The next day we drove to Cheyenne where we discovered the car would not start. We had not remembered to remove the ignition key and the RPI automatic braking system had gradually drained the battery. We did have a battery charger. We don't travel completely unprepared. But it was in the hatch back area and, when the battery is dead, there is no way to open the hatchback door. Fortunately, the RV park we were staying in had heard this story before and kept a battery charger/starter on hand. They hooked us up, got the car started and we were back in business.
|Colorado River from our campground at Gypsum|
The next morning we got up and got ready to go. While I warmed up the diesel engine, Vicki went back and put the key back in the car and set it to Acc. What she did not do was release the brake. Our 500 HP Cummins was completely unconcerned by a little extra drag and off we roared, dragging our new Forester just over 120 miles at 65 MPH with the parking brake on. We had no inkling until we unhooked the car at our campground in Fruita. The parking brake had no "bite" whatsoever, but otherwise the car seemed to function okay as we drove off to find some lunch. For the first mile that is. Then it started making horrific grinding noises and we were forced to pull off the road and call triple A.
The Grand Junction Subaru dealer was very nice but could not get it into their schedule that day. The next morning when they took a look at it they said the pads were just gone and the rotors had melted. Surprisingly, neither the wheels nor the tires appeared damaged. The bad news was that they did not have the parts to fix it. We paid extra to have the stuff shipped "overnight", which apparently translates to 2 days. Then they could start working on it. So we had three extra days in Fruita to consider our sins.
We were staying at Robb Colorado State Park and were able to extend our stay up to the weekend but no longer. The park is a very nice facility right on the Colorado River. It had long pull through parking pads running parallel to the campground road, a set up very similar to Rifle Gap State Park where we stayed a few years ago, and with full hook-ups. We went to Sears and rented a car to use. We were stuck, but at least the conditions were nice.
|Balanced Rock at Colorado Nat Mon. from below|
We were concerned that we were going to be stuck over the weekend with no place to park, but at about 4:00 PM on Thursday the Subaru Dealer called to say the car was ready. For only $1300 dollars n repairs and $200 for car rental it was good as new. We hope. We will see how it holds up over the next 3 months. So Friday morning we packed up and cleared out of our camping spot so the weekenders could move in and we hit the road again headed for Moab, Utah. Before we left, I checked to make sure the brake was off.
|Balanced Rock from above.|
|Loking back down the canyon toward Grand Junction|
|The Coke Ovens|
|Colorado River from Robb State Park campground|