Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Marsha's Musings: Our Nightmare Trip Home Last Night

We took a family trip up to Couer d'Alene, ID to goof off and relax. We surprised the kids with lunch at the Bonsai Bistro. They love that place and I can eat there because they have a gluten free menu. It's a bit spendy but once a year or less, we can manage it.

Then we went and shopped around in the little shops connected to the resort. I found some stuff I wanted but didn't buy. Rick found a cheap hat that he bought.

My foot was bothering me a bit so I rested a bit and put it up, rubbed some Arnica Gel into my sprained toe and was good to go again. We walked to the beach and the kids and I took our shoes off and dangled our feet in the man made stream they have there. The cool water running over my sore foot worked wonders. It never bothered me again the whole day.

We left there and went to Jamba Juice before we headed for home.

The trip home was a nightmare. On the way up to Couer d'Alene, we felt quite a vibration but assumed it was the bad road or that we had something out of balance or alignment. Our tire pressure alert came on, but Rick said he had just had the tire pressure checked not that long ago and couldn't see how it would be a problem. (Famous last words) On the way home the vibration became more pronounced. We stopped for gas at the Casino. It was crowded and busy and in all the fray of busyness there we all forgot about the vibration. As we were pulling out I spied an air hose and sign that said "Free Air". I chuckled and said, "Look, at least something is still free these days!"

We got out on the road and the vibration started up and a flapping noise too. Rick slowed down and the vibration/flapping was some better. So we drove slower for a some distance. It started to get worse. Finally he pulled over in a wide spot and got out to look. The treads on our tire were peeling off and flapping around. It was around 7:30 so we decided while it was daylight we'd change it and be on our way rather than continue to limp along like we were. We successfully changed the tire and found when we let the car down off the jack that it was flat!

I called 911 on my cell phone and told them we were stranded and needed help. They asked where we were and we didn't know! They asked for a mile post marker number. We couldn't find one! I even hiked all the way down the hill and back and couldn't find a mile post marker. So we described as best we could where we thought we were. They sent a tow truck out to look for us.

It was 45 minutes before the tow truck came. It was dark and a storm had whipped up blowing dust and rain around. The two guys were rough looking and I wasn't sure whether the one was entirely sober or not. (I was relieved later to discover the can I stepped on was a Dr. Pepper can and not a beer can in the cab of the truck.) They were both smoking cigarettes the entire time they were hooking our car up and pulling it onto the truck. Aside from all that, they were very nice.

They were not aware they were coming after a family of four and were not prepared to transport all of us. It's against the law to transport people in a car that is being hauled on the back of a truck. But what were they to do? They couldn't leave some of us sitting on the side of the road in the dark and storm in the middle of nowhere. They said that if Rick would lay down in the car so he couldn't be seen, me and the kids could ride in the cab and one of the kids would ride on the other guy's lap. Both kids freaked out on that one, and I certainly wasn't going to ride on his lap either! We did some fast talking and convinced them to let Sarah ride in the car with Rick and they would both lay down in their seats. Nathaniel and I had a "cozy" ride up front with the men. We had a nice conversation along the way with the one guy. The other guy was not much of a talker. But....Eeew! We both stank so bad of cigarette smoke that Sarah got a headache when we got back in the car later.

They took us to Tenson, ID (not sure of the spelling) to a closed gas station. Found some air and pumped up our spare tire for us. While we were waiting for the bill (to the tune of $175) another family drove in looking for gas. They thought the station was open because we were all there. They were completely out of gas, had a sick baby in the car and in desperate straits. I pointed out a house behind the station and the husband got someone there to come out and get them some gas. They might have gone on and gotten stranded along the road had we not been there making it look like the station was open. So it made me feel good that our troubles helped someone else.

The storm got worse on the ride to the gas station. Lightening was starting to flash all around. On the way home some lightening strikes were so close that they momentarily blinded us. At one point the rain was so heavy that we couldn't see where the road was or the lines on the road and we had to come to a near stop until it let up.

The tow truck guys told us to not travel more than 45 or 50 miles per hour on the spare because the spare would blow apart if we did. So we drove slow and put the flashers on every time someone came behind us and pulled over if we could so they could pass. It was a very long trip home. Got home about 11:30pm....three and half hours later than planned. :-(

We are very happy to be home.....God was good to get us here safely!

1 comment:

Homeschool Mom of Four said...

Just a thought about your foot. My mother-in-law makes a product called Rub Away that is pure magic. She sells it at www.purrfectlyherbal.com. I don't get a kick back if you buy stuff, I just genuinely think it would help with your pain.

I'm sorry your trip didn't go so great. It had the makings for a perfect day!
Take care!