Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Summer Vacation: The Car Accident

After our fun night with friends, we said good-bye to Helena, MT and headed back towards I-90. The plan was to make our way to Sheridan, WY to spend our next night in a hotel. Unfortunately, a couple of hours in to our trip, we drove over a big chunk of cement in the road and it tore up the underside of our car, including putting a hole in our gas tank. Luckily we were able to safely pull off the interstate and get everyone out of the car quickly and were all safe. We also were incredibly lucky to have a cell signal to call 911 and an officer responded immediately. 

A couple of firefighters arrived right after the police officer-- the guys drove nondescript pick-ups packed full of their gear. I don't know if they were volunteers or not, I didn't think to ask at the time. It was extremely hot out and for a while the girls and I got to sit in one of the pick-up trucks while the mess of the gas spilling out of car was contained. The girls found a dirty little "Rescue Pets" dog sitting in the firefighter's pile of gear and he told them they could have it. It was super gross, but the pup washed up nicely eventually. A good memento of our adventure! 

The firefighter had to leave before the tow truck arrived, though the police officer stayed the whole time we waited. We spent our time sitting in the shade of a the interstate's overpass and sitting in the back of the police cruiser. It wasn't terrible comfortable back there, as it isn't air conditioned. The police officer wasn't terribly, shall we say, chatty

Matt couldn't resist the opportunity to take my picture in the back of the police cruiser.
The officer was mostly surfing the internet, in case you were wondering. 

Yeah, that's where we were supposed to be. 

For some reason, it took the tow truck two hours to get to us, and when they got there, they said the police officer didn't tell them there was a family of four that they would need to be taking with the car, as well. Fortunately another tow truck came to pick us up. In hindsight, I don't know why the car wasn't towed by the same truck that drove us, but whatever. The tow truck drivers were extremely kind and the one who drive us back to Bozeman, MT was chatty and it made for a reasonably pleasant hour drive.

Eloise surveys the action with the Rescue Pet in her hand.

By the time the car got to the repair shop and we got to our hotel it was about five hours after the accident occurred. We were hot and tired and hungry! The hotel room was by far the nicest we had on our trip-- super big (two separate bedrooms and a living room and kitchen!)-- and had king sized beds. After a delicious and filling supper we headed to bed to put the events of the day behind us.

It took us about 40 hours to get out of Bozeman and back on the road. Long story short, our car stayed in Bozeman to be repaired and we ended up getting a rental car to finish our drive to Michigan. Ironically, the car was much smaller than our beautiful Equinox and, well, it really sucked to have to drive it the rest of the way. It barely fit all of our gear and my tall husband barely fit behind the steering wheel! But, we were on our way. Losing our car to an accident wasn't going to stop us. Onward and upward! 

After stopping for lunch in Sheridan, WY we made it to Spearfish, SD that night. The scenery that day was my favorite of any of our days of driving. I know a lot of people love going through Idaho, and that certainly was gorgeous, but it looked just like our usual drives through Washington. 

The rest stop right on the South Dakota border. 

Our road trip was back on! 

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