Well, the GREAT news is that the alternator must have been the problem as we have been riding with a great battery charge since leaving Jon's Auto Tuesday mornings.
The BAD news (yes, again) we are STILL having problems with our fuel pump. I haven't mentioned it much but it has been plaguing us since shortly after it was installed last January in Harlingen, Texas.
Every now and then - especially when it is hot and we have to climb - the fuel pump overheats and cuts out. Thus - the van cuts out. Twice during the summer it took us 2 1/2 hours to get back to the Park from Merritt - a 1/2 hour trip away.
So far it has cut out on us this trip about five times - not good. The first was actually on our way from Lima to Idaho Falls - just as we got into town it died. Derek threw some cold water on it and we were good to get to Jon's Auto a few miles away.
We checked with the guys at Jon's and they were about to replace it when they realized that we have the same pump that they would have installed. We all decided to leave it.
However, on the way from Idaho Falls to Pocatello we went down again - and then we went down in Pocatello. Not a good place - right on the side of the road just before a traffic light - we were actually on our way to a gas station.
We were sitting there waiting when lights pulled up behind us - you know the kind - the colourful kind. Ugh. Turns out we had State Trooper Tom behind us stopping to say hi - I mean stopping to see what was up.
So - we waited a bit and tried to continue on - this time we made it past the light but now stalled on the far right lane. Dead.
Guess who should come up behind us again. Hi Tom!
The Trooper offered to push us to the gas station but Derek tried the cold water trick again - thankfully it got us to the station. We parked in the shade and decided to hang out there for a while.
Good storey eh - don't you wish you were us - traveling around with a van that likes to break down.
Sometimes you just need to know how and when to pause for a minute. We spent an hour at the gas station - nice that this grass area was right next door - waiting for our fuel pump to cool down. We enjoyed the grass then had supper before we thought to take a chance with the cooler evening temperatures. Thankfully we made it to our destination without a breakdown.
Actually, it was quite nice traveling in the early evening.
A VERY beautiful area from Pocatello to McCammon - exit 47.
And just as beautiful from there to Lava Hot Springs along highway 30. A few minutes before we stopped by the side of the road to take this picture, we came around a corner and were looking straight at this huge full moon - Derek and I said - WoW - at the same time.
With our long long day we needed some relaxation in a big way. Since we knew that the hot springs stayed open until 10:00am we headed straight there. We arrived at 7:40 - giving us a few hours - we lasted until 9:00pm. Yes, I know - way past Cassia's bed time.
One of our new - most favourite commercial hot springs - just perfect with five pools, one a little cooler than the one before - I was good in the coolest. Nice with the rock walls, pools and stairs.
In the morning we went by and I took some more pics - they are below so hold tight.
As a resort/tourist town, Lava Hot Springs has a ton of hotels and campgrounds. But you know us - we aren't afraid of a little stealth camping - sometimes you just have to have the guts. This was our overnight spot - shhhhhhhhhh.
The next morning, Cassia and I walked the main street to head back to the hot springs. We weren't going to the hot springs - we were heading to the playground Cas spied across the street the night before.
Coming up on the hot springs - nice beside the river.
Really beautiful grounds and buildings. One of the best things was that the change rooms were heated - HEATED! Floors and everything. I think that is the first for us - all the others could learn from that. Most of the time you loose your heat effect pretty quickly by walking into a cold change room.
By the way - entry into the hot springs was a reasonable $16 for the three of us. If we had known we were coming here we might have bypassed the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort - maybe.
On to the playground.
Amazing view of the fall colours just behind the pg (playground in adult language).
When Derek joined us at the playground with the van, I headed across the street to go down into the Sunken Garden.
It offered a stellar view of the hottest hot pool.
A view of the hot springs.
A little later when Derek went to see the Sunken Garden he struck up a conversation with Lynn from Boise. She came over and we all went for a walk by the river - there she is above with Cassia.
And just LOOK at what we spotted.
Hmmmm - that looks suspiciously like a hot spring pool in the river!!!!!!!!!
So - how fast can the Wood Clan get their swim trunks on, find the path and be DOWN at that natural hot springs?!!!
The water source - too hot to touch!
You just can't get better than this - I dare say that we have already reached the peak of our trip - this will be hard to beat. (But we'll try - won't we?) Hmmm - Mrs. Fat Face - note to self - turn face next time. Sheesh.
A balanced camera on a rock surrounded by hot water - at times necessary to get a family shot.
Heading back on the pathway - a secret? who knows - probably not by the locals.
A perfect day - which actually continued after we left Lava Hot Spring just after lunch.
We are on a roll here in Southeastern Idaho. This is a totally new route for us and I dare say it is now our most favourite - looks like we have a winner for up coming years. Totally impressed.
Wednesday, we only made it 21 miles up the road - that next.
Oh - and about the fuel pump - any ideas about what the problem is - this never happened with our other fuel pump. Our new plan is to visit the Pep Boys in Albuquerque and ask for a new one - since it's still under warranty. Since our alternator was a dud last year, maybe the pump was too.