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Off I Go!

Updated on August 20, 2014

My Adventures

Join me from the safety of your armchair as I get into crazy scrapes and survive!

I have a list of places I want to visit, and many of the places on my list are places I have visited already. Sometimes I have unexpected setbacks and difficulties, and experience the "thrill" of getting out of tight situations. Sometimes I was less than thrilled at how things turned out, and I want to try again.

I don't keep a bucket list as such. In fact, the notion rather repels me. I have seen too many people do some truly crazy things because someone persuaded them to keep a bucket list. Besides, who wants to think about kicking the bucket? I'm too busy to fool with stuff like that.

But if I take a notion, and decide to go somewhere, I am taking a risk that things will go wrong, and sometimes they do. I try to make lemonade out of lemons.

The dictionary tells us that an adventure involves an element of risk. I have boundaries about what kind of risks I am willing to take.

The clouds represent my dreams for the perfect trip. All photos in this lens are mine.

Getting Started

I wasn't really able to travel while we were raising our kids. It was too expensive, and there were too many times when there just wasn't enough money to go around, for one reason or another. So my adventures really started after they all left home.

I have some problems with my joints, and a good friend of mine recommended a man in Flagstaff who she said was excellent and could help me. She already was seeing him. Flagstaff is only about 260 miles from here, which is a pretty far distance to go for physical therapy! But fortunately, one session would last months, and it was a good excuse to travel to the northern part of the state. The two of us would go together, and share expenses. Then we would find someplace else to visit while we were there. Because I was providing transportation costs, the therapist gave me a discount from his already reasonable prices.

In other lenses, I talk about some of the places we visited, and show pictures. Here, I talk about the misadventures and how I got out of them.

Visiting Page, Arizona

As I said, a friend of mine and I used to travel together quite a bit. We would both go for therapy, and then visit some scenic spot and take pictures.

After awhile, my friend didn't want to go with me anymore, because she felt I was too heavy-handed about choices of destinations. It would have been nice if she had told me in a way that we could have worked it out. But since I already knew that my own picture taking was hampered by trying to keep her happy, we didn't travel together for awhile. Then one day for some reason we decided to go together again, but she wanted to drive because she said she didn't trust my driving. Well, the next thing I knew, she wanted to know if she could bring a friend. I thought that might just work out fine, so I agreed.

That was before I discovered her friend was a smoker and put her smoke-filled clothes in the back seat where I was forced to sit because she wanted her friend up front with her. And practically the whole trip, she played music I didn't particularly care for. Her friend said that the music I liked was elevator music, and she detested it. And she spent most of the time griping about how miserable her life was. Unbeknownst to me, my friend wanted to provide some therapy for her friend. It didn't work out that way.

We managed to survive the trip up. But I had arranged for passes to go into Coyote Buttes. Nowadays, getting passes is much more difficult than it was then, but it still wasn't easy at the time. The first day we went to Antelope Canyon. That worked out OK, and as it turned out, our guide that time was Charly Moore. If you are ever in Page and want to go to Antelope Canyon, or buy some art, look him up. He owns the Thunderbird Gallery. He is one of the kindest people I have ever met.

The next day was the day we were supposed to go to Coyote Buttes. But my friend's car wouldn't start, so we were stranded and didn't get to go. Charly proceeded to take care of us the entire weekend. He invited us to see his lovely home and all the beautiful art he has collected. The first evening, my friend wanted to go to his house alone, because she needed to get away from us. That left us stranded with no way to get something decent to eat, especially since we didn't decide what we wanted until 15 minutes before the pizza place closed, and they refused to take our order because they absolutely do NOT deliver after the end of business hours. Charly was rather irate at them for that. So I walked to the fast food place next door to the motel, but their inside dining was closed, and they wouldn't serve me at the drive through because I wasn't in a vehicle and they considered it too dangerous. So I walked to the filling station next to that, and got some real junk just to fill our bellies.

One day while we were there, the two women wanted to go to a certain place to eat, and they planned to stay and dance with the live band afterward. I went long enough to eat, but the noise was too much for me, and I was too tired to dance, so Charly took me back to the motel.

The highlight of the time without transportation was when Charly took us to Waterhole Canyon. That's a place that is not too well known, and in some ways it resembles Coyote Buttes.

Charly took my friend's car to his mechanic on Monday, and paid the bill for repairs himself!

When we left, and got to the place where you go downhill just south of Page, my friend dropped something on the floor, and while she was driving down a curvy mountain road, she was fishing around on the floor for what she had dropped. In some places, there was a sheer drop with no guard rail. And she had the audacity to complain about MY driving!

Needless to say, we haven't traveled together since. It's more expensive to go by myself, but I do it anyway. And my therapist moved out of state, so I no longer have the excuse I did.

In spite of all that, we're still friends. As Christians, we both believe in forgiveness.

Lesson learned: adventure doesn't include putting up with incompatible people.

Waterhole Canyon

Waterhole Canyon is on the res, that is, the Indian reservation. The land for miles around belongs to the Dineh nation. People are allowed to visit Waterhole Canyon, but we are supposed to keep the place clean. No problem as far as I am concerned.

It is a really beautiful place, and I think almost nobody knows about it. These kinds of jagged cliffs run practically the length of the part of the canyon we had the energy to walk, and get back before dark.

Timing of My Trips

I try to plan the date on which I set out on a trip, so that I will be able to accomplish certain things. For example, I try to plan dates when there will be abundant wildflowers at my destination. Since I now travel by myself, I tend to be a little more free with planning, and often really don't plan any particular time, because I know that I might not get a good night's sleep, for example, and I won't drive when I am tired.

I learned enough about Antelope Canyon to know that the sun doesn't shine INTO the canyon throughout much of the year. Antelope Canyon is famous for its sun rays, and I wanted to get some good photos of them, so I planned a trip for early June. The best time to catch the rays is during Dry Summer (May and June) because you can drive all the way up there and discovered nobody is taking anyone into the canyon that day, because there is rain 20 miles upstream, and a flash flood would kill people if they're in the canyon at the time. People have actually lost their lives.

On the day when I went, we started at 11 am, with plans to end about 1. It was a very windy day, and the dust inside the canyon was pretty remarkable. I did something very foolish, and changed lenses a couple of times. I had two camera bodies with me, and that meant that I got sand into both of them, destroying them to a point where repairs would cost more than a better camera. Oops!

However, the up side of it was that the rays were spectacular that day. And I almost missed them. I'd gone from one end of the canyon to the other, and didn't see anything out of the ordinary. I got to the entrance, and there was a group of people there. One of them had a tripod, and I turned around to see what he was photographing, and this is what I saw:

Monument Valley

Monument Valley is located mostly in northeastern Arizona, but you have to drive into Utah to get to the entrance. The trip up covers a lot of secondary highways and meanders all over the place. Sometimes you have to go from one highway to another, a right or left turn, and then pick up a third highway just five miles down the road. There is one motel close to the border, but it's pretty expensive, so I didn't stay there.

The day I planned to go was during Wet Summer, because I wanted some good clouds. The clouds were wonderful on my trip TO Monument Valley, and for a short time after I got there. The clouds in my introduction are from that trip. But once I got into the area, it quickly became overcast, and this muted all the colors and meant the sky was totally uninteresting. I made the best of it. I did get some interesting photos. I have learned that overcast skies and rainy days can make good pictures, too.

Notice there is very little cloud structure in this photo. Shadows were also nonexistent, and they are part of what makes a spectacular landscape. Many of the pictures I got were like that.

Zion National Park

This is another place I visited during Wet Summer, hoping for good clouds. Instead, it rained cats and dogs, and turned out not to have worked out too well for that reason.

Arizona doesn't observe daylight savings time. I forgot about that. So I drove into a little town on the other side of Zion, and arranged for a room. The woman who rented the room to me was really nice and very helpful. They even arranged so that I would have the room next to the office in case I needed anything. And they cleared out a parking space next to it so I wouldn't have to carry my luggage very far. I figured I had timed things pretty well, because it was shortly after 8, and that meant that restaurants would still be open, and I could get a decent meal. But Utah observes daylight saving, so I was actually there a little after nine. The woman who helped me actually called a restaurant that had just closed, persuaded them to take my order, and I went there and picked it up after hours. She can count on my business next time I go back.

One of the areas of Zion I wanted to visit has a loop road, but cars are not allowed in, and you have to take a tram or walk. It was so humid that the windows of the tram were fogged up and I couldn't get pictures through the window. And I didn't want to slog around in the rain, so I was pretty much stuck with not taking pictures. It was pretty nasty looking anyway. Here is an example of the kind of pictures I did get.

After awhile, I was back at the place I THOUGHT I left my car, and got off the tram, only to discover it was at the OTHER place, so I got back on a tram, but got on the wrong one: one headed back into the loop instead of to the other place. Oops! When I discovered my mistake, I got out, and took a look at where I was, and saw this scene:

That's my favorite picture from the entire stay in Zion. Yes, bad weather can make some pretty spectacular pictures after all.

The peaks are the Three Patriarchs.

Of course, I paid for that by getting thoroughly soaked. But after I dried off, I was fine.

My next trip into Utah was Canyonlands. There is a pretty spectacular bend in the river, and I didn't know where it was. I got lots and lots of nice pictures, but never did find the place I was looking for. And it was getting dark, so I had to quit and go back to Moab for the night, and I had to drive back the next day. Now I know where the place is, and I hope to go back someday and see it.

Castle Rock

I talk about this in more detail in my lens entitled My Volvo. So I'll just run through it a little here, to put it in context.

Castle Rock is a wilderness area north of Yuma. It is spectacularly beautiful in spring. So I drove back in there, and as usual, I was alone. When I got to the old mining town which has been turned into a museum, I saw some ATV folks, and they warned me not to go back any further because the road back there is atrocious. But I didn't listen, and given the pictures I got, I'm glad I didn't. But I DID get stuck back there, and they had to help me out. There really ARE angels, folks!

On my way out, I lost my muffler. Since I was planning to go to Lake Havasu, I wasn't interested in going home at that point, and I kept wondering if a police officer would stop me for making too much noise. I spent the whole time I was driving there figuring out what excuse to give him for not having a muffler. Fortunately, no one stopped me, and I got home without further incident.

This is the spot in the road where I was warned to turn back. Looks pretty innocuous, doesn't it!

Madera Canyon

By now, my budget didn't permit me to take such long trips, and I got interested in birding. So I take short trips in southern Arizona, and sometimes things go crazy on those trips, too.

On this particular occasion, I went to a place in Madera Canyon. I didn't find the bird I was looking for, so I went back to my car and tried to drive off. The car started fine, but it wouldn't shift into gear. So after trying for awhile, I called my mechanic. Fortunately, there was cell phone service where I was. He told me there is a release in the gear shift, and I reached down there, and it wasn't there. So I told him, and he said, a few cars didn't have that. It just so happens mine is one of them. So I arranged for a tow, and then sat around just goofing off and taking pictures of whatever happened by.

This picture of a Mexican Jay is one of my very favorites. I got it while I was waiting.

To make a long story short, the trip back was uneventful, and it didn't even cost that much, much to my surprise.

The next trip into the area was to Florida Canyon. I figured it would be a piece of cake because the road there is good, even though it is dirt. Hah!

When you park your car and start the hike, there is a stream at the beginning of the trail. To begin with, I almost couldn't cross the stream without getting my feet wet. I think I DID get my feet wet. When I got to the place where I might have seen the bird I was looking for, it was so steep, rocky, and treacherous that I turned back. Other people who went on saw the bird I was seeking, but I didn't. Darn! I think I saw a total of two birds on that trip, and I didn't manage to identify either one of them. I got back to my car, and it wouldn't start. No cell phone service, either. Oops! So I waited until some of the other birders came back, and hitched a ride with them into Green Valley. They dropped me at the filling station, and I called my husband. We talked about it, and he said he would take me back up there and see if he could get my car started. So after I waited a couple of hours, he arrived and we went in there. It was a bad fuse. He used my spare, and I managed to blow the fuse AGAIN, so this time he cannibalized a fuse I didn't need, put it into gear, and told me to drive straight to the mechanic's. I deserved that! I got there OK, with him following to make sure.

I haven't been back. That bird will just have to show up someplace else.

Oh, and I'm not going to tell you about the time I got sick as a dog when I was hiking out in the middle of nowhere. I'll leave that to your imagination. :)

Poll: Have You Ever Had an Adventure? - You know, something unexpected that could have been a disaster.

Are you the adventurous type? Would you do it again, take a chance and do something interesting, even though something might go wrong? If so, tell us about it.

Have You Ever Had an Adventure?

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Looking for Sandhill Cranes

Every winter, about 30,000 Sandhill Cranes winter in southeastern Arizona, usually at Whitewater Draw. So I decided that I was going to stretch my travel limit and try to go see them.

The first year I tried, I went in March, but unbeknownst to me, the cranes had left a couple of days before, for the summer. So I didn't see any. And I missed the leucistic one, too.

The following year, I planned a trip that would take me there, and I would stay overnight, and the next day I would go to a couple of places in Hereford. I went to Whitewater Draw, and again, I didn't see any except at a great distance. It seems the hard freeze of the previous winter (that happens in Arizona???) had knocked out the water pump, so there was very little water. So I drove to Sierra Vista to spend the night. I was having trouble sleeping, so I figured I'd go get some sugary breakfast, and that would help me get back to sleep. I went and got some, and then couldn't get back into my room. The key wouldn't work. So I talked to the manager, and she said the repair person couldn't be reached. But all my stuff was on the inside. By this time I was THOROUGHLY awake. Eventually they did reach someone, and they told me I could stay past checkout. So I did and got my rest, but as a result, I missed going to one of my destinations. And I had heard the Sandhill Cranes were in Willcox, so instead of going to the OTHER place I planned, I headed to Willcox. Didn't see any cranes there, either. So I had to go home empty-handed.

About a week later, knowing that they sometimes show up at Apache Station Wildlife Refuge, I packed up my gear and went there, and got some fine pictures. At last!

Parker Canyon Lake

On this occasion, I was headed for Parker Canyon Lake. The road isn't the best in the world, but it's passable. The mistake I made was trying to stay to the right of the road. There was a ditch on the right, and next thing I knew, my right front tire was in the ditch, and I wasn't going anywhere.

I was quite close to a couple of homes. I don't remember the exact order of things, but at one point, someone from the Border Patrol stopped, and asked if I had a problem, and they called a local tow truck for me. The people in the houses also offered their hospitality, and the Border Patrol stayed with me until I was hooked up and pulled out. I don't remember if I continued on my trip or went home.

This photo is the place where I was stranded. I consider this particular scene to be an oasis in the desert.

The Motel

When I was traveling regularly to Flagstaff for physical therapy, I used to stay in a particular motel. It was inexpensive. It wasn't the best in the world, but it was clean. I would make reservations in advance. I had to select my motel carefully, because nearly all of the motels are across the street from the railroad tracks, and I knew that because I live in the middle of nowhere and don't get extraneous noises at night, there was no way I would get sound sleep if I booked at any of them. There are about three motels I know about that aren't across the street from the railroad, and even then I have to be careful, because the railroad runs a track alongside the side of the mountain behind them, though a little further away, so I have learned to ask for a room in front.

In spite of that, I sometimes get other kinds of noises. I have learned not to accept a room next to the stairs. People go down the stairs in the morning with their suitcases on wheels, letting them drop from one step to the next, going Klunk! Klunk! all the way down. Imagine trying to sleep through that!

At some point, the motel where I usually stayed changed hands. The time I booked there after that, my friend and I finished our day's activities, and she wanted to visit a relative before retiring for the night, so I said OK. The woman we visited was a very interesting person. We got back to the motel at 11 pm, and when we got there, the inkeeper told us that we would have to be out by 10 am because they were going to sealcoat the parking lot then. I was pretty upset with him. He said if I wanted to stay later, I would need to park in the parking lot next door. I told him checkout was at 11, but he didn't care. So I dropped off my friend and went and parked in the parking lot next door. If it hadn't been for my black belt, I would have been petrified walking to the motel that late at night. So I got back and we got to bed, and I knew there was no way I would get a full night's sleep before 10 am. I slept fitfully all night. I kept dreaming they were pouring hot tar all over me. My dream included what hot tar smells like. I also kept dreaming that rats were running around on the floor.

When I got back home, I called a friend of mine and we were talking, and I told her what happened. She told me that she had booked for two couples at the same motel, and when they got there, she discovered they'd overbooked and didn't have a room for her and her companions. Same guy. He refused to lift a finger to find them a place to stay elsewhere.

She complained to the motel chain, and so did I. Funniest thing. Next time I went to Flagstaff, I could see the guy had lost his franchise.

The motel will remain nameless. I doubt seriously if the guy lasted. The motel was quite run down. I don't even know whether they're still in business or not, let alone whether or not the same guy is running the show.

The train in the photo isn't one of the ones that keeps people awake at night. It's just on display at the train station there.

The Lake That Is Jinxed

I like to go to Lakeside Park whenever someone says there is an unusual bird there. I have been there a number of times.

One day (and this describes three different occasions), I went there, and took some pictures, and I was all set to go home, when I discovered my driving glasses were missing! Now normally, I use store-bought reading glasses, 1.00 diopter, for driving, because that's all the help I need. In fact, I can drive without them, but I just like things clearer. So on this occasion, I looked around a bit, probably spent an hour looking, and I couldn't find my glasses anywhere! So I drove to the nearest drugstore and bought another pair. Would you believe this happened to me THREE TIMES at the SAME lake! I have since kept an extra pair in the glove compartment. I also lost a pair at Sweetwater Wetlands, but a friend of mine eventually found them, and brought them back to me. They had been smashed beyond repair.

I don't wear my glasses when I am actually taking pictures, because I can adjust the viewfinder to correct for my vision to the point where it is quite sharp. But I have to be very, very careful not to set my glasses down somewhere and fail to pick them up.

Other people might be under a severe handicap if this happened to them. I just happen to be lucky enough that my vision is good enough for driving without glasses, though the $15 or so I have to plunk down each time is annoying.

I tell people there is a glasses-eating crocodile in the lake, so please be careful!

A Lake in Iowa

On this occasion, I was visiting relatives in Iowa, and I wanted to go to the lake and take pictures. Nobody else was free to go, so one of my relatives dropped me off, and told me to call on my cell phone when I was ready to be picked up.

Well, Iowa isn't the desert.

I had a wonderful time taking lots of pictures. Then I realized I was finished, and I was by the parking lot, so I called for my ride. It was getting close to sunset. I never thought about mosquitoes! So I hadn't put anything on my skin to repel them. I started getting bitten, and bitten, and bitten! But I got some good sunset picture! This is one of them.

When I got back, my guests had some sticks I could rub on, and that got rid of the itching. But I counted the bites as I rubbed over them. I had 121 bites. I kid you not!

The next time I went to mosquito country, I went prepared. I have some squalene with lavender. Lavender repels mosquitoes. At one point, we went to watch my nephew ride a horse. I took the bottle with me, because there weren't enough electronic repelling devices to go around. And I put the squalene with lavender on my skin. And I watched as mosquitoes would land on my arms, and look or smell, or whatever they do, and fly off without biting me.

Sabino Canyon

The adventures just never quit! So help me!

On this occasion (and this was only last month) I decided to take the tram to the top of the road in Sabino Canyon, and walk down. I've done that before. So I got to the top, and walked and took pictures for awhile, and ultimately ended up at tram stop 4, and then I wanted to see what time it was, and I use my cell phone for the time, so I reached for it, and it was gone! It had slipped off my belt. By this time, I was pretty tired, and I had been planning maybe to go to one more stop and catch the tram back down. The person next to me called my cell phone to see if we could hear it, but we couldn't. So I hoofed it back up to stop 7, and it was a real effort on my part, getting that far, and I didn't find the cell phone, so I figured I better stay there because the tram doesn't stop between stops, no matter what. Got the tram back down, without my phone, and went on home, and when I tried to download my pictures, my camera had stopped functioning. It wouldn't recognize there was a charge in my battery.

Double whammy.

Not long after that, I made a trip up Mount Lemmon to try to find some birds there, and I went to the Iron Door and got something to eat, and when I got back to my car, it was running ragged, so instead of going to Incinerator Ridge like I planned, I went to Inspiration Rock instead. I got a life bird there, so it wasn't a wasted trip. But I nursed the car down the hill, and we took it into the mechanic's. I needed brake work done, so even though the problem I took it in for didn't cost much (bad spark plugs), I still ended up paying a pretty hefty price to get the car fixed.

I drove up to Phoenix to take the camera to the repair shop, and that was another $300 +, which of course, I can also ill afford.

I'm STILL fighting with the cell phone problem. Nobody has turned mine in. The policies of cell phone companies are UNBELIEVABLE. I think MAYBE I have figured out how to deal with it, but it cost me nearly a week of making phone calls and what have you. I won't go into any details about all that, just be forewarned. Your cell phone is worth its weight in gold. DO NOT LOSE IT! You will be sorry.

I still got some pretty decent photos in Sabino Canyon. Maybe I'll go back and look for my cell phone. Maybe. And get some more pictures.

These are Rosary Babybonnets. I got the photo in Sabino Canyon. I had seen the photo of a friend, and I wanted to find this species for myself. I was lucky!

Whatever you do, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

Some advice for adventurers in the desert:

Have a backup plan and a way to call for help, if at all possible. Carry PLENTY of water in your car. That can make the difference between life and death, and without it, a minor incident could turn into a fatal one.

Life is full of adventures and trials. Deal with it. Make lemonade.

I will go out again, and again, and more stuff will undoubtedly happen. But that won't stop me. The rewards are great. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

It pleases me to share photos with people who cannot go where I go, or for whom it would be too risky or costly. I hope you enjoy my photos. :)

A Brand New Adventure

It was May 30, 2013, and I had an adventure that day. No, this is not an April Fool's Joke. It really happened.

I was sitting by some cabins up in the mountains, in Madera Canyon at Madera Kubo, to be exact. I was taking pictures. Suddenly, there was a huge commotion among the birds, and I took my camera down from my eye to see what was going on.

Black Bear! (Ursus americanus) This fellow wasn't even eight feet away from me! And he was looking straight at me!

I just sat quietly. I wasn't in a position to run away, and I wanted pictures more than I wanted to escape.

After standing there a couple of minutes sniffing the air, he sauntered off. I got plenty of pictures of him.

My Camera Wasn't Done with Me

I thought I had my camera fixed. Right!

On a trip up Mount Lemmon, I went with a friend, and we went allovertheplace, and after awhile, we ended up at the Molino Canyon Vista. There is a little trail that goes down to the east just south of the parking lot, so we went there. After that, she suggested we should go onto some rocks so we could see the little pool of water below. It was pretty treacherous, but I took it easy, and no mishaps occurred.

Just as we were finishing up for the day and I had in mind to take just a couple more pictures, my camera quit again. SAME PROBLEM! However, I now carry two camera bodies, so I took the pictures with the other one.

After that, I took the camera back up to Phoenix, and they repaired it for free, and then I went and got it, and each time I went birding someplace.

Out of those trips, I got several life birds.

The photo is the Southwestern Coralbean, Erythrina flabelliformis. It's a gorgeous flower head, and they don't bloom for very long, so I was lucky to get some good shots. However, the plant is poisonous, so you don't want to do anything other than look.

Car Trouble Again

August, 2013

Hey, I'm still very much into my Volvo. Perhaps you will see why.

The other day, I drove up the Mount Lemmon Highway. As the sky gods would have it, it was destined to rain catz'n'dogs (and even hail, so I was told), and I suspect that has something to do with how things turned out.

I started at Agua Caliente looking for a bird. Didn't find him, but I decided to check what else was around, and I saw a Great Blue Heron in the middle of the lake, and I decided to take his picture. I had just set up a full body shot when a crack of lightning struck not 500 feet away! The crack sound and thunder instantaneously followed the flash. It startled the bird and he flew off just a split second before I pressed the button. At the new location, I actually got a better picture of him. But because of the lightning, and figuring I had seen everything I was going to see anyway, I decided to go on up the mountain, because it's close.

So as I started to drive, it started to pour. I thought, well, even if it's raining or lightning, I can at least bird at Incinerator Ridge, because I can bird from my car there. On the way, I kept finding neat things to take pictures of, so I kept stopping here and there, and finally, to make a long story short, I got to Incinerator Ridge, and turned around, and wanted to back up, and discovered my gear shift lever was loose. It wouldn't shift into reverse. Ohoh! I thought. I better not stay because if I stop the car, I won't be able to put it into neutral or park and start the engine again, so I decided to go on down.

About halfway down, I saw a neat waterfall, and thought, I want a picture of that, and in order to get the shot I wanted, I needed to turn around. I forgot I couldn't back up (which is what I would have had to do) and wound up at right angles against the rail and unable to go anywhere. I could only go forward, and there was no "forward" to go to. Stupid thing to do on my part.


So I sat there as cars passed me up a few times, and a couple of young women came, and they tried to push the car backward, and I said they wouldn't be able to do it because it was in drive, so it would only go forward. Pretty soon, another vehicle stopped, and out came 4 or 5 guys. Everyone pushed. They told me to put my car in neutral, and I put the lever there, and for some reason, they were able to push it back far enough so that I could then turn the opposite direction and get back on the road.


I could tell that as long as I kept driving forward, I could go until I ran out of gas. I could shift down with the accelerator, and starting up from a traffic light, it would start in low gear and advance to drive. That's a relief! My trannie's not bad!

I drove it down to the shop and left it, and my husband took me home.

Next day, talking to the mechanic, I learned that a rod under the car had sheared off. It had obviously struck a rock (but not on that particular trip) and something caused it to finish breaking. Interestingly, I COULD re-start the car.

When we went to pick up the car, the mechanic told us he had replaced the radiator. It had a leak. And it was the original radiator. That's impressive. So I continue to appreciate my Volvo. He said he figured God caused the rod to break at that moment, because if it hadn't, I would have driven over 200 miles in a couple of days, and surely fried the engine! Yeah, I agree with that.

And it was equally impressive that in spite of the problem, I was able to drive the car into the shop, and when I stupidly got myself into a position where I'd have to back up, people were able to push my car backwards in spite of the fact it was "in drive". And then there's the fact that I could re-start it, although at the time, I wasn't willing to risk it until I got to my destination. I don't know what kind of engineering resulted in this, but I am very happy it did.

All's well that ends well.

Lear about Survival in the Desert

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Don't do like I do. I learned what I know in the School of Hard Knocks. Educate yourself, and then go on an adventure!

The Ultimate Desert Handbook : A Manual for Desert Hikers, Campers and Travelers

by Mark Johnson

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