This past weekend we loaded up the crew for a quick trip to Blackfoot, Idaho for my cousin's wedding.
This should have been a quick and pretty painless excursion, but that's just not how things go for us. Especially when Idaho is involved. Somehow wandering into the fertile valleys of Idaho has a way of making everything more troublesome.
(My theory is that over the years as Josh has moved on with his life outside his state of birth the state has gotten bitter. We never call or write and only very rarely visit. Hence, when we do enter Idaho the state tries to force us to stay as long as possible just out of spite. Read about our last Idaho adventure here.)
In this case, our family was driving in tandem with my parents who were using our second car because theirs broke just before the trip (that was Utah trying to warn us to just stay home). Also the day before the trip our Suburban had a dashboard warning light come on. We took it into Big-O (we love them) and they ordered the expensive part to repair the problem but said we should be OK to journey to potato land as long as we weren't crazy with our driving.
We started our journey after lunch on Saturday and did fine when we were in the Beehive state. However, ten miles outside Pocatello (because Idaho is vindictive and would never give us problems until it was incredibly inconvenient) our Buick, the car my parents and my aging grandparents were driving, had a tire blow out.
No problem, right. Pull out the spare, lift the car up on the jack and we're good.
Only not, because the lug nuts holding the wheel in place were weird and required a special adapter inside the wrench to take them off and the wrench literally split in two as we tried to remove them.
We could hear Idaho chuckling in the background.
OK, still no big deal. Josh and I hustled into the Suburban and headed to the next exit to try to find a new lug wrench or something that would work to do the job. My mom handed me the Garmin to look up automotive places nearby.
We zipped into Pocatello, 9 miles ahead and the only exit between where the car sat and an possible help, and headed to the first shop on the list...which was closed. It was 4:00 on a Friday. Awesome.
At the next shop, Josh went inside. He explained our predicament to the little bit off beat guy behind the register who promptly told Josh that he should just replace the weird lug nuts with more normal ones (that guy talking about being normal was proof that this was a Twilight Zone sort of place). Josh reiterated that the odd lug nuts were still on the car and would need to be removed before we could take on any more tire projects so we needed a part to get them off first.
The guy, now bothered that Josh isn't listening to him, repeats himself and tries to get Josh to buy new lug nuts to fix the problem. Thankfully a sane lady from the back overhears the conversation and -- laughing loudly -- comes to Josh's rescue, calling Weird Cash Register Guy an idiot and telling him we can maybe change the lug nuts another day, but first we need to get them OFF the car.
That's when (after more than 10 minutes) the guy tells Josh they don't even sell the part we need. I'm pretty sure Idaho put him up to that.
On to store number three -- our trusty Big-O Tires. They were technically closed by now (they close at 4:00) but they let us in and when Josh explained our issues and told them we are loyal Big-O Utah customers they found the part we needed even though they don't usually sell them to people and let us take it for $10. Perfect! See why I love these guys, even in Idaho they are awesome!
So, now we are headed (finally) back to the old people in our group who are trapped on the side of a freeway in the baking afternoon heat. Especially it is hot for them because as we aimed our Suburban toward rescue we got a call from my dad that the Buick's battery had died while the doors had been open too long. Stupid car. Stupid Idaho.
We plummeted onto the highway and got to where my family was stationed...on the other side of the freeway...with no available exits anywhere close. We might have just driven through the median or pulled over and run across the busy road, but just at that moment an Idaho state trooper pulled up to my parents and we know Idaho well enough to know we would have gotten an expensive ticket for sure so we schlepped past and looked for the next exit to turn around...which was more than 10 miles in the opposite direction.
Finally, more than an hour and a half after we left to go nine miles to get a simple part to return and fix a blown tire, we actually got back to the car. It took a whopping five minutes to actually change the tire.
But by now we were running very late. There was no way we would make the wedding, so we called my cousin who said he really wanted us all to be there so they would wait for us. We felt AWFUL! We scrambled to Blackfoot as fast as we could and sprinted into the church dressed in our raggy t-shirts and jeans with "I've been in the car" all day hairdo's on the kids.
But the wedding was beautiful. I am very convinced Taylor and Brittney will live happily ever after and I am very happy for them.
I will spare you the story about our ordeal with finding a tire place that opened on Sunday or about how when we did finally take the tire in the guy at the desk didn't believe that there was such a vehicle as a Buick Rendezvous (look, guy, that's what it says on the back of the car!). What a nightmare.
Idaho must have been tired on Sunday because it let us escape with our lives. We made it home without further incident, but what a journey! I think we will just stay away from our nemesis of the contiguous 48 for a while, it's probably safer that way.