Back in October 2000, I was in Colorado on my solo roadtrip having an offroad adventure with about 10 other Jeep enthusiasts on Webster Pass. We were on the ascent and my Jeep kept bogging down and stalling out. So I held up the group once or twice to stop and adjust the mixture screws on my carburetor. The thin air at 8,000-plus feet elevation was the culprit.
My Jeep bogged down again at about 10,000. I was feeling great about holding up the whole group to fix my ill-performing Heep. This time, though, adjusting the mixture screws didn't help. I cranked and cranked the engine to no avail. We adjusted everything we could, even primed the carburetor with raw gasoline. Nothing.
In the interest of saving time, my friend hooked his tow strap to my front bumper and pulled me for about 10-15 minutes up to the crest of our route. We stopped for lunch and tried to brainstormed a way to get my Jeep down from 12,000 feet in the middle of nowhere. I pulled the fuel lines off of the carburetor and cranked the engine. There was no fuel flow. I felt sunk. Utterly dejected. I didn't have a new fuel pump. The nearest auto parts store was at least 50 miles away after I could manage to get my Jeep off the mountain... if I could get my Jeep off the mountain...
Then came three other Jeeps out for a weekend cruise came down off a higher ridge and stopped to make small talk with us. They spotted the hood of my Jeep fully opened and resting on the top of my windshield frame.
"Fuel pump died," I responded in the most dejected of tones.
"What engine do you have?" one of the Jeepers inquired with a curious look on his face.
"258," I replied.
In nearly perfectly synchronized stereo, two of them decreed, "I think I have one," and they both retreated to their own veritable tailgate autopart stores.
Sure enough, both men turned up a fuel pump for an AMC 258 cubic inch inline six cylinder engine, one of them brand new with a brand new gasket. My eyes lit up. I quickly performed the transplant and crossed my fingers.
I cranked the engine. Grrrr rrrrrr. Grrrr rrrrr. Grrrr rrrrr grrrrvvvoooommm!!! He fired up! The small crowd cheered for my triumph (or for not having to figure a way to get me and my Jeep out of the Rocky Mountains).
I expressed my gratitude the fuel pump donor and I asked him how much I should pay him. "Ten bucks oughta do it." I gladly handed over the money for what turned out to be a $25 part, as I later found out. Not a bad deal, eh?
I believe in the simple karma notion that what goes around, comes around. I feel although we can't always repay a person for what we think is fair compensation, we can repay a favor to another person in need and eventually the good will go around. I can only hope that the man who saved my day at 12,000 feet has had his day saved by samaritans 100 times over.