Last I wrote we were stopped unexpectedly in Laramie, WY, the small (small) town that happened to be the closest when we overheated early that morning. Our mechanic Clouse said that it was probably the head gaskets—that with Subarus and 2.5L engines it was always the head gaskets—but that we should pray it wasn’t the head gaskets, because of the extent and expense of the repair.
To be honest, we didn’t even know what head gaskets were (until he explained it to us and showed it to us and explained it to us again and again…) but we did pray. In fact, we asked everyone we knew to pray. And sometimes, when we pray, the answer is no.
In this case, I guess, the answer was: head gaskets.
With the repair bill in front of us—a repair bill that virtually matched the worth of the car—Sharaya and I deliberated over our options. Options. That was the problem. There just weren’t very many of them.
- Option #1. Sell the car, buy plane tickets to Hawaii, and end our trip early with (at least) the consolation of a tropical vacation (In all honesty, this was an option about which we had joked and laughed before the trip began, but that didn’t occur to us as a viable option during the heat of the crisis itself)
- Option #2. Borrow the money to fix the car and hope that we didn’t encounter any more mechanical issues along the way (In the words of Clouse, yeah, right…)
- Option #3. Beg an unsuspecting Subaru dealership in Cheyenne, WY to take my broken Subaru on a trade for a certified one… and, oh yeah, to offer financing for two girls with no substantiated income.
See, that’s the thing with Packing Light. When there aren’t many choices in your suitcase, you can’t waste your whole morning deliberating over what to wear.
So, in the spirit of Packing Light we drove my car (slowly, carefully, checking the fluids every ten minutes) the forty miles to Cheyenne. We met with a nice salesman named Colt who showed us the only car on the lot that met our qualifications. Low mileage. A Warranty. A roof rack so that we didn’t have to abandon Alex’s cargo box in Wyoming too [Side note: we don’t recommend packing light with other people’s things].
And a few short, dizzying hours later we were the proud—perhaps confounded, disillusioned, but proud nonetheless—joint owners of a ’09 Subaru Impreza. As if we weren’t enough like a married couple before…
Meet McNally. As in, Rand:
Also in the spirit of Packing Light, I said goodbye to Sammy, the car that I have loved and that I swear has loved me back over the past three years. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. The hardest part about Packing Light is letting go.
And again, the best part about letting go is that it frees us to grab onto something new.
If we’re able to muster a little resilience, a little gumption, we can prevent those little bumps in the road from derailing us from our destination, our vision. Before we knew it we were back on I-80 headed full-speed toward our long-anticipated vacation.
Yellowstone National Park. The Grand Tetons. The most incredible campsite of our lives. Stay tuned.