Our last overnight stop along “The Loneliest Highway in America” was a gravel pullout alongside the road near the top of Austin Summit, across from the Bob Scott Campground, a few miles east of Austin, Nevada. We’ve stayed in this pullout before, and choose it over the little USFS campground for a few simple reasons: it’s free, we can run the generator whenever we want without bothering anyone else, and we don’t need to unhook the Jeep.
I won’t be reviewing this overnight spot on my campground review blog, We Called It Home, but will mention the other important attributes: strong Verizon cell service for phone and aircard, very dark at night, no obstacles for the TV satellite dish. It is a bit noisy until after around 10 pm, when most traffic along Hwy 50 seems to stop.
As we prepared to leave in the morning, we found that our Brake Buddy - the auxiliary braking system we use to apply the Jeep’s brakes when we slow/stop the motorhome – was not working. It plugs into a 12 v. power supply socket in the Jeep, and we discovered that the fuse to the power supply socket was blown… so it turned out that the Brake Buddy was fine, but wasn’t getting power. Each time we replaced the fuse to the power supply, it blew immediately. Uh, oh – except for thinking “we must have a short” and “bummer”, we had reached the end of our fix-it-yourself routine.
The drive down the west side of Austin Summit into the little town of Austin, NV, is a doozey – long, steep, and very curvy - and we had a couple more passes to climb and descend before we reached Fernley, NV, our planned stop for the night. Since traffic along our route was almost non-existent, we decided to continue to Fernley with the Jeep in tow, but we needed a fix before we heading west on I-80 into California on Wednesday.
First thing Monday morning, Odel began calling Fernley’s auto repair shops. The first one was busy until Thursday (we’ll be long gone by then), so referred us to a second shop. He couldn’t fit us in until Wednesday (too late), so referred us to a third shop, Auto Docs Complete Car Care. Odel went off with the Jeep. I stayed home, hoping they could find the source of the problem and repair it by the end of the day.
An hour later, Odel was home with a big grin on his face. Fixed! When I asked what it cost, he told me it was free! Huh? When Odel took the car in, Tom, the owner, said they would take a look at it right away to diagnose the problem. Odel took off for a 45 minute walk. When he returned, the short had been isolated and the simple fix made – simple, but it required removing several of the dashboard panels, which were being reinstalled by Ryan when Odel returned. Odel’s quick mental calculation: parts cost – minimal; labor cost – around an hour, $50 to $80 bucks, maybe? And, “great, it’s fixed!”
When Odel asked for the bill, Tom (the owner) said “I try to do a good deed every day, and today, you are that good deed.” Odel was floored, knowing Ryan had spent close to an hour on the repair, but Tom steadfastly refused any payment.
After Odel told me that story, I said “Let’s go, I want a photo!”. When we drove back, Tom had gone off on a errand, but Ryan and Jason were happy to pose with Odel. Tom, if you ever see this, THANK YOU! Your generous and unexpected gesture of goodwill made our day!
To our traveling friends, if you need automotive work done in Fernley, Nevada, visit Auto Docs Complete Car Care, 405 S Center St, Fernley, NV 89408-4708; Phone number: (775) 835-8981.