Wednesday, June 28 (continued)
In the previous installment of RVSue and her canine crew, the serpentine belt on the Perfect Tow Vehicle broke. The PTV lies disabled near the off-ramp of Interstate-90 south of Superior, Montana. The story continues with Reggie, Roger, and RVSue walking the country road in search of help.
~ ~ ~
“Well, guys, which way shall we go?”
Roger pulls straight ahead. Reggie is noncommital.
“We have three choices: forward, to the left, or to the right.”
We go right.
Not far down this road we come to a pretty, log house with gentle, informal landscaping. There’s a car under the two-car carport,
I hope they both didn’t leave in the other vehicle.
The crew and I make our way down the river rock driveway and up the stone path to the front porch. A dog barks. I see a person coming to the door.
A slender, gray-haired woman opens the door.
Immediately the barking dog torpedoes through the opening to join the barking crew. Raising my voice over their ruckus, I get right to the point.
“HELLO! MY VAN BROKE DOWN AND MY PHONE DOESN’T WORK. . . . ”
“Just a minute,” she replies. Quickly she plucks her dog out of the tangle of happy canines and tosses him inside. Shutting the door, she turns to me.
“Do you need me to call someone?”
“Yes, please. I’m not from this area. I need a tow truck. I hope there’s one in Superior.”
“There is! I know them. They worked on my car recently.”
I explain where the PTV can be found and that the serpentine belt is broken. She places the call and returns.
“They won’t be long. The shop is only eight miles away.”
I thank her and we introduce ourselves. I tell her I live full-time in a travel trailer with my two dogs and we’re presently camped at Quartz Flat.
I remark on the peaceful atmosphere she has created around her home.
“While standing here looking at your flowers, watching the birds at the feeder, the hummingbirds, listening to the fountain . . . I feel calm again. You have a lovely place.”
Hearing this, the woman warms to conversation.
“We did all this ourselves. We did what you’re doing for a couple years. We had a home in Arizona and we traveled. I was a desert girl but I missed gardening.” She chuckles. “We found this property and every summer we came up here, parked our motor home and worked, clearing brush, trimming trees, mowing, building . . . . Took us seven years and then we moved up here permanently.”
“Well, you’ve done an incredible job. What about the winters? Quite a change from Arizona.”
“I LOVE the winter here. It’s so beautiful! The snow isn’t a problem. They clear the road right away and it’s only a short drive into town. I have a freezer. No need to go anywhere.”
She smiles, obviously happy and content with her life.
My gaze returns to the hummingbirds, the metal sculpture of two herons next to the water feature, the dappled light on pine needle mulch, the perfect lawn . . .
“Oh, you have a train, too! I love trains!”
“You do? So do I! People usually see the tracks and say something like ‘Too bad you’re so close to the train.’ We like the train going by. My husband and I sit outside and watch it.”
“I know what you mean. The train goes by my campsite, too.”
“If you ever think of buying property around here, look for something by the tracks. Much cheaper.”
We chat a bit longer, thoroughly enjoying each other’s company, until I become aware of the passing of time.
“Oh, my, the tow truck! I’d better get going!”
~ ~ ~
The crew and I return to the PTV.
The tow truck arrives about two minutes later. Alec, the repair shop guy, assesses the situation. Then a woman stops her car in the road.
Alec knows her and goes over to talk with her. She drives away and Alec reports to me.
“She said a bear just crossed the road over there.” He points to where Reggie, Roger, and I walked a few minutes ago. “That’s why I love living here,” he adds. “The wildlife.”
Gee, our timing is off. A bear encounter. Missed some great blog material there . . . .
Alec drives the PTV onto the bed of the tow truck.
The crew and I climb (and I do mean “climb!’) into the cab of the truck. As we roll along on the interstate to Superior, Reggie sits in my lap and Roger stands on the floor by my feet.
I learn that Alec, although only in his forties, is retired from the military after being stationed in various places in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
“You’ve been to all those places and, in the end, you realized home is best and you came back to Montana.”
“That’s right!” He glances at me and grins. “I don’t want to live anywhere else.”
We have to stop for the resealing job being done on the highway.
Alec talks with the man who holds the stop sign. Alec waves to a woman driving past us, going the other way. Alec knows the woman I talked with who called for his tow truck. He knows the woman who saw the bear.
“You know everybody, don’t you,” I observe.
“Yeah, I do know everyone. Either I went to high school with them or I worked on their truck . . . . ”
We swing by the NAPA store to pick up the serpentine belt.
“You’re lucky they had the right one,” he tells me as he starts up the engine. “You could’ve had to wait two days for the belt to be shipped here.”
The Perfect Tow Vehicle being backed off the tow truck at GLM Automotive
Alec informs me he won’t be able to do the work until tomorrow.
“I’ll give you a ride to Quartz Flat and then pick you up around two tomorrow afternoon. Would that be okay?”
To be continued . . .
NOTE: I apologize for so few photos. As you can imagine, taking pictures wasn’t on my mind during this experience. — Sue
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