I’m not telling you this story so you’ll think I’m cool. I don’t think what I did was really so special. I’m telling you this story to inspire you to help someone who might need a hand.
I think we had just turned down Indian Route 15.
The Lady of the House and I were on our epic road trip through Arizona and Utah. We’d just left Winslow, where yes, we stood on the corner. Now we were on a long leg of the trip to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. We’d left the I-40 just east of Winslow, and were currently in the Navajo Nation.
I think we had just turned down Indian Route 15 when we saw the man and the woman standing next to a dusty SUV pulled off on the shoulder of the road. I don’t remember how we determined they were having trouble. They weren’t waving their arms or otherwise trying to signal drivers to stop, but trouble was the only reason I could imagine for pulling off the road there.
We should see if we can help them, I said to The Lady as I passed the people and their vehicle, then slowed down to pull off on the shoulder ahead of them.
You jump out and ask if they need anything, I said to The Lady. She’s the more outgoing of the two of us, so I figured she’d be better at approaching strangers.
She did jump out and was back quite soon. The people had a flat tire, she reported. They had phone service and water, so they didn’t need our help with those things. The woman wanted to know if we could give her a ride just down the road to a supermarket so she could buy a can of Fix-a-Flat.
I didn’t mind giving her a ride. While my van only has two passenger seats with seatbelts, there was room for her to perch on the edge of the bed. I could drive slowly so she wouldn’t feel her life was endangered without a seat belt.
Too bad I didn’t have the 12-volt air compressor I’d bought earlier in the year after a tire disaster on BLM land. I’d purchased the compressor along with a can of Fix-a-Flat in preparation for future tire disasters. Unfortunately for the people with the flat, I’d left the compressor with The Man who was rolling on three used tires and more likely to need it. If I’d had the compressor with me, I would have used it to try to pump up their tire. Maybe the tire would have held air long enough to get them to a tire repair shop. Since I didn’t have the compressor, all I could do was give the woman a ride so she could buy herself a can of Fix-a-Flat.
Oh wait! I had a can of Fix-a-Flat. I could just give her my can of Fix-a-Flat which would save us both time and save her money too.
I jumped out of the drivers seat and went around to the back of the van. After opening the doors, I had to move bags of food and a large plastic tote so I could rummage around in a small tub, but I finally put my hands on the can of Fix-a-Flat.
Is this what you were going to get? I asked the woman who had come closer to the van when The Lady beckoned her. When she said yes, I handed the can to her and told her she could have it.
She thanked us, and The Lady and I jumped back in the van. I don’t know what else we could have done to help.
The supermarket the woman had said was just down the road turned out to be about six miles away. I wouldn’t have minded driving that far, I told The Lady, but it was father than I’d expected.
When she asked for a ride, I asked her how she was going to get back, The Lady told me. She said she would walk. That would have been a long walk!
I would have waited for her, I told The Lady. I would have given her a ride back to her truck.
However, since we still had a long way to go to get to the campground where we planned to stay that night, I was happy I was able to simply hand over what she was planning to buy anyway.
I replaced the can of Fix-a-Flat a couple of days later while we were in civilization. When we got back to Babylon, The Lady gave me her family’s old air compressor that no longer works when plugged it into a regular electrical outlet but does still work when I plug it into my van’s 12-volt outlet. Now The Man and I are both prepared for tire disasters.
I hope the people on Indian Route 15 were back on the road in no time.
I took the photos in this post.