A Caregiver’s Story…. The Outing

The weekend was expected to get to historic highs. For the mountains, 90’s is hot and to escape the heat a couple of our friends were headed out to the canyons to camp.They invited us, mom included, to come along. My husband had to work, so we decided we would go out for a visit one evening.

So, the hubby gets home from work and we gather items to pile into the car. Moms extra oxygen tanks, water, dishes and utensils, homemade bug spray, jackets, boots – you know, be prepared cause-we-live-in-the-mountains-and-anything-could-happen mentality. We decided that even though our friend said the roads were passenger car approved that “just in case” we should take the roommates four wheel drive truck. It has a higher road clearance.

We finish loading the truck with goods, people and the dog and head to the canyon with what we thought were fairly clear instructions. The only problem, the side roads are not marked well. Not at all.

Once my GPS says that we passed what it says is the road we are supposed to turn on. I try calling our friends. The first call goes directly to voicemail.  Luckily one of our friends went into town and was still in cell service. She said yes, that was the correct road. Did we not see the orange rock?  That six inch rock on the dusty road… that we actually did see when we were leaving. The hubs begins to turn the truck around. Mid turn the truck dies. No extravagant build up that yes I am going to die on you, but just dies. In the middle of what feels like nowhere.

Not to long after we stopped moving, over the stillness, I hear the whine of a motor bike. Well, maybe this really isn’t in the middle of nowhere. After all, we are only out about twenty three miles from town. I guess I over exaggerate at times. We see the bikes come out of the canyon we just passed and head our way. They stop to see if we need some help. We explain where we were headed and it seems they just came from our friends campsite.

This good Samaritan who just “happens” to be a mechanic crawls under the hood to see if he can fix our dead motor. While he’s puttering in the engine, along come two men who also stop to see if they can help. So now we have three men offering opinions to my husband on how to get the truck running.

All told we had four different people stop to offer help. These included a lady who lived up the canyon and a guy jogging. See, we REALLY weren’t in the middle of nowhere. .. yes… a jogger. But, no one could get the truck started. The bikers offered to ride back to our friends camp and get our friend who is also a mechanic. If nothing else his vehicle is large enough to tow us.

Twenty or so minutes later our friends head is now poked under the hood. He poked a pulled and pushed and scratched his head.  Finally his eyes shone bright as the solution dawned on him, and back under the hood he went.  “Start her up!” He cried and the engine fired right up.

Mom decided that being stranded in a canyon was enough adventure for one day so while the engine was running strong, we headed home.

Being over prepared is not a bad thing to be.  We were stranded long enough to drink all our water, eat some of the food and the dog and I got some sight seeing in as we toured the canyon by foot.  Not bad for an evening outing but, I’m not sure if we will convince mom for another adventure any time soon.

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