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A clunk. A death. Angels. A trip to California.

A lot can happen in a week.

Last weekend I started hearing a heavy metal-to-metal clunk when driving over rough roads or expansion joints (ahh.. Highlands Ranch... Beige Hell with shitty roads!). It would go away when applying the brakes.

I crawled around underneath the bus and couldn`t see anything obvious so kept driving it the one block to work. Yep. One block. You`re jealous. Admit it. I could walk, but since I walk 5 miles per day on average at work anyway, I usually drive.

All well and good, but the clunk was getting worse. It got to the point where there was a grinding noise in the brakes when backing up. Ouch.

I crawled underneath again and this time saw the upper caliper mounting bolt was missing from the driver`s side caliper. Scary!

Since I only work a block away ( :P ) I ordered one from Busted Bus, and started driving the Chevrolegs.

Thursday comes around. I`m at work discovering a major project I was working on was canceled. But the universe wasn`t through with me yet. That afternoon I got a call from my uncle in California. Never good news when rarely heard from relatives out of state call. This day was no exception.

My mother passed away.

I went into shock. Then frenzy. Then numb.

I started going through the motions to get the bus ready and drive out to CA. But I still didn`t have a bolt for the caliper! Oh well, I think, it`ll be here Friday for sure, right?

In the meantime my wife reminds me that the kids need to go too. And her. I had kind of hoped to handle this one alone, but of course that was out of the question. So the simple plan of just hopping into the bus and hitting the road became a mishmash of a family road trip.

Like I need this crap now.

Top it off, I don`t have enough $$ to cover the trip, expenses, etc. So I list my BA-6 for sale. No real takers, but a great member of the Type 2 List (who is nameless to prevent others from taking advantage) dropped a good sized chunk of money in my PayPal account! The trip itself was covered. Yay!

Friday`s mail came, no bolt. Crap. I emailed a bunch of the local guys to see if anybody had a bolt. Jon helped me out and got me the caliper bolt. Others volunteered too, but Jon`s was closer. Less gas money.

During the Great Bolt Chase, more expenses arose. I got to the point where the only way out that I could see was to sell the Guacamole Bus. I emailed the same local guys that I was putting it on the market and why. I listed it on Craigslist too.

While I was getting the infamous bolt, my wife, behind my back, called my boss at the church. While my wife is a member there, as well as an employee, I`m just an employee in the IT dept discovering just how much I hate Macs. Anyway, she called my boss, who contacted the church`s Bereavement Ministry. They kicked down the money we needed to make everything happen.

So we leave in the morning for Cali. Should be a beautiful trip with the leaves changing!