West 'By God' Virginia Part II
The saga continues....
9pm Bryan was back with the fuel filters and gets under the truck to investigate. He then spent three hours removing both fuel filters to try and find out why the truck would start, but then within 20 or 30 seconds would run rough and die! While Bryan was working on the truck his friend Caleb, and his brother Josh, appeared and offered to help. Caleb was Amanda's husband ( the lady that had called for help from Bryan in the first place) and they lived at the top of the mountain, in fact at the end of the road where the campsite we were heading for was located. By this time it was getting close to midnight and the lads decided the best thing to do was to tow us up to the campsite so we could at least get settled and then review the situation in the cold light of day. Well I wish we had a photo of what happened next, because quite honestly I don't think anyone who wasn't there would believe us.
Calob had a Dodge pickup with a Cummins engine and he thought he could probably tow both our Ford 550 truck, still hitched up to the RV, to the campsite 2 miles away, up a steep hill! Calob got the tow chain out of the back of his truck and hitched it up to the front of the Ford. He put his pickup in gear and started to pull away and initially we did quite well until the incline increased, at which point the Dodge started to lose traction, which was hardly surprising considering the Dodge was trying to pull 14 tonnes up a steep hill! The big problem was that the combined weight of the RV and our truck was starting to pull Caleb's pickup backwards towards us. Tony was having trouble holding our truck steady because with no power the brakes and steering had been dramatically reduced and he was using the electric brakes on the RV to prevent it from slipping back. Fortunately Bryan acted quickly and unhitched the chain from Caleb's truck and quickly hitched it up to his Chevvy Tahoe. I absolutely couldn't believe it, but amazing driving skills from Bryan combined with an amazing performance from a 4-wheel drive SUV, they managed to pull over 14 tonnes up a 1-in-6 hill. I reckon Chevrolet should use this in one of their adverts!
Bryan slowly and carefully pulled us up and down hills on a single track road, with lots of sharp bends and steep drops on either side. It was the longest two miles I have ever driven and I was convinced that we were going to end up either buried in the back of the Tahoe or falling off the side of the road into a ditch. We finally arrived at the campsite and, after Bryan and Caleb investigated a suitable pull- though site for us, we were safely installed. OMG, I do not ever want to go through that again - as we were being pulled behind the Tahoe Tony was having to use the RV brakes to prevent us from crashing into the back of Bryan's car and when we got to the campsite he had to literally haul the steering wheel round to get us round the bend, because with no power there was no power steering.
After a couple of Brandy and Lovage's to steady our nerves, and warm us up we got settled and our fabulous new found friends left us, promising to return the next morning to continue investigating the problem. What fantastic people! Whenever I said how wonderful they were and thanked them for all their kindness, Brandi would say "it's what we do" this is West 'By God' Virginia". All I can say is, its not what most people do, so thanks to you all!
Saturday - Bryan arrived at 10.30 and spent the next four hours trying various things to try and get to the root of the problem. In the end he suggested that it was probably a problem with the injectors and immediately offered to go home to get his trailer so that he could take the truck into Ford in Morgantown. Unfortunately after checking on the width of the 550 he discovered it was too wide for his trailer and so we called up the breakdown lorry and had the truck towed into Morgantown. At this point Amanda offered to lend us her car over the weekend and Brandi offered to run us down to the Ford garage whenever we needed it! Can you believe this generosity from complete strangers?
On Saturday night Bryan and Brandi turned up with Brandi's three year old son Logan and brought us bread, ice, firewood, and beers so we sat around the campfire and swapped stories. Bryan offered to go into the Ford dealership on the Monday to double-check on what they found which was just amazing. On Wednesday the garage contacted us to say the truck was ready and Brandi drove over to the campsite and took Tony down to the garage. We now had the truck back after the dealership replaced the fuel pump and two injectors. Tony ran it up and down the mountain three times to really test the truck before we hitched up and headed for PA.
We said our goodbyes to Bryan, Brandi, and Caleb and promised to look them up when we come back to this way at the end of May. What's left to say? How can we thank these folks enough for all they have done for us? This experience has restored my belief in human nature, where complete strangers go out of their way to help a couple of Brits they have never met before. These guys will be friends for life. Thank you , thank you, for all your kindness and care.