Mountain Adventure #736

And my day was interesting, to say the least. Mountain Adventure #736:

Okay, I made that number up. I don’t know what number this one is. I’ve lost track, I’ve had so many.

With all the adventures I’ve had, one thing that has never happened is my 1998 Jeep has never broken down on the dirt road….or my 1988 Range Rover before that. It is almost as if they know that is verboten. Well, today, that luck changed.

I was going through Turkey Flats, you know, Turkey Flats … I’ve taken lots of photos there.

Turkey Flats
See Cone Peak in the background?

anyway, all of a sudden, there was no response from the gas pedal. None. Okay, I said to myself, Ms. Cool Big Sur Mountain Mama. It is all down hill, so I’ll get to the bottom, and get my friend Lynne to call Triple A for me. (I forgot my cell phone, for the first time in ages – not that there is any signal there) Except that it is not all flat.

I am going through the Buttle property, making good progress, coasting, and I get to the itty bitty creek that still has water in it, and there is THE hill. I forgot about THE hill. It is one that is so minor in the scheme of things, that it is easy to forget. BUT, the Jeep would not make it up.

It’s just a little hill! This shows it coming back, going down it.

I tried coasting back down and up the back hill as far as I could, hoping for a sling shot or pendulum effect. I didn’t have to go too far, just get the momentum going. Three times, I tried. No dice.

So, I coasted back down to this itty bitty creek, figuring, if I am stuck here for a couple days, at least the dogs and I will have water.

What? You can’t see the “creek” in there? Okay, maybe not a creek, but a drizzle. Still, enough to keep the dogs and I alive for a few days or weeks, or until someone stumbled upon us.

I turned off the engine, sat there for a minute, then scrambled down to the creek bed in my town clothes and town shoes, and got water for the doggies.

Then, as calm as can be, I opened the hood. That’s what guys do, right? Well, it is still as foreign to me as the day I bought it. Makes no sense. Besides, it was the gas pedal inside that quit, not the engine.

I get down under the dash, check out the gas pedal, and see that it is to the floor and unresponsive. Hmmm. Throttle cable? Maybe? There must be something like that. I find that there is this elbow shaped thingy that is behind the gas pedal. Huh? That must go to something, I thought. Wow, if I pushed on that, then it did something – what I wasn’t sure, but I was sure this elbow shaped thingy was the key. THEN, I found this cable type thingy that came through the back top above the gas pedal from the engine compartment. It had a knob on it.

Now, the elbow shaped thingy, I found by feeling about, had a round hole with a slit in it. If I put the cable thingy through the slot to the hole, it held, and the elbow shaped thingy was now connected to the cable and connected to the gas pedal. And voila! The gas pedal and the throttle cable were again connected and speaking to each other, and I put my foot on the gas, and get a response. Hooray! I conquered the unconquerable!

This, from a woman with not a single mechanical bone in her body. I was, and am, absolutely surprised at myself.

Watch out Indy mechanics, here I come! Am I too old for another career?

Only in Big Sur …

The First Annual Burning Dog Festival, organized out of Santa Cruz, is being held June 11-14th at Plaskett Creek Campground. Yes, a “burning man”-inspired event that is dog-friendly, and includes hikes and events for your pooch,

The schedule is quite ambitious and can be found here: schedule. It includes hikes, agility course, art with your dog, costumes, BBQ, Luau, and trips to the Esalen hot tubs.

Of course, our local events that weekend include Jazz on the River at River Inn on Sunday afternoons at 2:00 pm. (see schedule here) and the Big Sur Wine Expedition is June 9th and 10th. (Additional information here). There is always a great line-up at the Henry Miller Library. The Woodsist Festival for that Saturday is sold-out, with a waiting list, but you can see the month’s events here: HML June Events. There are always global art, music, and dance events at Spirit Garden but I don’t see an events calendar for this year. Fernwood has live music on both Friday and Saturday nights and sometimes on Sundays and you can see their June line-up here. The Maiden Publick House often has live music on the weekends, too.

There are probably other events, as well, but I scoured and could not find them. But there are always “events” in Big Sur – like hiking, surfing, bicycling, campfire talks, shopping for local crafts, books, and other gems. It is the time when we shake off the sleepiness of our winter slumber, and host the millions and millions of people who visit us each year.

But for unusual? The 1st Annual Burning Dog Event has to take the cake. Should be an interesting weekend at Plaskett Creek Campground.