Saturday
July 13th, 2002
Day 87

Start: New Orleans, LA
Finish: Slidell, LA

Miles Today: 32
Miles to Date: 8068
Trooper Mileage: 176989

Leaving New Orleans about 11:00 in the morning, I headed east. I didn't get very far.

No pictures today. Since I've already posted pictures of the Trooper getting towed earlier in the trip (Valley of Fire, Nevada, 4/22) I thought pictures of my disabled Trooper sitting in the parking lot of a Texaco station would be somewhat less than fascinating.

About 30 miles out of New Orleans, the engine started to sputter and mis-fire. Hmm ... not good. Fortunately, this time I was not out in the middle of the wilderness, and I managed to coax the Trooper off the next exit ramp and into the parking lot of a gas station and convenience store, at which point the engine died, and would not start again.

The symptoms were that of fuel starvation. Behind the Texaco station was a garage. This being Saturday, the technicians were all off for the weekend. However, the manager and other people there (they were still doing things like tires and oil changes) gave me a little help. They determined that no gas was getting into the fuel injection system. I borrowed a few tools, pulled some fuel lines, and figured out that the fuel pump was not working.

I called up my insurance company's roadside assistance number (thanks again for towing insurance) and they recommended a Pep Boys about 1/2 mile down the road, which also had mechanics on duty all weekend. Cool - I didn't want to spend 3 days in Slidell, Louisiana. Nothing against Slidell, there just wasn't much there. The tow truck driver had to come over 20 miles to tow my vehicle less than a mile. Not what I would call economical, but the insurance company was paying. So be it.

I spent the evening in a really dreary Day's Inn motel, which was overpriced at $65 (there was some sort of little league tournamant in town, the motels were all full, and the prices inflated) and worse than that, the phones were hard-wired (no mudular plugs) so I couldn't even connect my computer to the outside world. But, at least, I could plan on being back on the road the next day.