Okay, we were on the road again to take Jeffrey to college in Arizona. Since we needed to make up some time since our van problems the day prior (Oh My – What A Road Trip), we set a goal to try and reach Bakersfield, California by the end of the day.
On we drove heading through the Mojave Desert – wow it was hot! Even though we had our air conditioning going pretty strong, we could still feel the heat streaming through the windows. Gary was in the passenger seat, and the sun coming in was so hot that he had to throw a towel over his bare arm because he could feel he was getting burned!
As we finally approached Bakersfield, we realized that we had made really good time that day. So Gary checked the map to find out where the next major town was on our trip. It turned out to be Tehachapi – and Gary guesstimated it would be about another half-hour away.
We continued our drive, but then we came to a road sign which said it was 80 miles away! Jeffrey and I started whining – we were tired and grumpy and wanted to stop for the night.
Gary eventually gave in, and we remembered seeing a Hampton Inn a short ways back so we turned around and Gary went to check in.
They were full – and now it was Gary who was whining!
However they were very kind and got us into another Hampton Inn not too far away – back towards Tehachapi on the highway we just came from.
But then the hotel clerk said as Gary was getting ready to leave, “Oh by the way, it’s a good thing you weren’t planning on starting over the mountains towards Tehachapi, because there’s been a serious wreck, and the whole highway over the pass is closed down.”
Whoa – thank you, Lord. Couldn’t help but think we might have been caught right in it if we had kept going.
Gary felt a lot better after that, but then as he headed back to the van, he now noticed that liquid was streaming out of the tailpipe. (Of course I was wondering why now it was so important, but it wasn’t the previous night!)
He started to get a little nervous, but we decided to head to the other hotel, get checked in, and then try and figure out what the problem was.
We got there, and Gary asked the front desk staff if they could recommended a local mechanic that we might be able to call. No, they couldn’t. Okay, then…
Meanwhile, we started seeing cars streaming into the hotel parking lot coming from the mountain pass towards Tehachapi. We found out that they had gotten stuck up on the mountain during the accident, and they had turned around to try and find a hotel. But the hotel now had no more rooms. Wow, God took care of us, in spite of ourselves!
Anyway, it was now about 8:30 PM on a Saturday night, and Gary was getting more and more anxious about the van. What were we going to do? What garage would be open at such an hour on a Saturday?
Well we decided to go back to our old standby … the phone book (Church Shopping).
And wouldn’t you know that the Lord came through in yet another amazing way. As Gary was leafing through the “mechanics” in the local yellow pages, all of a sudden he saw a large advertisement showing the Christian fish symbol (called a ichthys). Maybe the owner/manager would be kind enough to check messages and call us the next day even though it was a Sunday?
SURPRISE – the owner actually answered the phone!
What a gracious, awesome man he was. He talked with Gary for over 15 minutes asking questions about the make of the van, how old it was, and the color of the liquid leaking out of the tailpipe.
His prognosis? Since we had been driving through the Mojave Desert for a large portion of the day, he believed it was simply condensation from our air conditioner – the same thing Gary first thought it might be after traveling that first night (Oh My – What A Road Trip)!
Gary was still a bit wigged out about it, however, so the man kindly said if he was still concerned in the morning, he would have someone come and take a look at it after church. How incredible was that?
The next morning we were all felt at peace, so we packed back up and continued our trek to Prescott, Arizona. We ended up getting there right on schedule with no more mishaps!
And now to get Jeffrey settled…