The experienced trekker believes in bad omens: mine were car-related. The Xterra needed a new catalytic convertor; oh, and the exhaust manifold has a leak, which means that the cabin might flood with carbon monoxide, which would cause us all to pass out, which might lead to the SUV soaring majestically off of a mountain road and into the thin Colorado air, which would be bad. The Audi might need a new water pump: the service manager said that his guy found some “dry residue” on the engine cover which might be indicative of a coolant leak, which might lead to the trusty A4 sputtering and dying in the Utah badlands, which might lead to my and the fam experiencing something like this. Somehow I knew that my decision to drive the family to the Rockies would come with a price.