Tuesday, October 6, 2015


On Sept 10th we had more guests scheduled to stay at our property in Lead, SD so we had to pack up and move on.  We drove from Lead to Lusk, Wyoming.  What, you've never heard of Lusk?  Don't worry, neither has anyone else outside the city boundaries.  This little town offered nothing in the way of entertainment and we had a plenty long enough pull through, so we didn't even unhook the car.  Just fixed dinner in the coach and entertained ourselves through the evening.

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
Over the next couple of days we drove down to Denver, then turned west and crossed the Rocky mountains.  It was a lovely drive and our Cummins engine took us over the 11,000 ft. summit with no problems.  We ended up staying near the little town of Gypsum, about halfway between Denver and Grand Junction at a motor home park right on the Colorado River, which at this point in its journey to the sea looks more like a creek.  Again, there was little to see in the way of sights and we left the car attached to the rig.  Not to get fooled twice, Vicki went back and got the key and while she was at it, set the parking brake.

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 took a day to explore Colorado National Monument which sits up in the canyons above Grand Junction.  We had been there before but that didn't make it any less beautiful. as the few pictures will demonstrate.  Unfortunately, once you have seen the National Monument, the entertainment possibilities of Grand Junction are largely used up.  We did a little more sight seeing and some grocery shopping but mostly spent the next two days in the coach.

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

Independence Monument

The Coke Ovens

Colorado River from Robb State Park campground


  1. Your pictures make me want to go there. TNX

    Site 634
    Jojoba Hills

  2. We burned up the brakes on our toad also. There always seems to be something to take our money. But look at those gorgeous pictures.