For those of you just beginning to read this continuing story, there is one previous post in this tale, should you be interested. It is: Possibility Within Impossibility.
The road trip that Kim and I embarked on in September (see previous post Possibility Within Impossibility) started with a wedding invitation from his nephew Zander. Kim’s family is small so the wedding of his only nephew was important, that in addition to the fact of Zander being a particularly wonderful young man, the kind I rest my hopes in for this world’s future.
I loved the invitation itself, so beautifully designed with its inviting sense of youth, playfulness and the modern. I kept it here on my desk because I liked looking at it. It made me happy.
Kim and I didn’t talk about it at first. And I can’t remember when we finally did start dipping a toe/s into the possibility waters. But along the way we found ourselves chatting about it a bit over coffee or lunch, about Zander and his sweet fiance Vanessa; about family and relationships and making an effort.
We both admitted to pining for our own versions of the sea—Kim’s in New England and mine in the Pacific Northwest. The wedding was to take place on the coast of northern California. There was that.
And so over the course of several months, despite any reservations regarding my health issues, plans were being laid for an Airstream journey to California, by way of Utah where I used to live.
I would take Kim into canyons to see my favorite ancient sites. We would stay in the campground at Snow Canyon State Park!
And we would spend several days and nights at a campground right on the ocean.
Except we never made it all the way to California. We got stuck in Utah.
Here’s the last shot I took before the truck broke down.
Yes! We broke down. One minute we were sailing along the highway and in the next, Kim heard a noise and was breaking us to a stop.
We sure hadn’t planned on that! But had we, we couldn’t have done a better job of it. That probably requires some explanation.
First of all, after driving all day through the barren landscapes posted above, not seeing signs of life for hours at a stretch, we broke down just three miles outside of Kanab, Utah, probably my favorite town in the whole state. It’s well-known for being a major location for shooting films and TV series, it’s liberal, which is a big deal in Utah, and it is the home of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. If you don’t already know about them, click on the link or google them. They’re incredible. And they are a huge part of why I love Kanab.
AND we just happened to be right in front of the county’s road services operations that had a huge lot for us to pull into so we could get our big rig safely off of the highway. Trust me, until you’ve pulled a twenty-five foot trailer behind a big truck, you just can’t know how important (and rare) space like that is.
But what to do next? Kim had to remind me that I had a cell phone in my purse for emergencies (I get no reception in Truchas so, unlike much of the world, I live without a smart phone) and that I had AAA Auto insurance. How about calling them?
With no exaggeration, within fifteen minutes a friendly tow truck driver/mechanic was there to help us. He assessed the truck and felt we could drive it into Kanab, so he had us follow him…
… and a few minutes later he tucked us into the lot behind Ramsay Motors.
We were about to meet Nick, the owner of the garage. Another huge piece of great good luck.
Nick is the kind of guy who is all too rare these days. He loves his work, he’s very smart and good at what he does, and he’s honest. His office walls are covered with thank you letters and photos from grateful clients who found themselves in trouble out in the middle of the Utah desert and who, like us, were saved by Nick.
He hooked the truck up to his computers and in no time came to give us the bad news. Something was going on in the transmission and he wasn’t our guy to fix it. But the very best transmission shop he’d ever known was just 85 miles south of us in Ivins, Utah. He’d called them already and they would fit us in the next day. He’d also checked my AAA insurance and I was covered for RVs and I’d taken the extra 100 miles tow package, so we could be towed to Ivins free of charge the next morning.
As soon as we gave him the go-ahead, he lined up a driver and told us we could stay snugged behind his shop for the night and hook up to his electricity. His driver would find us first thing. Wow. We were set up to spend a comfortable night in sweet Kanab. A very special place.
We walked through the little town to the restaurant Nick recommended where he said we could find good, simple food at a fair price.
There’s just no snapshot in the world that could capture how blissfully good this coconut cream pie was, or how much a soothing meal and the kindness of strangers could lift our flagging spirits after what could have been a pretty bad day. Instead it was a pretty good one, amazingly.
Good to his word, Nick’s tow truck driver (I can’t believe it but I don’t remember his name!) pulled up at 7:30 AM, loaded us up and we were on our way…
… driving past what were familiar red hillsides to me now, as we drew closer to Ivins, my old home town and the first scheduled camp site of our trip. That’s right, the transmission people were right where we’d been headed anyway. See? Couldn’t have planned it better if we’d tried, right?
That’s the backside of Zion Canyon…
… and this is the highway into St.George and Ivins, Utah, where we would spend the next week, stuck…
But I will save that part of the story for another day.
More coming soon, I promise.
Love to you all,