Shortly after arriving in Cuba, in the process of checking oil, tires, and the overall condition of the Jeep after a run of almost 1,800 miles in three days I discovered a slight oil leak at the left front axle. After a fruitless effort to find a repair facility I decided that the options were limited to two; drive it carefully while keeping an eye on the differential oil level or towing it home.
To make an informed decision it seemed a good idea to contact Penske Truck Leasing and find out what the cost for a truck and trailer would be. With that one phone call the options narrowed to one, drive.
Incredibly, a visitor to Cuba Fest from Arizona offered to tow the Jeep back for us. The generosity of the Route 66 community never ceases to amaze me.
However, as we did not want to ask the good Samaritan to adjust their schedule by a day, and as I thought that we could avoid problems by taking it easy, we bid adios to our benefactor and set out for Route 66 State Park on Sunday morning.
After the presentation and the signing of a dozen or so books, my dearest friend and I head west with plans to end the day at Lebanon and the Munger Moss Motel. Keeping the speed down prevented a serious loss of oil but it added a few hours to the trip.
After a wonderful visit with Bob and Ramona, the proprietors of the time capsule that is the Munger Moss, we met Mike and Sharon Ward, and a couple met in the motel lobby, for dinner at Dowds, an excellent restaurant.
The planned schedule was adjusted to compensate for the slower speeds, and we set out the following morning for Galena, Kansas. After meeting with Renee Charles of the Kansas Route 66 Association, we had lunch (an excellent buffalo burger) at Waylan’s KuKu Burger in Miami, Oklahoma.
Then with our eyes on Weatherford, and with diminished speeds in mind, we alternated between Route 66 and the turnpike. We missed Laurel Kane at Afton Station, spent an hour at the astounding JM Davis museum, missed Jerry McClanahan, and after a nice dinner at Lucille’s Roadhouse, hit the motel near 10:00.
As we were to meet with Pat Smith at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton, we didn’t hit the road until just after 8:00. After talking with Pat, and signing books, we moved on to the National Route 66 Museum and signed books there.
Pie and coffee at Watering Hole #2 in Texola was followed with a stop at the U Drop Inn in Shamrock for a meeting with Larry Clounts of the Texas Route 66 Association. Unfortunately a family situation resulted in him having to leave town and the postponement of our meeting.
The next stop was a meeting with “Texas Ivey” and lunch at the historic Golden Light restaurant in Amarillo. By now it was near three, and we were dealing with another issue in the guise of a chirping AC compressor and a hint of metal shavings at the compressor head.
There was little we could do but drive west, at a reduced speed. As a result, we missed the planned dinner with Mike and Sharon Ward in Albuquerque.
Still, there was a silver lining in the form of stunning storm that enhanced our photo shoot in Montoya. Wait until you see this!
Now, it is time to unwind at the Monterrey Non Smokers Motel in Albuquerque with a cold bottle of beer. In the morning we will say a prayer, top off the differential, have breakfast with Mike and Sharon, and prepare for a long day on the road.