I was on the road again, an unlikely happening after the lunchtime setback in Cody. But the road through the open range had taken me to Greybull and beyond, and my car was functioning once again in what passes for its normal performance.
The weather was becoming murky. Clouds were building up, the haze keeping me from seeing across the valleys. I can see there’s a mountain range or hills coming up, but they’re very faint through the translucent air. And the sky is gradually shifting whiter from its normal deep blue. My luck in keeping within the territory of clear skies is about to change.
And maybe my radiator and cooling problems aren’t solved after all. For the second time in this day, I find myself climbing up steep mountain roads, in this case Shell Canyon. My temperature gauge is going crazy, pushing way up to the redline hot end of the range, and the power in my car is diminishing, so I’ve turned off the air conditioner and turned on the heater, following the advice of the woman at the Cody jail. I thought back to her now and wondered what other stories her young life had. I’m sure they were fascinating, but whatever new stories her life would hold, I wished her the best. Funny, the impact of a momentary encounter with a stranger.
I pull over to the side hoping that this will let the engine cool down a bit (I do NOT turn the engine off, with my new knowledge that I gotta keep pumping coolant). And I wonder what it means when the heater is turned on full-blast, but the air coming out of the vents is not very warm? The temperature gauge runs hot and cold as I maneuver up the canyon, stopping and starting, pausing and proceeding, always up, up into the Bighorn Mountains.