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?

13 thoughts on “Mountain Adventure #736

  1. I dub your “Mountain Adventure #736” the coolest post I’ve read in months, Kate. Now, I will know what to do when this happens to me! So, Thank-you!

  2. That is FANTASTIC! You have made my day. I especially relate to your fine grasp of the technical terminology of the inner workings of your machine. Who cares what it’s called, so long as it works! I am infused with renewed confidence (even though I personally have done nothing to earn it). Thank you. Oh, and by the way, I’m so glad you’re not still down there with the dogs!

  3. Obviously , you must have thought, just why that hasn’t happered before, in the same spot ????

    Ok ,,, “All Thumbs” ,,, we now know the secret ,,,, “Pray A Lot ” ,,, and hope there is water near-by !!!

    Also sounds a bit like , you are anticipating the usual summer crowd of “tail gate” party-campers, on this coming summer season.

    I guess that you will give us a full report on all the man toys , that they will bring with them,,,, guns , included ,,, “Duck and Cover” !!!!

  4. Excellent Kate! My father had me tear down my first car engine when I was 14 (a “push-button” Mercury), saying that if I was to drive, I needed to know what it was all about. So, I learned the basics of car care, and have never regretted it. You did a fine job of sleuthing the problem and fixing it…doesn’t it feel good? I’ve always really enjoyed my meager knowledge of cars workings, especially when dealing with mechanics, who are usually surprised by it, and a little put-off. Heh-heh….

  5. OK Kate I need to set up an appoitment with you to get the oil changed on our suv. Maybe next Thursday? LOL Great story & glad you’re safe.

  6. Great story Kate. This is the kind of experience that makes living in a remote location all worth it. So exhilarating and sense of accomplishment after you conquer.

  7. NIce work!

    If you are ever in a bind to get a little motion out of a stick-shift vehicle with a non-responsive engine you can always put it in “electric car” mode… crank the starter when in first. Stressful on the starter and the battery, but it can get you a little motion in a pinch.

  8. I’ve hever had that happen with a Jeep (had several; still have the last of the V-6s) or a Land Rover (had 2 in the family) but this was a common problen with 1960’s Honda motorcycles. So, the Big Sur rule is: always have extra food & water in the car, plus good hiking boots!

  9. OMG!!! This is too funny. Way to go you Big Sur Mountain Mama!!! I see you use the same “THINGY” terms as I do. So happy all worked out and you & the fur kids made it home safe and sound.

  10. I’ll add a question of whether a radio, CB or otherwise, might be a good thing to have in your vehicle–you are so remote, if the weather was bad and you got caught like that it might not turn out so well. A basic racio should be able to summon all the help you’d need.

    Shouldn’t be too expensive–the locals who have them could tell you about getting one for your Jeep. Assuming you have one at your cabin?

    Glad everything turned out well, solving problems like that can be quite rewarding.

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