I needed a few days of space to distance myself from part two of the Des Moines weekend before I wrote about it. What was part two, you ask??
After the wedding, we headed to St. Joseph to visit our dear friends Meg & Ryan who had recently had a baby, Fletcher Wayne. It was a short but very sweet visit, quickly catching up on our lives since we had seen them last, enjoying dinner together and talking "baby" stuff. We laughed about how much our lives have changed over the last year, going from summer wine nights on the lawn to conversations about sleep schedules and cloth diapering. After Fletcher went to sleep, we enjoyed milk and cookies, and a game of Dutch Blitz at their kitchen table.
And then the "fun" began. We left semi-early the next morning, ready to address the issues with Harvey, crossing our fingers that whatever was wrong would be able to be fixed with our limited knowledge.
We headed to Warrensburg to drop off our rental car and get a ride back to Clinton, and stopped at O'Reilly on the way to get a few parts to get us started. And then the troubleshooting began...
Plugs & Plug Wires?
We thought it might be the plugs and/or the plug wires - it seemed to be losing power. So Brannon replaced all the plugs and plug wires. It seemed to run a little better, but not perfect.
We tried to replace the fuel filter, but couldn't find where it was located on our vehicle. And when we still couldn't find it after looking at numerous sites and tutorials online, we decided to limp to O'Reilly's a few miles down the road to see if someone there could point us in the right direction.
As we were driving, we heard this weird squeaking sound coming from the engine, which caused us to pull over (just moments before we reached O'Reilly's) and found that the backup battery had somehow shifted and was rubbing against something in the engine. So Brannon temporarily took that out.
When we finally reached O'Reilly, the guy there wasn't able to find where the fuel filter was located either, so we had no choice but to move on to the next potential issue.
We knew that we were kind of on borrowed time with the carburetor - it needed to be replaced at some point in the near future, so we got a carburetor cleaner to put in the gas tank to help it run more efficiently.
After Brannon had finished filling up the gas tank and putting the carburetor cleaner in, the gas cap broke. So he went back to O'Reilly to buy a new gas cap.
As he got out of the car, he heard a hissing sound coming from the front of the car. He bent down only to find out that our front driver tire was leaking air. Somehow the stem had a hole in it or something. (Keep in mind that we had just had our vehicle looked over before our trip, including our tires.)
So Brannon tried to find our jack, but we apparently didn't have the right one. Then we remembered we had just purchased Good Sam Roadside Assistance (BEST decision we made), which included fixing a flat at no extra charge (for all you travelers or RVers out there, I would highly recommend purchasing this coverage!). We called and put our request in, and they said someone would be there to help in about 45 min. Not bad. So Brannon climbed under Harvey and started getting the spare tire off to save us some time.
And then about 5 minutes later, a tow truck pulled up, pulled a jack out of his car and had the tire replaced in no time. That was refreshing after about 5 hours of one thing after another going wrong.
There's No Place Like Home...Click, Click, Click
Then we were finally able to get back on the road and head home, hoping that all the little adjustments we made on Harvey would at least fix him enough to get us home. It did - we wondered at times, but we made it home.
That was probably one of the most trying days I've had in awhile. I just felt on the verge of tears all day, and it was sooo hot. I felt malnourished from the limited food choices we had on the road, and hoped Ember was pulling enough nutrients from me so she would be okay. I kept taking walks around inside the O'Reilly and gas station to keep cooled off, and drinking fluids to keep hydrated.
I'm so glad that Brannon was able to work on Harvey and get him running enough to get home. Things could've been worse than they were (things could always be worse I suppose) - it just took a little longer for that to sink in this time around...
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