Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Durango, Being Towed, Then On the Road Again

As we said in the last post, we did not get to do everything we had planned while in Cortez, CO because the weather took a turn for the worse. It was so much colder that we bought another electric heater. There was a lot of snow in the mountains and a dusting in Cortez. This along with night time temps in the 20's. We think the cold weather may be why we ended up having to have Opus towed. That story is below. We did go to the casino one day and I'm happy to report I won over $230 on the free play money they gave us. I was going to buy Nanc something with that money, but it ended up going to RV repairs.
This is what the mountains looked like when we arrived, snow covered but not with much as winter was supposed to be over.
We did do a day trip to Durango, a neat old mining town that has become a go to tourist destination. 
One of the attractions is the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. They were not yet open for the season but we did check out the rail yard and the museum. 
The museum has a great collection of old trains and equipment like this railroad hand cart.
One of the old steam engines they no longer use. They have an interesting video on the rebuilding of another engine that is still in service.
There are also a few old cars.
There was a neat model train display with a drive-in movie. They were showing a John Wayne movie that was filmed in Monument Valley.
Durango has several restored hotels. This is the General Palmer Hotel that was built in 1898.
The Strater has a very neat lobby and a couple interesting watering holes.
Compare this picture to the first one. There was much more snow on the mountains at the end of the week than when we arrived.
I know it is not very much, but it is still more than we wanted to see. 
Our plan was to leave Sunday and head toward Salt Lake City. Opus started right up and we let the engine warm up before driving to a gas station to fill up with diesel. Unfortunately, when we tried to start Opus the engine cranked, but would not start. We ended up sitting at the pumps for nearly eight hours. We called Coach Net, our tow service, and they put in motion the process of getting us towed to a repair facility.
While we were waiting a local diesel mechanic, Donny, stopped by and asked what our problem was. He went back to his shop and brought his computer to check the engine and even removed the fuel line to confirm Opus was not getting any fuel. He gave us a couple possible solutions but could not work on it at the pumps. He did not want any money for his effort so we gave him a twenty for a case of beer.  
The first plan from Coach Net was to tow us back to the RV park where we had been and then tow us to a repair shop on Monday. Since the tow truck had to come from Farmington, New Mexico, a 150 mile round trip, they did not want to make the trip twice so they agreed to tow us to their yard and then to Cummins on Monday morning. They first had to hook our air hose to the tow truck and then pull Opus away from the pumps. 
Next they had to attach the tow truck to the frame. When you have a 15 ton vehicle you can't just call the local tow guy, you need a big rig to tow a big rig. That is why you often have to wait a long time for them to arrive.  In addition to that, it was Sunday.
Since Opus was being towed with the back wheels down, the drive shaft had to be removed. Here we are all hooked up and ready for the two hour drive to Farmington. Before we left Cortez we got a call from the tow company that they could take us to a different repair shop, rather than Cummins, meaning we would not have to be moved on Monday morning. That's what we decided to do.
For the second time in ten years we are driving behind our house as it rolls down the road. A shout out to the guys from Southwest Auto Towing, as they were very careful pulling Opus on less than ideal roads. We heard from one friend who had a hard time keeping up in the car when their rig was towed at over 70 mph.  Yikes!! 
Here we are at Mobile Forklift and Truck Service in Farmington. To their word they started working on Opus at 7:00 am. We went to breakfast and drove through town to look at a couple places we could stay if the work took all day. Much to our surprise by the time we were back they were ready for us to take a test drive. Turned out they changed the fuel filters and that solved the problem, WOW!!! Total bill $400, a very small amount for on the road repair service.  
Since Opus was ready to go by 11:00 we decided to drive to Green River, UT, the place we were planning to go to the day before with only adding an additional 75 miles. The view through the bug covered windshield is the La Sal Mountains near Moab.
Just an interesting rock formation and the La Sal Mountains along the highway.
Here is a picture of the first time we had Opus towed after an on the road breakdown. This is the link to the blog post about that adventure. The moral of these stories is, if you RV you MUST have a good tow service. We have used Coach Net twice for tows and a couple other times just to ask their technicians about issues we had and it cost us nothing other than our annual membership fee. 

We are still behind with the blog. As I write this we have been to Salt Lake City, UT; Elko NV to see friends; and are now in Boise, ID to tour the capitol. Right now the weather is great, but the weekend is looking cold and windy so we will be here at least until the wind blows itself out.  The weather since we have been in the west has truly been bizarre!  

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