Sunday, May 27, 2012

sometimes things just don't go as planned

Yesterday we had our little traditional day up in Silverton for the annual Iron Horse bike race.  It is always something I look forward to.  We had a great family day planned and we were all excited for it.  The road to Silverton closes at 8 in the morning and the traffic is terrible, so we had to leave our house by 6 to make it this year.  Last year we barely missed it and I didn't want to relive the devastation that ensued. The drive up was so beautiful.  I couldn't help but just say over and over how amazing the morning was and how incredible the mountains were with the light hitting just right.

 We had plans to go to breakfast with friends at a cabin their family has.  I had been there years before and got directions, but was a little nervous about finding it.  I think that my friend may have forgotten to tell me there are about 900 forks in the road, and one of the main landmarks I was looking for was also in multiple places.  We ended up a completely wrong canyon on a rocky, bumpy, trail-of-a-road.  It was beautiful, but when I saw the road we were on went straight to a glacier my suspicions we were on the wrong road were confirmed.  I had to literally make a 15 point turn to get facing back down the other direction. That was nerve-racking.  I had NO room for error and had to have perfect clutch work to avoid going over the edge.  I didn't really have a choice though, my backing up skills are not legit enough to back down a crazy road like that.  Matt was so cute; he really has so much faith in me and makes me feel good.  I was squeezing his shoulder so tight and just hoping I was as capable as he thought I was.

I managed to turn the car around. We were bouncing down the road when I heard something metal fall and start dragging on the ground.  I just looked at Matt and thought, um yeah, what the heck are we going to do about this?!?! I turned off the car and made Matt triple check that the Ebrake was on full force and climbed under my car to inspect the damage.  Our exhaust pipe had broken and come completely unattached in one spot.  I unpacked the full-of-spectating-essentials trunk and the only thing I could find that would work was a super fat bungee chord.  I slithered back under the car and jerry-rigged the bungee chord around the pipe.  I figured the pipe would get hot, but it was barely warm at that moment so I felt pretty good about my fix.

I got in the car and of course Kaden was crying, thinking that we were stranded up a canyon for life.  He was worried we missed breakfast and that we were doomed.  I was frustrated thinking that people were waiting on us, no cell service, and a broken car.  I said, "hey! This is super fun!!  What a cool adventure we are on.  We are four-wheeling up a canyon and look how beautiful it is!"  Matt joined in.  This actually worked and Kaden was so much happier, and it even boosted my spirits and I didn't feel frustrated at all. The situation almost seemed comical.  I managed to find the right road and had pretty good guessing skills, taking the right forks and turns, and we made it to breakfast, only an hour and 15 minutes late. 
We inhaled our food and went back into town for the race.  The boys were absolutely exhausted.  They stayed up until 11 the night before.  It was my birthday and we got a babysitter to go to dinner then had a video chat with Matt's mom and sisters.  I put them in the car in pajamas thinking they would sleep all the way to Silverton, but really, who was I kidding? The boys behaved and enjoyed the race, but it was pretty windy and cold.  My friend's baby had gobs of sunscreen in his eyes so they had to leave early.  I let my kids eat too much junk to appease them...chips, oreos, gum, the works.  I felt pretty good about all of that nutrition.  Kaden was nearly falling asleep bundled in a blanket and Beckham was glazed over. We packed up our stuff and got in the car.  The road didn't reopen until 1:00 and it was only 11:30.  Matt and I just looked at each other and laughed.  What on earthy were we going to do? 
(He is so sweet and so handsome)
I drove up near the finish line and found a spot to park.  It was actually perfect.  Matt and I could hear the racers and conversations they were having about the crazy wind and the race in general.  We got to watch tons of racers finish while helping ourselves to my giant snack bag I had packed, drive-in movie style, and the boys were fast asleep in the back. We were warm, had a great view, sleeping kids, snickers, and a perfect spot to people-watch and eavesdrop.  My kind of fun.  At 1:00 we started to head back to Durango.

About 5 miles out of Silverton, while climbing a super steep pass in a nonstop line of traffic, I heard the pipe fall again and start scraping along the highway.  I pulled off the road as quickly as I could.  It was a very sorry excuse for a pull-off, right up against the wall of a cliff, barely off the white line of the road.  I again climbed under my car and inspected the damage.  The pipe had completely burned through the bungee chord, which I had earlier feared would happen but then forgot about it.  I had cell service and called my dad, confirming that I needed some sort of wire to rig it again.  I looked all over and found nothing.  A police car was coming up the hill and I flagged him down.  He was really, really, nice.  He was about to take Matt down to town to see what they could find.  Matt was in the backseat of the police car when I thought, Matt always hoards useless crap, I bet he has some strange item in his bag that might work.  I fished through his bag and found a C-shaped metal thing...I have absolutely no idea what it was or where it came from.  I hopped out of my car and motioned for the officer to wait, and again, slithered my way under the car. 

In the meantime, cars are passing by at a constant.  I was just praying everyone was paying attention and saw my car.  Kaden hopped out while I was under the car, despite being told to stay and threatened, and I heard the police man yell at him. I just knew I would look up and see him get hit.  He was standing right on the white line; I couldn't believe it! I climbed out from under the car, forced him back in his seat, then again, got back under the car.  I maneuvered the clip and seriously felt awesome for my creativity and ingenuity. :) The police officer said he would follow us back to Durango. He did, and surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, my second mechanical genius worked and held firm.  It was only slightly embarrassing that our car sounded like it had no muffler.  We felt so ghetto, but Matt and I laughed about it the whole way home and he made me feel so cool by saying over and over how cool I was.  That's what husbands are for.  And, I promised not to complain, too much at least, about his weird habit of keeping random items.
We got home and did absolutely nothing the rest of the day.  We had dinner, baths, and the kids were in bed by 6:30.  Matt and I snuggled on the couch and watched movies, still chuckling about our adventurous day that turned out to be a total bust.  I felt so happy though, because despite things turning out so weird and the day not going at all how we'd imagined, we still had such a great time together as a family.  We didn't let the literal bumps in the road get the best of us.  I am sure that we wouldn't always react to the same situation this way, but I am so glad that yesterday we just went with it and found the humor.  Last year things didn't go right either, and after the initial tears from a disappointed little boy stopped, it ended up being an absolutely wonderful day.  I think that it always works better to just roll with the punches and find the fun, and if it can't really be found, make it.


ryann said...

reading your blog just makes me miss you guys SO much!

Mom said...

Oh, you are SOOOOOOOO my daughter!!! So proud of you for crawling under the car and fixing stuff and making the best of a bad situation. I just laughed as I read this. Gotta laugh, right? You are terrific.

me and you plus two said...

Jess I love your posts! You are hilarious and I can hear your voice in my head while reading it. Mostly you're responding to how fabulous I tell you you are, by saying, "Want me to sign somethin for ya?" :)