I remember having this nagging feeling as we were driving to Rapid City from Mount Rushmore. Get to Wall. So we got to Wall, found a room at the Motel 6, settled in for a nice winter’s nap and didn’t think anything of the cold winds outside. Rose and I had laughed at check in. I was going to drive the two minutes over to the food store. Kids these days don’t walk. Of course the freezing temperature outside was a hindrance. Even the local kids didn’t walk to school.
This morning I slept in. The boys were out cold until 8 am. They slept through my shower and clunking around looking for clothes. Then I decided we needed to get breakfast now. I started up the truck thinking I was doing the right think. Without thinking I drove the car across the way to a spot away from our front door. Diesel is fine but not in my bedroom. I had no idea that this one choice would mess up my truck. I went to the Exxon to get a scraper. When I came back, it sounded like a hammer banging against a metal pole. I ran to the truck and turned it off.
The boys thought I was nuts. I packed up the boys and threw them in the truck. This time when I started the truck, the tires wouldn’t move. The brakes were slipping. I was legitimately scared. Then I decided to get the boys out of the truck. Being efficient I had left both keys in the room. Rose gave me a new key and I put the boys in the room then headed to the Conoco. Fortunately there was a big rig driver there and he told me that diesel gels up in the cold. “Did you put in any additives?” he asked. Huh? No I didn’t know this about diesels. I bought the 9-1-1 solvent and followed instructions. I stayed with my truck and revved the engine. Then a little voice in my head told me to pop the hood. It was not necessary. Looking down below there was a pile of rubber spaghetti under the car. Liquid sauce was forming from the water pump. I peeked inside the engine and saw shiny silver. Below was the drive band dangling.
Now, I don’t mind a good challenge. Really this is okay because I am woman enough to know what questions to ask. I had told my mechanic that the truck was squeaking. His guy told me that this was symptom of something bigger. Then when they did a full servicing, there was nothing wrong. Now the two things I complained about were the cause of us being stranded in Wall, South Dakota.
Then as I was sitting at the Wall Drug Store Cafe, my boys and I had a great breakfast. Naturally I was in denial at that point because I just wanted to keep a positive attitude. My older son felt like he had been here before. My younger son wanted to talk about Grandpa. We ate the best donuts in the land and drank tasty hot chocolate. We shopped the stores and bought a new book, some crystals and rocks, and some shaving soap for Grandpa. Apparently you can only buy this shaving soap in Wall. I stopped at the Traveler’s Chapel and did something I hadn’t done since I was a girl. I found a place at the bench, knelt and found a little faith on this lovely Sunday.
This is the sad part of the journey. I will not be able to go to Brown Sheep. At 8 am tomorrow my truck will be towed to Badlands Auto and I hope that he can fix it for me tomorrow. I anticipated leaving for home on January 1. Nothing makes me more upset. So we won’t talk about it.
Could this have been avoided. Probably not. I believe that what’s in your cards, is in your cards. Being with my boys is the gift. Just like the fire alarm. Take your valuables. That would be my boys. All for one and one for all. So the journey has not been wasted. Plus my older son shocked me when he said he would miss school. My younger son was more upset that he might never have a girlfriend. I reassured him that there were plenty of pretty girls in Wall LOL!!!