Orderville:

After a few days, we were to take a break from fishing and do some hiking at Zion National Park, which was about a two hour drive through the mountains. I was taking a nap on the carpeted floor of the van when suddenly there was a loud noise. Father made a sarcastically pained expression, something like “wonderful” or “great” and pulled over to the side of the road. It sounded like the motor had shut off, and we coasted a little way down the hill before Father pulled onto a wider patch of shoulder. I asked him what had happened and he tersely explained that the transmission had just failed. He jumped out of the van, and disappeared underneath as he assessed the situation. Shortly, Father returned, looked over a Utah map, and decided to try to make it to the next town. He put the van into low gear and drove along the side of the road, the van being unable to go any faster than about twenty miles per hour. It felt like hours before Father pulled into the parking lot of a small gas station and repair shop. The rest of us waited in the van as father went in to talk to the attendant. Mother leaned her head against the passenger door frame as Brother and Sister restlessly struggled to look out the windshield. After a few minutes, Father returned, pulled the van in front of the small garage, and got out to have a conversation with Mother. Shortly, they returned and as Mother began packing a bag, Father explained “It’s going to take a few days for the parts to get out here, so we’ll be staying with the mechanic’s family.” I remember that the man and his wife seemed not much older than my own parents, and that they had six children who were mostly older than myself. The two boys who were closest to my age took me down to a swimming hole, and we spent most of the next few afternoons swimming around the muddy pond. I remember swimming with those boys, and little else of that time. After what felt like a vacation within a vacation, the van was repaired and we drove back to our camp site in the mountains. Father was depressed at the amount of money he’d spent on the repairs, and that disappointment hung like a cloud over the rest of the time we spent in Utah that year.