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Saturday, January 8, 2011

A slight detour

It all started on our way back from Greeley Colorado where we were spending New Years with David's family. We were on 287 about 20 minutes outside of Fort Collins when we lost 5th gear. Eeks. I have a '89 manuel Honda Civic SI. It made this odd grinding sound and suddenly the RPMs shot up as if we were driving in 4th gear. Well, low and behold the same thing happened to 4th gear. By that time we had stopped and called a handy mechanic called "Dad." We did some trouble shooting and it was obviously determined that it was the transmission. So. What were we going to do. Huh. Whose heard of a manuel losing it's transmission?

At first it was quit fun! We were in a horse drawn wagon that had just lost one of its two horses. We could drive, albiet slowly. My dad said that the best thing we could do is get as far as we could--hopefully to Laramie-- and there my Dad would pick us up. That came as quite a surprise, especially considering the car was coming with us on a trailer. Our job now was to get to Larmie (in third gear) and hold tight until my Dad arrived.

Our spirits were high as we putted along with our flashers on. We could tell our transmission was getting worse, however. It would occasionally slip into neutral/second gear on its own and by the time we were in Laramie it was quite frequent. We knew we were quickly losing third. When we got to Laramie our first job was to find a place to bunk out for the next 7 hours. My mom suggested a mall...but noooooo... there are no malls in Laramie. I thought an LDS church would be quite pleasant, but by the time we found it, I forgot to take into consideration that it was unlikely someone would be in it. We had the bishops phone numbers, but...I didn't want to take that route. Our plan was also foiled by the fact that I REALLY had to go to the bathroom.

So then we went to KMART and explored its small stock of supplies. Next, to pass the time we went to a the bookstore next door. After an hour or so of browsing and reading, however, I could not stand the Arctic temperatures inside and so we proceeded on our journey. It was colder in there than in our car. We determined to go to Walmart and hang out there. On our way we came across the University of Wyoming's Institute building, but it was locked. Darn.

All of that took a good chunk of time and we spent the rest of the 3 or so hours haunting Walmart's aisles and watching their TVs. (Strangely enough they had one TV going with an awesome nature show which we watched for 45 minutes. Several employees commented on us...but not to the extent of "stop." We also determined what colors our house were going to be: dark beige for the kitchen, dark gold for the living room and red for the library. We justified out loitering by having a basket containing 2 pasta boxes.

About to get onto the trailer

Soon we grew bored (obviously....but we're talking on the point of tears) and we went back out to our freeeeeezing car. By the time my dad got there it was 4 degrees with a wind chill of much less than that...we're talking a 15 or so mile an hour wind. When we got out to starting hitching our car and transferring the necessary goods to my dad's car it took me 1 minute to get a frostbite on my thumb. David got one on his ear. The small amount of time I was outside--in a Columbia winter coat, no less--was enough time for me to shiver uncontrollably. It HURT. Laramie is COLD. Forget Provo. 25 degrees is balmy comparatively.

My poor car
Once we got everything hooked up it was 9:00 PM when we left the Laramie Walmart. I wasn't sad to say goodbye. Afterall, I think I spent enough time in Laramie to last a lifetime. What else is left to explore? To make things short, it was a miracle we got back in one piece. My dad said there was a 50:50 chance we would spin off the road. We went through three blizzards where we couldn't even see the road with winds blowing at 55 miles an hour. The only way we could navigate were the road markers lighted by our headlights. It took us more than 8 hours to make it about 400 miles. At one point my dad said his job was to keep control of the car and it was David's to keep track of mile markers so if we did spin of we would know where we were and wouldn't have to wait until morning for someone to find us. He told me it was my job to sleep. And to worry. And pray.

Sorry for the bad photos. My fingers wouldn't move, let alone hold up the camera. Here it is hooked up to my Dad's Honda Pilot. 
We finally made it to Provo safe and sound at 4:30. Only now do I believe the horror stories of driving through Wyoming at night during a snow storm.

Prayers work and God is looking out for us.


Hilary said...
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Hilary said...

Wow, you just made me re-live my childhood memories of going to my grandparent's house in Laramie. Let's just say since they moved to Utah, I have refused to ever go back! Sorry about your car. Glad you are alive, though.