I left my Raleigh home this morning at 6am ... well 6:15am but who's counting... I yelled out "Cali here I come!" and drove off.
About 9:30am I woke up to the mountains of North Carolina. Dave looks stressed...He looks to me and says "The car is overheating." ...am I dreaming still?? The car began to shake and steam came from under the hood. WHAT? Dave pulled to the side of this mountainous road and jumped out. (see picture)
Dave checked it out. The cap on the radiator was missing and steam was gushing from the hole. Okay...now what?
We paced trying to figure out what to do. Then a state patrol officer came up behind us to see how we were doing. He helped us search for the cap to the radiator but no luck. (see picture)
His name was Reid. He wished us good luck and drove off. We searched for about 10 minutes for my duct tape which was packed in who knows where. No luck. We packed the car back up (nothing broke mom!) and stuck a sock in it. HA! (see picture) We hoped the sock would allow us to make it to the next exit (4 miles away).
With our hazard lights on we drove on the shoulder for about a mile until the car overheated once more. The large mountain road in front of us was not comforting either (see picture). That's when we called AAA. This is the part where I thank Colleen Bonadonna for my Magellan GPS. It told us exactly where we were (3 miles from both exits) and what town we were in. Thank you!
About 20 minutes later (10:15am - ish) the tow truck guy showed up - his name was Dalton. He picked us up and we were off. We successfully got off of the scary road and were off to an auto parts store to get a new radiator cap.
We frolicked to and from the Auto Parts store! Our tow truck guy, Dalton, actually saw our radiator cap in the engine. So we put the seemingly fine radiator cap back on, filled up the coolant and drove off with smiles on our faces. Only about an hour and a half has been lost at this point so nothing too terrible! We stopped to get gas and sodas. Everything was funny. Dave accidentally pushed the alarm button, but did we care that my car was making an obnoxious beeping sound? NO! We were ready to ride!
I called mom once we got on the road. I said "Hey mom everything is fiiiiiiiinnnnneeeee" ... you get the idea.... just as we turned to go back onto I-40W, the engine showed it overheating. We pulled over once again. A friendly state patrol officer stopped to see if we were okay. He said "30-day tags?? You shouldn't be on the side of the road!!" ha...thanks...
He helped us locate the nearest Ford dealership and at this point we decided to see if the car could drive the 16 miles to the dealership so we can figure out what the heck was going on! We waved goodbye to the police man and drove off.
2 miles later we were overheating. We took the next exit and coasted to a gas station. We were in Swannanoa, NC outside of a gas station/laundromat. We sat in this parking lot for an hour and a half waiting for the next tow truck to take us to the Ford dealership. Dave wouldn't let me play with the laundromat dogs...It was lame.
Paul came to pick us up.
At the Ford dealership we got brutally charged for a new thermometer and were off once again. 5-6 hours passed as we dealt with our car trouble. At 4:30pm we were finally off and I went back to sleep...Dave woke me up when we entered Tennessee. That was a refreshing feeling.
Finally -- a HUGE thank you to my dear momma for being the queen of Google. She gave us all kinds of numbers of all kinds of auto part stores, tow trucks, dealerships and hotels. She read every known forum for Ford Focuses and texted us these people's solutions to the overheating. At least we knew what to ask the dealership! She was like our Air Traffic Control person for the day. THANK YOU!!!
Now I sit in a Holiday Inn in Crossville, Tennessee a few hours too short of our goal. McDonald's, Coors Lite and football help soothe my soul. We will be getting up early tomorrow for the famous Express Breakfast and take on the road.
Because..After All...Tomorrow is Another Day!!!