Posted on 01/24/2019 at 5:23pm

Heading to Moab, Utah to see the sights and perhaps do some painting in the mountains, we left from Steamboat Springs, CO and began driving early on a beautiful fall day. Our sturdy stead was our brand new 4 wheel drive truck, and with a full tank of gas, we felt confident about getting there before sunset. The roads are well maintained and there is little or no traffic heading into the remote west. The GPS gave the best route to enjoy some of the late fall countryside.

Miles and miles of flat land with scrubby high desert growth with nothing but a narrow two-lane road created anticipation but caused me to be very glad we had not planned any stops on our route. As we drove far from civilization we felt as though we were in the middle of no-where. Many lonely hours later we were shocked by a very loud smashing sound coming from the engine. Just like it had been hit at high speed by shattering glass! We slowed down, but saw nothing in the rear-view mirror, so we kept driving as the truck seemed to be running fine and we were not close to anything that could help us if something was wrong. Many more miles flew by us and we had all but forgotten about the loud sound. We both needed a break from the ride to stretch our legs so we pulled to the side of the road. I was very happy to climb down out of the cab and walk around a bit, but suddenly I heard a sound like water running. I noticed a liquid was pouring on to the ground below the truck. “Oh no! This does not look good!” I hollered. We were many miles from any city, and because there was no Cell phone service, and no one was driving by who could help us, we felt like we had no choice but to continue driving as far as we could go before our radiator was dry and it would no longer cool the engine of the new truck. Nervously driving many more miles we were very glad to coast into a very small town called Rangely, CO where our cell service worked once again and proceeded to call the 800 Service help number for our vehicle. Many cell phone calls to different people proved that they were going to be very helpful, but only if we could figure out a way to get ourselves to Grand Junction, CO. That was the next city with a dealership we needed for repairs, but it was over a hundred miles away over treacherous steep mountains. They told us we would need a flat-bed tow truck to carry this new high profile vehicle there. Hours of negotiating on the phone with customer service and they were finally willing to pay this small town repair shop that we had recently limped into, to take us all the way to Grand Junction on ‘their’ very nice flatbed tow truck.

Time flew by, but well before dark, the nice small town repairman asked if I was ready to get in the cab of his flatbed. I asked if could ride right where I was, in the passenger seat of the new truck that was going to be towed, way up high on the bed of that tow truck! He told me he had only one other person who asked to do that, and they really enjoyed the ride. The driver was all alone in his cab as we headed down the road, with Dan and I both riding up so high in the cab on top of the flatbed that was carrying us. We were up so high and going so fast that Dan could not help but keep his hands on the wheel and his foot on the break even though he could not control anything. It was very funny when he kept trying to steer around the curves in the road, I kept saying to him, “Look around, relax, you can not control the truck!” The view from up where we were was magnificent! As we road around sharp curves through Douglass Pass through the steep mountain range, amazing colorful flora and fauna was a gift we were allowed to see because of where we had ended up riding.

The parts were not available for the new truck at the dealership, so our plans to go to Moab, UT did not happen. We had to wait for days for the parts to come in. My time in Grand Junction was spent going to antique stores, rock shops and just enjoying the town as I listened to the people talk about what it had been as the years have gone by. It was where two rivers meet, the Grand River and the Gunnison River, and the Ute Indians called the place their home until in 1881 when they were removed to a reservation. The architecturally beautiful old train station built during the golden glory of an era of western growth and rail travel stands ghostly vacant. I enjoyed my visit there.

Colorado has shown me more of its beauty. Utah will be a future journey.


  1. Bruce Mitchell says:

    Enjoyed you travel blog .Alice and I are headed to a similar area ;Santa Fe NM late spring then headed north to Ghost Ranch ,Taos, and Alamosa CO.

    • shaveart says:

      Have a great time Bruce, it is a wonderful place to visit from all my friends who have been there!

  2. Verna Korkie says:

    That was quite the experience and story, Sharon. I enjoyed the read. And you did manage to make lemonade out of lemons. We would expect nothing less of you!

    This past fall, a small group of us journeyed to Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch for a 3 day paint out. Most pleasurable. And now, hubby Bob and I are in the Phoenix area escaping our Canadian winter for a few months. My intention had been to paint but we have had so much company that that didn’t happen. I still hope to paint a few before returning home.

    BTW, not to brag or tempt fate, but I am still driving my beautiful 2004 Lexus which I hope lasts forever, despite not having cameras and modern gadgets. I am afraid to ask the brand name of your fancy schmancy new truck :-).

    Best to you,


    • shaveart says:

      Let me know if you get this reply Verna, I am not sure if this works! I was in Pheonix about a month ago, I wish we could have met! I was painting in Scottsdale and trying to stay warm and dry! It was cold and wet most of the time I was there! (I rented a Mustang convertible and never put the top down!) My husband is a lifetime Ford owner and that is what he always has. We have 3 Ford Trucks now! Our 1977 is probably my favorite! Wanders a little going down the road but if you just relax and use the force 🙂 it gets you home every time! Keep in touch!

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