It’s ironic how we go searching for adventure and then when we least expect it adventure finds us – with our pants down!!
Last night about 9pm we begrudgingly went to the Wally. It was a cloudy, chilly, rainy, just over all yucky stay in bed kind of day. We’d been putting it off but without anything to drink or eat, well, the time had come. We bundled up and set out. The Wally is always so much nicer at night, a lot less people, no lines and great parking!! How can you go wrong?? We grab just a few necessities for the night cuz our plan was to go back today to do the real shopping and we have a couple prescriptions that we need to have filled. OK, so that’s the down side to shopping so late – the pharmacy and deli are closed… Anywho. We grab the goods and head out. We get to the on-ramp for the highway and Big Red dies. And she dies in a weird kinda way… She didn’t sputter or cough. She didn’t lurch or screech to a halt. The engine was still going but the RPMs went to Zero and we kinda coasted to the side of the road.
It’s about 10pm by now. It’s pitch black outside. We’re under a dim light post but it’s not enough for Chris to see under the hood. We don’t have a flashlight. We are about 2.5 miles down the highway from the campground. We’re facing the wrong direction to push her back to the Wally. We’re in the middle of an overpass intersection so turning her around is out of the question. It’s freezing outside. And we don’t have the cell phone…
We huddle in the car. Trying to think of what to do from here… We decide to push the car back away from the on-ramp and walk over to the Wally. As I’m steering and Chris is starting to push a big SUV stops on the other side of the road. I see a big man get out and start coming towards us. Chris and the man are talking but I can’t hear what’s being said. They go across the street to look in the other man’s car then Chris comes back over to me, alone.
This nice man, Steven, has offered to tow us back to the campground if we buy the tow rope since his is at home. He drives us to the Wally. We grab the tow rope and the soda for his Mother-In-Law (the reason for his late trip to the Wally) and then the men hook up Big Red while I got to stay warm in the SUV. Chris steers Red while Steven tows her back home. An hour and a half and $25 later we are home safe and sound again. We thank Steven again for all his help, give him the tow rope as a token of our gratitude, offer him money for gas and his time but he adamantly refuses. The men shake hands and I gave him the biggest bear hug ever!!
We get in the rig with our few groceries and turn the electric heater on to thaw out. Then we sit and marvel at our luck. We were in a real pickle. It could have been a thousand times worse!! If we had left earlier in the day or waited just a little bit longer we wouldn’t have run into this wonderful man. Or if we had actually made it onto the highway – Steven never would have seen us… We had thought about waiting to hit the Wally in Independence today after going to the Neewollah festivities. There’s a good 22 miles of highway between us and Independence!! And you’ll never guess where Steven works…one of the big auto parts stores in Coffeyville with a little repair shop in the back. They can get us any parts Chris needs to do the repairs and if it turns out to be a bigger job than we can handle or than the campground will let us do on-site then we have a solid reliable mechanic to take her to.
Were you scared? Scared for us? We weren’t. I knew everything would be fine. I knew that Steven was a good man. I knew he’d help us. I knew we were safe with him. Just as I know that Big Red will be purring again very soon. We may have to brave some cold weather and wind to get her fixed up but she’ll be as good as new before we know it!! Just as I know that we are surrounded by friends that will help us out with rides, Chris to work and me to the grocery, until she is back in tip top shape.
I can’t think of any other community of people who I could say that about. Sure we have had work friends before that I know would help us out of a pickle but these people we live with now…they don’t know us…and yet they’d do anything to help us as we would for them. This may set us back a bit in our new plans but we wouldn’t give up this lifestyle for anything. You can’t buy a community like this!! We may not make the most money. We may not own the biggest newest shiniest rig out there. But we’re accepted where ever we go. And that’s priceless!!
As for Big Red, she’ll get a thorough inspection when Chris gets up and has his morning dose of caffeine. For now though he sleeps soundly with a Dickie on one side and a Pinks on the other all snuggle bugged in the electric blanket. And all is right in the world.
With Much LOVE