It was supposed to be a pretty nice, simple drive. A bit of curves, a lot of two-lane highway, and very little traffic. And it was. But as I approached my destination, it all went wrong.
I’ve experienced a failure like this before. The previous hose developed a pin-prick leak, which hit me in the side of the face when I was diagnosing a timing issue. So I replaced the hose. This one was a bit more… energetic. I don’t know when it failed, but I had lost 3 quarts of oil before I was able to stop. Based on reading the oil pressure gauge, I suspect no more than a couple miles.
Fortunately, the timing couldn’t have been better to experience a failure. Family was coming. When I stopped dead under the western approach of Spokane International Airport, they were passing Sprague. The calvary was coming and I had a plan. I only needed to remove the bad hose, plugged the engine with a cap, and add enough oil to restore normal volumes. But since I was under the approach of Spokane International Airport, I had no interest in leaving the car unoccupied. I didn’t want the car towed as a threat to the airport.
So I waited. Because the calvary was closing in. And when they arrived, the plan was executed. Megan, Liam, and I went to NAPA. Corey sat with his iPhone and my car and waited. Parts were acquired. Supplies purchased. And in due time, it was all installed. One very scary moment to confirm the patch was leak free and we were off, leaving a smell of oil fumes behind me wherever I traveled. Sure, the pressure gauge now read 0psi, which is a very scary thing to see, but I knew better. Everything was ok.
The thing is, the drive wasn’t even the important thing. I chose the route because it looked fun, but this was very much a “destination” trip, not a “travel for the sake of travel” trip. It was Bloomsday weekend and I had cajoled my closest family to do it. So I was very happy indeed that the problem turned out to be so minor. In the end, it had no impact on the weekend, and much fun was had by all.
The race itself was hot. Too hot. It sapped me more quickly than normal; I ended up walking early and often. I wanted to turn in a time of 1:10:00 or less. I didn’t. But at a personal best 1:12:25, I did OK. I guess the goal stands for another year. Still, I wouldn’t trade this weekend of joy for one with less trouble. It was wonderful to see family again, wonderful to take on the challenge of Doomsday and beat it, and wonderful to simply enjoy life for a weekend.
Late Sunday, upon my return, I updated my facebook status to read:
180 mostly uneventful miles of sunny convertible driving. 7.46 miles of mostly enjoyable running. Spending time with Corey and Megan.
A pretty good weekend, which would have been epic if only I didn’t have to qualify what I did with “mostly”.
And you know what? Over time, the flaws will fade and the good times alone will feature in my memories.
But most importantly, Megan enjoyed it enough she wanted to come back. Maybe next time, we won’t forget to bring the cameras to the falls.