Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tacoma, WA

I have not written for quite a while.  I guess you would say I have been in a funk.  At any rate, there has been nothing to say for a while that I thought would cheer anyone up.  I really don’t know that there is a lot to say to anyone right now that would cheer anyone.  So what I have to say is not designed to do anything other than tell you what I think.  Please read the rest of this blog.

Quilter’s Rule is in Tacoma, WA at a show and we are readyl.  Getting here was a trial at best.  First there was the just over 2000 mile trip to get here.  Originally I had thought to just follow Interstate 94 to Interstate 90.  It is a bit further than just taking I90 but there was the bucket list reason, I could knock of 2 more states in my quest to drive through all 50 states.  Well now I have seen North Dakota and Montana.  Both are very long drives.  While in Montana I decided to take HWY 12 across from I 94 to I90.  I could make up the extra miles it cost to see North Dakota.  Everything went fine until the Suburban lost an idler pulley on the serpentine belt.   Lost the fan, power steering, power brakes and air conditioning and of course the engine over heated.   I am not in the middle of nowhere, but I am certain I can see it.

Not to worry, just call AAA and get towed to a garage to fix it.  Right!  I knew exactly where I was since I was standing next to the 102 mile marker on the Highway. Should be easy!  Well, it turns out that maps really only have useful mile markers on Interstate Highways and AAA doesn’t know where the mile marker is either.  That’s still OK because I know where I am and tell them.  Trouble is AAA can’t find a garage closer than Billings that can fix the car.  Oh, and even though I have towing service for a trailer, AAA won’t tow the trailer unless it has living quarters, because I purchased the service for my wife and her horse trailer if she broke down on the road.  Her trailer has living quarters.

Plan 2.  Call the office and have Karis do a search for auto parts stores near where we are stranded.  Since Patricia is burning her way through her cell phone battery at an alarming rate searching the web and I want to keep my cell which is half full for other possible calls we need to make to get out of this situation.  Well, Karis found a Napa Store with the part I need about 30 miles away.  So how does one get to a store 30 miles away with a broke down car? I am nearly positive there is no taxi service.

About now a rancher in a pickup pulls over and asks if we need help.  I explain what we need and where the part is located.  He asks, can I drive you to town and get it?  Strange why would anyone drive 60 miles to get a part for someone he has never met? But I say sure!   In the end we decide Patricia should go and I should stay with the car.  The situation does not seem good no matter who stays or who goes.  Anyway Patricia pulls off and I settle in to wait.  About 5 minutes later and I am regretting my decision Patricia is calling me and asking if I need antifreeze.  Come to find out the town I was looking for was not 30 miles away it is 2 miles away.  I could have walked.

The long and short of all this is with Jim’s (the rancher) help we put the car back together. We met a wonderful person.  It turns out Jim owns 12,000 acres, raises cattle and would not take anything for helping us. I realize I have lived too long in a place where I think of the bad first and the good too late.  I also realized I do not always know where I am.  It is time to rethink what is important. I have learned a lot on this trip.