I decided that this last week of a shit show warranted a blog post.
We planned our trip.
We were supposed to leave town Friday morning and then drive straight through to Conconully State park in Okanogan and camp 2 nights and be back home Sunday afternoon.
Our friend Karissa was getting married and Steve was also officiating her wedding.
Nothing seemed to go as planned though.
I know, I know, it usually doesn’t. But this was worse.
Also, anything that involves a schedule change with kids is always worse. If this all went down and it was just Steve and me, we would have been annoyed but it wouldn’t have been nearly as stressful.
Let me also preface this story by the fact that our Thursday plans ran long and I didn’t get a shower after 4th of July and then boating the next day. (Which was also Blake’s Birthday)
It was late Thursday night and I had to pack and load up for camping Friday.
I decided I would wait and shower Friday morning.
Then we had a lot to do Friday morning.
So I decided, I would have plenty of time Friday after we arrived ( before the rehearsal dinner ) to just shower when we get there.
Friday Morning We pulled out of the driveway and the trailer brake system had a wiring issue. We circled back around to the house and fixed it. We headed East over the pass and made it to Cle Elum. The car shuddered as we got off the highway. We thought it was weird but continued on to the gas station to top off and then to get some lunch. Filled the tank and then the car wouldn’t start. So I walked the kids across the street to get food while Steve messed around and hit things with a hammer.
Clark got a free Ice cream cone because it was HIS BIRTHDAY.
Oh yeah, add to this lovely stress filled day that it’s Clark’s 6th ( Golden Birthday, which we totally forgot about at the time. About it being his GOLDEN Birthday, not about it being his Birthday. What kind of messed up parent do you think I am?!) and we promised him a camping party when we arrived at the site. I packed decorations and gifts and a cake for him to set up once we got there and settled in. I felt so bad I wasn’t throwing him a party this year and had been hyping this plan up all week. Eventually Steve got the car running and came to eat. We decided it was the gas cap and vapor lock. By now the kids are totally bored and unknowingly still have a long car ride ahead.
We eat ( totally went rouge on my Keto diet this weekend too ) load up and drive off. But not before side swiping a truck’s tow mirror and having to pull over again not 100 feet down the street. Get out, take care of that business. Luckily the truck owner was nice and thought he could fix it himself and sent us on our way.
We make it to Okanogan.
Only about 25 min away from our destination.
Coming into town we decide to get gas since we are low and don’t know when we will have another chance. I am SO glad we did this because had we continued on and broken down we would have been stranded on the side of the road literally in the middle of no where, with no service. We pull into the gas station and as we are almost to the pump the car dies. Everything shuts off and we skid to a halt in front of the mini mart. We get out and hit more things. Use tools and kick tires and say bad words. The kids are super annoying at this point.
I have to say, I was impressed with the amount of strangers that walked over while they got gas to ask what was wrong and if they could help. We called our friends who were already at the camp site. No one answered. Then I remembered when I was at Karissa’s bachelorette party a few weeks ago, she specifically said that the camping area has zero service. Lovely.
I leave voicemails for everyone and hope maybe they will go through. We have AAA but they could only tow our car and not our trailer. We set up a tow truck to come get the car but beyond that , aren’t really sure what to do next. We apologize to the gas station owner that we are literally blocking his business with our dead car and trailer. He is cool. He says if we are still there when he closes at 8, he has a truck and can tow the trailer somewhere for us. That made me feel a little better, a worst case scenario plan. But don’t REALLY wanna go with some random dude with my kids off into the country in the backwoods, thanks.
Then we get a call from our friend Tyler. He happened to run into town and left the campgrounds and got our voicemail. He has a friend, Brian, who lives in Omak, who has a truck. He calls him. Clark continues to remind me that he doesn’t want to miss his party at the camp site and is becoming increasingly upset. So, we do what any other good parent would do. We buy him Gatorade and Salt and Vinegar chips to cheer him up.
Tyler and Brian come to save us.
The tow truck shows up and takes our Yukon to the nearest dealership and drops it off. Of course they are closed by now, it’s 7:30 on Friday night. They leave a note on it for them. We will call them in the AM ( except we don’t have service). Then we make the rest of the drive to Conconully State Park. Which is lovely btw, but there is nothing for miles around it. Like not even a farm house. Just fields and brush and hills. It’s legit Oregon Trail and stuff, but not where I would want to be broke down and stranded. We give Brian all the cash we have because he doesn’t drink and we can’t pay him in beer.
Friday night. We arrive. Hook up the trailer and try to give Clark a party. Too late for decorations. We do cake and gifts. There was a huge storm right before we arrived and everything is soaking wet. Yay.
Clark requested a Rainbow Cake
Vanilla Butter cake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles
Party Hat Crew
Saturday Steve has to find a ride into town to talk to the dealership about the car. We determine it’s the fuel pump. They say someone can look at it on MONDAY because they don’t work on weekends. Steve opts to get a rental car from them in the mean time so that we aren’t relying on everyone else to drive us around since we literally can’t make a phone call without driving 7 minutes up a hill to the cemetery to get a weak signal. I am finally able to take my shower and we proceed as normal the next two days.
There happened to be a parade for the 4th of July in the little town next to the Campgrounds that we caught the tail end of and scored a few free Popsicles.
How adorable is this Post Office
Blake and his paddy wagon ( that actually said vote for BLAKE on the back)
Ridin’ the duck
King of the rock pile
The Wedding was Saturday night
Here comes the bride.
Clark looked to handsome watching Karissa come down the aisle. He didn’t take his eyes off her. It was so cute.
The wedding party waiting and Steve as the Officiant
The most gorgeous backdrop to a wedding ever
A few details
The happy couple
Sunday we find out that we can’t stay in our camping spot another night because its booked. We have to ask a friend to hook up and move us to another spot. Sunday evening Clark gets to shoot his first gun! ( yay? ) I don’t know how i feel about this yet. I am a “city” girl according to Steve and he grew up hunting and shooting guns. I didn’t. I don’t have an issue with them as an adult but the thought of my 6 year old being around that is a little strange to me. Clark was super excited and ” all the other kids were doing it” and basically by this point I was like F*ck it. Whatever. We are supposed to be home right now. Then we eat left over tacos from the wedding reception and wedding cake. Which kinda made up for all of this. ( Again , not on my diet)
Clark and Blake both got their first kites for their Birthdays
Deer families roam the park and don’t mind people around them at all
Monday morning we call the shop. They say they ordered the part and it will be in tomorrow and they will work on it first thing. Call back at 11 am.
Once again we have to move due to incoming camping reservations. Someone else tows us to a new camp ground all together. Luckily we arent alone. A few other families from the wedding stayed to camp so we are with them and we all move to the new location.
This place has a dock
Clark and his antenna
Random dog shitting behind me as I take a photo. Pretty much sums it up.
Our wedding gift to Karissa!
Stop looking at me Swan
Blake catches a trout!
Tuesday we call the shop, they need another 1.5 hrs. ( Probably hadn’t even started on it) We borrow yet ANOTHER truck to tow the trailer into town to the dealership.
The car is finally fixed.
The kids are PISSED we are leaving and throwing a fit.
Did I mention its hot out?
We need food.
We return the rental car, hook up the Yukon to the trailer, go eat and hit the road.
FINALLY, we are on our way.
New fuel pump and car is running good. $1300.00 later.
We make it about 12 miles.
Car dies. In an intersection.
Luckily its in a tiny town ( Malott) and it’s not a major highway but still……. cars are having to go around us and people are rubber necking and it’s hot.
The Kids are like “OH NOOOOO ,We are going to Die! We need a Tow Truck! How will we ever get home?!” Being super dramatic and chatty. Meanwhile we are on the phone trying to get a hold of someone to come help us again. After all , we are only 12 miles out! Not a big deal , right? Except all the people we know are back at the camp site…..which doesn’t have service.
We call AAA and they tell us to call the police. (because we are in an intersection). Super helpful .
I call Poulsbo RV because we got extra insurance when we purchased the trailer. I want to find out what kind of coverage we have if it needs to get towed home separately from our vehicle. They transfer me to someone who can help and it goes to voicemail. Twice. I call again and am obviously upset. ” Hi, I’m sitting in an intersection in a dead car with my two kids. Can you please tell me what the terms of the policy are?! Thanks”
She gives me the number.
They are closed.
It’s 5:00 pm here and they run Eastern time.
I call back and get another number, they source a tow truck for me and my out of pocket to tow the trailer home will be $1500.00. The driver estimated he needed 9 hours for this service.
We are less than 4 hours from home. WHAT THE ACTUAL F*CK.
Meanwhile, a guy and his wife come by and offer to help pull us out of the road. His name is Ken and he lives up the road. They tow us and the Yukon and the trailer to their house and tell us we are welcome to camp in their driveway or leave a vehicle or whatever we need. We spend the next 2 hours on the phone ( thank god they had service in this area) coordinating and pricing our different senarios. Karissa had mentioned that we could leave the trailer at her house in Omak. I thought maybe it would be cheaper to just tow it there and deal with it later. Then find a way home. I needed her address though and she is camping. Then i remember that Cassie asked her for it at the bachelorette party! I call Cassie. YES! She does have the new address…but….. it’s a PO BOX. DAMN IT.
We call Steve’s dad ( who is on summer vacation and not working) to come get the trailer in the morning and tow it home with his truck. We will just sleep in it tonight in Ken (our new friend)’s driveway. Awesome. Totally what I want to do.
ALSO Clark needs to go big bathroom. So that’s great.
We call AAA and once again set up a tow for our supposed to be fixed Yukon, which is only covered for about half the mileage to tow it all the way back home over the mountains. So we are now paying $500.00 for that. Once we settle on that plan,we get a call from our friend Mark who lives 2 hours away in Entiat and he can tow our trailer to Wenatchee so we will at least be at a friends house and it wont be quite as far for Steve’s dad to travel the next day.
We hang out in Ken’s garage and learn about his bird houses and how his house burned down in 2009 and everything else you could sorta want to know about a stranger.
Ken had a lot of cans.
We pay him for his help with a case of Beer we have in the Trailer. ( April and Matt , that was yours, thank you! )
Mark shows up and tows us away. we leave the Yukon with our new friend Ken and AAA comes to get it later that night and takes it to our house.
At this point I just want to set fire to the Yukon and the trailer and just Uber it home or something.
I held it together all weekend but now, I just want to cry. Also, I am totally out of diapers. And Blake pooped.
Two hours of sitting in the back seat of a truck between two tired and hungry ( and poopy) kids is great.
The car seats take up so much room, I can’t actually sit square so I have to alternate shoulders the entire ride to Wenatchee.
As we are driving, Mark is telling us this story about how his truck was acting super weird and skipping gears and he hadn’t been able to replicate the symptoms again. So he didn’t know why it had happened. He was kind of excited to tow us to see if it happened again or if it was just a fluke. * Fighting back tears*
It’s now after 9 pm. The kids are loopy. Blake is telling me “I needs to get off this boat! Let me off of this boat!” Followed by ” I don’t want to walk any more, smell my feet, they stink” As he kicks his legs up in the air and smooshes his bare nasty foot against my face.
We arrive in Wenatchee at Tyler’s.
Crash in the guest room.
Wake up at 7 am when Steve’s dad arrives Wednesday morning and takes us and the trailer home.
Still don’t know whats wrong with the Yukon.
We have scheduled plans to go a camping again in a few days for another wedding.
Looks like we will end up in a hotel instead.
I called to cancel our camping reservations and I’m past our 48 hour window and now have to pay for one night anyway.
Wednesday night we head over to the garage to check out the Yukon and troubleshoot.
It starts right up and runs fine.
Now I just feel like it’s like it’s Trolling us.
Also kinda never want to leave me house again.