The next morning we awoke to a beautiful clear, cool day. We were thinking our van troubles were over.
We headed west across 50 and took on fuel and supplies Salida. Then over Monarch Pass hoping to expore some of the north side of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison before heading towards Owl Creek Pass on GrumpyBadger's (Steve's) suggestion.
We headed on past the Blue Mesa Reservoir? and turned north on 92 to explore the north side and possibly find a site early and relax. About halfway up the canyon the van sputtered to a stop. It was hot. Bitchin' hot. We had no shoulder, no shade, no nothing. Dead in the middle of a curve on a tight two lane road. Let's step back a little. When I bought Rusty I tuned it up right away. I did most everything, even some things I didn't need to, like the coil, for instance. I ordered a supposed 'better' MSD unit from Jeg's or somewhere like that with a bunch of other stuff and thought "What could it hurt?" Soon after this my van stalled on me close to home during some hot, slow offroading. I Googled the possible problem and found out MSD coils have a bad reputation for failing. Symptom? Stall when hot then restart after cool. No problem, I pulled my trusty OEM coil from under the gaucho and put it back in. No further problems. Note to self, coils on 460s overheat. Check.
Well, we waited and it didn't restart. We got a tow from a nice guy in a Cummins diesel
to the next overlook and called AAA. About an hour later it cranked right up. We hightailed it back to Gunnison before NAPA closed so we could try a new coil. The van ran fine for this one hour run. We cancelled our tow when we were in the home stretch. I changed the coil thinking we had found the problem. The rest of the day was sublime! We meandered down to the SilverJack reservoir and found the beautiful Silverjack Campground. This is the real Colorado!
Lots of cut firewood at almost every site, and nowhere near full, this is a beautiful campground if you like Aspen groves as much as we do. After today, time for a bottle of wine!
The next morning we hiked to the reservoir overlook.
On the road over Owl Creek Pass
This is a beautiful run and I recommend it. 4wd not needed, unless your headed up the West side (off 550) opposite of our direction, and still probably only needed when wet. We picnicked at the park in Ridgeway and headed towards Telluride via Last Dollar Road, once again thinking our troubles were over.
Soon after this pic, of course, the van stalled again as we really got to climbing on Last Dollar. There was no way back. No way out without climbing. Hardly any cell signal. We were screwed. The only people around were rental Jeeps that kept passing by. They stopped, "Can I help you?" Well, do you live around here? Do you know your way around, maybe a shortcut out of here? "No, we're from DeMoines." Then probably no. They all went on. After about 5 stalls and a few hours we made it over the top of Last Dollar. It was getting late. We coasted, literally, all the way down to the airport. I only had to attempt to crank it once or twice for a slight incline. We rolled in to Telluride literally sputtering through town and got the last campsite in the city park campground, the only
campground. We walked to town for pizza but just couldn't get excited about the way the trip was going. 3 days out, 3 times broken down. It has to be the ignition, doesn't it?
I researched and the only thing I could find was that a bad ICM (ignition control module) will kill your coil. It had to be that, right? Not to be found in Telluride, of course, we had to try for a parts store the next day.
More to come........