So I had quite the adventure this weekend. Last Friday, my brother, my dog, and I drove to Grand Junction to visit my mom and her husband. It was a fun trip, and largely uneventful. Until the drive home, that is, when my car decided to die.
Now, my car is about 10 years old, and has over 134,000 miles on it. It’s no spring chicken, but Subarus seem to do well even at high mileages. And like a lot of people, I’ll readily admit that I could be more diligent with maintenance. I tend not to think about these things until they become a big issue (and they inevitably do; you’d think I’d learn sooner or later).
Anyway, we were driving back Saturday afternoon, and were outside Glenwood Springs when I heard a loud THUNK. I was a little concerned, but didn’t think much of it at the time. I figured I had tossed up a piece of debris on the road, or a large chunk of ice had finally worked itself loose. Well, shortly after that I noticed the steering wheel started to feel a bit stiff: the power steering had gone out. This gave me more pause, since steering is just after breaking on the list of “Things That Need To Work.”
Of course, I’m nothing if not adept at self-deception. It’s okay, I thought, I’ll just take it easy until we get back into Denver, and then I’ll take my car into the shop. Nothing to panic about.
Gradually, dash lights started popping up in odd combinations. First was the BRAKE and battery lights, blinking in unison. Then the ABS light. But I didn’t really become worried until the speedometer died.
You have no idea how creepy it is to be driving a car with a completely dead dashboard.
Well, the rest of the car soon followed the dash into oblivion. We coasted to a stop about 10 miles west of Gypsum, luckily in a place where there was enough shoulder that we could pull completely off the highway. But there was no denying it at this point: we were stranded.