April 30th --Car stopped again in Kansas--
When I saw the old high-mileage rental car yesterday, a faint anxiety came up to my mind, and this became a reality. Last night, it was a strong thunderstorm. Under cloudy sky, I left the motel in Goodland at 8:18 and drove slowly along the I-70. I saved speed because this new partner had no credit history. I really understood what credit history means, how important it is and how it is built up. I could drive my Jeep very fast without any anxiety because it had an enough credit history. Driving with anxiety was almost a punishment. And I had the same feeling as what I had at the rim-trail in Grand Canyon. Yesterday, I made a new plan to drive to Saint Louis today, but it is about 500 or 600 miles away. I was driving saying, "one step and one step" to myself. After only one hour drive, I felt like dropping by a service station, maybe under a burden of anxiety. And just when a ramp ends with a stop sign, the car stopped and never started any more. The car stopped again! I pushed the car to the service station. The water temperature raised rapidly and there were smoke coming out of the hood. One guy helped me to push the car. He left without saying anything when it's done. I found a oil dripping from the transmission, that's why it didn't move at all.
As Mike suggested, I made a phone call to Edwin, the owner of the car, and told him what happened. He needed some time to arrange something, so I called him back 30 minutes later. He told me that all he could do was to pick me up and give a ride to Hays, 90 miles east to Oakley, the place I stopped. There are an airport in Hays and it has AVIS. But bad news was that they are closed on Sundays. If I take this option, I have to wait until tomorrow. I hung up and waited for him. I had enough time to think what to do next. I called AVIS and asked if I could get a car today at Hays. The operator said no. And even worse, the car are all sold out on Monday, too. There was no other way than to go back to Denver in order to get a RELIABLE car. I made a reservation for full size car to be picked up tonight at Denver International Airport. When Ed came with his wife, all I needed was to ask for a secured place to put all my baggage and a ride to some bus stop. Ed and his wife were old and they were very very kind. He took me to the bus stop to get information, to his shop to put all my stuff, and even to the restaurant for lunch, although he called it a "dinner". I was told that Mike and Ed are long-time friends and this reminded me a proverb, "the same feather flock together." And what's sure is that this gathering is a good one. After lunch, he dropped me at around the bus stop. I thanked to him and his wife. I really had a precious experience which can never be bought for any amount of money.
The new partner ran only for 200 miles
I went to a burger shop next to the gas station, where bus would stop. While I was waiting, I rearranged my plan with my lap top computer. I finished just before the time when I was told to be at the stop. I walked to the ticket counter. I asked for a ticket to Denver, then the guy behind the counter told me that the next bus would leave at 4:00 am. I told him that there should be a bus at 17:50, then the guy said it already left. I couldn't understand what's going on. The guy said, "we use a central time." Oh, time zone. Here in Kansas they use a central time, 1 hour ahead of Colorado time. What a hell! I missed the bus! I decided to find someone who would take me to Denver. As I was looking for a ride, some guy came to me and warned not to do that. It is not allowed to get a ride in the service area. I moved to the other place. And again I started to look for. There was no other way for me. I found a car with a Colorado plate, but I couldn't find a driver. I moved to another car. After a while, I came back to the Colorado plate. Then three guys are just about to ride on that car. I approached to them and asked if they would go to Denver. A driver said not Denver but Limon. Limon is at least nearer to Denver than here. So I asked for a ride to Limon. After inquiring to other two guys, the driver said yes. Oh, how lucky I am! I got on the car and headed to the west. One hour was enough for us to get to know together. The owner of the car was Bill and other two guys are Josh and Mike. Bill changed his mind and kindly took me to the motel along the I-70 which is close to the Denver International Airport. I checked in the motel and took a free shuttle to the airport to rent a car. I had a reservation in AVIS. I got to the counter and asked for a car. The receptionist was very kind and arranged a low mileage sports utility. But when he slided my credit card, it was declined. My card has a limit of $1,500 and it cost more to rent it for one month. He told me that once it is declined, he can't process any more. He apologized me and suggested to try another rental company. I went to the counter of National Rental Car. The receptionist was also very kind and he managed to rent me a car with a special way. Anyway I got a car now, and what's important is that the car was almost brand new, only 8300 miles.
I went back to the motel and went to bed. When I was in bed I was thinking why these trouble happened. I hit upon a silly idea that this happened because I wrote something negative about Denver. This seems somewhat superstitious, but I think I'd better write a good point of Denver. Yes you have a lot of rental car company and you can get a RELIABLE car in Denver. Anyway thanks to these troubles, I could touch kindness of many people. All people I asked for a help were kind. I really appreciate it.
Guys kindly took me to Denver
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