Bags packed. Full tank of gas, Pringles, Jerky, Water, we were all set. My youngest and I hit the road. "Summer road trips are the best." I thought to myself with just a twinge of butterflies in my tummy. Tiny bit nervous as this time it was just the child and me. I could do it, I knew I could. My husband and I traveled all across the country together and I learned so much from him. Besides, we were only going a day's drive.
The trip went smoothly and we were making good time. The one part I was dreading was heading over Donner Summit. I had many scary memories of my husband and I going through the summit in a big rig truck. While the scenery is beautiful, we usually crossed that area when it was icy with snow. The lanes are small and the mountains steep. I calmed myself with the comfort that it was summer and I was not in a big-rig truck. I was in a 1998 Toyota.
On the last leg of crossing the summit, we were headed down a deep grade, when my car suddenly lost all acceleration. I glanced at my son who was safely buckled into the passenger seat, and then double checked to make sure that somehow we had not knocked the gear into neutral, which wasn't the case. At least I had my brakes. Coming off the hill, I made the last minute decision to pull off at an exit, which had a small ramp that went uphill. We coasted up the ramp to a stop sign. I pulled my emergency brake and turned off the car. We were up in the mountains on a tiny exit that lead to who knows where, not a person in sight. Now what? I stepped out of the car and lifted the hood. Hmmmmm. "What was I looking for?" I wondered. I luckily had cell phone reception and called the family members that I was going to visit. They were going to be about 2 hours before they could come get us. What was I going to do with my car? Oh, why did this have to happen? What would my husband tell me to do? I closed my eyes and listened to the breeze blow through the pine trees. "Husband, I wish you were here. You never did train me for this experience." I opened my eyes and caught the eye of my son, still sitting in his seat, buckled in. I knew what I needed to do...
Taking a deep breath, I called him out of the car. "What are we going to do, Mom?" He worriedly asked. "What are we going to do? What are we going to do??" I dramatically responded. He shook his head yes. "We, my child, are gonna take some pictures! Grab that camera! Look at how beautiful it is here!" I exclaimed. So that is what we did. We had the whole little place to ourselves. It was lovely.