The middle of nowhere, colorado.June 1, 2016
Here's a tid-bit of news that came on quite suddenly: we moved from Missouri back to Utah. It's funny, because we didn't know it was going to happen until it was actually happening-- and then all of a sudden our crap was packed away nicely into our two little vehicles and we were driving across Kansas. Again. (I totally don't have anything against Kansas... but I hate driving through Kansas because I swear I always start hallucinating. There's nothing to look at except for flat, empty fields. I mean, you can only handle that for so long before you start losing it!)
I don't mind road trips as long as I'm with Tay. But the problem this time was the fact that we had to drive two separate cars, which ultimately felt like I was driving across Kansas and Colorado all by myself. (insert eye-rolling emoji here) But that didn't last for long... (yes, I'm foreshadowing)
Somewhere in the middle of Colorado, Taylor and I stopped off at a random gas station for a quick break to stretch our legs and take care of some business. We even let our dog run around for a second before we loaded up and got back on the road (at this point, he'd already been in the car for a full day and we felt bad for him). As we were pulling out of the parking lot, however, I started to get a little concerned because Taylor's car was making all sorts of obnoxious noises. He signaled for me to follow, and we pulled off to the side of the road before getting back on the freeway so we could check things out and avoid potentially "blowing up" somewhere later on.
Long story short: Taylor's car had somehow managed to lose a couple of essential bolts in the turbo. They broke off INTO the car and, try as we might, we couldn't seem to get them out. We bought a couple of tools and an extraction kit, but all of the pieces were either too short or too wide to get the bolts out. We were lucky there was even a hardware store nearby, because the population of the town seemed to be nothing more than a couple of cows and a plastic dinosaur. There were only two gas stations, a rickety old inn, and the hardware store. Taylor spent five hours trying to make things work-- and of course, it started raining on us (like, why wouldn't it start raining when we were stranded in the middle of Colorado trying to fix our struggling vehicle?) We had to drive (slowly) to the nearby gas station and use the little protective pavilion that sits over the gas pumps. Luckily, that's where we were when it started hailing. The little demon chunks of ice fell from the heavens and pelted everything in sight.
In the end, we weren't able to repair the car. We had no real choice but to leave it in the middle of the little town in the middle of Colorado. We had somewhat of a deadline to work with so we did our best and then simply moved on. Taylor was such a champ during the whole thing, though. He was cracking jokes and smiling and I was sitting on the curb muttering complaints under my breath. I was so over it. Near the end of our five hours sitting there, however, I seemed to lighten up a bit. Taylor and I bought a couple of souvenir shirts from the gas station in order to a) remember where we abandoned our car and b) have a reason to look back on the situation and laugh about it.
If there's anything I've learned from Taylor, it's that it is much better to laugh in the face of distress than to be angry or upset. Unlucky things happen and unlucky things will continue to happen, it's just a part of life. But we can choose to either let those unfortunate circumstances ruin our day or we can laugh it off and make a great story out of it.
On the bright side, although we had to leave our car and a lot of our stuff back in Colorado, at least we got to finish the journey riding together in the same vehicle. It made the last half of the trip go by much faster. Maybe, in the end, it was a blessing in disguise? But then again, maybe we'll never know?