As I was typing up my last blog post, Jonathan was scoping out the transmission, investigating what the source for the loud noise in neutral was. His conclusion: the transmission was failing (again) and we needed to get it rebuilt. Problem was that we were in NW Wyoming with no contacts. After some suggestions from THE VW man in OK (thanks, Pete!) and sending out a request on a Samba, we had some options. Finally we decided on heading to Driggs, ID, where a garage to pull out our transmission awaited us.
Driggs was more than I could have expected. First of all was a kind and generous couple who lent their garage to us to remove and install the transmission. Secondly, the town was very quaint, in short: small as my hometown (Sublette, KS), bike lanes, tree/gardening committee, good-looking buildings, environmentally-conscious.
While we waited on our transmission to be put back into commission, we stayed at the Pines Hotel in town. That was an interesting experience. The majority of the nights, our bathroom was a shared one down the hall. Despite the fact that there could be up to four or more rooms sharing the same bathroom, I only had to wait in line on the last night there. The owners of the hotel were rather nice and accommodating, even letting us store our cold food in their personal fridge as we ended up in a room without a fridge/microwave. She had even sewed the curtains and some of the bedspreads. I feel like our room must have been one of their six children’s old bedroom, as our ceiling was painted with glow-in-the-dark stars. With nothing else to do, we watched HGTV and the History channel on the 11” tube television. You would think that I would have gotten all the things on the list to do (bug screens for the windows, looking up stuff on the internet), but apparently even boring TV is distracting. Between reading a book and Jonathan monopolizing the computer for the first few days playing Angry Birds, I didn’t get anything done despite having the resources. For meals, they had a grill outside that we could cook up our food. Overall, it was good experience, but I am glad to be back in the van.
We didn’t spend all our times indoors, fortunately. The couple that let us pull our transmission in their garage also lent us a vehicle for a few hours so that we could go hiking. After not doing anything for several days, I was raring to get some exercise. So, instead of just enjoying a leisurely hike, I set a pace for a brisk walk to get a workout. Between the distance and elevation changes, I began to regret that decision… I think from now on, I will enjoy my hikes and will exercise separately in a different manner. I was definitely feeling it for several days afterwards in my calves. Sadly, I also learned that my sister can now run longer and faster than I can. That was an eye-opener, as although my sister may have always been faster than me, I could always run longer and farther. I shall have to remedy this.
|The hike was beautiful and I even got see a Pika and beautiful wildflowers.|
As I mentioned, this little town was also bike-friendly. Our helpful friends lent us some 1970s, 3-speed bikes to get around town. While riding around on these, I was reminded why I also required a large cushy seat (and normally an additional cushion on top of that) back in the day when I used to ride around Sublette on my bike. My “seat” was so sore the first day after riding the bike that I couldn’t sit (even onto our bed) without moaning in pain. Fortunately, that got better too.