Troubles on the Road

With all the issues we've been working out in the Turtle, we were hoping that this would be an easy jaunt down to Gunnison for the 24 Hours in the Sage. Nick had spent two days working on the engine - cleaning, tuning and generally doing things I don't understand with the hopes of getting all the fuel issues fixed. Things worked great on our little test drive - we even had decent acceleration up the hills! And of course, Nick has to say "Now that I've got this better, we're gonna have be careful on the hills - could be easy to overwork the poor thing." Little did we know what was coming.

Unlike last year, we decided to go through Canon City and take the "less hilly" route to Gunnison. We were clipping right along, keeping up with traffic, making good time. Stopped to get something to eat in Salida, then started the long slog up Monarch Pass. Nick was watching the temp gauge, but we were cruising - doing about 30 instead of the normal 25 up the hill. And we were both busy scouting out places to watch the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Tuesday. Got through one of the passing lane sections and were back onto the two lane, curvy section about 2 miles from the summit of the pass. And then...

With much chugging and putting - and plenty of four letter words as he pressed the gas pedal to the floor, the Turtle gave up the ghost. Dead - stopped - not going anywhere. Yep, right in the middle of the road and we were stuck. Nick rolled back as far as he could to get off the road, but... We were "those people" blocking traffic in a really bad spot. But there was nothing we could do but sit and wait - the engine and gas lines completely overheated. About 30 minutes later, after watching lines of cars and trucks streaming past - with a few close calls between up hill and down hill traffic, we tried to get started. Got about 50 feet and it died again - now more in the way! We waited another hour, watching more traffic go by. Nick pulled the engine cover off to help it cool and this time we got going. And kept going - all the way to the top! I was watching the engine smoking as Nick "sweet talked" the turtle the whole time. But success - we rolled down into Gunnison with no more issues - just a very warm interior for the drive.

Thank you to the dude in the white Ford pickup with the dirt bike, mountain bike and case of Corona in the back. He turned around and came down to offer us a tow to the top of the pass. Nick appreciated the offer and was wishing he'd accepted a few times as we were steaming to the top!


  1. Nick... 'Sweet Talked' the turtle? I hope you have a video. Was he wearing the spandex? I bet he sweated out a gallon!

  2. There is a reason for the quotes. Sorry, no video. I was to busy holding on for dear life, hoping the smoke coming from the engine was not a major issue. NO spandex, but he did have compression socks. And yes, he sweated out at least two gallons.


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