The morning started with a search and destroy mission. We were searching for the source of the scraping noise coming from under the hood, and when we finally found it after calling my brother, Pat, on Facetime to show him the engine and let him listen, taking off a couple of belts and opening up the doghouse, it turned out to be coming from the same little part that's been acting up since the beginning. The choke thermostat. It was missing a gasket last week, so we made a new one out of cork. That only lasted for a few days and became a pile of ash because it's just too damn hot for cork in that part of the exhaust! We had tightened it down, but it had rattled loose, and it was screaming at me. We figured if we just tightened it down until we could get some high heat gasket material, it would be ok. That's where the destroy part of the morning mission came in. We tightened it just a little too far, and the bolt sheared off. Shit. Drilling it out was risky because we didn't want to grind the threads off. When Pat called back to check in on us, it was him who blew a gasket when he heard what happened! I got a lecture about all the things you check on before buying an old van, and I explained that I expected things to go wrong. (We agreed to disagree on that.) The plan after my scolding was over came together pretty quickly. We found a mechanic that had the proper tools, and we knew we could trust him because he was missing 3 fingers! He drilled and tapped a new hole to the side of the original one, (my idea! And it worked!) and put some high heat RTV in there, and we hit the road! I did also learn that you've got to watch your boots on a hot manifold. But now I will always have a reminder of today on my feet.
Needless to say, we were way behind schedule at this point, but we decided to reward ourselves with In and Out Burgers before getting down to serious miles. Once we crossed the California border, it was open farm land for miles and miles, and I loved it. What I didn't love was parting ways with Yoro, as he went on to the next part of his adventure. He was the best road crew, fire builder, curry cooker and sneaky photo taker there ever could be.
Kelley powered us through the last 4 hours doing all the night driving, because I can't see jack when it gets dark, and she, Clem and I are now in Santa Cruz, getting much needed showers and looking forward to finding some weird roadside attractions as we head down the coast.
Today brought lessons in patience, and I think my brother may have lost his...he's not even on this trip with me, yet I still manage to get him wound up! I'm such a good little sister.