it looks so peaceful and dependable sitting in front of that bridge.  the lesson is that it takes fuel to get started and stay running, much like a long distance hiker.  i can see the book now, "hiking and the art of volkswagen maintenance."

i have to admit that i'm pretty excited to not have to worry about the van for the next 5 months.  a vw van is pretty cool, but i'm over it.  we put a bunch of money in it for our road trip down to adzpctko and we praise God that we made it back without anything happening, so we figure it was worth the money.

since we've been back from that trip, we've had troubles getting the van started and it sometimes takes 5 or 6 times of cranking the key until it finally starts and once it gets running its usually fine.  it seems that when it needs to start, it is starved of fuel, i'm not sure if its a clogged fuel filter or what, but once it gets running, its definitely getting enough fuel and runs normally.  (any mechanics out there reading this?  i feel like i need to reenact a brian regan sketch and start making the noises for everyone.)

of course there hasn't been a lot of time to take it to the mechanic and get it fixed, we've had our apartment full of boxes and have been spending some late nights packing food and gear.  our original plan was to leave the van with a friend of ours who is spending the summer at yd and it will give him some freedom while having a chance to have the van get driven while we are gone.  now we're not so sure.

we packed all of our stuff up in the van and prepared to drive 2 1/2 hours to drop the stuff of with some friends, spend the night, go the church the next morning and then drive back and finish packing.  that was our plan, the van is on another schedule.  we've been push starting it because we park on a hill and its easy, we stopped at the dumpster to drop off our trash and the van died, cassandra had to push start it.  we pulled out onto the main road, got to the stop sign, it died again, this time it started up.  we rolled through two stop signs trying to get to the main highway where we could just cruise and cruise we did.  

we got to within 30 minutes of our friends house, stopped at rei and got back out into the van, it started up, sweet, we're almost there, we pull out to the stop sign and it dies and there is no getting it started again.  cassandra has to get out, wave people past us, then push the van back out of the way.  it was 45 minutes of trying to start it, trying to push it, wiggling things around  in the engine and our friends show up.  we push it to the parking lot, leave it there and go out to dinner.

this is a long story... we get back from dinner after being entertained by a magician at a mexican restaurant and the van starts, i drive around the parking lot, then it dies.  it starts one more time and we go for it!  i had to pop the clutch 2 times on the way home and i never let off the gas for fear of it dying.  i had to make it through 2 stop signs and 5 stop lights, there was some celebrating as it rolled into their driveway.

and now it just sits, and we're not sure how we are getting home...

there are valuable lessons owning a vw van, i just want to know why we have to learn them all now.


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