It was a typical day; waking up, getting few things in order at camp, heading into town and getting work done online. When I think about it, the day had actually been pretty easy going. Call us crazy but we had been getting away with discretely leaving our tent up during the day until we returned ever since we moved back to this location, which is the same spot we hung our clothing line, and where we spotted the snake. The sun had gone down when we were on the road heading back when the unexpected happened. The sound of rumbling overcame the car. Where was it coming from? Following the sound came a pitter platter. “What the?” Spiffy said as we were driving down a narrow pitch-black dead road. “It’s coming from the car.” “Is it really?” Sweets asked while looking all over the interior to pinpoint where. Spiffy dropped the speed down. The car viciously shook within a matter of seconds. In that moment, we realized we had a flat tire. We were now moving at the pace of a turtle; trying to find a safe area on the road to pull off on, mind you, we were on a highway. It didn’t help that we had no one to call and sunlight was not on our side, making it nearly impossible for others to see us if we were to change a tire on the side of the road; we were in uncharted waters. Spiffy pulled over anyway. He quickly assessed the situation; the tire was busted. While we did have a mini air compressor, that didn’t matter because the whole interior wall of the tire was blown off. We got back on the road looking for the nearest exit that would provide ample light for us. What the areas were like off these exits we were passing to our right that I couldn’t tell you; we had no idea. We were only familiar driving the highway straight through to camp.
At this point, all we new was that our car wasn’t going to make it much longer. Our car was moving slower and slower by the minute; the back left tire just about ready to fall off. What were we to do? We new the longer we drove this way the more damage it would cause to our car but we couldn’t exactly pull over just anywhere either. We had driven a half of a mile when Spiffy took the exit taking us on a sharp windy turn; making things worse. Nearly breaking down in the middle of the road, we cruised the car into a small parking lot. There were no spotlights or nearby anything; we were in the middle of nowhere. Things could not possibly get any worse. Then, at that very moment, the skies above poured rain on us as we made our way around the car, gathering the supplies we needed from the trunk as well as a flashlight. This was the last thing we needed. Spiffy started jacking up the left rear side. As he was doing so, an old town car pulled up. The driver was an elderly man in his mid to late 70’s, grayish white hair covered by a ball cap; a kind man who offered assistance by asking if there was any thing he help us with. Unfortunately though, there wasn’t anything he could do. Things were not looking good; usually all it takes is a wrench to take lug nuts off. However, Spiffy noticed there were different kinds of lug nuts he was dealing with. These were locknuts; a lug nut designed to lock in place in order to prevent them from coming loose and falling off from vibrations and torque and from a thief from stealing them, which in this case takes a lock key to get them off with. It was nowhere to be found; searching high and low in the toolbox in the trunk. We were doomed; this made it impossible for us to get the locknuts off and had no way to change the tire.
Spiffy thought he had the specialty connection key but turns out he didn’t, he had thrown out the locknut key to reduce clutter and weight, and figured he didn’t need a ton of extra lock keys and spare locknuts. It was a $200 dollar mistake to say the least. If you must know the truth didn’t come out until I was in the middle of writing up this post.
Anyway, back to where I was. We were stranded; 11:00pm and no one around to give us a lift. We contemplated roughing it by sleeping in our car but instead, Spiffy thought it would be best to try and drive to camp which was only a couple miles away and to wait it out until the morning to fix things. A longgg couple of miles it was. Eventually, after driving at the speed of 30mpg, we made it to camp. Exhausted as were, we fell quickly to sleep in our tent.
The sun had risen. Boy did we have huge day ahead of us. There was much online work to get done but first had a few priorities we had to attend. With no time to waste, we got up and went straight to the car. Since it was daylight, Spiffy decided to see if he could locate the locknut’s key; useless. Neither one of us had much phone signal.
Sweets did what she could and called around for a tow company. A matter of 40 minutes and we were in luck. An hour later a tow guy gave us a hand, strapping our car to the trucks ramp, wheeling it in; off we went. I wish I remembered the tow truck man’s name but do recall him being very kind. He was around 6ft, brown hair, and stalky. The three of us conversed back and forth highlighting many subject matters, One being about the navigation screen in his Ram 3500. Finally! Spiffy and I made it to the car shop, it was located in the country mountainside. We brought in our laptops knowing we’d more than likely have access to free Internet and spoke to man named Matt who was very pleasant and helpful. Matt told us it would be awhile, so both of us made ourselves at home in the waiting room and got to work. A mechanic called us over to the counter and told us we not only had a flat tire but also had a several other things that needed to be replaced. Therefore, it would be awhile longer. Matt not only brought us into the shop where our car was to show us all the things that were going to be worked on but also had us check out the restaurant across the street and told us that brunch was on him. Who does that? It was truly the best customer service I had ever experienced. So what did we do? We took him up on his offer of course and grabbed a bite to eat; boy was it good. Spiffy and I noticed that the temperatures had risen a bit while eating our food on the patio; it made for quite a hot day out. It was just past 2pm; four tires, two rear shocks, front rotors, and two brake pads later, our car was ready to go. What a relief! Although, Spiffy felt as though he was beaten up and tossed over a cliff from the high expenses that came with it.
“I’ve learned that it’s not a straight road to the top, and there are going to be setbacks along the way. You have to be patient, and you have to keep believing in what you’re doing. And keep believing in yourself, no matter what is happening. And then eventually you’ll get there.” – Eugenie Bouchard