On the road again, but not the way we wanted it.
Monday we headed to Tucson, about 35 miles away. Of course, once you get TO Tucson, then it's about 8 or 10 miles of city streets to get to where you really want to be. Two main reasons to go: Suzy had an appointment with her doctor. and we wanted to go to the Verizon store.
Recently I have been taking our car out alone, for shopping, for church, for meetings, a lot more than I used to. I understand that, and it’s no problem,.With a 5 year old car in good condition, why worry? But worry I did, just a little. When I go out, I leave our cell phone with Suzy – what if I have a problem with our car? What if it’s dark out, the car won’t run for one reason or another? What if I’m nowhere near anyplace? So far I haven’t had any problems, but the tickle of possibility is there. The solution, get a second phone. That‘s one of the reasons for the trip to Tucson.
We got started later than planned, because of some last minute phone stuff Suzy had to do, including waiting on hold for 26 minutes while some computer on the other end ignored her.
We got onto Interstate 10 headed west, doing fine, until my foot felt something unusual happen with the accelerator. And the car began to lose speed. And pushing on the pedal just made the tachometer go wild. And we were going uphill. In an area where cell phone coverage is spotty – not many phone towers out in the middle of nowhere.
We found a wide spot to coast into and came to a halt, with motor running but not pushing the wheels around. Drat. We called Coachnet, our helpful service, to request aid. The lady on the other end asked the usual questions – Are you in a safe place, etc. The she tried to help us figure out where we were. Had I been watching exit signs or mile markers? No chance. Did I remember the last exit we passed? Was it Skyline Road? Pantano? Houghton Road?
After several minutes, we cranked up Jill, our Garmin GPS friend, but all she could tell us was that we were east of State Highway 83..The Coachnet lady told us she’d call the tow service, and called back to say they’d be there in about an hour. A second call was to Suzy’s doctor’s office to cancel our appointment.
All at once, two vehicles pulled off the road, one directly in front of us, the other directly behind.Gulp! Turns out the car in front carried a friend of ours from our SKP Co-op park who had stopped to see if we needed help. The other was an Arizona Department of Transportation truck, marked as an emergency assistance crew (or words to that effect). We assured both that we were fine, had help coming, and they went on their way.
Also while we waited, we left the motor running for heat. For the fun of it, I put the car in gear and it moved on its own power! I moved it back and forth a few times, and sure enough it worked. But there was no way to know how well or how long the car would be able to self-motivate, so we waited.
Finally the tow vehicle arrived, we were loaded on board, the car on the back platform, with Suzy and me crowded into the tight cab with the driver.for the 35 or so mile trip to Royal Suzuki in Tucson. Royal will call us with the news. In the meantime we have rented a PT Cruiser for the next few days. Nice car, quite roomy.
And you know what? We didn’t have our cameras along on this trip, so we couldn't record the loading of our car onto the truck! We had talked about bringing them, but realized that whenever we bring the cameras, there aren’t any pictures to take. Now we know for sure that when we DON’T bring the cameras, there ARE pictures to take! (The PT Cruiser picture was taken Tuesday.)
We also know that I won’t be without a telephone should something unexpected occur along … Our Life on Wheels!