Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Summer Travel Story

by Marjorie S., Cars for Keeps Social Media Manager

Since tomorrow is the last day of our Summer Travel Story Contest (hint hint), I thought it would be appropriate to share one of my own stories of travel misadventure. Even thought I'm not eligible to win the sweet weekend getaway we're giving away (HINT HINT!)

When I was going to college in Washington State's Puget Sound, I would often drive out to Anacortes to catch a ferry out to the San Juan Islands, where my uncle lived (with his dog, in a mancave). It was a trip I made so often that I tended to put myself on autopilot. Sometimes I'd wake up two hours after leaving my apartment with absolutely no memory of the drive, parking my car, buying tickets or boarding the ferry.

As soon as summer break let out following my Sophomore year, I threw my clothes in my 1991 Mitsubishi pickup and headed out to the islands to spend some time oyster hunting on my uncle's boat. My (amazingly rust-free) little Mitsubishi had a tendency to use oil, so I took my brain off autopilot halfway there, added two quarts of oil, then put my brain back to sleep and continued on my way.

Just as I was pulling in to Anacortes, something under my hood started smoking. Shortly, smoke was pouring out from under my Mitsubishi's hood, the temperature gauge sank into the red and my gears started making horrible clunking noises as I shifted. Terrified, late for my ferry and on the brink of tears, I pulled into the nearest parking lot. Which just happened to be the parking lot of an AAA auto repair shop (no joke).

A friendly mechanic in dirty overalls came over and asked me what was wrong. Through my "why is this happening to me" breakdown, he discovered the truck used oil. He popped the hood, took one look at the oil spewed over all the components and kindly suggested that I may have left the oil cap off when I refilled.

Sure enough, the cap was off. It was perched neatly a few inches to the left, still waiting to be replaced.

Because no man likes to see a woman in distress, the mechanic cleaned off the components and refilled the tank with oil. He only let me pay him for the oil. Embarrassed and relieved, I headed back out to the ferry dock just in time for the last boarding call.

Only 28 more hours to submit your own story!
(hint hint), I thought it would be appropriate to share one of my own stories of travel misadventures. Even though I'm not eligible to win the free weekend getaway (HINT HINT).


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