• Kat

a misadventure

Misadventures are part of life. Annoying and frustrating at the time, but often amusing and satisfying in retrospect. We got through it! This is an old story - probably 1985 or 86.

When my husband and I moved from Hawaii back to the mainland we decided to have the car shipped to California and drive cross-country arriving in Virginia in time for Christmas. Both of our families were in Virginia - mine in Arlington, his in Mclean, so we could easily spend Christmas with both families.

We spent a few days in California - seeing some friends, some vineyards, some museums. It was really nice although the mainland seemed very large. At one point the car gave us some trouble and we took it in but they didn't find anything seriously wrong. We were a little apprehensive but all seemed well so we headed south and spent the night in Bakersfield, CA. The next day we headed up into the mountains. It started to snow - hard. Big flakes, fast accumulation and the car died. So, we had the car towed to Tehachapi - it was the closest town. I have no idea what Tehachapi is like today but at that time it was a very small town. The mechanic had no idea what was wrong with our car so it couldn't be fixed in Tehachapi.

Yes, we were stuck. How could we get to Virginia, for Christmas, with the car? We could get there if we flew, but we wouldn't have the car and someone would have to come back to get it. We could have the car towed back to Bakersfield where it probably could be fixed, but we would lose a lot of time and might miss Christmas with our families. We had never celebrated Christmas without them before.

Then we had an idea. Tehachapi had a U-haul rental - we could rent a truck and a trailer and tow the car across country and get it fixed in Virginia. It was a little pricey but it would work. There was one small hitch - the car needed to be pushed up onto the trailer. There were a couple of guys hanging around who said, "You'll never get that car up onto that trailer!" The car was a honda civic and it was pretty light. I could push it for an emergency start on flat ground - my husband is a lot better at popping the clutch for that kind of emergency start so I would push and he would get the car going. Pushing it uphill onto a trailer would clearly be harder but didn't seem impossible. My husband started trying to push the car onto the trailer while I steered. It wasn't really working when two women came over and offered to help. The three of them pushed the car up onto the trailer - hooray! (ironic, huh?)

We drove cross country skipping the Grand Canyon. There was more snow there and we weren't comfortable with the idea of driving the truck and trailer in the snow. We stopped at the Petrified Forest instead which was intriguing and beautiful. We got to Virginia and celebrated Christmas with our families!

The car continued to be a mystery. Sometimes it worked fine and sometimes it would not start at all. We took it to a few different places. Finally one of them figured it out. The thermostat for the engine needed to be reset. The car had absolutely no problems in warm weather. In Hawaii we never had any problems with it, but on the mainland when it got cold, or snowy the engine died. It was a quick, easy fix and we drove that car for several more years.

#travel #misadventure

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