I'm going to be in Kearney Nebraska until Monday or maybe even Tuesday, who knows? Did you know that the University of NE faculty art show goes until tomorrow? I'm going to go check it out. It's probably a few miles to walk it, but what they hey?
Ok, for those of who driven across the country: you know that giant arch over 80 in Nebraska that's attached to the tourist trap looking thing with the teepees and the log fort? That's Kearney. I'm probably not going to see the arch thingee because that would be a rather long walk.
all this talk of walking!
So I didn't get my car serviced before I left Connecticut. I couldn't find anybody to work on it aside from the dealership and they've been much less than stellar. I called them though, told them the milage and asked if it would probably ok to drive across the country without getting it serviced first. They looked up my service record and said sure. I asked about my brakes (they were squeaking) and they said those were due for replacement. So I got my back breaks replaced (and my front breaks oiled, since they were actually the ones squeaking) right before I left. And I was off. As close as Danbury, I noticed that I was pushing the pedal to the floor but wasn't accelerating on the hills. Wow, my tuba and stuff must weigh more than I thought! I stopped for a while when I finally got on 80, and then the hills and stuff were fine. I guess 80 must be at a shallower grade (it doesn't look like it, but whatever.) Yesterday, I noticed that my car seemed sluggish after a couple hours of driving. It picked back up again after giving it a rest though. Something must be wrong. Maybe my brakes are dragging. They seem ok, though. Geez. Well, I'll have my mechanic look at it when I get home.
So today, maybe a hundred miles past Omaha, the engine seemed to run out of oomph. I stopped for a little bit, walked the dog, worried and got back in the car. A few minutes later, it really crapped out. I was flooring it and going maybe 60. This was sudden. The check engine light came on. Oy. I drove it to a gas station. The very nice attendants called every car service place in town. One was open. I drove my cart there. They suspected it needed a new fuel filter. It took a couple of hours at least to find one. The mechanics were really nice. One of them was talking to another guy about selling calves. I'm a vegetarian, city dwelling lesbian. They're not my people. Would they be so nice if they knew? I was thinking about an article I read in Salon a while ago about a guy talking about how people can seem like the nicest folks in the world, but when you tell them that you're gay or a jew or whatever, game over. I didn't want to make assumptions. One of the guys came over and started talking about how he used to live in Anaheim. The gooks have taken over that town, he explained. Alas. My sleeping bag is sitting on top of my "Stop Racism NOW" sign I brought back from the anti-RNC protest.
They were nice to me, as long as I kept quiet. I don't see why those gay folks have to be so in your face all the time. I didn't want to object to this man's racism or say anything really because there I am in a state so red it would make Reagan's corpse blush and my car is broken and they're going way out of their way to find parts for me on a saturday. Because I'm white. Because I didn't shave my head before I left. Because because because. I feel bad about the whole exchange in some ways, even though I feel extremely grateful. I gave them a CD when I left. "It's kind of weird." I said. The head mechanic thanked me. He had just test driven my car. No problems going 80 mph, he said. (The speed limit on the interstate is 75)
The hood release lever broke off inside my car that morning. The engine had troubles for the first time ever. But whatever, I'm on my way.
Not long after, the problem reoccurred. I called up the shop I was just at, they told me to drive on the next 30 miles to Kearney. They said they had no idea what else might be wrong. Also, maybe they had listened to my CD. heh heh. sigh
I put my pedal to the floor, got up to 60 mph and burned up a couple of gallons of gas and got to the next big town.
So I'm in lovely Kearney, where there is a foreign car shop. (The autodealerships here: fork, chevy, buick) It opens on Monday. Hopefully, they have a computer which can download data from my car's computer and thus can figure out what the heck is going on. The check engine light keeps a log of error codes.
I was hoping to get back sunday night. I drove 1600 miles in two days and had 1600 miles to go. At least I am stealing free wifi from somebody (who?) at the Motel 6