Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rocky Mountain High

[John Denver]

A week or so ago in Minnesota, the bus' engine started in the morning but the throttle froze at a high RPM. It had been cold, about 25 degrees. Later in the day, with temperatures in the 40's, the throttle operated normally.

This morning in Denver it was cold but the bus started and the throttle operated normally. Until Monument, 50 miles south. Suddenly the gas pedal went down but would not come back up. I thought initially something had gone wrong with the cruise control but turning it off didn't help.

Fortunately I had pulled off to get fuel and was able to stop the bastard by leaning all over the brake. I put on the emergency brake, threw off the seat belt and gloves, and yanked up on the gas pedal. It came up.

I discovered that I could drive by pushing down a little on the gas pedal and then when I wanted to slow down, hooking my toes underneath the side of it and pulling up. Enough to get to a safe place to park. Not enough to get to New Mexico.

The MileHigh City is as good as its name and is at 5280 feet. Monument is at 6961 feet and is correspondingly colder. Which I am reasonably sure is why the water in the fuel chose this place to freeze and lock up the throttle mechanism.

I bought some gunk which is supposed to remove water from the fuel and will be able to use it when the ice has melted. According to the Weather Channel the next time the temperature in Monument will be above freezing will be noon tomorrow.

In the meantime, deepest darkest Monument for 21 hours.

Then I can add the anti-water-and-crap-in-the-fuel gunk to the fuel tank and drain water from the fuel filter. And try it again.

Meanwhile, plenty of time for a nap.


  1. Yikes! Nothing like adventures on the open road with an open throttle.....

  2. Enjoying the break from driving? Be safe.

  3. So if someone wanted to send you a, oh, lets say, just for discussion sake, a birthday present, where would they send it?

  4. I am flattered you would want to do such a thing. But if you did,
    Jack Kessler
    General Delivery
    Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
    would work.

  5. When is your birthday?

  6. Nick Danger10:30 PM

    Get that gas pedal fixed first.

  7. 42 days after the much more elderly and grizzled Mr. Rappaport's.

  8. Harvey, when is Jack's birthday? Since Jack can't remember the date.

  9. There is nothing wrong with the gas pedal per se. It is that the fuel freezes. This morning at dawn it was 14 degrees and the throttle was rock solid unmoveable. So is the pedal on the toilet (eeyeww!).

    By ten o'clock the temperature had risen to freezing and the pedal was sluggish but just barely workable.

    There is an icicle on the faucet on the kitchen sink. Which means I have no water to boil anything or make coffee. Even the olive oil to fry in is frozen. Fortunately I have safflower oil which is still OK. So I am having fried onions and home-made potato chips.

    Fortunately both are parve so I have liberally sprinkled them with parmesan.

  10. Ok everyone, here it is. Jack's birthday is Nov 16. That makes him a Scorpio. However Jack is the only person I ever met who lies about his sign. He often tells people he is a Libra. Zodiac envy in not a pretty thing.

  11. Jasmin2:13 PM

    I sincerely wish you the most miserable birthday.

  12. There is nothing wrong with being a scorpio. I am one. Jack is dangerous with that stinger of his. He has stung me a few times as I have him. It explains everything. Scorpions are passionately stupid. :)

  13. Jasmin cracks me up.

  14. Actually he is softening up. He could have wished that I would be killed on interstate 25 on my birthday. He secretly likes me but has to constantly struggle to deny it to himself.

  15. Happy Birthday Jackson...Hope you are traveling to warmer places.

    Harvey and the girls