Started my trip out early Wednesday morning. The traffic dropping down off of the mountain was nonexistent. There was then the drive through the metropolitan leg of my trip out of Pennsylvania. That wasn't bad. I left after the early rush of seven to three shift workers and before the nine to fivers began their trip to work.
Made it out of Pennsylvania, made it across the West Virginia pan handle. Was into Ohio and cruising along fine, I was relaxed and really into my escape from home. Searched the radio and found an acceptable station that fit my mood.
About half an hour into Ohio and I heard the most awful sound. A screeching, grind from the transmission. The truck started slowing. I stepped on the clutch and looked for another gear. Nothing... I coasted off the side of the road and far enough to be on the grass. I knew I was in for a wait. I'm impatient. I will crawl half way under the truck to find out what is wrong and want to be far enough from the roadway to be safe in doing so.
I didn't quite make it half way under. I knelt down, peaked my head under and saw the smoke coming from the transmission. Saw oil dripping from the tail shaft. Yup. The poor old transmission was a goner. Not a thing I could do here along a highway. Not a thing anyone could. It needs to be home where the tools are and must undergo replacement surgery.
I called the son who was all to ready to make the three and a half hour trip to come to my rescue. I told him no, if I needed him later I'd call.
Now I'm sitting there waiting for a cop to come by so I could wave him down and get him to call someone local. Yah. Just where are they when ya need em...
A roll back came down the ramp beside me. He backed down to my truck. I asked him if someone called and said I was sitting there or if he just happened down the ramp and saw me. He got a strange look on his face. No, he was there to pick up a Ranger and asked if my name was... No. Then I looked down the road a bit behind me. There was another truck sitting under an underpass. I though he was just sitting there in the shade taking a break.
No such luck. Found out later his oil pump went out.
So the roll back driver backed on down to that truck and loaded him up. We had talked before and he said he'd come back to get me next. But even though I was quite content just knowing that, he even offered to pick me up after getting loaded and drop me somewhere to get coffee or a bite to eat or even just ride along. So he dropped me two exits earlier than I was at and went on to drop the other guy, his little daughter and the truck.
I got coffee at a Mc Donalds and started making plans and looking for prices on the internet.
I was picked up by my wonderful roll back guy an hour later and we were off to pick up my pickup.
Loaded up my old (needed to be retired and replaced three years ago) truck. He asked where I wanted it taken. Uhh, I'm not about to ask you to take it home, I just need a storage lot until I can get it. I already called my roll back guy back home and his price wasn't near as bad as I expected. So the guy said he had a lot, but it would cost. Well, no duhh. I didn't expect it for free. Take it there and I'll even call home again and find out when my guy can get it and I'll pay you in advance plus an extra day just in case.
I already had my mind made up that there was no way I was going home. I'd take a bus and still get to my destination. My escape. My rehab from home.
Well, while he was making out the bill I looked at the U Haul trucks sitting in his lot. I mentioned I should just rent one to complete my trip. But danged the luck, the last smaller one there was promised for later that day.
A few lines of pleasant conversation later, I mentioned renting one and a trailer to take my old beast back home. Wanted a price to make a decision. While he was getting my roll back bill and the rental price together I asked him about a car rental place. He thought for a second and then gave me a name and a phone book.
I looked up the number and dialed. Thinking it would cost a small fortune for a rental to get back on my way. I asked the guy on the other end of the phone and sat back to be ready for the sticker shock. He came back on the phone and I was shocked... Might have even had my jaws hanging open looking like a fish outta water. But my shock was in that he quoted me less that half of what I expected! I hurried up and said don't let anyone even get close enough to look at that SUV until I get there. Bud, you've got a deal and a smiling customer.
My roll back bill was less than half of what I expected! When the price for a rental truck and trailer was figured out it was almost a hundred dollars cheaper that paying someone to haul old baby back home. So I made the deal on that.
OK. So not even half way into my trip and I've got a brand new Dodge Journey to drive in comfort. Have plans that when I take that back to pick up my old baby and take it back home and I've met some wonderful people and shared many smiles!
Danged if I'm not the luckiest guy! Now it's Friday. I've met the person I intended to meet and wow are they a great cook. Their attitude is exactly what I expected from the conversations we've had. They are even the same person as they were over the internet. I suspected right. No fakes here!!!
I sure hope your week and weekend are going as fantastically wonderful as mine and that your smiling like the cat that got the canary just as I am.
Life may try to toss us some curves, but if we stay smiling and at least try to remain happy. The bad crud just doesn't stand a chance of keeping us down.
Have a great weekend! I know I certainly will.