Big Road Trip Day 8, July 14 – Limping Igor down to Denver

Last night we slept on a high point on the Big Horn Pass in northern WY. I had trouble sleeping and was awake at about 3 AM. I got up and wandered about in the bright moonlight and perfect silence. It’s amazing how bright it is out in the wilderness in the middle of the night with a nearly full moon. After a bit, I went back to bed and read until I noticed red light hitting my hands. I got up to one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever experienced.


The cutest dog on this road trip

The birds were singing and the elk in the meadow were making lots of strange sounds.

Elk in the meadow above the van.

So, things are looking worse in Igor’s engine compartment. His head gaskets are leaky and creating pressure in the coolant system. This is causing us to leak coolant like crazy out of the top cap and that in turn is aggravating the heat in the engine… Tom explained the basics of how this works to me and in my head Igor is suffering from pulmonary edema secondary to congestive heart failure brought on by a leaky valve.

Anyway, Igor is sick and he needs attention so we’re bailing on Devil’s Tower for now and heading straight to Denver, driving in only the coolest parts of the day and taking frequent stopping breaks to add more fluid to the coolant system. This has us stopping in places that we would otherwise over look. For example Sheridan WY. An interesting little town of cheap motels close to the interstate but with a busy historic downtown area. Made even busier by the fact that we rolled in while they were setting up for the Parade. The very nice gent at the True Value Hardware downtown explained that it’s Rodeo weekend. It reminded me of a town in Portugal where we accidently drove in along the main strip just in front of the running of the bulls. How do we get stuck in these things?

We drove for a bit and then pulled off at a little lake to sit out the hot part of the day. Thanks to Igor we had shelter, food, shade and plenty of water. Time to take a nap to make up for my fabulous night and sunrise.

We resumed driving again close to sunset and the van was doing OK. We’re cautiously optimistic that we should be able to make it to Golden CO without incident. Now if only we can sort out our housing and dog care issues…

Glendo state park tomorrow for some riding and rest time.