It takes a village to raise a tow truck

Our story continues… (If you’d rather read the unabridged tweets, go to:

We were broken down, but at least we were in an attractive place. The road hugged a steep, lush hillside, with creeks cascading loudly.

After about a half hour sitting by the road, a ranger happened by.

However, he did not have an appropriate tool either. So he called for assistance on his radio, and soon a second ranger appeared.

This ranger, too, lacked the tool we needed. So they requested that one of their colleagues visit the shop for the required wrench.

Some more waiting transpired, and a truck with a ranger and two maintenance workers showed up.

There were now five park employees on the scene, and we had the correct wrench.

One of the rangers began removing one of the four rear wheels. Midway through, the wrench handle snapped.

They had another handle compatible with the hex bit, but it was too short to get the nuts off the wheel.

So a steel pipe was produced, to enhance the leverage. By stomping on this extended wrench, the tires were finally removed.

However, the jacks on hand could not raise the truck high enough to put the replacement wheel on. So a hole was dug under the wheel.

The replacement wheel was affixed and two hours after getting the flat, we were once again on our way out of Mineral King.

Humphrey dropped me back at the cabin’s driveway. I wished him luck with the rest of the drive, and I really meant it.

That night we made an outdoor fire and relaxed by it, until the wind picked up and we felt it prudent to douse the flames.

Sam woke me up the next morning. “The auto repair guys are on the phone.”

“Hey man,” the guy said. “They ate all your hoses and wires. Chewed a hole in your radiator too. Gotta go to Visalia to get parts.”

Sam and I got lunch down in town, and then he drove back to Santa Barbara. I found a park and sat, hoping my car would be ready that day.

Finally, around 4pm, the guy from the shop called. “Your car is ready. Oh, and we don’t accept credit cards. Cash only.”

To be continued…