Wednesday, September 3, 2008 by Rebecca

Our latest adventure

So - we just got back from a weekend up in Portland. We went up because my best friend from early childhood - Margaret (now Maggie) - was getting married.

It was a beautiful wedding that very much fit the personalities of the Bride & Groom.

They're both phenomenal old-time musicians and, unsurprisingly, so are most of their friends. So there was LOTS of fantastic acoustic music just all the way through the ceremony and the reception which both took place at a beautiful park a few miles east of Portland.

There was also a square dance on Sunday with lots more fabulous music which was a super fun time.

My cousin Alyson and her boyfriend Levi were kind enough to let us use their apartment while we were there - they were actually camping most of the weekend - but we got to see them on Monday for breakfast before we left - and we got to play with their sweet (energetic!) cats Moose and Chuck.

We also got to see our friend Ilana who was kind enough to play tour guide for us when we weren't doing wedding related activities - mostly Sunday afternoon. We had a nice long sleep in on Sunday morning. Ahhhhh. SO necessary after the long drive.

Ilana took us to Powell's - OMG that place is totally awesome! - and we walked through a lot of downtown Portland. We went to a very tasty restaurant called Mother's - our waitress was a total spaz, but in a good, funny way. Daniel got some Stumptown coffee - I was too full. And we visited the Saturday Markets (which are open on Sundays too). Daniel got an AWESOME new hat and I got a cute new sundress that I got to wear to the square dance, and got lots of compliments on. Ilana and I had a lengthy conversation with the man who had developed a game called "the game of Real life" It looks interesting and fun - he had clearly spent quite a long time developing it - but Daniel seemed totally uninterested, so I didn't get one.

We left Portland around 10am - after a very tasty breakfast at Genies and a very nice visit with Alyson and Levi. We were making ok time, we stopped at the food co-op in Ashland for a healthy lunch, and then about 4:30 - shortly after we crossed the Oregon border we got a flat tire. - #@*($&@@!!!!!

According to the owner's manual of my car, I have a spare tire, a jack with a handle, and while they discuss the presence of a "wheel nut wrench" in other sections of the book, its location is not mentioned in the 'tire changing tools' section, and we sure couldn't find one. @#*&@#$! @#(&$@*(!

Neither Daniel nor I had any real idea where we were. I had been asleep when the tire went. Fortunately, we had refilled our gas tank in Ashland, so I was able to tell the AAA lady that we were on I-5 Southbound approximately 53 miles south of Ashland Oregon. We were, by this time, sitting rather dejectedly in the open back of our car with our luggage next to the car and the spare out - with no further progress to be made without a tire-iron.

After putting me on hold for several minutes, the idiot AAA lady was in the process of explaining to me that, according to her manager, it wasn't possible that we were where I said we were, and without a mile marker or a sign, or an idea of what town we were near, she wasn't going to be able to help me ... WTF!!! #@$&)@#, @(#%&@(&, @#^()*#!!!! how hard is it to pull out a map and figure out where 53 miles south of a city is?! ... when - hallelujah!!! - a highway patrol officer pulled over to see how we were doing.

He let us use his tire iron - he fortunately had one of those 4 pronged ones with multiple sizes - and we were able to put our spare on and continue on. We found, once we removed the flat tire, that there is large gaping hole in the inside wall of it. There will be no repairing it. But it's good that the blow out was not worse than that. we were able to pull over reasonably smoothly.

Well - those little half-size spares - they're not rated for high speed travel (or even, truth to tell, long distance, but we didn't have much choice in that regard. After 5pm on Labor day, there wasn't a lot of hope for finding an open Auto/Tire store.) SO - there we were nearly 300 miles from home - and required to go no faster than 60 mph. We were passed by ... pretty much everything else on the road - RV's, large MAC trucks, trucks with ginormous RV trailers, but by far, the most humiliating moment was when we were speedily passed by a SMART CAR. Yes - one of those tiny little 'economy' cars. Doh.

We didn't make it home until 11pm. 13 hour day. Yuck.

But I am glad that, if the flat tire had to happen it did when and where it did. It was still several hours from being dark, and the highway patrol man was an absolute gift because even if AAA COULD figure out how to find us (turns out we were about 14 miles south of Yreka), it would have taken them HOURS to get to us - apparently they were already on a call for a car about 5 miles down the road from us with a broken fan belt. Which is a much worse problem than a flat tire (as long as you have a spare , a jack, & a tire iron ;-) )

Next time, we'll fly :-p

1 comment:

Evelyn Rodas said...

Phew! Glad your tire adventure wasn't worse. I had to laugh at this: "it's been several weeks since I've worked out regularly" I thought of a confessional. "Forgive me father, for I have...It's been several weeks since my last confession..."
Bad, bad girl for not eating lunch. You must eat to be strong. EAT! Sounds like you have the opposite problem of me. I'm an eating machine! I'm determined to make today an 11 block day. I can do it!

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