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Let me tell you a road trip story


One whole week. No blog posts. NOT PLANNED.

What happened is this: We went away for 6 days and I planned to blog the whole time... only to discover I had no wi-fi access when we arrived at our destination. So my laptop stayed inside my cute little laptop bag all week and in the meantime I took one billion pictures and posted way too many of them on instagram because hey, if you can't blog, instagram is the next best thing.

But perhaps you don't use instagram? Or follow me? (Or do but won't hate me if I show you all over again?) Well then! I'm going to have to tell you what the heck we were up to!

But first: my road trip story.

Russ's team made it to the final eight! State Finals!!!

This means a long drive to Baker City, Oregon, which we started out on last Tuesday. The kids and I left a couple of hours behind Russ and the team in the school van, so Kendall and Cooper could finish school for the day. To prepare for the 5 1/2 hour drive, I stayed up waaaaay too late the night before, figuring out how to put audiobooks on my iphone and burning cd's of Adventures in Odyssey for my kids to listen to. (Thus no blog post Tuesday morning.) And it was totally worth it too - I plugged in my earphones and was in my own peaceful world while the cd's kept the kids' attention the whole way!

Then, at 8:50 pm at night, when I was only an hour away from Baker City and still in a winding mountain pass, my tire completely blew out on the interstate in the worst possible spot and for a very brief moment I was sure a semi-truck was going to crash into me and kill us all. I managed to swerve off the road to a stop though, only to realize I was just barely off the road and couldn't go any further due to the guard rail and river I was right next to. Lovely.

Next I discovered I had absolutely no cell service. Perfect.

Then Kendall bursts into tears and Cooper asked me a million rapid-fire questions about what we were going to do and I COULDN'T THINK.

(And that's the difference between my husband and I. His brain works rapid-fire in emergencies while mine apparently needs a 20 minute warm-up.)

So we sat for 20 minutes, flashers on, our vehicle rattling violently every time a semi-truck barely brushed pass us going 70 mph, while the kids were sworn to absolute silence so I could think. Besides praying for wisdom and help, my main thought was that even if I felt confident about changing a tire (which I don't), it would be incredibly stupid to try and do it in the spot I was in, in the pitch dark, with the blown tire being on the driver's (traffic) side of my car. I couldn't see how far ahead it was before the guard rail ended and the road widened and when I tried to slowly roll forward, the squealing of metal on the road sounded so horrible I was sure I was going to ruin the actual wheel if I kept going.

After 20 minutes or so I came to conclusion number one: no one on the interstate stops in the night for a pulled over vehicle with it's flashers on. NO ONE. I was going to have to get out and flag someone down. This took a little building up of gumption, being a woman stranded alone with three kids in the car and not being able to see who exactly I was flagging over. I finally ventured out though, standing in my headlight beams, and waited for headlights that didn't belong to a giant semi-truck that wouldn't be able to suddenly stop.

Conclusion number two: It's pretty much ALL semi-trucks after 9:00 pm on the interstate. I was out there a while, people, and it was awkward and vulnerable and cold. Finally, smaller headlights came into view and I started my best: "please pull over and help me because I'm not an ax-murderer trying to trick you" arm wave.

And thank you Jesus, it worked.

Of course, it would be a commercial van with no back windows that pulled over 50 feet ahead... but I decided beggars can't be choosers and cautiously jogged up the road. And God didn't let me down. Not only did I find two ladies in the van, but they had a cell phone with service! Hallelujah! I immediately called Russell and as soon as he answered I pretty much burst into tears in relief.

Conclusion number three: womanly emotions are SO embarrassing. I wasn't really scared or worried, and I had stayed perfectly calm the whole time, but the second I hear a voice of salvation my body betrays me and I give my poor husband a pretty good scare.

In the end I was able to give Russ the mile marker I was at and he called roadside assistance and the state police so a trooper could come park behind me with his lights on so I wouldn't get hit. That took another 1/2 hour of waiting (thank you again, Adventures in Odyssey) and by the time my spare was on and I'd all but hugged the ODOT crew that came to my rescue, got back on the road again and kept under 50 mph with my little donut tire the rest of the way as instructed, my 5 1/2 hour trip had turned into an 8 hour one.

Nothing like a little adventure in the night to start off a vacation!

We all slept the sleep of angels that night :)

And tomorrow I'll talk about our actual stay!    


  1. Awesome story Jod, pretty harrowing experience, The Lord DOES watch over us and see we are taken care of though doesn't He, so glad for that. ( great foresight on the audio books ! )

  2. Oh my goodness! What a trip! I'm so impressed that you were able to keep it together for so long before the tears came. Glad y'all are safe and sound!