Good news is that the shop swapped in a new transmission and transfer case, and I'm good to go. I also got a new radiator cap which seems to have helped with the coolant spewing out. Drove for 3 hours today with no serious problems. Shifts like butter, and no gear whine.
Bad news, Megha had to go back to San Jose. I dropped her off at PHX. Really sad to not have her with me on the trip.
It was maybe a month ago that Megha asked if she could join me on my trip. We weren't dating then. It's been a very accelerated way to get to know her. As you've read from my breakdown stories, this was not a straight forward trip.
But, I found that she's an unshakeable travel companion. Very easygoing, adventurous, and upbeat. This trip won't be the same without her. She won't be able to take pictures while I drive, or vice versa. My little Toyota won't be quite the same.
I'm in Willcox, Arizona now. Phoenix was stupidly hot. Tuscon looked alright, but I think Arizona starts to look nice a bit East of Tuscon. The elevation really climbs up, to the 4-5k foot range. Dragoon looked awesome. I don't have any pictures for you, but I'll just say that it's pretty out here. Much more green, and much cooler.
Should definitely hit El Paso tomorrow. Maybe Presidio, if I'm lucky.