Lessons in Life

To the ends of the earth.
School may be out of session for our youngest companions, but that doesn’t mean the learning has stopped.  Our group consists of three generations of men, and each generation has something to teach the other two.  But each generation shall pass in time, so we cherish the moments we have together.

Spending time together.

However, before a generation passes it is their duty to hand down to the next generation the lessons they’ve learned while temporarily living and traveling in this world we call Earth.  It is also the duty of the younger generations to mostly accept the lessons being offered.

Which is why we’re still in Nevada.

We departed as planned this morning intending to reach Utah by nightfall but one of the cars decided it really didn’t feel like giving 100% to the effort and, as such, pretended it couldn’t climb hills very well.  So we pulled over and, knowing full well the problem was related to fuel starvation (because experience had told us so), we tore into the fuel line and carburetor.  About an hour later we had confirmed the sage advice passed down from the eldest that 90% of carburetor problems are electrical and, re-seating one of the four ignition coils, we solved the problem.  As a bonus, the fuel-to-air ratio adjustment valve was cleaned, the spark plugs were inspected, and the ignition timer was cleaned and lubricated.  However, we had now lost an hour of our day that we had planned to travel with.

Setting out again on the first leg of our trip to Wells, NV we figured the journey should take us about 2.5 hours depending on the condition of the roads.  We knew the condition of I-80 was good based on recent knowledge, but we also knew we couldn’t keep the Nevada State Police liquor cabinet full so we had a different route in mind.  As it turns out, the road conditions were mostly favorable along our 66 mile route, and we know this because we drove about 30 miles of them twice.   Happily, the car that wouldn’t climb showed no hesitation to climb a 6,457′ summit it didn’t need to climb.

Mountain Valley on Top of the Earth

The problem, it turned out, was in the stars.  Generations gone by navigated by using the sun during the day and the stars at night.  Today, we navigate primarily by artificial stars we can “see” during the day, and we call it GPS.  Although not an original option with the model year, a GPS had been installed in one of the cars to do exactly what it had been manufactured to do: navigate.  So when, during the course of our travels today the eldest among us said “we’re heading west”, everyone else in the car took note but asked the GPS for an answer.  In the second car, which had been following the first, other generational lessons were being taught so it was of no major curiosity when the first car decided to turn around.

Having just traversed this section of road, and recognizing there was additional opportunity for one generation to teach the next, it became clear what was needed to be done.   Switching seats, but only after confirming none of the group believed we were in violation of any federal, state or local laws, and even if we were this could be considered normal by some cultures, we commenced driving lessons and proceeded east and then south.   It was at the top of the aforementioned 6,457′ summit when we felt we had driven far enough south to know it wouldn’t be taking us north anytime soon.

Three generations exploring the world.

So, tonight we’re spending time together in Wells and tomorrow will offer us new opportunities to learn.  If we heed the lessons, perhaps we’ll talk about them in Logan tomorrow night.


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