travel tales for family and friends. . .

wild horses. . .Theodore Roosevelt NP - North Dakota

Friday, September 4, 2009

Stranded in the Desert

Human nature is a strange phenomena, and being stranded in the Colorado desert for four hours brought forth the best and the worst of it. . .

Here we are, at least eight miles from the nearest civilization, and twenty miles from the nearest town of any size, the line is broken on the transmission cooler, and all of the fluid is gone, so allowing the transmission to cool down, and driving on for a few miles, is not an option. . .

but. . .we have a Roadside Service Contract, so we are not overly concerned. . .however, no phone service. . .now what. Here is a solution, walk 300 yards to the top of the hill, stand in the sun, and voila, Verizon came through. . .so, now we wait for the Roadside Service to find us a wrecker.

Since I am not very patient, I google a tow service on my phone, and start making a few calls myself. . .four tow services later, no wrecker large enough to bring the entire rig in, however, the service has found a tow company in Durango, 60 miles away, who will come out and pick up the truck, if we will unhook the RV from it. . .ummm. . .nope, not an option. Are you willing to leave your home parked on the side of the road, with everything you own in the whole world left inside? Probably not. . .but wait, I haven't exercised all my options yet. . .

We have already made plans to spend the night at the Casino RV Park in Teowac. . .so I call and ask if they knew of anyone there who would be willing to come and tow our RV in, so we would not be stranded in the desert overnite. . .we would gladly pay for their services. . .the girl at the RV Park stated that she did know someone, but they would only help tribal members. . .huh? did I hear right?. . .surely not, but OK, having that discussion is not an option at the moment.

Back on the phone. . .this time with the Cortez CO Police Department. . .nope sorry, that falls under the Colorado State Patrol territory, but here is a number. . .by this time it is beginning to get dark, so I tell the State Patrol that we are stranded in the desert, our Road Service cannot find a wrecker large enough to tow us, so we are going to spend the night in our RV. . .just wanted to let them know that we were there. . . in case anything happened. Their answer. . .OK! I'm not making this up, you can check the State Patrol records for August 27th around 6:15 p.m.

Continued making various calls. . .after about ten minutes, hear hubby yell, turn around, and there is a State Patrol Car. . .wow. . .that was fast. . .right. . .NOT SO. . .this is an Arizona State Patrol, who just happens to live right across the border of Colorado. . .and Dave has flagged him down to tell him we need help. . .this Arizona State Trooper radios Colorado State Patrol, and tells them we need a wrecker. . .the Colorado State Patrol says, NO, we just talked to them, they are going to spend the night in their RV. . .uh, no really, we would like to have a wrecker please. . .if possible. . .amazingly enough, the State Patrol has a call roster for tow services. . .not anything they offered when I was talking to them. . .and within half an hour. . .a tow service from Cortez was there to the rescue.

Now, this was the very first tow service I had spoken with three hours earlier. . .and had been told they did not have a heavy duty wrecker. . .so I tell the driver. . .hey, I talked to you earlier. . .his reply. . .NO, I just returned from Albuquerque. . .you talked to my son. . .I won't repeat the rest of that conversation. . .but I will say that this man is to be commended for awesome service. . .he had already had a very, very long day. . .but you would have thought we were the only job he had to do. . .hooked us up, towed us to Teowac, dropped the RV at the Casino Campground, towed the truck on to Cortez. . .and dropped it at the transmission shop. He deserved every penny of his fee. . .plus the thank you gift card that I have dropped in the mail to him.

The transmission service was likewise excellent, and had us up and running by the next afternoon. The owners drove to the RV Park, picked us up, transported us to their shop, stayed past closing time to get us back on the road. . .we could not have asked for more excellent service. Thank you so very much, for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Now, not one to just let things go, I had to know if it was really true. . .if you had the ability to help someone, would you really leave them stranded in the desert, because they were not a tribal member? Surely not. . .this simply could not be true. I asked the girl if I could just speak to this person. . .I just have to know these things. . .this simply can not be true, so she gave me the number of the Office Manager for their Public Service Department. . .

long story short. . .yes, it is true. . .from the mouth of the office manager. . .yes, they have the ability to help tribal members only. . .not a tribal member. . .too bad. . .now she said it much nicer than that, but that is the crux of the situation. . .doesn't matter. . .not a tribal member. . .stranded. . .too bad. . .in the South we have a name for discrimination. . .and we have laws to prevent it. . .but I guess on the Indian Reservation. . .well there you go. . .get your own help. . .or die in the desert. . .cause no help is coming from them. . .I guess that is why the Indian Police just waved and drove on by us, even though our hood was up, and Dave was trying to flag them down.

Now, when I spoke to a reporter at the Cortez News. . .I just had to ask if they thought that was OK. . .he said he guessed that was the risk you took when you chose to travel in an RV. . .he very quickly realized how that sounded, when I replied, of course, we were aware that was the risk we took. . .that is why we pay for Road Side Service. . .and he apologized, saying he did not mean that we deserved to be stranded in the desert. . .

We did not stay in the area any longer than necessary, but took our "Tourist Dollars" elsewhere. . .where they will be appreciated. . .

A huge thanks to the Arizona State Trooper who came to our rescue. . .I apologize that I did not write down your name. . .I called the Colorado State Patrol the next day, to ask for the Arizona Troopers name. . .they say they do not have it. . .if anyone knows who this trooper is, please send me the info. . .I would like to send him a huge thank you. . .

You sir. . .Mr Arizona State Trooper. . .are my hero!
Posted by Picasa

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter