Sunday afternoon I was visiting with my great and and uncle, and then decided to go visit Melissa at the cat show she was working at. This was a half hour jaunt from my relative’s house, so I figured no big deal, I would find the place and suprise Melissa.
My plans got changed for me when I blew a heater hose on the interstate. I didn’t notice it right away. Well, I did notice it, but I didn’t put two and two together. I noticed a haze on my back window, which turned out to be antifreeze condensing back there after it escaped my engine in gaseous form. I passed it off as “oh, my window is dirty… that’s odd…”. My serpentine belt was also squealing a bit more than normal (due to molten hot liquids and gasses being dumped all over it, no doubt), but I was listening to loud techno at the time, so I again smoothed over any fears that may otherwise have been prudent (which I admit sheepishly. My only defense there is that old vehicles *always* make odd noises, right? .
I didn’t actually figure out what was going on until I noticed that my gas gauge (which was showing more than three quarters of a tank) was at the exact same angle as my temp. gauge…. ! … … !@!!
That’s when I finally fingured out that something was rotten in Denmark, where Denmark may or may not have been my engine. So I slowed down and got over to the right, then hobbled to an exit. I fould an empty parking lot and shut the poor thing off (it was doing ok until I stopped on my way off the freeway, I think the cold air blowing by was helping). It was seriously way too hot by that point.
So I pop the hood and saw immediately that it was a hose (thank God) and not a water pump or something. A hose I can deal with. So I removed the hose (in my Sunday best) and walked to a gas station to ask where an auto parts store was. It was ten miles to the nearest one. So I walked back to the truck to ponder my next move. Thankfully a kind soul named John heard me talking in the gas station, and drove over to offer me a lift. He took me to the auto parts store, and brought me back again when I was done. He works at a green house 3/4 of the year, and takes winters off work. He works 60 hours a week normally though, so he has an interesting life.
Anyway, when I got back to the exploder with the parts, I find out (after looking around in a panic) that I’d locked the keys inside. Doh!! What an idiot. Again, providence shone on me and I had the phone with me still, so I called AAA for an unlock. After waiting for said unlock for 30 minutes, I gave up and broke into the exploder myself (sorry exploder). That being done, I proceeded to repair the hose.
The hose repair was uneventful (the skin on my knuckles disagrees with that wording, but I maintain that it went well). My flashlight was a champ, I had enough antifreeze, etc.
Thank God for problems that have simple enough solutions. I had a more exciting than planned day, but it all worked out just fine. John took me for parts, I was able to unlock the truck myself, and Dad was able to give me all the hints I needed to make sure things were ok with the truck afterwards.
(wow, that ended up being a lot longer than I planned.)
I even got to drive one of my inlaw’s neighbors back to his stranded car that very night. So what goes around comes around. Or something.