Monday, July 1, 2013

Our Maiden Voyage

So on Friday June 21st we set out for our first camping trip with the "new" Shasta trailer. We were packed, and excited,we even washed our car(something we usually didn't do). We had planned to camp at Steamboat Lake State Park, it's roughly 200 miles and 4 hours from our house.  At 10:00am we set out, planning to go up I-70 westbound to Silverthrone, head north on US 9 and then head west on US 40 over Rabbit Ears pass into Steamboat Springs.

This picture was taken at 10:05am 6/21/13, notice the excitement on our yellow Lab, Ranger's face

A special note for anybody who has never driven on I-70 west of Denver, it has multiple high Mountain passes over 8000 feet and even a few over 11,000.  We were just 30 minutes from our house and going up over Genesse the first of 4 passes we would have to navigate, towards the summit it seemed like we were loosing power, about a mile later I noticed a knocking noise. I pulled off at the first exit I could which was is a mountain town called Evergreen, I pulled up to the first traffic light so I could turn into a Parking lot, the motor idled down to about 200 rpm's and the oil light came on, I quickly threw it into neutral and gave it some gas to prevent it from stalling. When I got it parked at in the Home Depot parking lot, I shut it off and pulled the dipstick, it had plenty of oil and it was bright and clear. So I made the executive decision to turn around and go home.  I started the motor up, pulled up to the four way stop sign to make a left to get back out on the interstate, by this time the Pathfinder had absolutely no power, I aborted my plan and headed straight instead of turning to the parking lot of a Wal-Mart Parking lot, shut it off and called Roadside Assistance. I had to have two tow-trucks come, a flatbed for the Pathfinder and a regular pick-up for the Shasta. 

Two and half hours after we left we were back home, stressed and frustrated but safe and alive(not the Pathfinder). The motor either spun a bearing or broke a rod, and it was done. We didn't want to spend another $5k on a used motor, especially since I had just spent $3k on the timing chain, tensioners, guides, sprockets and water pump, 3 months ago. So the Pathfinder got listed on Craigslist and sold, we acquired a 2008 Chevy Silverado 1500.

We are actively planning our next trip, hopefully we actually get to use the camper this time!