When I woke up this morning I found out from Brett that our rental car’s battery was dead. It was our fault for using the car to charge our phones on the wrong setting. Truthfully, it was my fault for misunderstanding something my dad told me the other week.
Brett had already run a mile up to the main road to try and wave someone down to help us, but was unsuccessful. The first people who stopped to help didn’t have their jumper cables with them. The second people who stopped were two elderly ladies who decided not to help when they heard what we needed. One of them said, “It’s not that I think you’re bad, but I just don’t want to do it in this day and age.” So Brett decided that it might be better to just go ahead and pay for AAA to come help.
AAA trucks won’t go off pavement so we needed to at least push our car the seventy-odd feet out of the brush back onto the the gravel road and hope that they would be willing to make an exception.
Because the terrain was uneven the car quickly got stuck on a hump and Brett asked me to help. I just leaned into it and pushed with my legs while Brett used his arms. It was painful for me but the car started rolling and we were able to keep it moving for another thirty feet. Success!
Then it got stuck again and try as we might we couldn’t get it to go over the last big hump. There was a big bush in the way and sadly we decided we’d have to break off some of the branches. Then we threaded a rope through the two back doors to see if one of us could pull while the other pushed. Still no luck! Finally we gave up and hoped AAA would be willing to help us when they arrived.
About an hour later we got a call from AAA saying that the truck they sent out had broken down on the way. They were sending out another one but it would probably take them another 45 minutes to arrive.
Well, the 45 minutes turned into an hour and they were still not here. So Brett called them back and the AAA representative said they had no record of his request. What?! At this point Brett decided to run back to the main road and try to wave someone down again. This time he succeeded and a kind gentleman in a pickup truck stopped to help. They got the car running quickly! Yay!
We had planned to drive to Las Vegas today as soon as I woke up so that Brett could finally get some work done. Unfortunately, the multi-hour car drama really delayed us. Nothing is ever easy in the wilderness, I guess. When we finally got in the car to leave, AAA called us again to let us know they couldn’t find us. Apparently they had gone to the wrong place. Haha! Brett told them we had found someone else to help and that they didn’t need to come anymore.
The drive to Vegas was pretty uneventful besides having to stop twice to decontaminate because I started reacting as we passed through certain areas. I caught the symptoms quickly so neither of the reactions got out of hand.
Thankfully, we’ve been in Vegas multiple times and know that the Whole Foods parking lot is a relatively safe place. So Brett parked me here, away from other cars, and went over to the nearest Starbucks to get some work done.
I feel so bad for him. He was telling me earlier how he spends all his time figuring out solutions to our problems so that he can finally get some work done. But then when he’s finally able to work his mental energy is already drained from figuring out all of the problems. It’s definitely a difficult situation with no easy solution.
Sara Mattson, author of Camp Like A Girl, converted a cargo van into a mold-safe non-toxic camper for her and her husband to use while they pursued mold avoidance. We’ve read her book and are talking with her personally about whether a converted cargo van could work for us too. We still have a lot of thinking and praying to do but it seems like it could be a good option. It would be so amazing just to have a real bed, storage space and the shelter from the elements that an insulated vehicle provides. With a van, we wouldn’t have to worry so much about the cold and the rain. We would even have enough space to get a Wonderwash and a spin dryer to make the daily laundry easier!
My severe reactivity to many campgrounds is the only real concern we have about a van. Finding places to stay would continue to be a big challenge even with a van. But, sleeping on public land in a comfortable warm van would still be a huge step up from what we’re doing now.
Maybe eventually, once Brett can work again, we could afford to also rent a studio apartment in a good feeling small town like Elko. Then we could continue sleeping outdoors in pristine air but would have access to running water, a toilet, a shower, internet and a kitchen. Brett could use the apartment to cook and work and maybe, if I could tolerate being indoors for a little while, I could use it to take real showers. That would be so amazing and simplify our lives a lot without compromising my safety or slowing down the healing process! A girl can dream, right?
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