July fifth. We got back on the road at 5:30 pm, after a rivetting day of fun-filled excitement spent in the lobby of the hotel. We had to check out at noon, but the hotel staff let us stay with our animals and stuff until the car was finally ready. The dogs made friends with the Red Cross workers who were also stuck waiting to be deployed somewhere they could help victims of the wildfire.
Another big thanks to Lyman for giving us a ride back to the car shop. The thermostat was the offending part. It had apparently ruptured some time ago and leaked coolant, corroding the bolts that held it in place such that the mechanic had to weld new heads on to them in order to get them out.
Tonight we are in Gillette, Wyoming. We opted for a hotel again in order to get a few more hours of driving in. The cost of hotels (and cars) is adding up though. Tonight I hope we will be back in our tent. Camping has an unanticipated cost as well though. We lose several hours of driving time to setting up and breaking camp. The whole car and car top carrier needs to be unpacked and repacked each time in a careful order so that the animals are always secure in the car or the tent. I hope to get an early start tomorrow. The long flat states should be a relief for our burdened vehicle.