“Oh my nerves! We are ruined.”

Well, it’s not that bad – but those were pretty funny lines. Our third attempt to leave Bend yesterday morning just turned in to Groundhog Day. We got to pretty much the same place on the highway again before the car overheated. With an entire new cooling system I was starting to worry that something was horribly wrong with the engine. A stop at an autoparts store & then Midas bled a lot of air out of the cooling system, but even after a successful test run around town we got no further down the highway on the fourth attempt.

Completely fed up by now, it was quite difficult to find a proper garage open in town on a Saturday to diagnose the problem. Somehow we limped to the Subaru dealership on the eastern outskirts & waited quite a lot of the afternoon before they confirmed the head gasket is at fault (a breach in that allows exhaust to enter the cooling system & reduce the capacity for engine cooling – hence all our problems when up at 60 mph). That’s a rather costly repair, especially since we’ve already spent so much on the radiator & water pump which was just treating the symptoms. I’m still kicking myself for not going to a proper a garage first up, but hindsight is wonderful isn’t it?

So we have to decide whether to spend even more money on the car & hope that it makes it to Vancouver, BC, & then back to Canmore or wreck the car & rent one for the week to get to Vancouver & then I find another way to get me, my gear & bike to Canmore. Arggggggggggggggh. So it’s been a very quiet weekend lazing around the home (Allen & Lisa away for the weekend, still extending tremendous kindness) with no car to take us anywhere. Getting a little tired of reading & the internet Valerie persuaded me to watch Pride & Prejudice with her (the six episode, five hour BBC one from 1995). Somehow I’ve never seen this, but its acclaim is well deserved & I quite enjoyed it.

I did get out & ride Phil’s Trail finally this afternoon. Having to bike to the trailhead was a bit of a drag, but it did get my Sunday afternoon ride up to forty kilometres. Whoops was a lot of fun with many packed berms, plenty of rollers & some doubles – quite a fast trail & I enjoyed chasing Gabe (some random I met on the climb up) down. Phil’s Canyon was also very fast singletrack & most enjoyable. We stopped for a burrito on the way back home & I saw a pub bike past – a very creative idea is the Cycle Pub. The people on it were having a great time, although it was quite slow – when you have a drink in your hand I suppose you don’t really care.

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