Moving to Colorado!


Basil has moved. Not just across town, but across the continent. I took a job with Flyin' Miata in Colorado. This meant that the poor little truck that had been resting peacefully in a barn had to rumble across the US while loaded with all of my stuff. Ouch! The Miata came along for support - if it was needed....

Your heroes, Basil (mostly driven by Keith) and Baby (primary pilot: Trevor)
Might as well get this out of the way early. Basil was passed by every vehicle in North America at least once. A speed of 50 mph made us a real roadblock. The Miata did get phenomenal mileage, however.
Waiting at the border crossing. This was competely painless, much to my surprise! A Rover full of, well, STUFF, didn't even phase the customs agent. "Have a nice trip".
Adjusting the valves at a Wendy's in Michigan. We had come all the way from Ottawa down the 401, and the poor things were a little rattly.
The first day was a long and fast one, but it came at a cost. The seal on the waterpump started to leak with enthusiasm. So we stopped for the night at this crowded campground and spent part of the morning trying to fix the problem. Thanks (again!) to Ted Rose for an early-morning phone consultation.
Gasket? Who needs a gasket? Not the previous owner, and not I.
The Miata was charged with carrying enough water and antifreeze to recharge Basil should he prove to be incontinent.
On the road.
The seal only seemed to leak when things got very hot with no cool-down time. We left coolant at various roadside stops. By this point, Basil was making ugly noises when turning hard. It felt like a u-joint failing.
A massive traffic jam in Illinois. We were stuck here for about 90 minutes.
Illinois? Iowa? Indiana? Who knows.
Adjusting the valves again on the second night. After this I proclaimed them incurable and gave up. It was just the heat.
Nebraska. A very relaxing drive. I set the hand throttle and basically kept the steering wheel from moving too much.
Hang on a second, the Ottawa Clocktower brew pub is just down the street from my parent's place. What's going on here?
An arch in Nebraska. Hey, they know how to make their own fun here. This was billed as an enormous tourist attraction.
One thing they also make in Nebraska is weather, and lots of it. We drove through one wicked storm here. Oh, and Basil's taillights failed. Naturally. This night, we wimped out, stayed in a hotel, and vowed not to drive at night.
Once you cross into Colorado from Nebraska, you start getting mountains right away. This is on the other side of Denver, climbing towards Vail.
More climbing. Basil was flat out in second gear and getting hot. Notice the smoking truck up ahead.
Boiling over at 10,400 feet.
At least it was a pretty place to stop. We actually performed a coolant change on the side of the I-70 near Denver to increase the amount of water in the mix. This helped.
Oh, and chip bags get really big, too. Highly entertaining.
A shot of the Miata following along with the load we were carrying. Poor Basil.
MORE climbing.
There was much rejoicing when we discovered that there was a tunnel and we didn't have to go up to 12,900 feet. Woohoo! (note: this is not actually the Eisenhower tunnel at the top, it's a lower one near Idaho Springs. Good catch, Jim Hall!)
Now that we went up, we have to go down! Trevor seemed to think the runaway truck ramps were appropriate. Actually, Basil was holding 55 mph in 4th quite nicely.
Best campsite of the trip: Vail. Worst weather for camping and not a very restful night, however.
A short trip into Grand Junction the next morning, and we had arrived!

Almost exactly 2000 miles in about 4 1/2 days. Basil developed a problem with a u-joint (more later), got all hot climbing the Rockies, lost his taillights, leaked coolant occasionally and went through a fair bit of oil. But that's not bad considering his state only 6 months ago when he could not move!

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