Roadside Blues

Our car broke down on our drive to the coast today.

As we pulled onto Highway 101 in Tillamook, 100 yards from the Tillamook Cheese Factory, our car shuddered and died. It quickly began to smell like gasoline. As Tom called AAA, I called my parents and walked around the car. I looked under the car and saw a gusher of gasoline coming out from underneath–even with my limited knowledge of cars, I knew this wasn’t good. (Big Sigh)

In Tom’s discussions with AAA, they told him that they would have to call the local fire department before our car could be towed because of the presence of gasoline. They also advised us to evacuate the car and wait outside. Meanwhile, my father drove into Tillamook and picked up the girls and all of our bags, etc. AAA left Tom and I with a number to call “if we were not happy with the response time” of the fire department and towing company. (We have since learned that this actually means “we didn’t reach anyone on the telephone and left messages instead, so if no one comes out to get you, call this number.”)

Well, an hour and a half and several more telephone calls later, no one had come. (AAA seemed a little concerned that they couldn’t reach the fire department on the telephone.) Tom and I were sitting in a field located next to the car, a blanket wrapped around us, freezing in a damp fog with the wind whipping down the road.

Finally, we gave up on AAA and called the towing company directly with our AAA case number and didn’t mention anything about gasoline and/or the fire department.

About ten minutes later Nick, sporting a baseball cap studded with large metal spikes, rescued us. He said, “heck, I wish I had known you were here…I’m about a mile up the road and could have been here in 5 minutes!”

Our car is now parked at the local shop, and hopefully Andy will be taking a look at it tomorrow, if he has time of course!

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