"Blown Transmission Syndrome: I Just Wanna Get Home!"

Las-Vegas-StripViva Las Vegas! We were there this past weekend with two other couples and had a great time. It was a great three day getaway, fun and very relaxing. Unfortunately the trip home yesterday was a nightmare, a real the trip from hell! Oh it started off well enough, we left Vegas at 8:30, stopped and had a great breakfast at the Original Pancake House in the Primm Valley Resort, then jumped back on the 15 and headed for home. All was well until we passed the Nipton/Searchlight off ramp about 11 miles out of Primm. That’s when our trip became a disaster.

We had planned to be home by at least 1pm, but as it turned out we didn’t get there until nearly 5:30! What’s that saying about best laid plans? Yep,what should have been no more than 3 more hours on the road turned into a nine hours ordeal. You’re probably thinking it was traffic related. Often times there’s an accident that backs up traffic for miles and takes hours to crawl through, most of us have run into to that problem especially on a Sunday. Burt this was a Tuesday morning and traffic was actually moving along very nicely. No, our delay was caused by something far worse than traffic and much more costly than time, This time around it was a blown transmission!

2002-Mazda-MPV-1010938-7-smWithout any warning at all as we were plowing up the grade of Halloran Summit I suddenly began slowing down so I pushed down on the gas pedal to no avail. All I managed to do is rev up my engine. Fortunately as I mentioned before, traffic was light and I was easily able to pull my van over to the side of the freeway where we sat for the next hour or so waiting for the Automobile Club tow truck to arrive. There’s nothing like sitting alongside the freeway with five other people in a broken down minivan. Yeah right! We all know the waiting is the hardest part.

Once the driver arrived and got my van up onto the back of the tow truck the six of us had the pleasure of cramming into the cab with the driver, five in the back on the small bench seat and the driver and I upfront, all nice and comfy ready for our 100 mile drive into Barstow. Fun, fun, fun. Actually I was the lucky one since I got to sit up front. The other five were crammed in tight as sardines in the back. I’m sure they weren’t very comfortable, and believe me 103 mile ride in a tow truck seems like it takes forever!

3382707353_d975506928On the drive we tried to figure out how we were going to get home from Barstow. Having the tow truck take us the additional 86 miles from Barstow would cost us a whopping $8.00 a mile! That amounts to $688 total cost so that was definitely out of the question. One of my friends spent quite a bit of time on her phone with the Auto Club trying to negotiate a way to get us towed all the way home. We’ve all had Auto Club coverage for years. One couple for over 42 years, the other for 30 and Ray and I for 19. Unfortunately AAA has really tightened up on their towing policy an she wasn’t able to work anything out, but believe me she really tried!

In the meantime her husband was on his Ipad and Iphone busily trying to find us rental transportation but because of the Thanksgiving holiday there wasn’t anything that would accommodate the 6 of us available in Barstow. I was finally able to get a hold of my son John and he agreed to drive out to Barstow to pick us up. I had fully intended on leaving my van there if I had to, but he said he’d call around and see if he could find an auto trailer so we could get the van home as well. What a guy!

Around 2pm the driver left us at an Auto Club approved garage where the waiting began all over again. Time sure moves slowly when your sitting there doing nothing but waiting and waiting some more, but we somehow managed. John arrived with trailer in tow around 4pm. He received a heroes welcome by 6 extremely grateful individuals. We all worked together to get the van on the trailer than crammed into his Ford crewcab 4 in the back and 3 of us in the front. It was actually a very joyous ride, there was a lot of laughter as all of us were feeling pretty damn good about finally getting home and the closer we got the happier we became.

Thank God (and John) we got home around 5:20pm. I tell you pulling up my street in front of our house never felt so good. We got the van off the trailer and parked it without a problem, unloaded the luggage and said our goodbyes. But not before heaping tons of thanks on John Michael one more time. He really saved the day for us. Thanks son for coming through, I never doubted that you would. And thank you my friends who endured the ordeal with nary a complaint. Thank you for your patience and understanding my friends. You are awesome travelling companions! Love you guys! You’re the best!

Looking forward to our next adventure together!

Just Saying…



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