More marmots…and another breakdown

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


The driver stopped and rolled the window down. It was the man from the campsite, with his wife and son in the car as well.

“Hey guys,” he said with a grin. “We spent the last hour discussing it and we changed our minds. Hop in.”

Our spirits soared. Finally, something was going right. The family seemed pleased to be helping us out, too.

It took about twenty or thirty minutes to drive to Sam’s car. We thanked our rescuers and drove back to the cabin, another five miles.

We had a celebratory drink and then turned in. But the ordeal was far from over. Something still had to be done about my car.

In the morning, we again called around to local towing services. A guy in the nearby town of Woodlake agreed to come out.

I found a shady spot on the side of the road and after about an hour the truck arrived.

My driver was Humphrey, also the company’s owner. He and I chatted a bit. We had to yell to be heard over the diesel engine and the road.

“This road seems to go forever, eh Max?” he said about a half hour down the road. “It sure does,” I replied, “And we’re not even close.”

We rounded the final bend and I saw my car. Then I saw a marmot scurry away. I knew what would come next, and grabbed my ice axe.

“You can’t kill them!” Humphrey shouted from the truck. “It’s a national park!”

I popped the hood and this time found two marmots dining on my car. One seemed surprised and ran off. The other ignored me.

I screamed at the marmot and, when that did nothing, I began to prod him with the point of my axe.

But the marmot was so fat, he could not free himself from the space he had crawled into. I poked him some more as he tried to wiggle out.

Finally the obese rodent dropped out of the engine compartment and ran off.

We loaded the car onto the truck, watched closely by the army of marmots now surrounding us from all directions.

I was pleased to be underway with my car, away from the marmots. But after traveling about ten miles, we began to hear a rumbling sound.

“Sounds like we got a flat tire,” said Humphrey. I poked my head out the window and confirmed his suspicion.

Humphrey pulled over. After several minutes of trial and error, he realized that he lacked the proper lug wrench to change his own tire.

We were still a long way from cell phone reception, and his truck had no radio. So we got comfortable and waited.

To be continued…