Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Colorado 2011

Had a great six day trip in or on the way to Colo. starting the 13th of July.
Scott and I got on the road late Wed. evening and made good time to Lawrence Kansas.
After spending a short night there, we made Salida Colo. by 7pm on Thursday.
We had a quick look around town, and then headed to Monarch Spur campground, which is where we would stay for four nights.

The campground was nothing special but good enough for our needs.

Our tent site was by a brook, and the shower house was clean and usable.

Although the evening started a little warm, it turned cool and pleasant as the night went on.

We woke fairly early and found Patio Pancake House for breakfast, which we used most mornings.

We met the group in the morning and it was decided we would boat the section of the Arkansas called Milk Run.

A great class two run that the kids and newer paddlers loved.

We only had a couple of swims, and no one got hurt.

Leaving the take-out this guy. . .

.. almost side-swiped us, then cut in front of us and ran up the hill.
Several of us gathered at the first of three micro-breweries of the trip, Eddyline, for after run beers and food.

Although service was slow, no one was in any hurry and the beer and food was great.

I heard a couple other MWA’ers were going to stop by Mike and Lynndean’s, (friends of ours from Missouri, and Mike’s paintings are posted on this blog when ever I can) in the evening, so I decided Scott and I should do the same.

Mike and Lynndean were very gracious hosts considering we invited ourselves for a quick visit and made us feel very welcome, with beer and pizza.

I had wanted to see their home and Mike’s studio since they moved; missing my last chance in Feb. and being so close could not pass up the chance. Thanks you guys. I love the place!

The next morning Scott went to boat with the group while Dave, Garrett , David and I met up with long time friend and former Missouri boater Alex for a run on the Brown’s Canyon section of the Arkansas. A much higher level than the last time I boated, it was enough of a challenge for the amount of boating I have been doing.

Alex looked great on the harder run.

Bill Eades and I boated on one of the play waves in Salida after lunch,

and then we all went back to Monarch Spur for group dinner and hanging out.

A great evening catching up with friends.

The play wave was lots of fun.

On Sunday, I rejoined the group for another run on the Milk Run section. It was a quick run, so we still had plenty of afternoon left to do other things.

We joined the Warrens in Salida for lunch at Omega’s, number two micro-brewery, having pizza and IPA.

Then Bill and I got back on the wave for a little while, finish up with ok food and really bad service at the Boathouse.

Scott and I ended the day back at camp and built a camp fire.

Monday morning we started for home.

Drive went well the first couple of hours.

We even had lunch at brew house number three in Colo. Springs, Phantom Canyon.

Food and beer was great.

Eight miles into Kansas, at the rest stop, we pulled in for a map and when we got back in the car the transmission would not go into gear.

AAA tow truck took us to the closest town with a ford dealer, Goodland, Ks, and dropped us off at the hotel Monday evening.

The ‘friendly’ people at Dan Brewer ford could not promise to look at the car Tuesday, for they had ‘Good, old ford customers already waiting.’ And if it were the transmission it would be Thursday or Friday before they could even get a new one in, and “no, we do not have a car you can use, nor are there any car rental places within a hundred miles’. To bad!

Call AAA, and they approved another tow to Hays Ks. Got in about noon Tuesday.

Lots nicer people and three car rental places.

But no, it could not be fixed by Friday (three days away), but here are the phone numbers for the rental car places.

Enterprise Car Rental, no cars before Thursday.

Hertz, no cars before Thursday.

Quality, no cars before Thursday.

And if we drove any of them one way it would be rental fee plus 50 cents a mile.

And I would still need to get back to Kansas again for my car.

Looked at used cars I could just trade mine in on.

Nothing I really wanted to take home.

Walked around a bit, and inspiration came.

Rent a U-Haul truck and trailer and tow my car back.

Yes, there was a dealer near by and we could even pick up the truck this afternoon.

All being well, we would be back in Missouri by mid-night.

The nicer Ford dealer even ran us over to the rental place and helped us hook up the car on the trailer.

We were on our way.

Well, for about 80 miles, till the U-Haul truck broke down.

We called U-Haul.

“We have a broken truck.”

“Tow will be there in about an hour and a half.”

“Ok, that’s a long time. We will try to drive it to Salina then and see if we can meet you guys there.”


We get about 10 more miles and the truck won’t go any further.

We call U-Haul.

“Ok, tow will be there in about 30 mins.”


We could still make Salina before the other U-Haul places close.

“Can we just have you guys have another truck waiting for us?”

“No, that’s not how we do it. First our tech. looks at the truck and if he can’t fix it on the spot he calls to get approval to tow it. Then if he can’t fix it at the shop, we will get you another truck.”

“But, wouldn’t it be quicker to give us another truck? We have nothing in the back of ours.”

“Not how we do it.”

Grumpy old man tow truck drive who thinks anyone breaking down should be able to diagnose their own car problems shows up with small tow truck, and does no checks on the problems and just tows us to Salina and to his shop. (Where they could have had another waiting for us.) Test drives it, guess’s it’s the fuel pump, but his tech has gone home, so he can’t run tests tonight. Leave the truck (and all your belongings) with him and he will check it in the morning.

“No, we are not leaving the truck (and all our belongings) with you (in this seedy side of town), and have to walk to a hotel, when the truck is a least drivable that far. And I am going to call U-Haul and yell at them for leaving us in your hands and why can’t we just get another truck, after all, our is empty!”
"Not how we do it. We will call you at 7am and let you know when our tech is coming by.”
7 a.m (at least they call on time.)
“Good morning. You need to take it to the same bozo (my word) that towed you last night, but was not suppose to, and have him look at it again.”
“Oh sure, I hated him last night, but being stuck in town over-night has probably put me in a better mood to deal with him again!”
“That’s how we do it.”
Grumpy old man, “Where you been son, we’ve been waiting for you.”
My thoughts, “you are really lucky you are not dealing with my wife.”
What I said, “Good morning, we are just doing what U-Haul tells us.”
Younger tech checks truck. “Bad fuel pump.”
Called all around Salina, three places, no fuel pump.
U-Haul, “We will arrange another truck.”
After 19 hours we get another truck, about six blocks away.
“Hey! That’s what we asked for the night before.”
Our trip was pretty uneventful after that, making good time and getting home around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening, one day late.
Over all, it was a great trip, catching up with friends, boating good water, finding good beer and food.
Scot travelled well and did not embarrass me once.