As I pulled into the gas station, the temperature light goes on ... so I sort of pulled up to the pump and shut the engine off, acting like I didn't just see the light come on. After filling up the tank, we pulled over to the side of the parking lot and decided to give the car some time to think about the trip ahead. I popped the hood to hopefully cool the engine off (which was hard since it was sunny and around 90 degrees). While we were standing there drinking some nice cold water, we discussed the options:
1. Get back on the highway and hope for the best
2. Try and find a rental car (in the middle of Vermont on a Saturday)
3. Call the tow truck guy (Paul)
While Sue went into the store, I struck up a conversation with another couple that were taking it easy in the parking lot. The guy seemed to know more about cars than I did, so I told him our situation ... his assessment of the situation was that the thermostat was probably sticking, which apparently causes cooling problems (since it controls the flow of the coolant system) ... “Easy to replace” ... but of course, no tools, middle of Vermont on a Saturday afternoon.
So we decided to try number 1 (hope for the best and get back on the highway ... we actually will end up choosing all three soon). As soon as I got on the entrance ramp and stepped on the gas, I could tell something wasn't right ... but kept going (too late to turn back now). Now back on the highway headed toward Exit 4 in Vermont (hotel is at exit 14). I remember seeing a mile marker and asking Sue to keep track of what mile marker we are at in case something happens. Soon after that mile marker the temperature light comes back on, so I get off the road as soon as possible ...
Good thing Paul gave us his business card ... Sue calls Paul up (after walking around a bit with the cell phone trying to get a signal), who comes and picks us and the car up again. Seems we were his first repeat customers;) Not much we could do but have the car towed to his shop again. After getting back to his shop, he knows we are on our way to Burlington and he also knows that our car is not going to get us there ... so he starts calling rental car companies so we can make it to Burlington ... can you believe it? Talking about a great guy. He tries one ... closed (after all it is Saturday afternoon in Vermont) ... tries two ... closed ... makes another call to a friend or two of his and gets a rental lined up for us! Fantastic! Now all we have to do is get to Montpelier (something like 40 minutes away) ... not to worry, Paul the super tow truck guy to the rescue ... he returns in his more comfortable 4 door truck and drives us to the rental car place before they closed at 4pm. Sue goes in and takes care of the car rental (renting a jeep liberty only $10 more than a minivan), while I stand outside and talk with Paul about the options we have with getting our jeep fixed.
Around 4pm we are back on the highway headed towards Burlington in another jeep ... and arrive at the hotel in Burlington around 5pm or so tired and sunburned from the days activities. We check into the hotel (the Sheraton), throw the stuff in the room and set out for a walk downtown ...