Published: April 18th 2010April 13th 2010
Austin April 12-15:
Chapter 1: A Bump in the Road
This one started out kinda bad. We were just pulling into Austin (Austin City Limits?) when I noticed that all of my dashboard lights were on. Now, we had been noticing that a squeak in the belts was getting worse. It started out when we would turn the airconditioner on so I fugured it was the AC belt and we could check into getting it fixed in San Antonio. Unfortunately, we started noticing that it was becoming more constant and squeaked while driving without the AC and then....the squeak stopped. For those of you even remotely familiar with cars, you know this means the belt broke. It was shortly thereafter that all the dash lights came on and I was teleported back to highschool; to a 1988 Volkwagon Jetta with a Winn Dixie smock in the back seat and Tool playing on the radio when I looked down and found all my dashboard lights were on. It meant then, as it meant now, that the squeak was not coming from the AC belt, but from the alternator belt.
Chapter 2: Garmin to the Rescue
This is where Yao's gift
of a GPS was precient. You see, it has this awesome function where you can push "Points of Interest" under which are both Automitive repair and Lodging. Our first attempt was to find a garage, but apparently people in Austin don't need their car fixed, they just need it repainted so the first three garages are a bust. Keep in mind, we have NOOOOO idea where we are and we are simply following the lines on the Garmin GPS, meanwhile we feel like we are under the gun. If the dashlights are on then the battery is draining, right? That's what the laternator does, it replenishes the battery so if we don't make it to something before the battery dies, we're gonna be stuck on the side of the road of a foreign town with a labrador pup...not a good combination, so we resort to looking for lodging. This, we decide is the better option since it will take us to a place to stay and we can have the car towed ( Yao has AAA, which is nice) to a garage for repair. We pull into a motel, which I will leave unnamed but has a big 8 on
it's sign, pop the hood, and sure enough, the belt is shredded. I then go to inquire about a room. I tell the girl that I am having car trouble ( the hood is open in the background) and that I need to get a room for the night.
"Do you have a dog"? she asked.
"Yes" I said.
"We don't allow dogs. It's a 200 dollar fine if we catch it in the room"
.....I'll leave it to your imagination how I might have responded but be assured it was full of venom and sarcasm.
Chapter 3: Denouement
We eventually called AAA and they rode to the rescue on a white tow truck (horses no longer allowed). The poor guy drove us to a motel, waited for us to unpack, and then drove the car to the mechanics. Needless to say, he got a nice tip for his troubles. At this point, all involved, including Joy, declared that we were tired. Austin unfortunately, in a way, became a rest break. We did a little walking and found a great little honky tonk with some live music so we had a good time. Wheeeew! What
an adventure but as one of my friends said, "It's not a road trip without a break down".
There are more photos below