Joshua Tree Hiccup

Jordan took the lead with Odessa as I follow in the Jetta. My perspective is totally different this time. Watching, wondering as my home drives in front of me. Thoughts fill my mind as I reflect on everything that had just happened in the past four months. It’s busy here… I never can seem to find time to do the things I want. No time to quietly reflect. So as I change lanes to let Jordan in front, we weave through the thousands of cars going some where all too fast, I think of all things I have been wanting to think of. I reflect, I watch, I am alone.

We make our way through Moreno Valley, out to Cabazon to grab In-N-Out, then exit on Hwy 62. I took this same exit nearly five years, alone in this car, the day I married my life long love. The trip then was full of thunder clouds and butterflies in my stomach. This time, I am calm… enjoying the clear skies. I can’t help but be incredibly grateful at how smooth this morning went. The departure was easy, we were in good spirits, and Odessa did great. It was our maiden voyage so we were just unsure how it all would go.

We pulled out at the Walmart to leave the Jetta there for the night while we went into Joshua to camp. I jumped in the passenger seat of the Odessa.  I was typing up a little post on Instagram of how grateful I was that this day was so flawless and that this motor home was such a blessi……..but then it happened. I heard a stuttering in the engine. We were at a stop light just about to enter into the park so I thought hmm, maybe that is just how it sounds as we stop. We made the right turn and then Odessa just stuttered to a stop and then the engine died. We tried to start her, she sputtered and barely could move two feet. It took us about five minutes to get her to the side of the road so we wouldn’t be blocking anyone. I dropped my phone and didn’t say another word. Jordan jumped out, popped the hood and immediately started searching. After the car was off for another five minutes we started her up and she sounded just fine for a few minutes but then would sputter and die again. We just both sighed….. we had only made it a little over 100 miles. Everything was fine….

Without too much more deliberation we decided to try to drive her over to the mechanic that was across the street. We would turn her off at the stop lights. It made it there fine and we shut her off again. Jordan went to talk to the guy, it was 4:45pm and they close in 15 minutes so I doubt there is anything they can do tonight. The guy figured it sounded like the fuel filter was clogged or the fuel pump was going out. He said if we came in the morning he could change it.

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After the ten minutes there we started Odessa back up and she sounded totally fine. We couldn’t go in the park though because there is no cell service and if something happened we would literally be stuck. So we put our heads down and made our way back to the Walmart. Jordan suddenly got inspired and decided that if it was just the fuel filter he would change it…. in the Walmart parking lot. He was determined. So we went in and bought the part and started the project. It took us a while to find where the fuel filter was on this beast….. turns out it’s basically right under the cab. He scooted underneath on his back to figure out just how we were going to do this. It took a little bit to realize that we needed a quick release tool to get the hose off the old fuel filter. So after our make-shift version failed I drove over to the Auto Zone to pick one up. Jordan was a beast down there trying to free the old part. Pretty sure it had never been changed since 1993 so there was a ton of build up plus a really awkward and in-the-way steel chassis. It was a little intense at times but he did it!!! And this wifey couldn’t be more proud. He saved us at least $100 by not having to go to the shop. So I ran into Walmart and grabbed him a bottle of whiskey! Still cheaper than going to a shop.

So we finally got all cleaned up and decided that we needed to go into the park!!! We would bring the Jetta though, just in case it was the fuel pump and not the fuel filter. We both jumped in our vehicles and headed to our favorite spot at Ryan Campground. The one that is right on front of the rock that we wed. It was nearly 11:00pm by the time we got there and we were just praying we could get a spot. Praise Jesus, because there was only ONE spot left by that time and it happened to be the one right in front of our rock! We were so incredibly grateful it was ridiculous.

We spent the night around a campfire, trying to laugh off our day. I love talking to him… he listens well. He speaks back with a love and tenderness that I know is only for me. He gets me…. and I love that. And I love how he can make me laugh and trick me into staying up late with him, just to hang out a little longer.

In the morning we had a lovely breakfast and then drove over to the Ryan Mountain trailhead. We haven’t made the hike all the way back up to our wedding spot in 3 years. Today was the day. Perfect 65 degrees with a cool breeze. We brought the camera to snap a couple of pictures on the way. 45 minutes later we were on top of the world, soaking up the sun, laughing together as this day in JANUARY was actually warmer than our wedding day in MAY!!! It’s mind-blowing actually. We reminisced of that crazy day.  Then two crows circled above us and then flew off together just like that day five years ago. My jaw dropped…. haha how does that even happen, TWICE!

We slowly made our way back to the cars and then hit the road! It is time to head to the RIVER!!!!! Six days of pure relaxation and SUN!!!!

PS- Odessa is doing great! Pretty sure it was just the fuel filter and not the fuel pump going bad! Another reason to Praise the Lord!!!!

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