Friday, August 27, 2010

South Dakota - Locks, Memorials, Presidents, and a Fixed AutoPark Brake!

Well, it's been quite a day and it all started when I woke up and went to take the dogs out... and the door would not open.  That's right, the deadbolt was stuck in the locked position!  I fiddled around with it for several minutes while the dogs jumped up and down, barking incessantly to go out.  What a nice and peaceful start to a new day!

I ended up going out the window above the couch.  It was little embarrassing but we couldn't just sit inside and wait for a miracle.  I was finally able to open the door from the outside using the key. I took the deadbolt apart but couldn't find anything obviously wrong, except the damn thing kept sticking. We needed to get the Trek back over to the Chevrolet Truck Service Center by 10:30 AM and the clock was ticking on getting this lock issue fixed. So I drove over to a nearby Ace Hardware store and bought a new deadbolt.  I had to modify it a bit so it would fit but we got the Trek dropped off in time.

Then the four of us, dogs included, headed south to visit Mount Rushmore. We were both somewhat indifferent about visiting this Memorial; I'm not sure why but it did not inspire much excitement in either of us. Anyway, we agreed it would be foolish to be so close and yet not visit Mount Rushmore and so off we went. We knew we would not be able to walk around with the dogs, but had to take them anyway because the Trek was in the shop. And so we decided to do what we had done the day before at the Crazy Horse Memorial: take turns staying with Sydney and Barley in the parking lot while the other person visited the Memorial. This worked out well and we each spent about 45 minutes at the Memorial which, in the case of Mount Rushmore, was a fairly decent amount of time.

What is interesting is that by the time each of us visited the Memorial, we both decided that Mount Rushmore is interesting and was well worth the visit! Click here to see some photos...

It was still pretty early when we left Mount Rushmore. I called the Chevy place and the service manager told me they had installed the part and the AutoPark brake was working, but they were having trouble with the brake light on the dashboard - it was staying on. I told him this had not been an issue before I took the Trek in to them and he agreed they needed to fix it.

So we had some time to kill before the Trek would be ready. We drove back into Rapid City, bought some Mexican fast food, and went to a nearby park to eat and then walk the dogs. I called the Chevy place again and they still had not fixed the dashboard light issue; the service manager sounded frustrated (welcome to my world, I thought).  By now it was 3 PM and I was starting to worry they would run out of time.

Anyway, we decided to go to the historic downtown area of Rapid City and take a closer look at the City of Presidents, which is a series of life-size bronze statues of past presidents placed at city street intersections. These statues are really well done, and we had fun walking along the downtown streets; the dogs seemed to enjoy it also.  Click here to see some photos.

We managed to look at about half the statues when the Chevy Truck service manager called to say they had fixed the problem!  Yay!

So we went to pick up the Trek and, after talking with the service manager, I realized they had fixed the dashboard light problem by replacing a switch for which I had a brand-new spare on board.  They were charging me $75 for the same switch I had purchased for $34.  After some discussion, the Parts Dept manager agreed to take my brand new switch to restock his parts bin and drop the part charge off the bill. 

So after 2 1/2  months and over 9,000 miles, the AutoPark brake is finally fixed! Sad to say, the brake problem that started back in early June at Yosemite National Park cost me $2,030 and four visits to various shops to get completely fixed.  Well, that's just the way things go sometimes and there's no point dwelling on it.  I'm just darn happy the ordeal is finally over!

More adventure to follow - stay tuned!

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