October 22, Day 11
Well, time to head for home. We woke up early and gathered everything up; pulled out at 8:00 am. The weather is fair but we’ve been warned that we are headed into a winter storm in Colorado. Sure enough, shortly after crossing the Colorado border, the temperature dropped to 29 degrees. By the time we crossed over LaVeta pass, halfway between Alamosa and Wallsenberg, we were in snow, but there was only a short portion of the road that was slightly snow covered. The new snow on all the trees is sure pretty. I do like winter when I am inside a nice warm truck.
We made good time getting home, with no more bad weather. In fact, by the time we reached Denver it was sunny and warm. We seem to have missed the storm and gladly head home, leaving I-25. We are on the homestretch, less than ½ hour from home, and happy to be arriving early, in the daylight, when the truck suddenly dies. Just like that! It had balked slightly a couple of times on the trip and we had already decided to send it to the shop to get the fuel jets checked out, but nothing to warn us its computer was going to shut everything down. We happened to be at the base of the St. Vrain Canyon in front of the Hall Ranch Open Space. In fact, this is right across the road from where we usually board our horses for the winter. Bill could get the truck to run for short spells, but it’s obvious we can’t pull the trailer and horses up the steep canyon, so he parked the rig on the road leading to the old homestead of the Hall family.
About that time, one of our neighbors from Allenspark stopped and asked if we need help. He graciously drove me back into Lyons so I have cell phone reception; I leave Ida Hall a message to tell her she has acquired three more horses and call AAA Road Assistance for a tow. He then took me back to our rig and Bill and I got the horses settled in the open corral at the ranch. Only about 10 minutes later the tow truck shows up. Our Ford F350 flatbed is getting towed in by another, older Ford F350 just like it, named “Ole Horse”. The driver had been in the business for over 30 years so he called himself the old driver with his old horse. He suggested a good diesel shop in Longmont and off we went. He then asked us if we could get a ride somewhere and we talked about calling our daughter, Nelle, who teaches in Longmont. We had just mentioned this to the driver when my cell phone rang, and guess who? Nelle was just checking to see if we were near home yet, and even better luck, she was still in Longmont, even though it was well past her usual departure time. To top it off, she was only ½ mile from the shop, because she had made a wrong turn leaving her meeting. She met us at the truck shop and we packed some stuff in her car and headed for home – again. If there is ever such a thing as a perfect breakdown, this was it.
Only it gets better. On our way home, Ida called to say she got the message and she offered her truck the next day to take the horses and our trailer the rest of the way home! The end of the story? We still don’t know what happened to the truck. The shop called the next day to say they couldn’t find anything wrong, we picked it up and have had no more problems. I can only surmise we weren’t supposed to be in the canyon with a loaded horse trailer that night.