Shared Stories: Tows, tows, tows, toes

The current heat wave brings to mind the heat wave in late June when it was too hot for planes to fly in or out of Phoenix airport. Gail Earl’s family went to the river that week and experienced significant tire damage. Shared Stories is a weekly column featuring articles by participants in a writing class at the Norwalk Senior Center. Bonnie Mansell is the instructor for this free class offered through the Cerritos College Adult Education Program. Curated by Carol Kearns.

By Gail Earl
Well, it was vacation time once again. Now that it’s over, let me just say that we had a wonderful time. During our first week there were four of us, then we grew to nine.  

We boated, skied, floated, swam and laughed. We explored, we read, we played a multiple of board games.  We had all kinds of adventures that made this trip wonderful.

We also had many adventures that were memorable but not so much fun.  It was a very costly trip. 

It started the night before we left town.  We were out to dinner and when we came out to our car afterward we noticed fluid had run all the way across the parking lot, and it was coming from my car. We had to have it TOWED on a big flat bed back to the house. My husband was able to fix it once we were home.

Once on the road, heading for the Colorado River, it was so hot across the desert (124 degrees), that the tires on our truck bubbled. Dale could tell this by the rough ride. Thankfully we got off the highway before they blew out. We saw tons of cars pulled to the side of the road with the tread peeled off their tires.  It was just too hot for tires. We had to buy four brand new tires.

We finally reached our house on the river and enjoyed our first day of boating.  We spent all day at a beach playing and had a wonderful day.  As we pulled out of the cove and back into the main channel of the river, the engine of the boat blew up.  Luckily we were able to pull into a beach right away and beach the boat.  

We had to call for a TOW boat to drag us back to the launch.  Because the tow boat was a small boat & our boat is huge, plus the fact that we had to go up river against the current, it took 2 hours, at a putt-putt speed to get back seven miles. 

The tow boat beached the girls and I, and we waited with the boat while the tow boat took Dale to our house to get the boat trailer.  Then he came back to pick us up from the launch. Dale had to use the winch in the ceiling of our garage to pull the engine out of the boat and lower it into the back of our truck so he could bring it home and rebuild it.  Another adventure.

Without the boat to play with we were left with just our jet skis and floating toys. The following day we were in the cove with the skis. My granddaughter and her girlfriend were on the back of my ski and they pushed us out into the cove before I had it started.  It wouldn’t start. We had to jump in and swim it back to shore.  

My son’s wife had three on her ski as well and noticed that we didn’t come out of the cove so she turned back to see what was happening.  I gave her a TOW rope and they pulled us back to our house.  Luckily our house is only about a half mile up river. Thankfully that was nothing serious.

With all the TOWS involved on this trip, one stands out as a really good memory.  That was laying in the hammock on our patio, barefooted with my 4 year-old great grandson, reading a story and looking down and seeing 10 big TOES and 10 little toes.