Day 27: July 15, 2013
Clean Clothes and So Much More
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Riding alone in an open car helps but laundry still has to be done eventually. There was no guest laundry at my hotel in Barstow. There was one right across the street that closes early but also opens early; 7:30 AM. I was there about 7:20 along with a lady in an electric powered chair. She had an errand to run and asked me to watch her bag of clothes. I agreed. Someone arrived to open the place around 7:45, the lady returned about the same time, and we all went inside. Things moved along smoothly until drying time came. I put my clothes into a dryer and dropped in a quarter by turning the knob. Nothing. Another quarter then two more and still nothing. The washer had cost $1.50 so dummy me decided that maybe the dryer did, too. I deposited two more quarters before asking the lady about the dryers. She was listening to something through earphones but she jumped to life when I got her attention. The dryers should start with just one quarter, something was terribly wrong, Jesse (the man who had opened the place) was across the street at a drop-off laundry, I should go there, this is what I should say, I should get Jesse back there right away.

I went across the street and Jesse came back and (after a call to the owner) found the breaker that got the dryers working. All the while, there was a "conversation" going on between Jesse and the lady in the chair. He had to get things fixed, especially number 3, it was the hottest, she couldn't afford to put extra money in the dryer, maybe someone cut a wire while trying to steal money from a dryer. When he finally flipped the magic switch, half the dryers in the place started running. I'm guessing they were the ones that someone put a quarter in last night before deciding they weren't coming to life.

I tossed my clothes in a running dryer while the lady told Jesse about the neighbor who was filled with evil spirits. She'd sprinkled holy water on his door and placed a cross on her own door and could only hope that was enough. When Jesse left, the lady paused briefly and announced that she was almost out of breath. That did not, however, prevent her from telling me about her search for a CD with PacMan on it because she couldn't afford an X-Box 360. At some point I'd asked Jesse if I could get my money back. Yes, but not from him. He handled no money. I'd have to see Barbara across the street who would be there at 9:00. I'd gotten my clothes dry with just a couple of moves to dryers that ran for awhile when the door was shut and I'd had way more that a buck and a half's entertainment. I did not wait for Barbara.

It was a great looking day. It was even a comfortable day until the afternoon and some serious heat rolled around. The temperature gage isn't properly calibrated so I can't report actual temperatures but I know normal, and hot and Holy Cow! The gage spent a lot of time flirting with Holy Cow! and I spent a lot of time watching it and easing the car over the next crest where things could cool down a bit.

Although I'd changed some of the oil one quart at a time, the Valiant was really overdue for a proper oil and filter change. The GPS turned up an Oil Can Henry's in Kingman, Arizona, and that's where I headed. The oil change went well but they spotted a gas leak at the fuel pump. The fitting seemed quite tight so maybe the new pump had gone bad, it or a fitting had cracked, or maybe the fitting wasn't as tight as it seemed. They suggested a mechanic up the street but he wasn't there and I decided to head on to Seligman where I had motel reservations. The leak did not just start when I pulled into Henry's and I figured ending the day's drive and cooling off made more sense than threshing around Kingman looking for a mechanic. I passed an O'Reily's Auto Parts Store and pulled in. To keep from looking too stupid, I bought a couple quarts of oil, which I knew I'd need eventually. Then I asked if by any chance they had a fuel pump for a 1963 Valiant. After a few taps on the keyboard I heard "Yes. $19.95." I may not have looked stupid but I'm sure I looked shocked as I made the purchase.

The rainwater blowin' all under my hood
I know that I was doin' my motor good. -- Chuck Berry
There was a little rain on the way but Seligman was barely damp when I arrived. With a possible fuel pump swap looming, I asked about a second night when I checked into my room at the Supai.

My first move was to verify that a little tightening wouldn't cure the leak. Then I went for a walk; Not because I was stressed about the pump but pretty much because I wasn't. I figured I had whatever I needed to fix it whenever I got around to it. A short stroll to the east led to some familiar places and faces.

Next up was a longer walk to the west for dinner. Though I've been through Seligman several times, I've never spent the night here and never even had a meal. I corrected that at the Roadkill Cafe which has decent food, cold beer, and tasteful decor. For dessert, I found the root beer float I've been craving back on the other end of town at the Snow Cap. Ending a day near the glow and hum of neon is almost always a good thing.

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