We had, as my father would say, "an adventure".
We've purchased a truck. The Jeep just wasn't enough so we sold it. The truck we bought has enough seatbelts for our whole family. My dad hosts a family camp in the summer and we wanted to all go in the same vehicle this year. We did alright in it. It even had air conditioning (SIGH!).
We went on a different route than we usually do. My husband has a pretty good GPS system so we weren't really concerned that we would get lost. The previous owner had told us the miles per gallon the truck got, so we thought we had enough fuel to get down there. That's where we went wrong.
We forgot that going on steep mountain hills with the air conditioning on really takes down your fuel economy. We got within 15 miles of the camp and the truck ran out of gas. It was just an hour to sunset. There were fewer miles to camp than there were to the last town we passed. My husband set out to hike to the camp to get help. I stayed with the kids and the truck to wait it out.
After he left, I considered our options. My younger daughter was feeling very anxious and worried so the first thing we did was have a prayer. We asked our Heavenly Father for protection for ourselves and for my husband. We asked for a rescue and acknowledged that we had been remiss in not listening to the Holy Ghost back at the last town when we thought about filling up, but then decided we didn't really need to. I knew that God could deliver a miraculous rescue if He wanted to, but I also knew that sometimes He lets us experience the full weight of our choices should that help us to learn more. I was thinking that we probably would spend the night there in the truck, and we might possibly have to hike out the next morning and I was ready for that eventuality.
After prayer, I told the kids the plan. We were in a national forest but not anywhere near a campground. There was a spot just off the road that would have been a fine place to camp, but I wasn't sure that I actually wanted to set up our tent there. I decided it would be least time consuming to just take out enough of the camping gear and luggage out of the back of the truck for three of the kids to sleep there. I laid out a tarp on the road behind the truck, put everything minus sleeping bags and blankets on it, laid out the two nice foam pads we had in the truck bed, and covered everything left outside the truck with a second tarp. I planned on stretching out on the front bench seat, and my older son set up his sleeping gear on the back bench seat in the extended cab.
I made sure the emergency potty kit was accessible; shovel, toilet paper, plastic bag, wipes, flashlight. The kids were instructed to take the opportunity to answer the call of the wild while it was still light. After a snack of potato chips or an apple or the sandwich they hadn't eaten for lunch earlier, I made sure all food was packed in the back of the truck so as not to attract bears. The kids settled down in the truck for an early night.
We pulled a set of scriptures out for our nightly reading. We are currently reading the Old Testament. We read the part about Joseph getting sold into Egypt. Just as we finished reading the chapter when a truck pulled up behind us. A man got out and asked "Are you the W's?" Yes we were!
I asked if my husband had found him and he said that he had been called by his employer and told to come look for us. I asked who his boss was and found out it was a man I had heard about frequently growing up but had never gotten to know personally. I wondered how he had found out about us. The man in the truck was named David and he put five gallons of gas in our truck and then I asked him to go up the road to find my husband. David asked how long we had been stuck. We had been there over an hour but not quite two. David was amazed we hadn't seen anybody else on the road before then. David drove off to find my husband and the kids and I started the repacking process.
David came back with my husband within 15 minutes. Apparently my husband had finally found a spot that had cell phone service and he had called his parents. They had found out that David's boss had ranch property in the area that we were stuck and they had called him and he had called David and the dots finally connected.
After getting everything back in our truck, David led us back down the road. Instead of taking us to the town we had just come from, he led us to a smaller town that was a little closer but in a different direction. He figured it would be just as fast for us to get gas there and then head on to our destination. David had offered us a motel room before he went off to find my husband, but we felt that wouldn't be necessary. David pointed out different options as far as gas stations went and we offered to compensate him for the 5 gallons of gas he already gave us, but he wouldn't hear of it. We thanked him and he went back home.
The gas station was closed, but the pump still worked with a credit card....sort of. It gave us about 8 gallons which still left us less than half full. We went back to the other town and found another closed station with an automatic pump that would take our card and we were on the move again. It was slower going in the dark by then and we had seen plenty of lightening the last couple of hours off on the horizon.
My anxious daughter told me that we ought to thank Heavenly Father for the rescue. I sure did, many times in my heart all the way to camp.
We rolled into camp a little after 11 p.m. My dad had assigned one of my brothers-in-law to keep watch for us. He greeted us first and then one by one, all my siblings that were there and their spouses came out of their tents to help us set ours up. I was also happily surprised that one of my cousins was there with his son. I hadn't seen him in years and with the beard he had, I mistook him for the camp host coming to see who the late arrival was. When our tent was mostly up, I saw my dad had joined us holding up a lantern to help us see. I gave him a hug and told him the short version of our mishap. He said, "You've had an adventure."
Yes, we did.
We were blessed that night. We got the miraculous rescue and we learned to try to pay attention to the Spirit a little better when he says, "Put the five gallon can in the truck" or "Get gas while you're here."
The rest of our time with our family was nice. The bugs weren't bad, the kids had fun, my husband got to fish a bit, and I got to catch up a little beyond a few Facebook comments.
We came home yesterday, alternating driving with our 16 year old daughter. She only has a learner's permit, but she hasn't done many driving hours because before we got the truck, all we had were stick shift vehicles. The truck is an automatic so we figured the long drive home was a good excuse to help her learn. We took the road less traveled - two lane highway with very little traffic - and she did alright. She only slightly scared me a couple of times but nothing happened.
Today we got back to the routine. We weeded out in the yard. Plenty of weeds, they'll keep us busy until school starts. It rained a little after we came inside. In less than three weeks, we'll be off and running and getting up even earlier. Blech!
Hope you have a good day. And don't forget to fuel up!