Road Trip Gone Wrong | Colorado Day in the Life Photographer

First of all, meet Desi, the blue Suburu. Last month, Mike, Desi, and I went on road trip. It was our first vacation together and we were so excited to see some National Parks and wander around some ghost towns and all that. I tried to document the trip with my camera, as well as time lapses and phone photos.

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We drove out to Utah and went on a hike in Arches National Park. We got to explore Moab a bit and see the delicate arch during sunset. Then we stayed in the sweetest AirBnB and drove south toward Mesa Verde in the morning. We listened to ’90s and ’00s music the whole time. I tried to sing along, but Mike was not having any of that. I did catch him doing a little dance though!

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Just before, turning to cross back into Colorado, Desi started sounding… questionable. We came to a stop at the only red light in miles, and the car died. In Montecello, UT. Which is basically the middle of nowhere, but we did get to kill some time playing games in the dollar store while we waited for a tow truck. The tow truck driver hitched us up and started towing us to Durango, the nearest town with a Suburu dealership.

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As we were driving into Colorado, we noticed that the pick up truck ahead of us was swerving on to the rumble strips and changing his speed a lot. We were about to call *277 (the drunk driver/road rage hotline in CO), but before we could dial, we came over a hill and the pick up truck smashed into a tractor. The tractor flipped over pinning the farmer under it.

As I called 911, Mike (who was a volunteer firefighter back in New York state) and the tow truck driver rushed to help the man. We were there for two hours as the police showed up, the ambulance got there, an off-duty nurse tried to help, we tried to pull the tractor off with the tow truck. Eventually, with the help of the local fire department and EMTs, the tractor was lifted off the farmer and he was transferred to the ambulance.

Once they opened the road again, we drove to Durango in near silence. I didn’t take any photos for this part. We still had a broke down car on a holiday weekend, far from home. We got to the dealership just before they closed for the weekend. They couldn’t look at Desi until Tuesday (it was Saturday), and that weekend just happened to be the town’s busiest weekend of the year. Two Suburu employees stayed late to help us find the last room in town and then drove us there. We checked into the hotel, got some much needed food, and passed out for the night.

When we woke up, Mike was researching common issues with the car and racking his brain trying to figure out what was going on. We found a place that could rent a car to us and even pick us up, but Mike wanted to look at Desi first, so we took the hotel shuttle back to the dealership.

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He opened her up, fiddled around a bit, and less then a minute later, he looked at me. This is apparently his “I know what’s wrong and I know how to fix it” face. So , we walked to Sears to get the tools we needed. Luckily, the store was only about a mile away because he had to go back again, when he realized he bought the  wrong tools.

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Many swear words and a few cut up hands later, Mike had Desi all fixed up! She worked just like new! For a while… (By the way, Desi IS new. He bought her right off the line in March!)

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Turns out, he didn’t quite put everything back together correctly, but once we found the problem, it was an easy fix and we were on our way home again. Finally!

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Here’s a compilation of all the time-lapses and phone photos from the trip.

I have to say, in the end this trip was an amazing experience. Through everything that went wrong and all the awful emotions felt, my faith in humanity was restored as everyone we met took the time and effort to help us however they could. It also made me more sure than ever that this relationship we’re in is strong. We lost our patience with each other a couple times (mostly because I just kept taking pictures and Mike just kept buying the wrong tools!), but we were supportive and together through it all. Plus, we got to see many amazing parts of the Rocky Mountains!

Wanna meet me and chat sometime? Send me an email at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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10 thoughts on “Road Trip Gone Wrong | Colorado Day in the Life Photographer

  1. WOW! Now that is a road trip. So glad you guys were there to help the farmer out. That must have been so scary!

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  2. Awesome adventure and narrative! My friend and I have taken road trips out west and had great experience sans break down. You were in the right place at the right time to help the farmer.

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  3. Oh my gosh! So glad you guys are okay and found it was an easy fix. I grew up in Durango, it stinks when you’re car breaks down and it’s a foreign car because it’s hard to get them in to get seen. 😦

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