As we headed south and left Denver our "voltage" light came on. Normally Chris ignores these for a while, but we looked in the owner's manual and it said to get help immediately. Great. It was Saturday afternoon. We started looking for some place to stop and everything was closed. We finally found a mechanic in Aspen Park that was open. It was not our battery as we had thought, but our alternator was dying. Fast. We started saying some prayers. As he looked at the car, you could hear it dying. He first said he couldn't help us until Sunday night if he could get a part in. Our alternative was to drive back to Denver and try to find some place that was open. He said he could charge our battery, but we still might not make it. Awesome, "have you seen our four children in the back seats?" I wanted to ask.
The mechanic went in to see if he could track down a part and we said a few more prayers. He came out and said we were in luck. He could get a new alternator, and could work late to help us out. He told us he could have it ready by 7pm. Yeah....except that it was 3:45 by then. He said he could drop us off at a local family restaurant and said they'd "take care of us."
If you know Sam, you know he's a typical two-year-old boy. Sitting in a restaurant for 30 minutes is a struggle at best. We had 3 hours and 15 minutes to kill. And we were not even a little bit hungry. You know you're not hungry when you completely ignore the free bread they set at your table at an Italian restaurant. But, we ordered dinner. Luckily the restaurant had a small basket of toys for the kids to play with and crayons to draw on the paper laid out on the tables. We ate, we stalled, and then we asked if there was anything within walking distance. A grocery store. Well, not my first choice, but I can kill a lot of time wandering around in a grocery store. We got directions and headed out. By then it was dark and very cold. The sidewalks were covered in snow. Remember what we were wearing and those shoes.... Not ideal for this adventure.
The streets weren't lit well and the sidewalk ended, and really it was much too far for our kids to walk. We headed back the way we came. There was a gas station there and I thought maybe they'd have a booth we could sit in. Nope, closed on Saturday afternoons. Really? Our only choice was to head back to the restaurant and hope they'd understand.