We made it out of San Diego early this morning. For the first time in two months we are eastbound. Our destination for tonight was supposed to be Flagstaff. We had planned to stay at the home of Jan and Dave tonight, the parents of my dear friend Grayson.

Around 11am somewhere in the desert between El Centro, CA and Yuma, AZ, my car lost its ability to drive. Slowly our speed dropped when we were at about 25mph, all the lights on my dash went out. Nalani gracefully pulled the prius over to the side of the interstate.

We all took a deep breath, and then calmly jumped to action. I called AAA. They informed me that we had seven free miles of towing and after that each additional mile would cost $10. The nearest AAA approved mechanic was 70 miles away.I decided to search for a mechanic nearer to our current location. Holtville was the nearest town with repair shops. I gave each one a call, but none of them worked on priuses, which shouldn’t have come as a surprise, given that we are in truck country.

El Centro has a toyota dealership 30 miles back the way we had come and Yuma has a dealership 30 miles east of our current location. We opted for Yuma. We were about to call AAA to send a tow truck, but Carsten suggested that we try the car again and see if it might be able to drive us to Yuma. Hesitantly Nalani turned the car back on. Everything seemed normal. She waited until there was an incredibly large space in the stream of traffic and pulled back into the right lane with the emergency blinkers on. The car certainly wasn’t being its old self – it wouldn’t go above 40 or 45 mph, but it was driving. About halfway to Yuma, the car lost momentum again, but luckily we were right at the entrance to a rest stop. Nalani simply pulled in and we let the car rest for another twenty minutes. After that, my prius pulled through and brought us the rest of the way to the dealership.

We spent the next six hours waiting around the dealership. We watched some tv on my computer; we went for a walk around Yuma’s scenic strip mall area in 90 degree heat; and we bickered and over-caffeinated on the dealership’s free coffee.

Eventually we were told that the dealership could not find anything wrong with my car. They had reset the computer codes, basically telling my car that it was fine despite my car being pretty sure it was not in fact fine.

We drove on a few hours to a campground somewhere between Phoenix and Flagstaff. Jan and Dave offered that they would make us brunch the next morning when we arrived in Flagstaff.

When things are looking down Carsten opts for selfies.


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