By D.C. Wright
Today is two solid weeks from the time Maggi and I left on our road trip to Vancouver, Washington. Maggi (or Pearl) is the wonderful woman who consented to be my wife and share my life. Her mum, two sisters, two nephews and a brother-in-law were there and we hadn’t seen any of them for a long time. So we got the Land Rover out of the shop after extensive work replacing head, head gasket, etc., and headed north.
I had driven the Rover to Church Sunday morning and, as usual, loved the way it handled. It drives like a dream. However, the temp gauge had started to climb a bit on the way home from Napa. Yes, Napa in the Wine Country, that had the 6.0 quake just a week earlier. I thought nothing of the temp increase for two reasons. One, it never got out of the normal range, and two, I thought it was normal breaking-in. Little did I know,
So I got back, got her from work at the hotel and we packed the car, thinking that our rendezvous with her family was only a few hours away. We had a rendezvous all right… just not what we were expecting. We drove east on I-80 til we hit North I-5. Then on through Red Bluff, Redding and points North in California until we hit Oregon. This was a first for both of us, as neither had set foot in either Oregon OR Washington before. (I HAD promised to take Maggi to Oregon, but never before had we had the chance to go!) (Full disclosure: I had been on a plane coming home from Vietnam in 1970, which had landed in Seattle, but the Powers-That-Be had not let us deplane at the time, I guess ‘cause we hadn’t gone through customs…)
So, there we were at a place called Cow Creek, with a blown head gasket at 0300, stuck. Not exactly a good start to our trip. According to my so-called smart phone, the nearest taxi was 30-40 miles away, tow service was 20 miles away and a hotel was also 20-plus miles away from us. Here I MUST put in a plug for my phone company. I use Verizon Wireless and their service is second to none. I have their roadside assistance insurance as well as extended insurance on my phone and tablet. I get signal virtually EVERYWHERE. And HELP when I need it. As we did that dark, lonely Monday Morning, Labor Day. They got me a tow and we were taken to the nearest Holiday Inn Express, where we spent the next several days, alone, together.
More to follow...