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Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Unexpected

We awakened on our third day in the desert to fog everywhere. Fog in the desert? Very odd.
It would creep up the canyons toward us and then retreat.
By that point in our trip, we'd decided to stay at K's Rock for the duration of our time in Utah. We reasoned that it would be more relaxing if we didn't move around. We also were leery of how much snow and mud we'd seen in other areas.

However, we didn't have enough water and food to last an entire week without resupplying. So, we decided to spend the daylight hours in camp and then to drive the 30+ miles to Moab for a resupply run.

The sun didn't fully shine all day but I took some photos of the Duo. R looked so handsome against the red rock.

He and his sister focused on sometime behind me. I don't know what.

Then, Shyla turned toward me, just before the Duo bolted away and started playing wildly.
Dusk fell shortly after that, and we hopped in the Labmobile to drive to Moab. We left a tent, a couple of chairs, a camp stove and a few other small items to "claim" the campsite.

We drove along the Colorado River, enjoying the foggy dusk light on the cliffs and water. Then, I smelled something funny. Just as I mentioned it, the LabMobile lost power. The Runner managed to coast until he could pull into one of the extremely rare pull-outs along that tortuous road.

The engine had conked out and refused to restart. The Runner tried to figure out what was wrong, and a nice couple stopped to try to help us. However, it seemed to be something very major - not within the realm of a roadside repair.

That canyon has almost no cell reception so we assumed that we couldn't call anyone and would have to spend the night in that pull-out. Then, just in case, we decided to walk around outside the LabMobile to see if we could get even a single bar of cell reception, and we did!!! We called 911, who sent a "wrecker" to transport the LabMobile and us to Moab.

Let me tell you - that was a very scary ride. The van was anchored down atop a platform behind a strong truck. We rode in the van. At first, I closed my eyes because the sight of the big Colorado River down below us as we wound along this crazy road from such a high perch was terrifying. Then, I realized I was going to get carsick if I kept my eyes closed so I spent the rest of the time rambling on and on about how much experience I was "certain" that the driver had. Indeed, he drove very safely, and we made it to Moab fine.

He towed us to his repair shop, and he rented us a Honda Civic so we could get around. However, it was late at night so we just went to sleep in the repair shop parking lot (inside the LabMobile). That was not a great night, let me tell you!

The next day was Thanksgiving so the mechanic wasn't working. We found a dog-friendly hotel, and we checked in. That was challenging for Shyla because everything about staying in a hotel was new. And, it wasn't a quiet hotel. The sounds of loud kids' voices in the hallways seemed to spook her. But, she gradually settled in, realizing that we'd keep her safe. We even managed to go a short distance outside of Moab (in the rented Civic) for a short bike ride/run in the foggy winter air, and that was fun.

Amazingly, the repair guy diagnosed the problem as a blown alternator by 9AM on Black Friday. And, he found the necessary part in Moab that morning. We had our LabMobile back by that afternoon!!! We were so impressed with the mechanic. He was honest, polite, and very good at his job.

As we drove out of Moab (Yay!), we started wondering if our "stuff" would still be at K's Rock when we returned. Much to our delight, no one had touched our camp (in fact, I don't think anyone had even been near it). It felt so good to be "home", even if our resupply trip to town had taken 2 days longer than expected and winter had arrived at K's Rock while we were gone!


  1. oh, that fix and subsequent return to a safe camp sounds almost too good to be true! you had angels watching you!

  2. That was quite an adventure! I can't imagine trying to sleep in a car, esp. you with your spinal issues.

  3. I'm glad everything turned out okay and you were only left with a good story to tell!

  4. Too bad the labmobile had to conk out, but all in all, things seem to have worked out well. Luck was on your side.

    We love those shots of R and Shyla - handsome and beautiful.

  5. That is enough excitement for some time. What a great guy, diagnosis, parts, and all fixed. do you usually sleep in the tent? We have the most wonderful air bed, internal pump, plug into power, or in our case generator, same size as a queen bed, and about 20" high. Pure luxury.!!! Shyla is doing so well to cope with hotels, strange places and sounds. And the fog, your photos are always stunning. I saw Grand Canyon had fog on 29th Nov, very rare, due to temperature inversion. So maybe your fog was rare too. Enjoy home, comfy bed, and no breakdowns for some time. Greetings from Jean

  6. Oh my gosh. I know that road. IT scares me when I am in control but to be completely out of control sitting in the van while the other guy drives would absolutely kill me. Next time you are stranded in Moab, give us a call, we know some wonderful motel owners too. The pictures are beautiful, especially the one of R and Shyla together. Can't wait to hear more about the trip

  7. What an adventure! So glad everything turned out okay in the end. I was afraid this post was going to have a flash flood in it.

  8. That would be rather scary! Especially the ride down - how I hate steep hills in cars.

    Stunning photos of both dogs. They really are so majestic.

  9. Wowzers what an adventure. Glad it turned out ok and all was well after that.

  10. I would have been freaking out in that van!!! Glad you were able to keep it all together and you had angels watching over you all. It sounds like you had quite the exciting weekend! Your pictures are just gorgeous!

  11. Crikey, what a tale! So glad there was a pull-out and cell reception. And a tow truck...were the dogs on your laps in the cab? Trying to picture it! Thank goodness the repair was so quick, and your campsite untouched. And tell Shyla I am always unnerved by the weird sounds in hotels, so now she is braver than me!

  12. We had a transmission go out on us in Colorado once - we were transporting 12 dogs to a show. We found a nice gentleman who loaned us his personal van to get us where we needed to go. We were so amazed! There are awesome people everywhere.

    Monty and Harlow

  13. Sounds like an adventure. Glad it all worked out and that Shyla handled the newness well.

  14. Oh wow! We're so happy that this story had a happy ending! Your photos are always the best, KB!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  15. Ugh, been there done that. Something similar anyway. It's never fun when life throws a curve ball at you. Love the foggy pics, pretty cool.

  16. Wow, what an adventure! Glad to see you got great service - I had a similar experience with an equally wonderful mechanic and also stayed in the town overnight (just one night though).

    Great photos of the landscape (love the red dirt roads!!!) and of the Duo!! :-)


  17. Wheek, what an adventure! Glad you are all safe and proud of Shyla for managing her anxiety! You must be wonderful with her, KB!
    Cocoa and Melon

  18. Frightening story with a good ending. I cannot imagine riding in that towed van. Scary indeed.

  19. I'm so glad this story had a great ending! That fog in the mountains is gorgeous....I've never seen that before.

  20. Grat post!
    Love it, Pictures and text!!
    You are great with the camera!
    Love Majsan/

  21. Hi Y'all!

    Oh what a scary situation!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  22. Hip, hip, hooray that the mechanic was able to get the part during the four-day weekend and get you up and running again on Friday, even though you lost Thursday. Also, there are worse places to be stuck than Moab... :) So I'm glad it turned out well in the end!


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