Sunday, August 3, 2014

Southwest Wanderings: 300 More Miles for a Penny!

Okay, I admit it, my car is far from new, but I like my car a lot. During our trip through Northern Arizona last weekend, we were all set to go again on Monday morning when we were surprised by a dead car. I mean flat line, no life, no beeps, no lights, nothing at all.

We had just replaced this battery two weeks earlier, so we found that pretty odd. The desert eats batteries about every year so its something one needs to stay on top of.

Well, my husband and companion wanderer is one of those MacGyver types. After getting a jump (yep we always carry cables) from fellow travelers, he confronted things under the hood and found that the....okay you guys, this is in layman's terms, this is a gal who does not know cars writing this!......  He found that the connection to the battery post was loose and would not close all the way. I was dismayed as I thought we'd need to high tail it back home and give up this last leg of the trip out to the Vermilion Cliffs and Marble Canyon. In fact I suggested we do so and not risk the car going dead again. 

Stalling in the middle of the desert, miles from any service is not my idea of a hot date ! (yes, that pun was intended)
Well  Bob said, "Nope, we'll handle it, just give me a minute and I need to find a couple of tools." So, after a good breakfast and borrowing a few things from the local gas station, Bob set to work. After a bit of banging under the hood he came and asked me for a penny.

I said, "A penny?"  He said, "Yes, a penny.  My wife wants to see the Vermilion Cliffs, and I just need a penny to get you there."
God love him!

He added, "I just need to close that connection (thingy)  with something conductive (?) that will hold through the rest of the trip until we get home and I can fix it properly." (My hero!)

I handed him a penny, and more pounding and banging ensued........

 Now, I need to add that Bob is an electrician and mechanic who worked years in manufacturing, fixing heavy equipment and programming production lines as a process control engineer.  Like I said, he's awfully handy to have around for various reasons. So don't any of you go trying this if you don't know what you're doing, okay? Yes, the engine was running while he was banging on things and fixing the "thingy", and that always makes me a bit nervous. After a bit, Bob said, "Okay, good to go!"

 As you can see in the pictures, the penny is wedged into the "thingy" and closed the electrical connection to keep the battery charged as we drove.

So that is how a penny bought me an extra day's drive, to the Vermilion Cliffs, Marble Canyon, Navajo Bridge, back to the Kaibab Plateau, a stop at Pipe Springs National Monument, and a 4 hour drive back home to Vegas. Over 300 extra miles. A very good deal, but honestly, it's that husband of mine who is priceless!

Here are some more of the views that penny bought me...

Marble Canyon and the Colorado River

Boulders that have fallen from the cliffs

Rock Dwellings

More fallen boulders

The Vermilion Cliffs (Kaibab Plateau in the distance)

View North of the Kaibab into Utah

Pipe Springs National Monument
Lee's Ferry Lodge
Inside the castle at Pipe Springs National Monument

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