Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Driving to Yellowstone


Beartooth Pass 10947 Ft.

Saturday morning we decided to start on the next leg of our journey and head for Yellowstone National Park.  The day was just beautiful.  Not a cloud in the sky.  It was in the 80's and we were listening to "Vanishing Acts" by  Jodi Picoult.  We were on 94 then to Rt. 212 to take us to Yellowstone.  We stopped in Red Lodge at a grocery store for supplies and then headed on our way.   Well everything went to hell from there.   The road we were on went up a mountain!  That was ok.  There were twists and turn and if you looked down you could see where we came from.  We got to the top of the mountain when the RV started acting up.  It was shifting hesitantly and started beeping.  We got on a straight away and the beeping stopped so we thought we were ok.  We got just to the crest of a downgrade and it completely died!  When it quits, everything quits.  The hydraulics the steering and the brakes.  Joe had his foot on the brake and it still would not stop!  And of course we are at the top of a mountain - there is no cell phone service to call 911.  Joe tried to start the generator that charges up the batteries and it would not start.

You are in the mountains with no fields that you hope you could steer into to at least save us.  All you see are drop offs.  One of the problem was we could not steer it.   There was a car coming and I got out of the RV and flagged them down and explained our problem.  They drove me back down the road to an emergency phone where I called for help. They were sending a tow truck and the police to help us.  The dispatcher wanted me to wait at the emergency phone but we needed to go back and help Joe. All I could think of was finding Joe in a gully or over a cliff with the RV.  We went back to where he was and he was still in the road with the flashers going.  I was so relieved he was still there. Someone had come along and placed a big rock under a wheel and that held the RV in place.  Thank God!!  He had also gotten the generator running and was charging the batteries.  The police finally arrived to check on us.  They were very nice though there was nothing they could do.  There was one wrecker - like what you use for a car.  That was not going to touch us.  He talked to Joe for a while and then he left.  The officers then called for a truck wrecker and they told us the wrecker would be there in a couple of hours and then they left.  

We finally got all the batteries charged up so we decided to head down the mountain.  We met the wrecker coming up the road. Because of all the switchbacks we could see him from a long ways off.  He had his lights on the top of his truck flashing. When he got closer we flashed our lights and he stopped beside us.  He and Joe talked for a minute or two and decided we should not drive down the mountain because with a bad generator it could start a fire.  No one needed that!  So the truck turned around and started working at hooking us up to tow us down the mountain. 

That should be the end of the story, right?  WRONG!  As they were trying to hook us up something on the wrecker broke - the universal joint.  Needless to say they had to unhook us, get us parked on the side of the road and said goodbye.  They would be back Monday to hook us up and take us back to the garage.  Or they could call a trucker in Billings Montana to come get us.  We opted to wait till Monday for him to get his truck fixed and come back and get us. 

So here we are stuck on the top of this damnable mountain for now.

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