I've been hesitant to write my usual season wrap-up post, mostly because we're still rolling. We passed my 200 mile goal and will likely reach 220 by the end of this week. As long as the mornings stay cold, we'll keep on going. Even if it's just around the neighborhood.
The gears are in motion for some upcoming (and still uncertain) changes. Halfway through this month, I left my job in New York City for a fully-remote position with a company based out of Los Angeles. For the first few weeks, I worked Pacific hours, which allowed me to run the dogs almost every morning. We even got a surprise snowstorm in the mix.
On the fourth day of my new job, I planned to drive up to Pawling before my shift, stopping to mush near Harriman State Park along the way. We made it to the seemingly deserted park, eager to try out an unplowed road, but the park workers warned against it. Apparently the road is used by snowmobilers with reckless abandon. Not wanting to get run over, I kept the team confined to the area around the parking lot—actually, it was the (unplowed) parking lot.
The snow was deep and relatively untouched, which made things difficult for the dogs. We only ran for about half an hour (with every member of the park staff spectating) before loading back up and continuing our drive north.
We were roughly 20 minutes and ten miles from the Pawling house when the van stopped chugging. The power steering failed and Rover slowed to a stop right next to a very pretty lake. Unfortunately, she wasn't just stopping to take in the view—she was dead. After a few unsuccessful attempts at jumping her, I called AAA and got her towed.
Luckily, the backup van arrived and escorted us the remaining distance. And I was only an hour and a half late to my brand new, remote job. Damn.
As it turned out, Rover's issue was minimal and she was back in service within a day. The power wire for the ignition module had worn out after almost 30 years of driving. $250 later, she was back on the road.
These are the troubles I've learned to expect from owning an old ass van. I certainly could have bought a newer model. E-150s are a dime a dozen around here, but there's character in this old Ford that I couldn't pass up. Here's hoping she provides us with some good adventuring this off-season and beyond.