My adventures this week prove that even the best laid plans can go wrong...
One of the other wives (Zoe), a friend of hers from home (Marika) and I all planned to go for a two night get away down towards the southern Colorado to explore some of the bigger tourist traps in the state.
Zoe drove for this adventure in her great big Jeep. Once we finally woke up and got on the road, it was lunch time when we checked into our hotel in Publeo. We then set out for our first destination: Royal Gorge (http://royalgorgebridge.com/). It is this spectacular bridge over a 1000 ft gorge, with a mini wild west park around it. We walked across the bridge, visited old town Cannon City, saw a long horned cow that made a Clydesdale look like a pony, caught the cable car back across the gorge and then a vertical train down to the bottom of the gorge to see the stream. It was a great afternoon, despite the thunder and lighting.
We left fairly late in the afternoon, to go back to town for dinner. When we got into the car, we could hear a knocking sound from the engine. It's possible the car had been making that noise on the way to the gorge, but due to the quality conversation and fantastic music, we never heard anything. We rang Zoe's husband to inform him the car was making a bit of noise, and he said not to worry about it. So we got into the car and drove back to the hotel.
At the hotel, ignoring all husband's comments to not worry about it, we all piled out of the car and looked at the engine. It wasn't any of the fan belts, and the water, oil and other mechanical type liquids were adequately full, and nothing seemed particularly hinky (technical term). Acknowledging that Zoe's husband could have been right, we chose not to pay any attention to the constant knocking and went to tea.
The next morning, after a lay in (Marika and I) and some uni study (Zoe), we set out to drive to the San Luis Valley about and hour and half south east. The car was still making that god-awful sound, but we were so excited to go to the alpine sand dunes, that we didn't pay too much attention....
About 40 minutes in the journey the car jolted - it kind of felt like it lost a gear/power. but it picked back up and we continued on. Carefully. What ever it was, it didn't like it when the driver tried to get a little power out of the car to over take... 10 minutes later, it happened again, but this time we pulled over.
We were on one of the main state highways, however the road was a bit narrow. Climbing carefully out of the car, once again, we all knowledgeably moved to the front and examined the engine. It seemed fine...but now the car wouldn't start...
So an hour later, the tow truck picked us up and drove us to the small town of Trinidad (with some quality country music on the radio). The mechanic tried to start the car there... but the pistons and whatever they were attached to exploded and sent shrapnel flying. We figured at this point our adventures were done. Trying to think practically, we rang around for a hire car, but we arrived a 5:05pm. Everything was closed, so we were stuck there for the night.
We booked into another hotel, and sent an SOS to Denver for one of the other families to come save us. The next day, we checked out of two hotels, collected our belongings from the car (that is still sitting in the garage down there) and one of the boys drove us the 4 hours home. You can't imagine how grateful we were to him.
It wasn't quiet the adventure we had planed on but we did learn a few things.
1) always have a phone charger in your bag - you'll never know when you need it
2) if you have nothing to your name but the clothes on your back, you can buy everything else at Walmart
3) pizza and a margaretta will always cheer your friends up
4) and ignore your husband when he says the noises from your engine "will be right". He's wrong!
Tristan's adventure at 6 flags also went sour this week with his phone going overboard while he was on a rollar coaster... not sure what lesson he learnt, but I'm sure that the result will be a new iPhone!
All in all, we are safe and healthy, and have had a good laugh at ourselves.
Missing you all