I woke up Friday morning with what I initially thought was good news. My normal route to work was opened back up. I still left a little earlier than usual though, just in case traffic re-routed there that normally would take some of the other canyon roads. However, I quickly found out that something was clearly not going well with this plan. My concerns were confirmed when the guy on the radio said the route in the other direction had not been opened yet. However, what both the radio and television traffic reports didn't mention was that there was a lane closed on my side and a light out. Traffic was crawling at a snail's pace up the hill. I called to let my boss know that I would more than likely be late. What I didn't know was that I would be forty minutes late! I hate being late! But, it's not the end of the world.
As I inched my way up the steep incline behind the vehicle that insisted on rolling inches at a time, I rode my clutch since the inches didn't allow much space for me to release it. Sure, I could sit there and let him get far enough ahead so I can actually release my clutch but I would risk pissing off the drivers behind me. I hate it but I'm used to it, that's my drive any time there is congestion on that street. However, this morning I began smelling something funny. I was hoping it was the truck's exhaust a couple of cars up ahead. But, when I reached the crest of the hill, my fears were confirmed. My clutch was going out. I still wasn't all that concerned. I was able to ride for a week on it before I was able to get it fixed the last time it went out. It did present a dilemna though that I pondered through out the day. Should I get the car fixed, or go ahead and buy a new one now.
I talked to both Trish and Kevin during the day, both had offered to help me out with a ride or something. I said that they didn't have to bother that I shouldn't have a problem driving my car home. I just wouldn't get on the highway going home since it took time for my car to pick up speed. I'd take an alternate route that was all streets, just not my usual route since that direction was still closed. I left work and nervously trudged along. My anxiety grew with every hill I came upon and then cablooie one hill did me in. My poor car took all that it had to get up it and I probably could have made it home from there had I tried but my nerves were shot. I pulled into a Mobil Mart, parked my car, and went inside to ask if they had the number for a tow service. They didn't but they let me use their phonebook. I gratefully accepted it with my outreached shaking hand. The first company I called wanted to charge me $250!!! Another company wanted $120!!! I was ready to desert my car right there and call a cab but dialed one more company. They would only charge me $85, that was reasonable enough for me to agree to.
I've been talking about getting a new car for over a year now. I kept putting it off because I wanted to take care of some other financial matters first. I thought about getting my car fixed and prolonging my purchase but with car repairs and having to rent a car it just didn't seem worth it in order to buy me a couple of months. So, I bit the bullet and went car shopping first thing Saturday morning with Kevin as my chauffeur. The car below is what I came home with. To break her in and celebrate, I took Kevin, and Freeepeace for a drive up PCH.
I created a photo album of the adventure. Hopefully, it turned out okay. I think I've only made one of those before I learned how to insert pictures directly in my journal. I also promised to share the picture of the house. The one with the arrow is where the mud came sliding down the hill. Does anyone want to buy a broken down '95 Ford Escort? If so, bring a tow truck.