We are making our trek back towards home. We started heading East this morning. Was looking forward to a quiet ride today. Maybe tomorrow. Perhaps one day we will think some of these things are just freaking hilarious but for today. Not. So. Much.
We had been on the road for about 50 miles when dad calls us to let us know there’s some type of liquid leaking behind us. Matt tells him he just drained some of the water from the cooler before we left, thanks him and hangs up. About 150 miles down the road Matt notices his fuel gauge hasn’t moved at all. And with the mountains we were lugging up and down with the camper we should have been burning about 6.8 gallons per mile. Okay so maybe not quite that much but still quite a bit. Then we notice the camper is extra shiny. That’s when we discover the grease fuel pump got switched on and we had been pumping grease out the back of the truck for 3 hours. Might have been impressive if we were Inspector Gadget being chased by a bad guy (go go gadget grease) but not so impressive when we now realize our camper is greasier than a white castle hamburger. Not to mention the “free fuel” we lost. This epiphany causes Matt to have a Clark Griswold type breakdown. (think along the lines of Clark when he hears the words “sorry kids park’s closed”. Just for good measure I hid Jake’s air soft gun )
A few hours later we are heading up the Rockies with our giant french fry and we start getting hot. Well not us…more like the Ol’ Gray Goose, the Family Truckster. We shut off the AC. That helps some. (at this point Jake & I are in the fetal position remembering our similar lug-a-thon over the Big Horn Mountains 3 years ago…it wasn’t pretty). We roll down the windows. Jake & I are thinking about screaming for help. We then turn on the heat. Matt claims it helps cool the engine. I just think it makes us really hot while we are contemplating an Amtak ticket back home. And just about the time we come to a dead stop, we reached the summit. We start careening down the other side & notice that the people following us are using their windshield wipers. Apparently you can’t see too well through the grease we are slinging off our back bumper.
Then we begin passing through Aspen, Vail, Copper Mountain. We decide to take an exit at Breckenridge because the sign said they had a visitors center & we all need a quick restroom break. We exit off. Sign points to a visitors center 2 miles towards town. Not ideal for a quick stop but we’ve already exited at this point. We turn. Into an enormous street festival. Pulling our dirty deep fried Twinkie camper. We follow detours around the festival with a gazillion people milling about trying to find the nearest place to turn around. We end up in a fire department parking lot. It was at this point dad somehow sets the alarm off on his new truck. He’s becoming well known for doing this. And he has no idea how to shut it off. He’s also well known for that as well. So here we are. Deep fried dirty Twinkie and a truck with its horn honking and lights flashing. That’s when the firemen came running out. They thought we needed help. Yes. We need help but not the kind you can provide. They seemed about as amused as we were at this point.
We pressed on. Heading towards Denver. We could literally see the camper getting blacker by the mile. Apparently french fry grease and road grime can be used to powder coat fiberglass and metal. (good thing I know a guy who pressure washes. Pressure Works can get anything clean. I’m hoping my shameless plug will get me a free wash)

We saw these all along the downhill steep grades.

This runaway truck ramp was in Utah. The ones in Colorado were much scarier.

You know it’s bad when they actually put a sign. We would check the bikes on the back of the camper on curves like these.

Southeast Utah.

A unique motorcycle trailer.

Following the river in Colorado.

A sign you don’t see everyday.

Can you see the truck hauling 2 port-a-potty’s? It spewed toilet paper up and down I-70 trough Denver. Some landed on our windshield. And if I had to guess stuck to the deep fried Twinkie.

Not a real good picture but this is smoke visible from Denver from the massive wildfire near Fort Collins.

Got to watch a helicopter fill its giant bucket up with water from a reservoir to help fight the fire.

The smoke hanging over Denver.
We are almost to Limon, Colorado where we are staying for the night. We are hoping we can make it all the way home tomorrow but we are still 17 hours out. And we just checked the weather. High wind advisory for Kansas tomorrow. Yay us! I would be perfectly happy if the winds blew us right over Kansas. You wouldn’t miss a thing.