Skyelar and I are sitting in a motel in Flagstaff watching a Zac Efron movie. We had a great 3-week run around the country interviewing people for the documentary, but this is not the end of the road that any of us expected.
We left Memphis Thursday afternoon (July 11th), right on schedule. The Dolphin started falling apart right after the first torrential downpour in Louisiana, but the engine kept going strong until Memphis. There were some weird vibrations at certain speeds and something new was clunky when changing gears and accelerating. We should have had it checked out, but thought we could make it home. We drove all night, making it in to Albuquerque on Friday afternoon and took a break for a few hours during the heat of the day. On Friday night we took off again, hoping to get home the next afternoon. Around 3am we were going up a hill on I-40, about 30 miles east of Flagstaff, when the engine clunked loudly and then screeched to a halt, in the right lane of traffic. It was completely locked up so I couldn’t even get it off the road. We spent half an hour waving trucks out of our lane with flashlights until a trucker came by with chains and dragged us to the shoulder.
The clunking sound was our driveshaft (not the band from Lost) swinging around wildly after one of its universal joints snapped. The vibration was probably caused by the joint getting old and loose. The driveshaft then wrapped itself up in our parking brake cable and locked those up. We should have had it looked at in Memphis or Albuquerque, but my naive optimism got the better of me yet again. The mechanic in Flagstaff thinks he found a replacement part down in Phoenix, but we won’t know for sure until Monday. We rented a little Fiat yesterday so that Bryan and Maisoue could get home. Now Skyelar and I are waiting it out at a crappy motel, watching bad movies and trying to stay sane. With any luck the part will get here on Monday, get installed quickly, and we’ll be back home by Tuesday.