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When Adventures Multiply

Sometimes it’s easiest to start a story from the end and work your way backwards.
While we had a lovely time backpacking outside of Aspen from Tuesday to Saturday and while I took many extraordinarily entertaining pictures and videos of our trip, the end of the trip really made it an adventure to remember.  {I will be starting a short series entitled “The Marmot Chronicles” sharing this special media.  Have no fear}
Saturday morning realizing that we had to make a seven hour drive from the Aspen area to Jared’s ‘rents house, we packed up and backpacked out of camp at a bright-eyed hour.  We filled our tank with gas and made it to Denver in good time (Denver is three hours from Jared’s ‘rents).
The day before we left, the right rear wheel on the truck had been squeaking in an odd way.  After further investigation by Jared and others, it was determined that our rear breaks needed to be replaced, but we were not in danger of the breaks exploding or killing us in the mountains (and, yes, I do know that breaks don’t actually “explode”.  My mechanical knowledge does go this far).  So, we decided to mess with it after our trip.
It’ll be fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine….
…and it was fine.
Sort of.  A few miles outside of Denver the rear wheels had a mid-life crisis.  It sounded and felt like we had gotten a flat tire (right after I was running my mouth about the squeaking and how it sounded like a wheel would fall off.  Go me).  We pulled over and hopped out.  But, there were no flat tires.
So we drove a little farther… and the klunking and clanking and chunking and jerking and lurching continued.
Which resulted in a call to Jared’s Padre.
(On a side note, Jared likes to joke around that’s he was adopted.  As if there is no family resemblance between him and his dad.  Ha.  That guy.)
Jared’s Padre, like a rescue-mission-champ immediately went and got a big flat bed trailer from a mechanic friend.  He didn’t even wait for the second phone call where we declared that we had no idea what was wrong with the Expedition.  It wasn’t the brakes.  It wasn’t a flat tire.  It was ker-thunk-chunk-splunk-clank-bang.  Squeak.  I can offer no official diagnosis.
So, by the time Jared made the second phone call to his Padre, he was walking out the door with his diesel, Paul and James, and a flat bed trailer.
So we waited for three hours whilst they drove to Denver.
Enter Triumphant Music…
…After loading the normally-oh-so-faithful Expedition onto the trailer, we got on our way back towards the homestead.
And then, literally eleven miles later….
… a tire blew on the trailer.  And while the Padre masterfully drove the super-jerking-frantic diesel, trailer, and loaded expedition to the shoulder we all held our breath.
And then we stopped, exhaled, and surveyed the damage.  Okay, perhaps I was the only one holding my breath.  It was involuntary.
Poor mangled fender and tire (Which came first, the mangled tire or the mangled fender?  I think it was the mangled fender under the weight of the beastly suv.  Or, maybe it was the tire and during it’s explosion it mangled the fender.  Or, maybe it really was the fender which caused a chain reaction.  Or maybe it was the tire.
Okay, I’ll stop.
I think it was the fender.
Or the tire.)
I’m really done.  Promise.
You see the family resemblance, don’t you?  And the sunburn line on Jared’s ankle?
That’s not genetic.  That’s just him.

Our adventure expanded a little more as the Padre and I drove into the country following faulty directions to a tire store from a WalMart employee.  We saw prairie dogs and nice houses.  But not tire store.

Which reminds me, thank you, Kelly from Discount Tire in Thorton for staying open an extra fifteen minutes to service our rim with a tire.  You’re a gem.

Eventually, after the Expedition came back off the trailer, the rim was mounted with a new tire, installed on the trailer, and the Expedition put back on the trailer we were on our merry way again.

We pulled into the Wray homestead by ten after nine on Saturday evening. We were glad to be home, glad for the family that came to our rescue (oh, did I mention this is the second time the Padre has trailered Jared and a vehicle home?  The first time was in Utah), and glad that they didn’t make to many jokes about our smell.  We had been in the backcountry all week, afterall.  Even a crewcab is tight quarters with backpackers.
If you were looking for a moral to this story, I don’t really have one.
But I can tell you I’m grateful for the fam.
And that it’s best to keep laughing in these situations.
And that cold powerade tastes good on highway shoulders.
And, that Jared needs to use sunscreen on his ankles.  That’s a pretty clean line, eh?
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