Stuck in Boise
Boise turned out to be not all good news, and certainly more eventful than we had hoped.
We strolled out of the bar and headed to a dead-end road one of the waitresses told us was good for camping. Turned out to be a string of ponds and a great exercise spot for karma.
But as we went to leave for what anther local called a much "safer" spot to camp the bus wouldn't start. No click, no turn over..nothing. A bit frustrating only a few days into our trip, especially since we just replaced the starter a month ago. Jen sweet talked a few kids into helping push start, and we headed back to town. Tried the other location but once again the bus didn't start and we decided it might be better to stay somewhere with wireless and electricity. Jen and I push started the bus again and went back to a cheap hotel we had seen earlier. As if we didn't have enough on the plate our speedometer/odometer mysteriously stopped working at the same time-fabulous.
We carried the very heavy batteries (starter and house/solar) upstairs to charge overnight and we at least got a shower after a long day of drip-sweating in the bus out of the deal. Hopped online to find local vw shops knowing few would be open on Saturday and fearing we may be stuck in Boise for the weekend.
Checked the AIRS list, which is basically a collection of VW owners across the country who put their names on a list as being willing to help others in need. Found someone that seemed qualified and sent the email-as it turns out Rick was taking his first day off in 3 months and also checked his email for the first time in 6 months...apparently this was meant to be.
We got the bus started in the am, and backtracked 20 minutes to rick's house/shop. Rick buys/restores old VWs and muscle cars and his place is a regular wrecking yard/treasure chest of old cars and parts. Rick himself is also a treasure, although maybe a bit rough around the edges. Karma played with his dogs (including a chihuahua and wiener dog mix aptly named Chorizo) as we were entertained for hours with Ricks offcolor wit and sarcasm while tinkering with the starter, speedometer and ignition.
Sadly, he didn't really solve our starting issue but confirmed our tests that the starter was fine, the ignition seemed to be working...and that the speedometer was indeed dead (which isn't a huge problem since slow is our only speed anyway, by since we have no fuel gauge...the odometer was our only way of approximating our fuel level).
In addition to spending several hours with us in the heat on his day off, running us to the parts store and being generally amazing; Rick sent us off with a spare speedometer, a couple of books on fly fishing and refused to take more than a few bucks for gas to the store.
Despite Rick's belief that the whole world has "gone granola...turned into a bunch of fruits, flakes and nuts", he's proof that there are a few good nuts left. VW guys are a rare breed, and we continue to be proud to be a part of this community. Hopefully one day we will know enough to pass on the torch and help others in need.
For now we still have no idea what we;re doing, we aren't sure how far we'll make it...but we're back on the road.