I finished the Denver gig at seven in the evening and headed home in the luxury of post rush hour traffic.
It was smooth drivin’ at interstate highway speed until I noticed the engine temperature gauge moving towards the red line. I pulled over and shut her down. Antifreeze steam billowed from the engine hood. I had just passed Castle Rock and was in the middle of nowhere. I let the engine cool down a bit and pressed on.
I made it just a few miles further to the Jellystone Park, just north of Larkspur. Again, the steam billowed from the hood as I rapidly cut the engine in a haphazard parking spot. A kind fellow offered to help and drove me down to Larkspur to see if the Conoco was open, no such luck.
What burned me through all this is that I used to carry spare antifreeze in the back of my truck, but after the last cleaning, it wasn’t there.
I resorted to putting water in the overspill reservoir in hopes it would cycle through – I started her up again.
Well, the water didn’t cycle through and I only made it about three miles before it overheated again. I waited about a half hour for cool down and drove another few miles. Waited for cool down again and finally made it to Monument.
Monument has a strange off-ramp that was painful for a driver with an overheating engine. I had to pass the gas station and drive a round-about-route to exit the highway. I had to red line shut down right at the off ramp intersection, but I was only a couple blocks from the 7-11.
By now its eleven ‘o clock. I filled up the radiator with some fresh coolant, yippee! . . . but . . . since I was only driving short jaunts and had hazard lights blinking the whole time . . . the battery didn’t have enough juice to crank the engine.
Just to the right was the overpass and I pushed the truck up to near the crest of it when I had to take a break.
While I was catching my breath a local police officer pulls up: “How ya doin’ tonight?”.
“Not so good, red lined up at Larkspur, blah blah blah . . and now my batteries dead”
He didn’t have any jumper cables either and was thinking of the same thing I was thinking of doing: “I’ll call my partner and we’ll push ya.”
They gave me a good push, the truck rolled down the hill, I popped it in 2nd and the engine roared up. I stopped and hollered back “can I buy you lunch?”
“Naw, we’re good, be safe!”
The truck ran cool all the way to the home stretch, just enough to get me home before it started red lining again. It had progressed to a major leak, the next morning I tried to put some coolant in and it just drained right out the bottom. Had to take it to the shop.