We drive the 2 hours to the river, launch the boat and within minutes Joe notices it is overheating. He kills the engine, starts looking around as we float back down to the park where we launched and he discovers that the water is not making it to the engine to cool it down. After trying to fix it while in the water, we determine that we are going to have to pull the boat out, drive in to town and get the necessary parts and go from there. So poor Joe is in the parking lot of McDonalds, trying to fix the boat in 110 degree heat with the Tahoe running since Kuma was with us while I occupied the kids with the indoor playground and happy meals.
Try #2, we think the problem with the boat is fixed, head back to the park and launch the boat for the second time. All seems well momentarily but then it starts to overheat again. At this point we have no choice but to give up and pull the boat out for the day. Needless to say, the kids were disappointed and Joe was beyond frustrated.
The good news is that we let the kids and Kuma play on the shore for awhile and they truly did have a blast. Sure it's not the same as cruising in the boat and going to our favorite locations but they had fun. The other good news is that Kuma not only loved the water, which we had no doubt he would, but he did great on the boat for the brief time it was on - not scared of the noise at all. I can't wait to take him back and let him run around the sandbar and cove where we usually hang out.
Here is Kuma on the boat with his life jacket. He can swim of course, but we just wanted to be extra careful:Kuma and I splashing around on the shore:
The other good news, and I am not usually the one to look at the glass as half full, is that we have been going to the river for quite some time now as a family and this is the first time something like this has happened. And after talking it over with his dad, Joe figured out the problem, which has to do with our move to Yucca Valley and it being colder so the freeze plugs activated, preventing the water from cooling down the engine (I hope I explained that right). So, at least now we know what is wrong and I have no doubt Joe will have the boat up and running in no time.
But wait, our trip wasn't over yet as we still had the drive home and we still had one more snag to hit before making it home as about halfway through the drive, a tire blew out on the trailer and did so with so much force it knocked out a light and mangled the license plate. So poor Joe is now back out in 100+ degree heat on the side of the road changing a tire. Man what a day!
I tried to break the tension on the remaining ride home by looking over at Joe and saying, "Hey remember that time we went to the river and the boat wouldn't work and the tire blew out in the tire" but yeah, he wasn't ready to see the humor in it just yet. However, we are ALL quite ready to go back and make a more successful trip to the river soon. Very, very soon.