Tow Trucks, Sandstorms, and Sunburns

Lake Powell has been on our bucket list for a long, long time. We had three days off so we decided to head that way and explore a little. Page, Arizona is only an hour and fifteen minutes from Tuba City, but we hadn’t quite made it before all power in the truck just completely cut off. Thankfully, the shoulder was wide enough for us to pull completely off the road. The kids and I gave Erich some space to troubleshoot. It was hot and he kept hitting dead ends. I started calling insurance for roadside assistance, but things get tricky when you are a family of six, with a dog, pulling a camper and you need a tow. We couldn’t officially request the tow truck until we knew where we wanted to go, which we couldn’t do until Erich figured out what was wrong with the truck and where we could get the part. Erich made his best guess, called and found the part at a local NAPA, and a tow truck was dispatched. We were told that we’d have to find a taxi though, only two people could ride in the tow truck. We were also told we’d need to have the trailer towed separately, at our own expense. It was going to cost an extra $148 to tow the trailer, and we were in the middle of the desert, on Navajo land, so taxis weren’t abundant. I spent awhile trying to track down the phone numbers for some new friends we made that happened to be in Page, but I had left their info back at the big camper and couldn’t track their numbers down online. It had been three hours, it was hot, and things were getting complicated, so I called my parents and asked them to pray for favor. Father never fails! The tow truck driver showed up, said we could all stay in the truck, loaded it on a flatbed, attached the camper to his hitch, and towed us 15 miles (the exact distance insurance will cover) and dropped us off at Walmart, in the side parking lot, where we could camp and Erich could work on the truck out of sight of the security cameras so as not to draw too much attention. And then, guess what?! The driver didn’t charge us a penny extra! We thanked him and thanked Father and went to grab dinner when guess who we saw?! Our new friends, in the Walmart parking lot! We exchanged numbers and were so blessed by their kindness and offers of assistance. We felt like it was just another gift from God, to let us know we weren’t alone in a state where we knew no one. It’s already a long story, so I’ll just let you know that Erich worked on the truck, a guy from NAPA came and got him in the morning so he could grab the right part, then let him BORROW his car to run back for something, even though he was a complete stranger, and then dropped him back off at Walmart later on. Then, with a little help from a friend back in South Carolina he got the specs he needed and got the truck running! The kids were fantastic, the whole time… three hours in the heat on the side of the road, followed by about 18 hours in a Walmart parking lot, all with no complaining. I love those guys.

Anyways, we headed to the lake to set up camp. The campground was open dispersed, which meant you could park anywhere, but in this case, everywhere was sand. Deep sand. There were campers scattered about, so we figured if they could do it, we could do it. We chose a spot and set up. The water was cold, but the kids were brave, and we just chilled out the rest of the day. That evening a windstorm picked up and you couldn’t even hardly breathe outside. The wind lasted through the night and into the morning, so we decided to pack it up. We were nervous about our exit strategy through the deep sand. Erich saw our neighbor pulling a fifth-wheeler packing up. His rig was much bigger than ours so he asked what his strategy was. His reply: “Get a running start, try to hit 40mph before I hit the deep sand, and then just keep going.” We waited and watched. What a sight to see! Lol. That guy stomped on the gas and I swear, he never let up. We were both sure he was gonna flip, his rig was all over the place. It was both reassuring and distressing. We were smaller and had already let some air out of our truck’s tires, but still, we were pretty sure we were going to be stuck in the sand and at the mercy of another camper pulling us out. We hooked up, aimed for the same path as the fifth-wheeler, and gunned it. We were almost clear when we started slowing down, spinning out and fishtailing. We thought we were done, but Erich kept his foot on the gas and our tires reached some slightly more solid land just in time. It was pretty fun. The rest of the drive was much less sketchy and I’m happy to say, we made it out in one piece and right side up.

We hadn’t really gotten to explore much and weren’t sure we were going to have the chance to come back, so we decided to splurge a little and rent a boat for a couple hours. The boat sucked. The steering was off and things kept breaking, and we had to fight the wind and waves to make it back in time, but the lake was amazing! It’s unlike any other lake I’ve seen, with steep cliff walls and canyons and rocky shores. It was breathtaking. We could have spent days exploring the different canyons, but are thankful for the few hours we did have. We’d all had a little too much sun and I had acquired quite a burn on my back while stuck on the side of the road, so we decided to call it a trip and head home, with so much to be thankful for.

Life lessons this week: deserts are hot, sunburns hurt, we need a new old truck, and Father is faithful, always.

Double tow.
powell faves
Redneck Camping
powell faves-2
Mechanic turned nurse turned mechanic.
powell faves-3
How is he still smiling?
Sandstorms cover everything.



Antelope Canyon from Lake Powell




  1. You guys are AMAZING! I love, love, love your adventurous spirit! I have to admit, I’m a bit jealous of all your travels and getting to see things on your bucket list. SOOOOO COOL!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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