Palm Springs Again: Roadside Assistance
Odometer (Legend): 532,000
Odometer (ILX): 107,466
Trip Distance: 536 Miles
“Quartzsite tow” I googled on my iPhone. When the representative from Everett’s Towing answered the phone, I told her my situation. “I’m at the Bouse rest area eastbound on I-10 about 30 miles from Quartzsite with a dead battery. Can you send a truck to give me a jump?” Meanwhile I was reaching out of my comfort zone by walking up to random people at the rest area: Tourists in a rental Caravan, a guy in a white PT Cruiser, a couple in a black Acura TL-S, and a family in a Ford pickup. Nobody carries jumper cables these days!
Location reference. AKA: Middle of nowhere, smack-dab in the desert.
My predicament happened because while my friend Justin was in the bathroom, I left the car’s ignition turned on so that I could stay in the car and use my work laptop which was plugged in to recharge. I guess the laptop sucked a lot more power than I thought it did. When Justin came back and hit the red START button on the instrument panel, lights flickered, the engine jolted briefly, and then everything went dark. My heart sank as I realized what had happened. At over 107,000 miles and with 2.5 solid years of daily use, the ILX’s battery has been getting a little more tired lately so I should have known better.
Stressed out about making it home to Phoenix (still a 90-minute drive away) so Justin could make it to a volleyball tournament, we anxiously watched the clock as we awaited help from the tow company. Then, a light bulb went on. We remembered that stick shifts can be push-started. It was a long shot, but we decided to try our luck at doing the same with the ILX. Because of the angle of the parking lot, it made the most sense to conduct our experiment in reverse, so I took the driver’s seat and released the parking brake. Justin gave the car a hearty push from up front and I started coasting rearward in reverse with the clutch depressed. When I felt like I had some pretty good momentum, I kicked my leg off the clutch pedal abruptly and the car came to life. Genius! Saved by a manual transmission.
Meanwhile, I felt bad leaving the tow driver high & dry so I called and offered to pay him for the time he’d already spent heading my direction. Lesson learned: I’m putting jumper cables in the car tomorrow.
It was a quick out-and-back weekend trip to Palm Springs, California for a party hosted by my friends Scott & Sandy. Their beautiful home was dressed to the max and bustling with dozens of people, Christmas music, and plenty of cheer. Justin and I had the chance to take a spin in Scott’s nicely restored 1966 Mustang in the perfect top-down weather before making our return trip to Phoenix the following day. Here are a few quick pics from the weekend.
Pit stop in Desert Center, California
Interstate 10 westbound
Backyard with a golf course view
Home exterior, with the palms decked out in blue lights
Following Scott in his new 1993 Legend LS coupe
Taking a look at some old iron. Pictured here is Scott’s 1959 Mercury Park Lane. Massive!
Out for a spin in the 1966 Ford Mustang 289 V8 with “Pony Package” interior.
Mustang in rare “Emberglo” color. A real beauty!