Road Trip (day 4): Expectations and the Unexpected


After a good night’s rest Sunday night, Monday morning we woke up around 8:00 a.m. and enjoyed the complimentary breakfast at the Comfort Inn in Wheat Ridge, Colorado (West Denver) and enjoyed some time in their indoor pool before leaving to get together with a long time school mate, Christine, who now lives in Colorado Springs. Rick and I planned to meet her at The Ritz Grill at 5:30 p.m. so we had plenty of time to leisurely drive down and take in the sights. We stopped off at the Ackerman Overlook and took in the gorgeous view of the Colorado mountain range. So far, so good. Everything going to plan as we expected.

When we got to downtown Colorado Springs we had to circle around for street parking, but we accidentally ended up in a parking deck, because the left turn I took at the stoplight was actually the entrance of it and not a public street it appeared to be from my perspective. As you can tell, I am navigating blindly without the benefit of a GPS or Siri. However, all is well, as we were only about one block down and one block over from our destination. I also did not expect how lovely downtown Colorado Springs was with garden boxes and art everywhere. (Note that the featured image of Humpty Dumpty on skis was one of the sculptures we saw sitting on a wall of the Colorado Springs courthouse.) The aesthetics were absolutely delightful!

The Ritz had a vintage feel from the restaurant’s exterior awnings and its retro signage to its interior detailed woodwork, paneled walls, high ceilings and artwork. The time flew by too quickly as we partook in a fabulous meal together, catching up. We had a magnificent time together with my dear friend Christine from high school and her husband.


Around 7:30 p.m. we headed back to Denver as the sun was lowering behind the mountain range. Rick and I were enjoying the inspirational audio program by Andy Dooley called Vibration Activation on our 75-mile trek back to the hotel. About 50 miles into our trip we heard a colossal, explosive, and metallic sounding “KA-BLAM!!” as our SUV jolted. The car then drove unevenly as if I perchance had a “blowout”, so I pulled over into the emergency lane on I-25 North. This was around 8:45 p.m. and the sun had already set behind the mountain range.

Needless to say, it was dark and I was scared. I very carefully got out of my vehicle to inspect the outside of my car. The approaching traffic was going 75 mph or faster. It was dangerous and I was fearful of being hit. I didn’t see anything amiss; but, it was too dark to see any details. All the tires seemed in working order, so I got back into our SUV and decided to continue our drive. As, I started to drive off, I found that my dashboard to see my speed was not visible. Luckily, I kept a small flashlight in my glovebox; and, I was able to perch it on the ledge of my dashboard in order to see my speedometer. The car was still driving funny. Fortunately, there was an exit just a few hundred feet away. I knew I had to find a better place to really assess what happened to my car.

At a well-lit gas station, I could see that my entire front left turn signal assembly was gone; and, my front left tire was bald, but not flat. The tread was gone. It was absolutely bizarre. Thank goodness for AAA, who came to our rescue. While we had to wait around 40 minutes for AAA road service, it was well worth it. Nick, the operator of the tow truck was very understanding and helpful. He quickly and easily changed out our marred tire and determined any other damages. I was delighted to learn we had a full-sized spare tire that would adequately get us back home to Virginia. I was grateful for not having to immediately purchase a new tire; however, I did need get a turn signal assembly in the next couple of days.

However, I chose not to worry. I would take one thing at a time. In the immediate moment, we were tired and ready to head back to the hotel and retire for the night. Furthermore, we had another event for which to look forward, which was meeting Andy Dooley (yes, the creator of the inspirational audio program we were listening to when the unexpected happened) for breakfast tomorrow morning.

The only other contrast we got to tolerate occurred at the hotel…no one serviced our room. We were expecting to come back to a made up bed and fresh towels. That didn’t happen. I called the front desk straightaway; and, the front desk associate brought up towels and fresh linens within 15 minutes. Rick and I changed our own sheets and made up our bed before we finally got some rest. I believe it was close to 1 a.m. before we finally went to sleep; but, I was still excited and happy. Everything could have been much worse than it was. I felt blessed; and, we get to meet Andy Dooley!! Yeah! Stay tuned for day 5 as our adventure continues.

All rights reserved. ©2016 by A. K. Orobko


One thought on “Road Trip (day 4): Expectations and the Unexpected

  1. Colorado is one of our favorite places to vacation. The scenery alone is worth the trip! We spent a little time in Colorado Spring after seeing Pikes Peak, and it is just as you say. Check with Ford when you can about your tires. They had that tire recall some years back, and you may qualify. Meanwhile make sure your tire pressures are exactly as recommended. A tread separation like that is caused by squirm, usually from low pressure and heat. Glad you are safe. Enjoy the view!

    Liked by 1 person

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