You Can’t Force Magic

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After the sixth phone call, I told Heath to just stop calling.

He was trying to find us an RV park near the Grand Canyon and for the first time, they all told us no. They were all full.

“Alyssa, I have to find us a place to stay tonight.”

“Don’t stress about it. We’ll find a place to stay. Let’s just enjoy the Grand Canyon today, okay?”

I don’t know how I kept so calm or why I wasn’t the person stressing about details, as was the norm. But whimsy filled my soul and I somehow knew, deep down, we’d find a place to stay.

And we did indeed—at a mechanic shop.

Breaking our first martial arts boards and seeing the Grand Canyon all in one day.

“Let’s just exit anyway and see if they have a spot for tonight.”

“They said that they are full when you called though, right?” I didn’t know why we waste part of our day checking on an RV park that already told us we couldn’t stay with them.

“Yeah, but let’s check anyway. It’s the closest Passport America RV Park to the Grand Canyon,” Heath replied with a hopeful smile.

“Sounds good,” I agreed. Waiting until the heat of the day passed before visiting the Canyon didn’t sound like an awful idea.

He pulled off at exit 163 and cruised down the off ramp, turning right at the green light and then stopping in the middle of the road.

I looked at him confused. “What are you doing?”

“We just died.” Heath’s eyes were wide and I half believed he was joking.

He turned off the engine and restarted the car. We jostled about ten feet forward into a parking lot before the car’s engine dwindled down to its eminent death.

Heath started the engine again when I noticed the meter in the dash with the picture of an oilcan sat far past low. Not that I have any idea what it means, but being in the red looked bad.

“Seriously? Wal-Mart changed our oil and checked our fluids not even an hour ago.”

I shook my head in disbelief assuming the pro mechanics at Wal-Mart made some fatal error. I hopped out the RV to follow Heath to the engine and met eyes with a girl standing next to her car. A man was bent over messing with her back tire. Just beyond them, I noticed a familiar sign.

After driving through desert and mountains, we landed in a mechanic’s parking lot in the picturesque town of Williams with a burnt out fuel pump.

So instead of hurrying to the Grand Canyon and stressing about having no place to stay, we found ourselves walking old Route 66 where we found the only Mexican restaurant in town and indulged in a bowl of queso. That’s where we met Jimmy and Karen, who teach martial art in the small town. They let us take a free class and taught us self defense and let us break our first boards.

You can’t force magic. Magic happenswhen you take risks, when you don’t schedule, when you don’t try to control. Sometimes you just have to open your eyes and let the bad, the broken fuel pump, turn into something good, like lifelong memories.

5 Responses

  • […] Breaking down in Williams, AZ ten days into our journey […]

  • […] a bad day, there might be a leak during a thunderstorm in South Dakota, or you might be working on fixing a fuel pump, or maybe your trailer is falling off. There are a number of things that can go wrong while RVing, […]

  • […] found freelance work and discovered our passion for writing and online marketing. And we DID end up breaking down in the middle of the desert in Arizona (just like I was so afraid of), but it ended up being one of the best experiences of my life and a […]

  • Love it! Just spent 3 days in a mechanic’s parking lot near Cache Creek, BC, getting my fuel pump replaced. Who would have thought they put fuel pumps INSIDE gas tanks? Sadly, no board breaking for me, but hey, I broke my first board a decade or so ago. I was comfy – had power and internet, so no big deal.

    • Haha, I know getting the fuel pump replaced is just so complicated! But it worked out 🙂 Not a bad trade off for getting to RV around the country!

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