Archive for August 14, 2001

Day Two (Car Troubles!)

August 14, 2001 Leave a comment

Day two started off innocently enough. Joby and I had a tasty breakfast at the Italian restaurant right next to the Motel 6. I decided against the pizza omelet (Pepperoni and sausage with meat sauce on it) – it just didn’t sound like breakfast to me!

I had noticed the car had been running a little hot the day before, so we checked the coolant level and sure enough it was low. We added some water to bring it up to the proper level and decided that we would check it again when cold and see if it had lost any fluid, thus showing a leak. However, driving up the mountains on Route 5 was just too much for my Saab II’ve named him Mats after great Swedish hockey player Mats Sundin or great Swedish tennis player Mats Wilander – I haven’t decided which). So when the needle tilted a little too much near hot, I decided it was time to shut it down in Mount Shasta.

So I pulled into town and noticed that all the gas stations off the highway lacked a service garage. I asked the sheriff where I could go to get my car checked out.

“That car? Sacramento . . .” he joked, or was he serious?

Eventually he told me about John’s Garage where I wouldn’t get screwed, but he probably doesn’t work on Saabs. When I got to John’s garage, he told me he couldn’t see it until next week, and anyway, he doesn’t work on Saabs.

“Look. No one in town even has parts for that. The only part I could get is a thermostat.”

“And an oil filter” I added, most likely with a sarcastic tone.

“Yeah well you got me on that one, ha ha”

I asked him where to go and he basically spent the next few minutes badmouthing every other mechanic in the region except for a couple of others in town that were closed for some reason. But somewhere in the pathetic expression on my face, he decided to look at the thing.

It was decided that a thermostat would do the trick, and he had one brought over from Napa Auto Parts down the street. However, I was going to have to wait behind the VW Bus and the Jeep for my turn, so Joby and I checked out the town and had lunch. I thought hard about it, but decided against the inflatable remote control Mission Robot for $36.99, although it was both hella and wicked cool. But where would I put it?

So finally at 4:30 after four lovely hours in this sleepy town, the mechanic got back from the test drive to say that the thermostat didn’t do it and that the radiator was likely plugged. We got some options.

1. They could order the radiator from Reno and have it there for Wednesday.

2. We could drive the car, paying attention to the temperature gauge, running the heater, driving when it is coolest, etc. etc. and then get it fixed in Seattle.

3. We could move to Mount Shasta.

I chose the second one.

We only had to stop once on the way to Ashland at a little town called Hilt. We played a few Keno games and I had a root beer float where Joby had a $2 Anchor Steam. When he found out it was $2, he wondered why he hadn’t had a second one!

We pulled into Ashlahd at about 7 oclock. Funagain Games closed at 5, but there were a few people in back. The store was basically their warehouse with a little retail store up front. They had a few used games and then a bunch of racks of “Damaged in Shipment” games for 13 to 20% off. And they had a bunch of stuff I wanted! But they were closed!!! I stared pathetically into the window for a few minutes before deciding on a course of action.

I went to the payphone in the same plaza and called them. They answered the phone!!!

“Hi. I was wondering – I’ve driven here for California and I really wanted to stop here but I broke down in Mount Shasta and I’m right outside and can I come in and buy some stuff?” I’m paraphrasing here, but that is the basis of what I said.

“I suppose,” came the response and I was met at the door.

Now this was cool – I was in the greatest game store in America after closing and they were letting me wander around the warehouse picking out games. I practiced an amazing level of restraint, but considering that I was depressed about my car, had won money playing poker the night before and had been let in after closing, I did feel like buying a bunch of games. So the $400 in games I had picked out became $220 before leaving. And they gave me a box and they fit in the car no problem!!

All the gamers out there surely want to know – what did I get? Traumfrabrik (1st edition with the CD), Monsters Ravage America (Sealed and Out of print), Starfarers of Catan, More Cosmic Encounter, Schotten Totten, Flower Power, Munchkin, Bali, Lift Off and Counter Magazine Issue 13. A retail value of about $310. And NO SALES TAX! I totally recommend a big giant road trip for all Bay Area gamers!!!

So after the excitement of Funagain Games (which made me feel A LOT better about the day), we got back on the road. Now it is funny, or possibly ironic, that I decided not to plan my trip through Nevada. I didn’t want to be in the casinos. So where did we stay last night? You got it!! Seven Feathers Casino and Resort in Canyonville, Oregon. This visit was not as successful as I took a $20 loss. I did, however, manage to get $5 off gasoline and a free continental breakfast!

Now I got the free breakfast – now I had better run off and eat it!

Tonight, if all goes as planned, I will be in Portland. I’ll be in Seattle a day late, but rather than leaving a day late, I will cut my visit short and stay on schedule. This is of course provided that I can get the radiator fixed. I am NOT running the heater in August in Mississippi!!!!

Until then . . .


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