The next morning we woke up to a sound on my back bumper. Crawling to the back of the van I realized that we were literally surrounded by cows.
We had found a campsite that was free and about fifteen minutes from the sand dunes and I had decided that I wanted to go ahead and see the dunes during the day to get the full experience instead of just at night so we camped out and got up early to hit the dunes before it got super busy. But being woken up to a scratching sound was not my favorite thing in the world. I thought we were being broken into and I was ready to fight someone when I got up.
With the realization that we were surrounded by cows and scaring the **** out of him to stop rubbing on my van, I got up and started the day. It was easy enough, get up, get changed, go to the sand dunes and take Lylah out there for some fun. We spent about an hour out there just walking on the dunes and enjoying the time of freedom she had but within an hour it was becoming apparent that it was getting too hot and I remembered why I hate sand but for the experience, it was worth the time out there. Lylah got to run around and be free before we started to make our way to New Mexico.
Now I have never been to New Mexico and I was kind of excited to see it and to explore a little bit before making the long 23 hours to get home. So driving around I decide to swing into a few little towns and on the way, I saw the Rio grande. Stopped and took a few photos and then continued on my way. Really I was just wanting to see what I could before we did a hike for the day but then guess what happened...at a half tank of gas...the van started acting weird...again.
So concerned I pulled into the gas station and filled it up and continued on my way. The gas situation was getting worse. Not happy and worried I decided to go ahead and skip the trail since it was another hour away from getting on the road which would make it a little over 24 hours to get back. So skipping that I Decided to make my way back to the main road to head home. Then the most heart-wrenching thing happened.
I was in the middle of traffic and suddenly the van starts to shake and sputter. Unsure of what was happening and thinking it was the gas thing I look at my gauge and it's barely moved. What the actual ****?
In a frenzy, I call my dad and put him on speaker and I start talking to him about what's happening. The van is shaking and my tank is practically full. We start talking about what's going on and there is a suspicion it's the fuel pump. Dad has a suburban and the engines are the same model and everything so he was also having some issues out west with it and he suspecting something funky was going on with the elevation and heat factor on the fuel pump in both vehicles. As we're talking suddenly the van stops working....at a stoplight...surrounded by cars. I'm panicking because now traffic is starting to move and I can't get the van to turn back on. At this point, I'm screaming that the van won't turn on and yelling at people around me, even though they can't hear me, and I managed to navigate this giant vehicle into a gas station on my right (luckily it was on a downhill) and someone was kind enough to let me in there with no hassle.
With my Dad on the phone, I pull into a parking area and put it in the park, and sit there. My lord, this was not ok. Taking a deep breath and finally calming down I turn the key and he fires up. Dumbfounded I sit in the lot letting it idle to see if it does it a second time while talking to my Dad. He tells me that when I get back to the lower elevation to let him know if it's still giving me issues and we can go from there. Taking a moment I thank him and apologize for screaming on the phone and hang up. Now I just had 23 hours of hopefully no problems getting home.
This trip taught me a lot about this vehicle and what needs to be fixed and it gave me an idea of what to look out for in the future when it comes to future travels or full-time travel. In honesty, I really hate having this happen because almost ****ting myself every time this does go down is ridiculous and I've never felt this way when going places and I don't want to continue to experience it. So of course the plan is to get it fixed so that I can travel with more ease but first, paying off that transmission I paid for.
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