower pot and fill it with beans. Then get a bunch of cheapo pens, some green tape and some fake flowers. Tape the flowers to the pend and wind the tape down the whole length of then pen so it looks like a stem. Then stick all the pens in the flower pot so it looks like a lovely bouquet and confuses out-of-towners when you tell them to sign something but give them no pen. (Every single business I frequented was doing this. Every single one.)
Back to our story . . . So with nothing whatsoever to do in a suburb so boring that they put modesty shields on the magazine racks so you don't accidentally see a swimsuit, I showed up 2.5 hours early to the dealership. While I was on my way, the check engine light turned off. *Frustration level high* They got me in early. I have an intermittent problem with a valve in my intake manifold. This means I can lose power, but the car won't die. Also, further experience shows that I only encounter this problem while trying to go 80+mph over the rockies or Sierras. Right.
So I left the dealer at 3:00 and drove all the way home, including through a pouring rain on the western side of the Sierras. California has the worst maintained section of 80. The road was torn to shreds, I couldn't see the lane markings at all because they were also torn up. Grrr.
But seriously, why do people like road trips? That sucked. I had a lot more time going the other direction, cuz I stopped at casinos and did a few things, but unfortunately, I also stopped to get married. Alas. Anyway, even if you stop and check out the burbs and the smallish towns in Nebraska: road trips suck. Suck.
That seemed so much longer than a week.