I went to bed last night, excited at the prospect of picking my new to me Land Cruiser from the shop. Remember, I had never seen this car first hand prior to buying it, and it went to the shop prior to me seeing it as well. So, I expected to awake early, eager to go pick up the truck *sometime* that morning. Instead, I was awakened at 3 am by “Killer” the dog who I am sharing an apartment with while I’m here, who seems to forget that I am here, so feels compelled to growl and bark at me loudly at night, as if I were an intruder. I finally got back to sleep, and woke up early, sore from the day before CrossFit, and still excited enough about finally laying my paws on the Land Cruiser.
The place where I’m staying only has Wi Fi by the pool, so I got dressed, ran down with all my gear, and got ready to get some work done. I got online and set up my work area just like I wanted it and then felt a strong call of nature, which often happens first thing in the morning. So I leave my stuff near the pool, go out the security gate and head to the public facilities. Once everything was “taken care of”, I went back to the pool and scanned my card at the gate. Gate didn’t open. I then noticed that it was 6 am and that the sign clearly said that the pool opened at 8. Poop. Lucky for me, I am adventurous and fairly athletic, so I quickly made short work of the 8 foot fence around the pool, and got back to my spot, where I furtively started work. After working for four hours, my work’s website crashed an burned, losing all my work for the last three days.
I was rescued by a call from Interstate Auto, the shop I had entrusted with my new ride. Mary, the woman who works at the front desk was happy to inform me that my new ride was ready. I was delirious with joy and anticipation, so Janiece put me in the car and drove me to the dealership, where we paid for the work which they managed to accomplish at much less than the first estimate.
A word here about Interstate Auto in Chandler Arizona. I picked them because they had a 5 star Yelp rating, and during an initial conversation with them, I discovered that the Land Cruiser I was stalking was routinely being maintained there. The mechanic, Keith, was very open in his opinion of the car, so I chose to hire him to replace the duff transfer case and look it over.
Upon picking the car up, we had the usual nervousness of driving an old new car. Of course, within a quarter mile, the check engine light came on. Everything was running copacetic, so I didn’t think much of it, but after buying my usual survival pack, which consisted of a gallon of water, oil, antifreeze, farm jack, 8,000 lb come-along, tow strap, metric wrench and socket set, 12 volt air compressor, and flashlight, I drove back to the mechanic, who used his OBD II to find that the O2 sensor heater was toast. He cleared the fault, but sent me on the way. I’ll be fixing that sooner or later, but it’s not that important right now.
I also bought a spare tire. Seems as if someone had misplaced the old one. And I don’t think there is much harder to find than a spare tire for a 1996 Land Cruiser.
So, filled with euphoria and barbecue from Rudy’s on W. Chandler Boulevard, we decided to do some ad hoc 4 wheeling around Apache Junction, where I’ve heard there is a plethora of off road trails. Once we drove out there, we quickly discovered that finding a good off road trail is not as easy as it seems. After spending most of our time finding dead end after restricted roadway, we finally gave up and found some off road looking place to pose fake pictures that looked like we got off road. The good news is that we managed to get on gravel and were able to try out the new transfer case, which worked great.
The only place we could go off road; everything worked brilliantly.
Only cool people go “off-roading” in dance shoes.
We rushed back to Chandler, just in time for a workout, a delicious meal, some jacuzzi and more work. We need to go out Saturday with good directions, and to do some semi-serious 4 wheeling.