Saturday, May 21, 2011

An Adventure on the River

Flat tire? No big deal. Until you discover that the truck you bought with those shiny custom wheels doesn't have that special lug-nut key that you need to get the wheel off. Oh well, I'll just call my roadside assistance... wait, no cell coverage in the Deschutes canyon? Let the adventure begin!

I walked into a campground and explained my predicament. A very nice guy named Tom from Bend drove me to where we could get cell service so I could call for help. That help ended up being my roadside assistance who phoned for a tow-truck to come tow me back to where Becki and I were camping. Funniest part of the conversation with the dispatcher for the roadside assistance was her insistence that she needed a cross-street to tell the tow truck where to go. I explained that there were no cross-streets on the Deschutes River Access Road, but she insisted that she could not dispatch a truck without a cross-street. Aye-yi-yi!!! We finally settled on having the tow truck come to where Becki was, and she could ride with him to where I was.

I headed back with Tom to his campsite near my truck. As we drove, he learned that I was a pastor, and got real quiet. He was apologizing for his language and informed me that I'd probably hear more language slip out once we got back to the camp. I told him not to worry about it, and asked him not to spread the leprous news about my occupation to the rest of the group (nothing puts the kabosh on a party like finding out there's a pastor there!) We had a deal. I spent the next 3 hours around a camp-fire with a dozen very colorful people who were happy to offer me beer, margaritas, joints (been a long time since I've been offered one of those!), and some "magical cookies" (I don't even want to know!) while we waited for a tow truck to come from Alabama (actually not sure where the tow truck was coming from, it never got there).

Eventually, a "loosened up" cowboy named Paul from The Dalles walked into the camp to join the party. He heard about "New Guy" (no one could remember my name, but everyone needs a name, so I was "New Guy") and says "Aw *****, I can get that wheel off! I got this special tool! (Lord knows what that's used for!) Let's go git'r done!" Cowboy Paul did git'r done, and everyone cheered and offered up another round of drinks and magical cookies, which I politely declined, and I was on my way. I got back to Becki at about midnight.

After I got back, I learned that my cell phone (which I had left with Becki, because that was the number the tow-truck was going to use) had died, and the likelihood was that no truck was going to come that night. Thanks to a good internet connection and facebook, she had mustered a bunch of people to pray. I'm pretty convinced that my colorful friends from Bend and Cowboy Paul from The Dalles were direct answers to those prayers - proving again that the Lord, does indeed, work in mysterious ways!