ill-fated Sonora Pass expedition forced to return to basecamp

I was all set to write a blog-post praising my Saab for all it’s good work throughout the year. It tows, it drives in snow, its top goes down and makes me happy, etc.

Then, heading to the Sonora Pasd to Nevada, this:



Let’s review:
-to help the Saab, I left the trailer in Washington.
-I had it fully-serviced in Tacoma.
-I babied it down the coast.
-just to be sure, I took it to a Saab expert in the bay area (no codes, and his test drive found nothing wrong)

It still felt funny to me, but in the face of all that positive evidence, I ignored my gut. You should never ignore your gut. It just felt funny. That’s why I got halfway down the Oregon Coast, and realized I would never make it back with the trailer. I could feel it in my right foot.

So I left this morning from my aunt and uncles’ place, all packed, and top down (I’ve vowed to drive exclusively in California with the top down). Drove through Livermore, got back on I-580 over Altamont Pass (wind turbines!), the on to Manteca and the foothills on the Sierras.

Got 14 miles from Sonora. My iPhone was sitting on the seat next to me, charging (in the sun), the iTunes music stopped and I got this on the screen:

Just at that moment (coincidence?) the car lost power, and the dash lit up like a Christmas tree. I coasted near the shoulder for a bit and found a safe place to pull over.


Glenn called. AAA called. Battery dying as I try to get the car restarted. Even Huggy Pillow couldn’t diagnose the problem.


And a truck towing a U-Haul (with a Harley) pulled up in the oncoming lane with a blown out tire. These days it seems I am a breakdown magnet.

Waited almost 2 hours for the tow truck, which already had an SUV on the flatbed (and 2 passengers). They had burned up their transmission on Sonora Pass …

Then a 3-hour, 114-mile ride on the jump-seat of the tow truck. Four herniated discs? What herniated discs?


And back to Walnut Creek to Scania Auto.


AAA Plus RV paid for itself today. At $8/mile, that would have been a pricey trip.

Waiting for a diagnosis…

And poor Aunt Annie and Uncle Tim come pick me up. Miss me?

3 thoughts on “ill-fated Sonora Pass expedition forced to return to basecamp

  1. On the bright side, Huggy Pillow presumably did not say, “I told you so.” I hope the repair is swift, successful and inexpensive.

  2. But we really DID miss you! However, we would have preferred you returned under your own power. Hope you can tolerate us for a few more days.

    Aunt Annie

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