We set out the very first day of this new year and our plan was to drive to from Temecula, CA, (where I was visiting family for the holidays) to Richfield, UT. So far so good. We spent the night in Richfield and rose bright and early to check out Capitol Reef National Park and then make our way to Paonia.
However, our Jeep Commander had other plans. Just a mile out of town we felt a pop and heard a grinding sound so we drove it slowly and carefully to the nearest auto shop. The following was a string of comically unfortunate events softened only by the endlessly kind hospitality of the citizens of Richfield, which are illuminated by the following "thank you" notes:
Thank you, Mary at Mikes Auto Shop, for calling all the other auto shops in town to squeeze us in right away.
Thanks, Troy and the hard-working team at Big O Tires, for diagnosing our Jeep so quickly and letting us borrow a car so we could go get lunch. And thanks for not getting mad at us when we returned with the car keys broken in half because it snapped off in the frozen door locks (and also because it was the ignition key, not the door key). Also, thanks for giving me a ride back to the car and getting it unlocked so I could get my backpack out.
Thank you, Sonya at Quality Inn, for giving us a discount because of our car trouble.
Thanks, Andrew at Jorgensen Rentals, for giving us a ride from our hotel to the rental place and for offering to come pick us up outside of normal business hours.
Thanks, Dad, for scouring the junk yards of the west coast for an affordable replacement part and, of course, for letting us borrow the Jeep in the first place.
Because of these people, our break down in the middle of Utah went much smoother than expected. Thanks to you all, we finally made it to Elsewhere in our rental Ford Focus. Though we are not looking forward to making the 5-hour drive back to Richfield to pick up the Jeep and return the rental car, we are excited to be here and to get started!