On the road again

Well, I’m back on the road again. You may have noticed my RV on the side of 447 about 30 mi south of Empire yesterday. Not long after I left you all enjoying Barbara’s hot dogs (did I mention that I received a police escort out the 12mi entrance, completely circumventing Exodus?) my alternator decided that the midpoint between Empire and Nixon would be the ideal location to give up the ghost.Unfortunately, I was giving a ride to a couple of Canadian friends who needed to catch a flight the next morning at 6am. Fortunately, some other Burners stopped and took them and their luggage off to Reno. Carmen, a local tow truck driver checked us out, but after determining that the alternator was kaput, took off for better hunting (he’d heard that some other Burners wanted to leave behind a school bus and he was off to check it out). So, we were somewhat stranded, sitting atop the RV in the near full moonlight looking out over the valley and watching the stream of poorly packed burner-mobiles zoom past.Until we met Tripp. Who was a trip. A cracked out Giligan on speed. He and a couple of his Ranger buddies (go figure) and his three-day old girlfriend-for-life were caravaning to Reno when they pulled over behind us looking for someone to drive his Jeep while he rode in one of the other vehicles. He was “out of gas”, “completely fried, dude!” So, it kind of worked out. We drove to Nixon, spent 30 minutes dealing with AAA only to discover that they didn’t have a means of towing us that night. We ended up driving Tripp’s Jeep to Sparks and staying the night in the Western Village (not recommended) until we could try for another tow the next day. Oh, I was planning on having the vehicle towed that night so I brought nothing with me to Sparks beyond my wallet and phone. In my exhaustion I ended up drinking one of my contacts that I had left in a plastic cup on the sink. Nice.Long and short: got breakfast at Sierra Sid’s (nice gun collection), got a rental “car” – a massive Dodge Ram, sought out a couple of alternator options, bought a 1/2″ ratchet set and then blasted off to the RV. Saw Justin and the rocket car heading westbound on 80. Found a message from Wendy (Washoe County Sheriff’s deputy) on the RV and some NV State Patrol grease pen on the rear window but the vehicle and contents were intact.Anyone familiar with the correct way of managing tension on a GMC serpentine belt? Not me. A combination of ratchet strap and a jack handle ended up working ok but my ignorance certainly added to time to the job. Just as I topped off jumping the battery a trooper pulled up and, in a rather sour mood, asked me not to lean on his passenger side door as I told him the vehicle was ready to roll and we were just leaving. Nice timing, pal.Stayed the night in Reno. Pneumatic Cafe was closed “for personnel reasons”. Met a group of Burners on the sidewalk and I led them along the river walk to that coffee shop where Virginia crosses the river but all they had was coffee and quiche at the hour. Lia lost a flip-flop when she and one of the girls did a spontaneous leap into the fountain. Ended up eating at a new-ish bar & grill and am glad that we did. These folks were a laugh riot and I think we scared some of the patrons off of the patio. The beautiful South African had a the oddest gasping/hooting/high-pitched laugh I’ve ever heard. Many stories were told. Ask me later, I’ve got good ones about Richard Simmons and Bruce Springsteen.Now we’re off to the Sierras and Santa Monica. Anyone got some good hot springs recommendations between here and there?