Thursday, September 17, 2009


I have some catching up to do, including several post-dated entries, but I'm going to do today's Picture-a-Day entry now. I'm going to cheat, too, and put up three photos, because we had what I'll choose to call "An Adventure".

On the way to the coast, this past Monday, we had some problems with overheating in the RV's engine. We did what we could to get to Ft Stephens without breaking down--stopped and poured water on the radiator, put the front grill of the engine down so the air would blow unimpeded over the radiator and engine, and turned the heater on full-bore, in case the problem was the thermostat. It worked, we made it, and at camp the DH and our male friends there checked things over and found a leak, so DH bought that stuff you pour into the radiator to seal things up, and we prayed.

Setting out today, the RV lacked power, and the engine would race but not shift, but the gauges all read normal. No overheating. We told each other the engine just needed to warm up.

Then we got to the coast range, and that first miles-long incline, up and up and up into the mountains. The RV went slower. Forty miles per hour. Thirty. Fifteen. Finally, chugging along, with occasional backfires, we were doing five miles an hour and crossing our fingers, straining to see around every curve, hoping the downhill slope would start.

Slower yet, and then DH looked in the rear view mirror, and saw the billowing clouds of smoke we were spewing. He pulled over, jumped from the RV, and started looking for the source. On his knees, peering under the carriage, he spotted not smoke, but flames. We were on fire!

He wrenched open the door, grabbed the fire extinguisher, knelt back down, and sprayed the retardant right into his own eyes. Jumped up, ran into the bathroom and doused his eyes, then back out, where he was able to put out the fire.

And would you believe? We stopped right in front of an ODOT (Oregon Department of Transportation) truck! The guy in it helped Bob look for any sign of more fire, called the fire department, and loaned us his cell phone so we could call AAA.

The problem was actually under the RV. The catalytic converter choked up on us. Don't quote me on this, but there are crystals lining those things, and eventually they collapse or something, and when they do that they sort of wad themselves up and clog the exhaust pipe. Then that superheated air (1200 F; 649 C) in the converter has nowhere to go, so it tends to melt through the metal, and set afire whatever it finds.

The tow truck came all the way from Hillsboro to get us, a drive of something over an hour. It took about an hour to get us hooked up, partly because the firemen had disconnected the battery, and without that we couldn't release the brakes, so the tow truck driver had to get under the RV and disconnect the drive train.

We left the dog in the RV, and the DH, the tow truck driver, and I climbed into the tow truck's cab. I got to sit on an upturned bucket between the two seats. Thank goodness, DH had the genius to grab a blanket to cushion it, because that was the bumpiest ride I have ever taken anywhere at any time. And on top of that, the driver had some kind of air shocks under his seat, and every time we hit one of those bumps his seat bounced way up and down, which dragged the buckle of his seat belt across the side of my thigh.

But you know what? At this point, I don't care. We made it home. We're safe, and nobody got hurt, and we'll probably be able to fix the RV. And we sure won't forget this trip!


mizmollye said...

Oh Anitra, Praise God you did make it back safely but what an ordeal. So glad you looked back in time. Reminds me of Lot's wife LOL.

BeadedTail said...

Well that was quite an adventure! Glad you made it home safely!

Judy Nolan said...

Wow! What a scary thing to happen while on the road, Ani. I'm glad everything turned out all right, though.

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Oh no! Glad everyone is okay!

TiLT said...

you weren't headed towards Wallyworld were you? :P
Okay, since everyone is ok...I have to giggle a bit at the antics of the spray in the face & the mishaps...'cuz if you don't, you may just cry

storybeader said...

that WAS some sort of adventure. Hope the dog was not tramatically impaired by the whole episode. And of course, you. Nice to have men around sometimes... I wouldn't have known what to do! Oohhh, is that sexist?....

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Wow - what a crazy adventure! I'm glad you guys are ok!

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