Sad ending to a great day, part one (aka The Great Day)

As alluded to earlier, in the summer of 2009 I had another visit from Colin the Itinerant Mechaniker. Since his previous visit a year earlier, I really hadn’t done anything to Gus…other than subject him to a 1,671 cross-country move from North Carolina to Colorado on a U-Haul trailer.

He served his mission well of hauling various toxic garage chemicals and other crap that I thought best not to put in the main truck(s). He did decide to protest the move one time in Kansas around 11:30 pm by popping his camper top all on his own while we were going 70 mph. Luckily we caught it before any damage was done. But I digress…

Colin arrived in Colorado for another day of bus mechaniking and fun. We basically were at square one again, as Gus wouldn’t start. I honestly don’t remember too much of what happened that day, other than we discovered that the fuel pump was blocked. Colin literally took it apart, cleaned it, and put it back together. (for those who don’t know, a Bosch fuel pump for fuel injection vehicles really isn’t designed to be taken apart and put back together). We managed to get it running again with no fuel leaks – it was a great day!

It was time for my first real ride in Gus – I’d only ever driven it in the driveway backing it out of the garage. Colin insisted on driving first – I got my turn later.

We had some fun driving around the neighborhood in an extremely loud (Gus needs a muffler) VW bus, wary of police interference (Gus’s owner, being a scofflaw, stuck some Quebec license plates acquired from Gus’s departed 1974 friend bus on him before the drive). I remember stopping in the road to switch drivers, and Colin took a look at Gus’s pockmarked nose and remarked, “This bus has character.”

Then Colin and I set out for a ride in his blue bus, aka The Road Warrior. He even let me drive, which I thought was great. The bus had around 580,000 (!!) miles on it – it was a 1973 that Colin bought in 1979. We had some dinner, posed for a few pics…

…and Colin was on his way.

Trouble was soon to follow – a half hour later.

Continued in Part Two (aka The Sad Ending)…

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