The Vacation from Dante’s Seven Hells

Yes folks, I’m finally back.  I’ve been on vacation (post and pictures soon) and had to come back to work to recuperate. The vacation was actually really good.  Relaxing with just the right amount of busy.  Until we tried to come home.

We got up really early Saturday morning the day we were to come home.  We checked out of the hotel around 6 a.m. and headed out of Grand Canyon National Park.  That time of day is just as the sun is coming up.  And when the mule deer and elk get up for breakfast.  About halfway between the hotel and the front gate of the park, we slowed down to look at some fawns off on the side of the road when WHAM!  We hit a deer darting across the road!  I start screaming, hubby starts yelling as the deer rolls off the hood of the car and skids down the road hooves flailing.  OMG!!!  We get the car stopped about the time the deer stops skidding.  He gets up, shakes himself off, and gives us a look as if to say “Really?” and walks off.

I was hysterical.  I just KNEW we had not killed the deer, but had injured him so badly we would have had to shoot him and try to explain it to the rangers.  Thank heavens the deer appeared to be fine.  The hood and grill of the car….not so much.  Really, it’s not all that bad for having hit a deer.  He just dented one corner of the hood and scraped up the grill enough to notice.  After we calmed down we headed on down the road.

We made it out of the Navajo Nation into Four Corners and stopped for the obligatory picture on the Four Corners monument.  Stopped for lunch in Cortez before continuing on.  Just east of Durango we realized we had a flat.  Grrrr.  So we pull over and haul everything out of the trunk to get to the spare.  At this point we are just under half way home.

Getting the spare on was fiasco enough, but then hubby looked at the tire that went flat.  He realized the tread had worn down to metal just on the inside of the tire.  Rats!  Checked the other tire and sure enough it was wearing in the exact same pattern.  Hmmmm…….car needs a rear-end alignment.  AND the other tire was ready to give out at any minute.

So, we limped back into Durango a little after 1 on a Saturday.  We stopped first at a junk yard a gentlemen who stopped to help recommended.  They actually had some rims and tires that would fit the car, but they really wanted way too much for them.  So on into town we go.

We stopped at a tire store and although they could have ordered in tires for us, it would have been Monday before they got there and we were due back at work on Monday.  Hubby’s getting really frustrated by this point.  He is in total “get home” mode.

As we are backing out of the parking space at the tire store…….we back into a very large truck.  Ugh!  We just caught the side of his very large, heavy duty silver/grey bumper.  All down the side of the car.  SMH.  The owner of the truck wasn’t even there.  He had left the car there to have work done to it.  So , we left our insurance info with the tire store guys.  Thankfully, the damage to his bumper was incredibly minimal.  I took pictures of it before we left just in case.

Now we go back to the junkyard and pay an exhorbitant price to used, gold spoke spinner rims and tires.  The guy at the junk yard put two of them on the back of the car.  Now understand, spinners are not installed the way a normal tire is installed.  I can’t really explain it, but suffice to say it ain’t normal.

Finally back on the road!  Twenty miles down the road to Pagosa Springs hubby says “We just lost a tire” as the left rear wheel bounces past us on the highway going 60 mph.  Oh fun.

Two hours on the side of the road before two ladies stop who thank goodness had cell reception.  They called us a tow truck who showed up about 45 minutes later and towed us into Pagosa Springs.  He dropped us at a very nice hotel which gave us a discounted rate.  And there we sat until Tuesday afternoon waiting for parts and tires to shipped in from Farmington.

Yes, we visited Dante’s Seven Hells that Saturday.  Lesson we learned from this?  Next road trip we RENT a car and pay the extra insurance.

Hope everyone else has been doing well.  Have a great week!!!

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