Day 30: Inching Along in Southern Arizona
It’s always something. Another frustrating mechanical day. It started out great — perfect weather and all kinds of ambitious plans to wrap up the rest of southern AZ. I hit the 3,000 mile mark and spotted a Jiffy Lube. I’m very on-the-ball with oil changes and all. I opened the brake fluid lid ever so gently — something that I have done myself since The Accident — realizing that it needs to be treated delicately. Although it was full the past couple times I checked, this time, the front half was empty. Uh oh. The oil change guy pointed me in the direction of a gas station so I could go get some brake fluid. Got some and started pouring it in. It was leaking out the bottom just as fast as I was adding it in.
The oil change guys called their mechanic buddy and I eventually got towed to his shop. Sure enough, the epoxy on the reservoir had deteriorated. I don’t blame the mechanics back in Silver City where a part was not to be found, anywhere, and who sincerely believed the epoxy would hold. And it did — for about 5,000 miles or so. After talking with these mechanics, it seems I should’ve made a more concerted effort later to find that part and have it replaced. The risk of losing the fluid and getting into an accident from brake failure was very high. So, I counted my blessings that nothing happened in those twisty turny mountains yesterday — or in the middle of the nowhere desert (which is about 85% of all Arizona it seems).
While they were replacing the reservoir (no problem finding the part in Tucson) and master cylinder, I had them check out the A/C. This mechanic believed it was the vacuum valve something and replaced it. He was sure of it. So, another $780. Their credit card machine was not working — so I had to go get another cash advance at the bank. Argh! But I’m much relieved to have the brake thingie replaced & resolved. And the air is running really nicely. I sure hope it lasts since I have the big summer trip coming up and just can’t bear to waste more time and money on the A/C.
Enough about all that. Instead of being too pissed off and depressed about wasting more than half the day in the shop again, I was just grateful to be alive. The dogs and I even caught an hour-long nap on the waiting room sofa. Since I only got to a few small towns, I only took a couple dozen photos and don’t have much to share with you tonight. But tomorrow’s another day!
Cool windows on what appears to be a mid-century bank in Tucson not far from the garage:
Down to Nogales to shoot a few things.
Nogales is a border town (with Mexico) and there are all kinds of Border Patrol cops and regular cops everywhere. This bank is the neatest thing. A mix of midcentury with sort of a streamline moderne feel. I took several photos but am just including a couple. I had a security cop from the bank all over me — insisting I could only stand in the street to take photos. I said that the sidewalk was public property but he said no — and it was too hot and I was just in a hurry to get moving so I didn’t argue. Dealing with cops and cop-wanna-bes was just not the way I wanted to end my day.
The bank’s ATMs:
On to Benson. I’m pretty sure this is a modern sign — patina-ized to look old. Still funky and fun:
On to Tombstone. The hat piece is most likely new — but the top part looks like probably old “can” reworked / relettered:
So that’s it I’m afraid on tonight’s visuals. Stayed the night here in Bisbee (no, not the Shady Dell) where it’s mountain-like cool. I’m invigorated and ready to get moving in a serious way. I’m thinking I should be able to wrap up Arizona in about two days — just the southeast and the northwest to go. Which puts me slightly ahead of schedule and might leave a little time before the American Sign Museum “thing” in Cincinnati for dabbling in either Colorado or possibly some Kansas City stuff. I have some short lists with me in case I ran ahead of schedule — something that’s never happened before.