Tuesday, November 21, 2023

We Still Haven't Made It To California

 And you might just imagine why we are still hanging out in WHY,AZ. Of course, it is the ongoing drama with our van.

Today was supposedly the day when our van would be fully repaired, with transmission shifter cables installed. After calling at 8:15am I learned that the parts had arrived. At around 12:30pm I called again and was told the van would be ready in another hour. Half an hour later our friend Yves drove me to town. After getting some drinking water and a few groceries, it was time to pick up the van. 

We quickly found out that the van was still on the hoist. Oh boy!

Then we were told that a tiny safety washer clip was missing. It was a crucial part as it would hold the 2 wires together. It didn't come with the new cables and Napa didn't have it. Needless to say, I was very disappointed.

We went back to the town center where we had a coffee and a pastry. (yummy! ]

We did a walk around the old Spanish plaza, then I called the shop again. They had now ordered it from a GM dealer (in Phoenix?) and it would be in Ajo in the morning.

Naturally, I am wondering why there hadn't been this washer clip when the cable had been taken out? Did the mechanic lose it? (it's really tiny) Or hadn't it been there at all? Questions without answers.

What we did get an answer for is that the lower cable had never been replaced at the Chevrolet Dealership in Freehold, NJ. That makes a lot of sense, as I discovered the cobber wire which I had put on it, was still wrapped around the gear lever at the transmission, when it failed again here at the BLM.

The shifter cables made by DORMAN come with a really crappy bushing. So NAPA has replaced it right away with a better bushing.

Now all we have to do is wait for another day, and another attempt to pick up the van.

Interestingly our van hasn't been the only vehicle which got in trouble out here.

Yesterday late afternoon we saw that another van had pulled up not far from us. What was strange about it was the position with the rear hanging sort of down in a hole.

Shortly after I was approached by the owner of said van, a young German lady who was in dire need of help. It turned out that she had tried to drive through a small wash, but underestimated the climb on the far side. Since her van was an extended Ford Transit with a long rear overhang and on top of that a mounted Bike rack on the receiver hitch, she got hung up in the rear, in the process damaging here waste water pipe as well.

Yves had a shovel and we dug like crazy to free the rear from the hard gravel she got stuck in. At the end, we tried to throw rocks and pieces of wood incl. a chain under the rear tires, but nothing helped.

The Transit just getting pulled out

Bettina, got stuck there for the night.

This morning she called the same company I had used last Monday and a lady driver operator showed up. With the help of a winch the van got out of the ditch and Bettina looked much happier.

Afterwards we had a little chat with her and learned that she was on a one-year adventure trip in North America, starting her trip in Alberta, Canada where relatives gave her the van. Talk about an adventurous lady!

And this, dear readers, were the doings of the adventure team, Bea, Peter and Dixie for today. But I am sure there is more to come.


  1. Oh my goodness... your adventures continue! Lucky you're not in a snow storm, earthquake or volcano!! Take care! :-)

  2. Ironic it was a German lady in the van.


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