Monday, August 17, 2009

Colorado: August 12-16, 2009. Douglas Pass, 40th anniversary and engine check light

After touring the petroglyphs & pictographs yesterday, we had pretty much exhausted what we wanted to see in Rangely. Time to move on down the road.

We knew there was a nice gravel parking place at Douglas Pass on Hwy 139 about 37 miles south of Rangely where we could boondock for the night. There are beautiful views of canyons & mountains at the Pass. Since there wasn’t anything to do at the pass except watch the sunset and mountains this evening, we delayed leaving the city park in Rangely until about 3pm. We arrived at the pass a little after 4pm. The last 2.5 miles of the drive was a 1200’ climb to the top of the pass at 8260’. We drove the entire 2.5 miles going 15mph in first gear with the engine RPM at 2250, which is just below redline.

This is the parking area, canyon & mountains at the pass.

The view out of our side window, the road you see down below is about 1300’ down.

I took a short walk up a gravel road across from the parking area and saw this very inquisitive, young mule deer.

When I started the engine to leave Douglas Pass the yellow check engine light came on. I checked fluid levels and everything else I could and all looked OK. The yellow check engine light is a caution warning, not a turn the engine off light. Since the engine was running fine, we drove on to the little tiny town of Olathe, about 50 miles south of Grand Junction.

On the way down from the top of the pass:

I think these arrows tell us we better turn

Driving along the side of the cliff

We better make this turn! No arrows this time!

Back down to the open plains

In Olathe, we are staying at Uncompahgre River RV Park, a nice adult’s only park.

Each afternoon at 5pm they have a ‘tea time', basically a happy hour. It was OK, but completely segregated! The men are in their group and women are in their group. Menfolk talk & womenfolk talk does not mix!! We only attended the first night we were here. We just couldn't take any more.

Sunday, August 16th, we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We are having a hard time comprehending 40 years of marriage! That's a long time, no matter what your age is. We celebrated with just a quiet day. Sharon fixed us a nice breakfast and I grilled a nice ribeye for dinner. An old folk’s celebration!

While the Bug is drivable, we felt we needed to find out what the engine check light is all about. When we leave the Olathe area, we are heading up into high mountain near Silverton. Olathe is about 5000’ and the first pass we are going over is 11,120’. We sure don’t want to get into the mountains and have the engine problem turn into something serious. I called the Cummins engine service facility in Grand Junction and made an appointment for Monday morning.

That’s all for now. Monday we find out about the engine problem.

Al & Sharon

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