05/16/06 to 05/18/06
Tuesday morning, 5-16,  we got up early, packed up the soaking wet tent, and headed
to the falls.  We stopped along the way at some of the other famous Niagra Falls
sites, like the whirlpool thingy.  (So famous we can't remember the official name.)
The falls would have been spectacular if we could have seen them through the fog.  
I was so cold!  I didn't want my canvas shoes to get wet (like everything else) so I
was wearing flip flops and my feet were so cold they were numb.  I was too
worried about the camera to take very many pictures.  Every time I took it out of
the case, it would get rain spots all over the lens (and everywhere else!)  I was
going to be a big girl about the rain, and we were going to walk across the bridge
into Canada, to see the view from the Canadian side, but it started raining even
harder so we gave it up and headed out of cold New York.  (We didn't want to
drive across into Canada since we have our truck plates on the Samurai.)

We hadn't worried too much about packing up a wet tent, since the plan was to
spend most of the day at the falls, then camp on the shore of Lake Erie.  Well, we
were leaving New York at 10:00 AM, and it was pouring rain as we drove closer
and closer to Lake Erie, so we decided to give up and bump our schedule up a
day, so we called my Aunt Tanya to make sure we could crash on their couch in
Columbus a day early, then we called one of the miniature jersey breeders I
wanted to visit to see it we could visit him a day early.  No, the breeder wasn't
miniature, the bull was.  Awh, isn't he cute.
We wanted him awfully bad, and would have taken him home (yes, the plan
was to put him in the back of the Samurai with us) but he is only 5 weeks old,
and the breeder won't let him go until he is 8 weeks old.  So, love sick over the
sweet little bull, we started sputtering on into Columbus.  About 20 miles from
Marty and Tanya's we couldn't convince the Samurai to go any further.  We
coasted into a gas station and bought the easy remedies:  carburetor cleaner,
heat, WD-40, etc.  We worked on it for a few hours before we had to call Marty
and Tanya for a rescue.  We stayed with them and their two cats.
Our Rescuers:  Raisin, Marty Tanya and Tabby.
Tanya drove us back to the Samurai on Wednesday, 5-18, armed with advice and
positive thinking that maybe the three days of driving in the pouring rain had just
put a little water in the carburetor that we could drain right out.  After a bit of work,
she started right up--Hallelujah!!  We talked about going to visit another cow
breeder, but we wanted to ditch one of the two cars, so we headed back to Marty
and Tanya's house, but we only made it about 4 miles before Sammie wouldn't go
again.  We left Richard working on it, and headed to the auto parts store for more
easy fixes.  We got her going again, got five more miles, and since we had been
at it since 11:00, and it was now 5:00, we decided to give up for the day.  We tried
as hard as we could to not think about the fact that we were stranded in Ohio, and
had a nice evening with Marty and Tanya.  We even saw a flicker.  At least they tell
me it's a flicker.  I didn't bring my bird book since it's Texas specific.  Very
cool-looking bird.
Thursday morning Tanya had errands to run, and we had figured by then that
we would need to leave the car in a shop for a week while we waited for a
new carburetor, so Tanya dropped us of at the airport so we could rent a car.  
Armed with transportation, we got back to the Samurai and called a tow
truck.  We could have pushed the damn thing to the repair shop, but the
cheapest towing quote I could get was $66 bucks for 6 miles!!  Does anyone
see a trend with our new vehicles?  This scene made me think of the day I
bought my dear sweet Volvo, now waiting for us in the San Angelo parking lot.
After leaving our new toy in the capable hands of the random mechanic we had
seen along the road, we headed out in the rental car to visit more cows.  
Although they were old enough to travel back to Texas in the back of the
Samurai (if it would run, of course) they were not as cute as our first little buddy.  
When we finally drove back close enough to Columbus to get cell phone
reception, we got a call from the mechanic that he had been able to clean out
the carburetor enough that we might be able to get to Texas.  (We had explained
to him that we would rather not wait or spend any money.  Amazing that he even
let the tow truck unhook us!)  So, tomorrow morning we go pick up the Sammie,
return the rental car, and head south.  I wonder how far we'll make it this time.  I
wonder how much mold is in that wet tent by now?  Hey, they wouldn't call this
stuff adventure if it were easy!