Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Off The Beaten Path...

So I am driving back to The Valley of the Sun with my two girls, after passing through Holbrook. We are driving in our Toyota Yaris. I have always wanted to stop and take photos of the Wind Farm just outside of the town, so we decided to go off the beaten path and follow the sandy road to the Great Turbines to capture some awesome pictures.

We stop, admire the view, take pictures, and it is only about 4 pm, so I am thinking - this is Awesome! I got to take the photos I have always wanted to, AND, we are going to be back home before 7pm. Just in time for dinner, some wine, and chilling out with my husband, Nevin.

My girls and I get back in the car to leave, and there is a fork in the road I didn’t see coming in. My oldest daughter, Kiersten says, I think we go to the right. I say No, it’s to the left. Pretty sure it’s left. She argues and says NO! It’s right, mom. Well, I didn’t listen - I mean, what does she know, right?

About 100 yards in, it starts to get sandy…so I try and push through it - it’s just about 20 yards more before the dirt gets solid. So, in my (not 4 wheel drive) Toyota, I decide to try and push through it…
The wheels start spinning. It’s ok, I know what to do…just put it in reverse, don’t spin the wheels, and try and rock it back into traction…spinning…spinning…1st gear - spinning - Shit! The car is stuck.
Ok, I think - I got this! I just need to dig it out a little, and find traction…so we get out of the car. The sand is about ¼ of the way up the wheel…so I dig. And I dig. I tell the girls to help. We keep digging.

I say, let’s try it again…start the car…spinning. The car is now high centered on the road and the sand is soft - like beach sand. In the desert. Sunset is approaching. We are on some deserted road where no one can see us. I begin to panic inside, but I don’t want my girls to know. I HAVE to get the car unstuck!

I decide to get branches to create a platform to get the car out - we collect branches, dig, place them under the tires…I am getting tired. I am not 20 anymore, and the strength is leaving my body. About an hour has passed by this time, and my arms feel like jello. I am getting scared.

Let’s keep trying! I yell - more branches! My younger daughter, Cassidy asks, “what if we get stuck out here?” I yell at her WE CAN’T THINK ABOUT THAT NOW! - GET MORE BRANCHES (expletives deleted).

 I realize I am in a panic - I call my dad. He tells me to get something under the tire. I have tried this, but somehow talking to him comforts me, even though he is 4 hours away...I try again. I am too weak, and we are losing daylight. I sit for about 10 mins talking to the girls, and calming down. I finally realize I am not getting this car out by myself. I feel weak, scared, and like a failure.

I set the car as a waypoint on my GPS, and we head for the road. It’s about 1.5 miles, and we find it. I call my husband, and have him look up a tow company. The tow truck guy aka Our Savior and Hero shows up about 45 mins later. Apparently, this is not an uncommon task for him. He said my car wasn't even as bad as some he had seen. So here I am, this independent, resourceful, strong woman, looking like a common suburban housewife. This guy must be thinking - Another one?? Man!
But I am safe, the girls are safe. An hour later, and  $100 poorer we are back on the road.

The moral of the story: Listen to your kids, don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path, but wait until you have your 4wd vehicle.

~Capturing The Moment~

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