'WHEN I FIND MYSELF
IN TIMES OF TROUBLE . . .'
(c) Copyright 2017 by Neall Calvert
(c) Copyright 2017 by Neall Calvert
[ * There are 19 pieces of writing on the mystical path in this blog:
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|Osoyoos Lake, BC, Canada, view from Anarchist Mountain |
(c) 2013 by Neall Calvert
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ON ONE OF THE HOTTEST DAYS OF THE SUMMER, in the hottest part of the province, on remote Highway 3 from Osoyoos heading back towards Princeton, I found myself staring at a climbing temperature gauge. I stopped my van to discover I had lost all the coolant from my engine. Not a golden moment.
After refilling with water from my supplies, I limped in to Stemwinder Provincial Park late in the day. When I found a campsite and lifted the short hood on the ‘96 Ford Aerostar (the motor is mostly underneath—it takes two hours to replace the six spark plugs on this truck), steam rose out of the engine compartment and a neighbouring camper looked over and asked if I needed help. I said I didn’t know yet.
Frustrated, I chose to cool my mind and wait until morning to come up with a solution to a seemingly major problem. And I turned over the whole situation to my Higher Power, as I have learned from experience to do as soon as any difficulty arises. I wondered, though, what on earth my beginning ‘kinship with Infinite Intelligence’ could do to fix a damaged cooling system in a remote park in the southern B.C. Interior. After all, God isn’t a mechanic, all wrenches and greasy hands, is she?
In the morning, after body-and-mind-awakening rituals and a cup of tea, I thought that a first step would be to squeeze whatever coolant hoses I could reach, probing for soft spots that might indicate a hole. I was awestruck when the first hose I pushed suddenly gave way, indicating the broken connection on the heat control valve, through which all coolant had to pass. Diagnosis complete—in five seconds!
In a state of relief bordering on bliss, I approached my neighbour and asked if he would be willing to drive me the twenty kilometres to Princeton (population 2,828) where a new valve might be available; or the shop could order one in and I’d have to wait a few days for it. He agreed, and on the way he discovered a leaking front tire on the deluxe new Ford pickup he and his wife towed their trailer with: it was down nearly a half.
A retired policeman, Jim turned out to be a choir singer and music aficionado (as am I, and as was his wife); he was also a man at peace with himself, so was good company on the trip. The auto parts store in Princeton came up with a heat control valve for a seventeen-year-old vehicle for thirty-seven dollars.
I directed Jim to Kal Tire so he would believe my statement that they always fix flat tires for free. The mechanic discovered the eight lug nuts on Jim’s heavy-duty truck’s wheel to be on so tight they would never have come off by hand, had an emergency wheel change been required; they barely came off with a powerful air wrench.
After breakfasting at the A & W we journeyed back, accompanied by gorgeous classical music effortlessly emanating via satellite radio from a state-of-the-art sound system. When we got to Stemwinder and I thanked Jim for the ride, his response was, “We are here to help each other.” A half hour to install the valve and I was on the road again. |~|