Another Van Breakdown While Moving Camp to Willow Creek Reservoir

Sunday August 23, 2015 Willow Creek Reservoir Nevada

While I was waiting for Steve to break camp this morning I wondered around the old yard a bit and spotted this old swing by the side of the house. Seemed like I should try that old swing out. I was surprised how well the swing adjusted to my body. Some one knew how to build a swing just right.swing


While sitting there enjoying the swing I noticed the two swing poles were all browned out near the bottom.

Seems these poles are a  favorite marmot marking spot. The poles are worn smooth were they’ve been marking it.rubbing


We finally got it going and left camp. I told Steve I wanted to stop by this wet spot on the road and check out the spring to see about tapping it for drinking water at a future date.

Checking out a spring

We stopped here where I followed the water up the hill to where I thought the spring came out of the hill.spring


But up on the hill, I didn’t find a spring, but a plastic pipe with water running out of it onto the ground. The plastic pipe seemed to be going someplace else to a spring to get the water but I couldn’t tell where. On the way down the hill I stepped off the distance to see how much plastic pipe I’d need to get down to the road with the water, about 300 feet should do it. And there is already enough plastic pipe laying around here not in use that would just need to be moved into place to be more useful that would change this water on the ground to useful water for consumption.

After checking that out we headed on down the road. I stopped at a fork in the road to ask Steve how much gas he had left to get to Winnemucca, about 150 miles away. He said he thought he had enough. I said this is the desert and one needs to be prudent about these sorts of things. Even though it was out of our way, it’s always prudent to have lots of gas when traveling the desert, so we headed on up to Owyhee to get gas and some supplies at the Tribal store.

Van clutch leakage breaks

However, shortly after that, I tried to put in the clutch and the peddle went to the floor. Oh, oh, not good. I was pretty sure it had something to do with the leakage, so I got out the tarp and crawled under there to have a look. Here’s where things broke and I pulled the van over. Lucky the road wasn’t busy. No one came by while we were here working on the problem.vanbreak


It turned out a three eights inch rod that activated the clutch fork broke into two pieces, not good.

You can see the piece here with the break in the middle.clutchrod


The piece is a push rod, so it doesn’t have to pull, so we tried to figure out a way to fix it with no success at first. I told Steve to relax and take a break so we could think about what to do. We needed a piece of pipe or something the right size to put around the broken pieces to make a brace or splint to hold the rod together. We looked through our stuff for pipe and whatnot, but couldn’t come up with anything that would work.

I put my thinking cap on and knew I had to pull something out of the hat to get this one fixed.

Eventually I thought about my time in Vietnam watching the locals using metal cans to make all kinds of useful things out of. They were very creative.

So, I went to the garbage and got a can and cut a strip of metal about one and a half inches by three inches. My plan was to wrap that strip of metal around the broken part and use some little clamps to tighten the piece of metal up good and tight. We first tried big clamps but they wouldn’t tighten small enough, so I dug some more and found some smaller clamps that would tighten up.

Once I cinched up those clamps real tight, the part seemed rigid enough to do the job so I installed it.

Here’s the repaired clutch rod, with the metal can strip and three clamps holding it all together.rodfix


Once installed we tested it out and it seemed to work just find, so I picked up all the tools and off we went to get gas at Owyhee.

After gassing at Owyhee, we could now head for our camp tonight still a ways away at Willow creek reservoir.

We had a couple hours to travel yet, down this road.road2


And this one through the quaking aspens.aspen


We weren’t sure our camp spot would be available as it was the start of hunting season, so we drove to the top of the reservoir dam to look down to see if our camp spot was open and it was.

Looking off the reservoir dam to the backside were we want to camp by Willow


I watched Steve set up his camp. Nice thing about a van is camp is already set up.campup


Steve got his tent up and we are all set up before dark by the creek.campset


We plan to stay here another day before heading on home.

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