So, last week was Spring Break for MSU students, meaning we get a week off classes to travel and see things and have some adventures outside of Bozeman. After toying around with a few different options, and failing to rent a car due to strange rules, S found a suitable car through a local dealership, to use for travelling while we are here and to sell on before we leave in the summer.
We both got very excited about the possibility that the car gave us neither of us having had our own car before, and the fact that America is huge so a car is kind of necessary to get anywhere other than the corner shop, especially if travelling around is something you want to do, which for us it is. Excitement is definitely the word, after driving around campus with Max + Mia on the first night we had it, and then taking it for its first drive up to Hyalite Canyon one evening to see the sunset and walk on the frozen reservoir, it was so cool to suddenly have the freedom to be able to plan to our own agenda.
|Sean and the car up at Hyalite!|
We spent the weekend catching up on all the work we had to do, gathering camping supplies and figuring out our itinerary to Moab, Utah even scheduling a stop to see friends in Salt Lake. Everyone here puts such emphasis on travelling during Spring Break and it’s our only week off during the semester so we really wanted to make the most of it. I have always dreamed of seeing the red rocks of Arches and the deep crevices of Canyonlands so was super excited to finally fulfil those dreams.
We set off on Monday morning, playing music, chatting, taking in the breathtaking Montana mountain views and eating road trip snacks (Sean’s favourite part). The car was driving well and we were so excited, to get there, set up camp and try out the paddleboards we rented on the Colorado river. The sun was shining, there were blue skies and everything was awesome (in the words of the lego movie song.) About 2 hours into the journey, the car began to make a very strange ticking sound. I know next to nothing about cars, but even so, we both realised that it probably wasn’t a good noise for it to be making. The ticking increased more and more, and we began to get more and more worried. We also hadn’t been through a town in an hour and there were none on the horizon, and hardly any other cars on the road, so we decided to keep going in case we stopped, had a look, and then the car wouldn’t start again, leaving us stranded in the middle of a snowy wonderland.
|On the road! Before….|
|Dinner date in the motel.|
We passed into Idaho and soon after that, the ticking intensified, then everything happened pretty quickly, the engine cut out, Sean had to swerve to the side of the road, and the whole front of the car filled up with smoke, S shouted for me to get out of the car….quickly and for a second, I thought the engine was on fire as I coughed the smoke out of my lungs. For a second, we didn’t know what to do. Here we were, two brits stranded on the side of a road in rural Idaho with no phone signal and no car. Then, the guy who had been driving behind us, stopped, got out of his car and walked over to us. He introduced himself as Shane, helped Sean open the bonnet and had a look at the car, he said he didn’t know too much about cars, but there was no way he could leave two kids out on the road in the middle of nowhere. He was so kind to us and we are forever grateful for him towing our car to his town and putting us in the hands of Travis, his friend and the local mechanic.
We checked into a motel and explored a little of what there was of the town, it was very small, and many of the businesses had closed down leaving lots of derelict buildings and echoes of the past. We had our first taste of the american ready meal that evening (not one I would recommend!) and watched a beautiful sunset over the river. But we were also told the news, that there was a problem with the car’s engine, and it would take 4 days to fix. Spring break plans to be postponed.
Well and truly stranded.