Friday, February 13, 2009
Holbrook on $500 a day
Ok, so you can probably do Holbrook for a lot less than $500 a day, especially in the off season. But here's how we did it: drove to the DMv to register the car. Only here they call it the MDV or something like that. We registered it, noting that there are polite signs asking you to check your firearms at the desk. We didn't brings ours, so we got to skip that step. Put the new AZ license plate on the Jeep (they only require a rear plate, and no smog certificate.) Start the car to drive away and yikes, it barely runs.
We got it rolling about 15 feet before it died. Get on the cell phone (the one we were just about to cancel) and call . . . various people. Discover that we no longer have triple-A for towing. Oops. Got a recommendation for a good mechanic local to Holbrook, and he happens to offer a free tow. Cool.
I try to convince Sheryl that we have time to walk over and have lunch, and that likely nobody can get the car going on the spot: complicated piece of computer controlled, fuel injected machinery that it is. Wrong on both counts. Dean Thompson of Thompson Automotive shows up in about five minutes and does that intuitive thing that some master mechanics are capable of: he says "Sounds like the fuel pump, when I bang on your gas tank, start the car." Amazing, it freakin worked!
We drive to his shop and the Jeep dies in the driveway, no problem. Walk over to the post office before it closes and Sheryl is able to mail her packages. Then we go off on a photo excursion. This time I have some rather strange intuition, and Sheryl disregards it. I won't say what it was-- but I'm proven right later. Thats the way it goes sometimes. We don't always hear our own, we don't always properly hear each other.
But here's the thing anyway: Ever since she saw those concrete wigwams weeks before, Sheryl wanted to stay in one. Oprah almost stayed there once but chickened out at the last minute. Her loss. We had a great time. We like Holbrook: it's funky and weird and we liked everybody we met. The fuel pump was going to fail anyway-- and lucky it didn't fail in a much worse place and time. Gone are the days when the fuel pump was mounted external to the tank and cost about $50 to replace. Car repairs change but it's good to know that concrete Tipi's remain. So we made a day and a night of it and had a blast. The Jeep is now offically an Arizonan. We don't know about ourselves yet. We'll see, but we have now officially gotten our kicks on route 66.