Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The trip from Sunnyvale

We love our old vw vanagon, "Gordita."  She has become the official van of art festivals, since everything we need for the set up fits inside of her.  She has faithfully been hauling the E-Z up canopy, propanel display walls and paintings all over California and Nevada.  On our way home from Sunnyvale, she decided she had enough of this hauling crap.  About 10 minutes outside of Delano, California, the battery light came on.  I am grateful M was with me, because I would NOT have known what that meant, nor what to do about it.  He decided it could be the alternator.  We looked for the nearest AutoZone in our GPS, and I called them on my cell phone.  (Modern technology never ceases to fill me with wonder.)  Amazingly enough, they had an alternator for an '84 Vanagon IN STOCK!  We decided the best thing to do would be to get the part, in case Gordita decided to konk out in the middle of the desert.  At least that way, we figured, we would have the part to fix her.  When we got to the AutoZone, a kind man behind the counter gave us the part.  There is a "core charge" for alternators, and he told us to bring the old alternator in so he wouldn't have to charge us that "core charge."  We explained that the old one was still in the van, and then explained why.  When he found out that we were traveling, he suggested that we take the old alternator out in the parking lot. 
The new alternator.

We proceeded to unload the van, and Matthias got his tools and took the old alternator out.  Sure enough, that was the problem.  The kind man at AutoZone discovered that the old alternator was an AutoZone part, which was under a lifetime warranty.  So he didn't even charge us for the part!!!  M put the new alternator in the Gordita, we RE-loaded the van, and were on our way once more.  As we drove along happily, we congratulated ourselves for our fortunate alternator replacement.  Maybe 15 miles later, the battery light went on once AGAIN.  Within moments, the Gordita overheated.  OH NO!!!  We had to pull off the highway, and found one small tree to shelter under while we once AGAIN unloaded the Van.  This time, the alternator belt had broken.  M is a smart person, and just happens to carry spare parts in the van, so he had another belt.  He was able to replace the broken belt, we reloaded the Gordita, and were on our way once again. 
                                      We were rewarded for our efforts with hillsides just outside of Temecula covered with orange poppies and Farewell-to-spring.  (clarkia rubicunda)  M was good-natured enough to pull over so I could get a closer look at those purple wonders on the hillside.  Gordita did manage to get us home, at long last.  She did limp along toward the end of our journey, and both of us were thankful when we finally pulled into our dusty driveway.  I am happy to announce that with a little more TLC from M, Gordita is back in good health, and ready for the next journey to La Jolla, where I will be selling my paintings in the La Jolla Festival of the Arts.  This festival takes place June 26th & 27th from 9 to 5 pm each day. 


High Desert Diva said...

Awww....poor Gordita!

So helpful to have handy husbands! Glad you didn't end up stranded.

ArtPropelled said...

I was holding my breath through this post. Glad you got home safely! Good luck for La Jolla. Beautiful flowers!