ODO READING 38470
Departed Creede at 11:15am
Friday, October 1, 2010, came all too quickly, but with our fountains and lights disconnected, friends gone, and weather just waiting to attack us, it was time to leave. Dan cranked up Kit for a 10:30 departure, and he growled to life, but complained about the cold. Right after the slides were in and the coach was trying to achieve ride height, we could hear something weird at the back of the coach; not the engine, more like air compressor clanking and air hissing.
After Dan walked around the coach a few times, I asked him what was going on. With a stressed look, he replied, “air leak or something, the front is not coming to ride height. ”
Well, even I know that you can’t travel below ride height without doing serious damage, so I wondered what we would do up here in nowhere land. Dan decided to pull carefully off the slab with me watching, hoping that Kit would “wake” up and trigger something to make air go to the front. At first moving out did not seem to help; the coach was sadly tilted down in the front, but the funny noise had stopped. When Dan crawled under the back of the coach to take a look, miraculously, the front began to rise up, soon achieving the proper height, which is really scary: we did not know the cause or the fix! Bob and Joy were the only ones there to see us off, so they kept me company as Dan drove the coach all around the empty campground for a good 10 minutes, checking to make sure the air system would hold pressure. By then, at 11am, the only campers left in the park were workers, so there was lots of room to maneuver around, and all too soon he came back to tell the Collins goodbye and pull me into the coach. My last words were “I don’t want to go!” as he closed the door with me inside. We did get really lucky, because with all the distraction of the rough start, Dan had poured himself a mug of coffee and left it on the kitchen counter, where it stayed until he mentioned it to me many miles down the road. It was balanced halfway off the cutting board and had not even sloshed out. Amazing! And oh so lucky.
When we were finally safely underway with air pressure behaving, we made a pact to regularly do things over the winter to keep Kit in moving condition such as starting him up, raising him to ride height, pulling in the slides, and driving him somewhere, anywhere, during the middle of the winter. The trip over Wolf Creek Pass was a slow one, but the trees were beautiful, there were a few waterfalls, and the valley going over to Pagosa was amazing with the fall colors and lush green of the valley. Since we had such a late start, we had to improvise a bit to find a place to pull off for lunch between Pagosa and Durango, but Dan found us a wide spot before we starved to death. After lunch, we could see the storm clouds building but they held off until we could get to the KOA and get parked in SPACE # 42, which was plenty long and level enough for Kit. Immediately, we started draining the hot water heater and spent what seemed hours in the process, stirring up an unbelievable amount of mineral deposits and then trying to get them out via the faucets. It does not seem to help our problem, but we go through the exercise diligently, anyway. The rain never amounted to more than lightening “over there” and a few well spaced drops, and I was able to spend some of the evening cleaning the bugs off of Kit while the clouds blocked the sun. I was still in a funk about leaving, but was finally warming to the idea of traveling again.