Thursday, July 08, 2010

Grounded in Pine Bluff

At this time of year, I am normally back in Miami Beach from my rockhounding trip west, ready to post photos and boast a bit about my mineral conquests in the wilds of Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, California, Arkansas and the many nooks in between.

This year the problem is we cannot get home because our grounded 4-wheeler Jeep has us staying put in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, as a result of a series of wannabe mechanics playing "comedy of errors" games with the longtime faithful 1997 obsidian green, 250,000 mile traveler.

All we did initially was get a set of shocks installed to handle the weight of the rocks and then came trouble. The rear shock came off the bolt and somehow destroyed a set of wires. The Jeep stopped short about 15 miles west of Conway, Arkansas in the evening. AAA gave us a tow to the Ramada Plaza in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, after a somewhat less than endearing phone encounter with a customer server who requested that I walk the highway at dusk to locate a mile marker! For shame, ma'am!

Well, we are presently sitting out more failed attempts at Jeep resurrection here in Pine Bluff as incompetent mechanics have thus far destroyed a fuel pump and gas gauge in their playful efforts to fix the wires. But, let's not forget what all came before our down time and quite frankly, it was one of the more spectacular rockhounding trips of the past years.

I'm going to post some gorgeous photos of the friends and places that make these trips so marvelous when I eventually make my way back home. So, stay tuned. You will not be disappointed!

Photo: The Ramada Plaza Convention Center Hotel features inside terraces