And then the engine light came on. Soon there were ominous sounds coming from the motor. This is western North Dakota, one of the most sparsely populated states. The towns we were passing averaged about 700 people and the exit signs all said No Services. The nearest Chevy garage appeared to be 60 miles away in Dickinson. The noise got steadily worse and we barely made it up some of the hills. But we did make it and limped into a mega-dealership with nicer facilities than any school I ever taught in.
After analysis, it was determined that the beast needed a complete valve overhaul on one side or something like that. They would start on it right after lunch but there was a good possibility that it wouldn't be finished that day. They gave us the names and phone numbers for several campgrounds--one only a short distance away. So my driver and house boy coaxed a few more blocks out of the truck and we pulled in to North Park Campground. This is a typical urban campground with no wilderness and sites pretty close together, but the manager, Holly, gave us one of the best receptions we've ever had. She chose two sites with our doors facing each other and offered several times to provide shuttle service to drop off or pick up the truck. Once parked and unhooked, we resigned ourselves to waiting. There are several things to see in Dickinson but without the truck, we aren't very mobile. Nothing within our bike range. There was a call mid-afternoon that another part would be needed. We are now up to wiping out most of our children's inheritance. Sorry kids.
They also said it would be after noon today before it was finished. When I asked the campground manager about extending the noon checkout time, she said she had already put us down for a late checkout. She also has an adorable 5 month old baby girl. So that part is all good. We are only about an hour from the campground we had picked out in Grassy Butte so we hope to make that this afternoon. Although yesterday wasn't Friday, it was the 13th. We shall see what we shall see.