Wednesday, August 22 (continued)
We woke up this morning to truck noises and a dawning hot day. Joe walked to the service entrance a few minutes after 7, and explained to the Ford service manager why there was a tan motorhome in his lot which had not been there the night before. Before long, a couple of tech guys came out to peer into the engine. To our delight, the engine (now of course quite cold) turned over with a little encouragement. The guys watched the temperature rise rapidly, added coolant, and watched while the temp continued to rise and lots of liquid ran onto the ground.
They weren't too impressed with the sound of the engine itself, but to Joe and I, it sounded normal! Which was a huge joy considering it sounded miserable and sluggish and very unhappy the night before. The diagnosis of the Ford techs was that the water pump had broken, which was consistent with the symptoms. Before 10am, they had ordered a new pump to be delivered late today or tomorrow. They can't do any more diagnostics without that, because the engine immediately overheats. Of course we are dearly hoping that this is the only problem and it will soon be solved; but we are trying to be cautiously optimistic and not get our hopes too high.
This left us with some decisions. We considered going to see Joe's brother and wait out the repairs at his place, but he is 3 hours away and Joe didn't feel like driving there and back again. So we decided to decamp to a hotel, and I spent some time in the service lounge (free wifi) finding a dog-friendly hotel with an indoor pool and hot tub. Then the service manager called Enterprise, and we rented a car to get around. By then it was noon, so we had lunch in Mo, and then packed bags of clothing (for 2 days), electronics, books, dog gear, and anything else we thought we might want. We also transferred the contents of our refrigerator to our cooler, and packed a bag with paper plates, flatware, plastic bags, etc.
Since the hotel check-in wasn't until 3, we decided to find a park first, just to get out of the Ford parking lot, which was a very demoralizing place to be sitting. So in addition to the above, we threw two folding chairs, a picnic blanket, and our grill into the trunk of the rental car. Our idea was that maybe tonight or tomorrow we'd have a picnic in the park for dinner.
We left Bert Wolfe Ford at about 2, and using our Magellan, we located a largish park--Cato Park-- not far from us. So we drove there first. It was very pretty--high high up on the hill (the streets getting there were like San Francisco and I said to Joe, this would NOT be fun if we were driving Mo--narrow and steep!). At the top where we parked, we were still not at the top per se--we climbed a steep hill to a large pine tree where we could overlook the playground and the hills beyond. Then we just plunked ourselves on the ground and lay there in the grass, finally enjoying some green again, and the sound of cicadas, instead of black asphalt and truck noises.
We just lay there feeling ourselves relaxing a little, until around 3pm. And then we programmed in the hotel address and came through Charleston--down the mountain past huge elegant old homes (obviously the expensive and historic district!), over the Kanawha River, and back up the mountain on the other side.
We are now ensconced in a very nice room at a very nice hotel with two gorgeous pools and a hot tub, an exercise room, free breakfast, and is really altogether lovely. It even has an outdoor picnic area! We decided to book it for two nights, so that if it takes all day for them to deal with Mo tomorrow, we have a place to hang out and be comfortable while we wait. Our only problem is trying to convince Roxy to stop barking every time she hears someone leave (the exit is right near our room) or walk past us in the corridors. If she behaves, we will hopefully be very comfortable here tomorrow, while we wait for whatever news is coming.