The west entrance of Glacier National Park is about 15 miles away from our site, so when the temperatures start to climb we pack the dogs into the car, turn the air conditioning on, and set off to see the park. Our plan is to drive the Going to the Sun Road which runs through the park, with a stop at the Apgar Visitor Center to refill water bottles first.
Hubs walks around behind the car when I hear "Oh, great" uttered with a mixture of disgust and despair. I hop out to see what the problem is and hear loud hissing.
An enormous screw is poking out of our deflating tire.
Hubs gets out the tire plug kit, and with the help of a kind stranger gets the hole plugged and tire re-inflated. Soapy water on the hole reveals that the plug is still leaking, but not enough to prevent us from driving to the nearest town with an auto mechanic: Columbia Falls. We limp to the mechanic where they try to patch our hole. We sit on a rickety bench outside and try to keep squalling pugs quiet. The mechanic comes over, shaking his head. The hole is much too big to repair and we will have to get a new tire. But not just ONE new tire…all four must be replaced. With all-wheel drive cars, if the tread is worn to a certain point on three tires and the fourth is brand new, it will wreck the transmission. Of course our tires are a strange size and very expensive. The mechanic quotes us $1400 for four new tires installed. Next week.
Oh my, that will not do.
The mechanic puts our spare on and we leave.
We drive across the street to another tire shop where they confirm the need for all of the tires to be replaced and quote us $900 for four Goodyear tires installed and they can do it tomorrow at noon. In the ten minutes we take to decide on that price for those tires, their supplying warehouse sells out of the last four tires in that size. They don't know when they will restock but it won't be for at least a week.
I must admit, I take this news less than heroically. Sitting in the car, I feel like my life is ruined because of that stupid screw. My head is filled with doubts and questions and fear.
How can we afford to replace our tires? Are we going to have to eat rice and beans for the next six months? Why couldn't that screw have been two feet to the right? Why couldn't we have driven two feet to the left? Why couldn't we have driven over a marshmallow instead?? WHY, LORD, WHY???***
Hubs is calm and kind to his basketcase wife as we slowly drive the miles of gravel road back to camp to make a plan.
Amazon to the rescue! While they aren't cheap by any stretch, Amazon has the right tires for less than the first quote of $1400 and they should be here in a week.
With an estimated arrival date of next Wednesday, we hunker down and plan on how we can ration our food and water to last us.
***I still don't know why we hit a screw, but faith is not about trusting God only when we run over marshmallows. I have to believe that this trial is for our eternal good. (Romans 5:3-5)