22 June 2008

About those mountains...

...so we had gotten up about 5 and starting heading up from Kitty Hawk, NC, to make our way back home [the pic is from the deck of the condo we stayed at there]. Things were going quite well until the van started making a most odd sound trying to climb one of the larger mountains in West Virginia. The van really had trouble climbing to the top and by the time we were to the top, it was evident that something was VERY wrong. It's Saturday afternoon, and the town we landed in, just over the crest of the mountain, Bekley, didn't seem to have an open autoshop. We pulled into the Walmart and did the next best thing: we let Opa (Cindi's father) listen to it over the cell phone. Not good. He's sure we've "thrown a rod" - whatever that means - and the long and short of it is that the engine is ruined. The van isn't going anywhere. Opa advises us to leave the van, and just take the tags; it will not be worth the cost of fixing.

So we're up in the hills of West Virginia. It's Saturday afternoon. We have miles to go, no vehicle, and I have a flight to catch early Monday morning to Canada.

I called AAA and they sent a man who took away the van and transported all of us to a nearby airstrip where an Avis dealer had an SUV that we could take. On the way there, we asked the AAA fellow how often vehicles broke down over that mountain. He said: "About once an hour. I have ten trucks and we stay busy all the time." GOOD GRAVY!

After squeezing five adults and two weeks worth of luggage into the SUV, it was relatively smooth sailing. I have always loved driving cross country, but this is the first time I did almost 1,000 miles with no help (riding makes me car sick within a very short period of time).

We asked the Lord to get us there and to bring us home safely and He did so. The loss of the van was sad (yes, Jeff and Laura, it was beloved Vana White that you blessed us with a few years back), but the way it all worked out was truly wonderful. There are plenty of places to break down in West Virginia where you DON'T have an airport an exit away and an Avis dealer waiting for you. But then again, that little town must make quite a haul in helping people whose engines blow climbing their wretched hill!

Last post till I get back from the St. John Chrysostom Lutheran Preacher's Retreat on Wednesday.


Omar said...

Praise God you and your family are safely home, Fr. Weedon.

What a trip... :)

helen said...

Glad you all made it back safely!

Sorry about the vehicle!

Happy about the "Good Samaritan" (yes, I know he got paid but if he hadn't been there?)

Bryce W said...

You won't believe this, but I too once found myself in Beckley, WV with car trouble. I was on my way to Fort Wayne for Symposia 3-4 years ago. It was snowing in the mountains and semitrucks were throughing muddy-snow all over my windshield. I had no use for windshield wiper fluid in NC and hence, didn't realize it wasn't working until I needed it in WV. I stopped in at the SEARS auto shop in Becklely. It took them hours to fix it and it worked for about, let's say, .5 mile once I got back on the road. "Good riddance to Beckley, WV," I thought. I won't be stopping there anytime soon, even if I "loose a rod".

Pr. Alex Klages said...

Glad you made it home so you could come and play with us!