Good day followers. I’ve been getting to know Pinedale, Wyoming for the last several days. As you may recall from the last time we visited, I was on my way to Driggs, Idaho for the Driggs Digs Plein Air Event. It’s going on right now but unfortunately without me. I stopped in Pinedale on Saturday to get gas and noticed a leak underneath my vehicle. Concerned and hoping it wasn’t what I thought it was I pulled over out of the way and looked again.
Sure enough. Red fluid. Transmission fluid. My heart sank. I had transmission failure in Marble Falls, TX in March and replaced the transmission to the tune of almost $7000. Less than a week and only 600 miles later, on my way back to Colorado, it failed again in Grants, New Mexico. It was under warranty fortunately but it still cost me hotel money and expense of my wife coming to get me while they ordered a new one. 10 days later we returned to Grants to pick the vehicle up.
I googled to see where the Ford dealer was located. Nearest one is in Rock Springs, WY, a 102 miles away. Pinedale, Wyoming does have a Dodge dealer however and maybe they could at least tell me if it was a serious problem or a simple fix like a loose hose or something. The showroom was open but the service department was closed. The best they could do was for me to comeback on Monday and they’d take a look at it. I got a room just down the street from the dealership. I have my pop-up, but I didn’t want to risk driving to an RV park a couple miles away.
As you know, this is Wednesday…and I’m still here. The service writer said it was a faulty gasket on the transmission pan. They’d have to order one in from Salt Lake. It was either that or have it towed to Ford in Rock Springs for $500. I told him to go ahead and order it. He said it should arrive by UPS on Tuesday afternoon. I had made arrangements for my brother-in-law to come get me with his car hauler trailer but I thought well I’ll just wait for tomorrow and then I can get home maybe that night or Wednesday.
UPS came and went and no gasket. The parts man called to see what happened and was told it didn’t make it on the truck for some reason but assured him it would be here today, Wednesday. We’ll see.
I had been staying in a $150 a night hotel room and after 3 nights of that I asked the service manager if I could set up my trailer in their back lot and camp there. Sure he said and we went out to locate a spot. He set me up next to a tailer with some snowmobiles on it.
Home sweet home. Yeah, not real pretty but what are you going to do. That’s my Explorer in the foreground waiting for it’s new gasket.
Soooo…with time to kill for a couple of days, I walked around town, checking things out. Pinedale, Wyoming isn’t real big. The main drag through town is probably a little more than a mile. I needed the exercise anyway.
Pinedale, Wyoming sort of reminds me, on a smaller scale of course, of Jackson, WY, when I used to live up there in the early 70’s, before it got ruined by all of the money that came into the town. Simple western town, out in the country. The people are really friendly. The shopping is simple. It’s a long way to anywhere from here. I love it.
Pinedale sits at the foot of the Wind River range of mountains. There’s still snow on them this time of year. Pinedale is home to the Green River Rendezvous and a number of other festivals and doings. It has become an “adventure” jumping off point. It is also surrounded by a lot of oil fields. It’s historic roots are in cattle ranching, fishing and hunting. Mix the yuppy trust funders who come here for the “adventure” lifestyle, the oilfield workers and the ranchers, hunters and fishermen and you have a real interesting populous.
A little art in the park even.
I came through years ago on the way back to Montrose from delivering paintings to a gallery in Jackson. I had my family with me and we were pulling a travel trailer. It was late in the day and we stopped at the town park here in Pinedale to fix supper. I was sitting at the picnic table after we had eaten taking in the serenity of the place. It was so quiet and relaxing. A street light came on not far away and soon a moose and her calf wandered out of the willows and began grazing on the park lawn. We watched them for several minutes as it got darker. Finally I announced that it was time to go. We had a long way to go yet as I had to be back in Montrose in the morning.
When the discussion of retirement comes up I have always said that my idea of retirement is to be able to sit on that park bench for 20 minutes or two days. However long I want to.
I got my chance a couple of years ago on a motorcycle ride back from Canada. You can read about it here.
During my walking tour of Pinedale, I found the town park and my bench again. This time I took the opportunity to record it in my pocket sketch book.
This is the street light that lit up the cow moose and her calf. The bridge goes over Pinecreek. Although I didn’t see the moose this time I enjoyed my time on my bench.
I write this from the waiting lounge in the Dodge dealer. My Explorer is missing from the lot in front so I can only assume that UPS delivered the gasket and it is on the rack in the shop. I think I’ll go see.
Thanks for coming along on this adventure. I appreciate it.