Yes… After a fantastic trip in the Monument Valley at sunset and a sleep on a campground inside the valley, the next day we were on the road to Moab when, at 2 p.m., a strange noise came inside the Land and we had to stop in the middle of nowhere!!After some tries the diagnosis was: the gearbox was broken! After some time waiting we received help from the vice-sheriff of Blanding, the most near city to us..a tow-man moved our car downtown.
Arrived in Blanding we couldn’t to do anything ‘cause it was Saturday and all the services were closed. But Fabrizio started to talk with the owner of the motel, a mormon artist who showed him his impressionist paintings and told about their religion. So bad luck sometimes brings good things.
We waited here until Monday, planning how to solve the situation and getting to the visitor center where we searched in internet flights, cars, mechanics and other things…
For short: we decided to rent a U-Haul truck with a trailer to bring the Land from Blanding to Denver where we found a specialized mechanic and rent a car to reach Chicago in time.
Monday we moved to U-Haul Office in Blanding but apparently there was no reservation… After a long morning we discovered that our U-Haul was waiting for us in Monticello, 22 miles north to Blanding. Fabrizio decided to hitch hike at the gas station and, after a wonderful ride in the back of a red neck’s pickup truck , he reached Monticello and came back with the U-Haul.
When he returned we had our last lunch in Blanding and we talked with the owner of the motel (and the restaurant, and other properties in Blanding): he is an old man, very interesting and full of ideas about create an art museum of the town: he asked to send him some ideas or projects about it. Great occasion! Isn’t it?
After a long trip on the U-Haul (and our last night in the tent on the Land’s roof, over U-Haul trailer beside the Colorado river) we reached Denver where we left the Land in the mechanic hands; after a complete checkup the guys from JC rover 4x4 confirmed our original impression: the gearbox needs to be changed. It worked without oil for miles, and it died after a legendary ‘20 years’ of service. Fabrizio will send parts from Italy and come back to Denver in October or November for bringing the Land in New Jersey and shipping back (maybe) to Italy.
This evening we met a friend of Fabrizio, Juan Carlos Madeni - they met each other in Bolivia on a previous travel- who lives in Denver, doing research and teaching at the University of Mines in Golden: we had a very good speeking with him about university system in US and we’ll meet him again tomorrow in his office.
The Land may be over (just for the moment) but off course not our trip!