Great meeting with an incredible leadership team at Denver Green School. More on that tomorrow when my teeth unclench.
Left Denver in heavy rain. I-70 east to just shy of the Kansas border. All at once every warning light comes on the dashboard. Slow down and hug the side of the highway. Next town, Goodland, Kansas. One place with a mechanic. Lots of big diesels, nice folks, but none know much about Prius hybrids. Boy, do I feel like a California liberal. Scan the engine computer. Call the Toyota dealer in Denver. Something about an inverter and cooling. “Get it to a dealer”. Re-set the warning lights. Back out on I-70. 26 miles later, car starts shuddering. Blown back right tire. Cold, windy, spitting rain. Nothing for miles but drought-stunted corn and mowed-under wheat. Unpack. Put on the baby spare. Thank God it is the right and not the left as big-rigs whip by. Thank God for smartphone; tire shop ten miles back. Tire can’t be fixed. Buy a used one. Back out on the road. 300 miles to Kansas City. 50 miles later all the warning lights come back on. Slow down. Call the Toyota dealer in Hays, 120 miles east. Service Dept. is closed. Sales guy says keep going if you can, so I do. 30 miles later the car glides to a dead stop like someone had shot it. Hybrid battery drained. Still cold, spitting rain. Still nothing for miles but short, brown corn. Call AAA. Between the two of us we figure out where I am. Thank God for GPS and Google Maps. Shut off engine. Wait. On a whim, turn it back on. Battery starts flowing again. Put tow truck on hold and start east. Drive at about 35MPH for an hour. Lights of Hays. Comfort Inn. Spending the night in Hays; never thought I would write that phrase. Will be at the Toyota Dealer first thing. Re-arranging meetings in KC and hope this is fixed tomorrow.
Bad day, could have been a lot worse. The pioneers and Native Americans who crisscrossed these plains had real brass, but their horses and oxen were not as finicky as a car. Please all do your best Tinkerbell clap and/or send mojo in hopes that I will put the bad Car-ma in the rearview mirror!
And lots of good things to write about Denver Green School when I am sitting at the dealer tomorrow, I promise.