The Canyon, The Tire, and The Tears

This post was written and published on March 11, 2008. This was written very quickly after an event when I was late to leave for another event. It helps to remind me that there are good people out there if we just wait for them. Enjoy!

On Saturday I drove Adam to Brighton Ski Resort for his snowboarding lesson. I usually stay up there with him because I HATE the drive up and down the canyon. This particular week I had to come back down because Lewis’ cousin was having her wedding shower and I wanted to go. I went up, got Adam all set for lessons and then start my drive down the mountain. I called Lewis and tell him that I am on my way and I would be home in about 30 to 45 minutes.
About halfway down, right where the road does an “S” curve my tire blew out. No rocks, no reason, it just blows. I laid out a stream of obscenities that would make my mother blush and pulled over to the side of the road, sort of. As anyone that has driven that road knows, there is no side of the road on that part of the canyon. I thought ‘did I hit a rock? But no, there was nothing in the road. My tire went from fine to flat in about 3 seconds. So I decide to use the roadside assistance that I carry on my fairly new car. I got my phone out and yes, you guessed it, no service.
So I grabbed the jack and got ready to change my own tire, in the snow. Luckily I had my coat and gloves in the car. Sometimes when I head up the mountain to take Adam I go in shorts and slippers.
It had been raining and snowing for days and the ground was very muddy. Each time I turned the jack the base would sink into the mud. With each turn it would sink more, until it was lower than the car. Feeling defeated I decided that there was no way that I could get the tire changed alone. So I tried to flag down a car to get someone to either help me, or drive me to get cell service so I could call for help.
At least 200 cars pass me and do not stop to help. After about 45 minutes I was wet, muddy and angry. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Nobody would stop to help.
Lets stop and think for a second. In the last 6 weeks I have:
1. Sprained my foot
2. Had my purse start on fire, and have to stomp the fire out
3. Stuck on the side of the road in the rain and mud to fend for myself
I started thinking ‘What have I done to deserve this?’ And then of course I started to cry. I just start bawling. (And if you know me I just do not cry. Maybe a tear when the kids were born and I used to well up during that stupid ABC show about the Home Makeover sometimes, but never if anyone was around. But I am not a crier.) So I curse every car that passes that sees me crying in the mud, and honks for me to get out of the way before they drive off. I curse every car that has a Families are Forever bumper sticker, and a CTR window cling. Seriously people. Practice what you preach. I am not a scary man with an ax ready to kill you. All I needed was a little help to a phone.
Finally when I decided that I am just going to have to walk up the hill to get cell coverage “Gary” stopped and asked if I need help. All I could do was nod my head. He got out of his truck, and puts his hand on my back and says, “We can help you, but, you will need to stop those tears.” He gets the jack and after a few turns he realizes why I am so frustrated. He can’t do it either. There is just too much mud. So he calls to the truck for them to get out. And out climb 5 teenage scouts. They had been up camping in the snow for a merit badge and were rushing down the canyon to get to their school for baseball tryouts. The boys end up lifting the front of my car enough so that Gary could get the tire off and the little doughnut back on. The boys all climbed back into the truck and then they follow me out of the canyon to make sure that I made it safely. They were in such a rush to go I didn’t get their names or anything. I do hope that they made it safely to their try-outs on time. Those boys were amazing! Thank you “Gary” whoever and wherever you are.