It’s Always Something

Car Troubles

Friday as I was running to the grocery store in preparation for our camping trip the van started making funny noises. I use the term “funny” very loosely. It sounded as though something was dragging on the asphalt as I drove. So I pulled into a gas station parking lot and called Todd. Turns out we need a new transmission.

This shouldn’t be upsetting. We’ve had the car since 1998 and it has nearly 120,000 miles on it. Yes, Bessie’s been a very dependable van for us. And as I sat there waiting for Todd to rescue me I kept thanking God that she waited until this week to die on me. Beth and I put about 800 miles on the van just the week before. We’ve decided to go ahead and have the transmission fixed. While I would love to get a new car, I love not having a car payment even more. Maybe next year…


After the van fiasco, we loaded up the trailer, hooked it up and drove up to Delaware Water Gap in the Poconos. My gosh, that’s gorgeous country! The leaves are really starting to pop, though it’s not peak foliage quite yet. Maybe another week or two.

Late yesterday morning we left the campground and drove up to Bushkill Falls, better known as the Niagara of Pennsylvania. They have several different hiking trails, the longest of which is about 2 miles and views all eight of the beautiful waterfalls. Aren’t they pretty? Oh wait. I forgot. I didn’t get any pictures like I had planned. And do you know why? They wanted nine-bloomin’-dollars A PERSON for the privilege of walking on their trails! Thirty-six dollars for a family of four. An 11-year-old is considered an adult. Maybe if we hadn’t had the van problem I would have felt more frivolous. But neither Todd nor I could bring ourselves to pay that ridiculous sum of money just to hike around and see some water falling over rocks.

This has griped me all weekend. I could maybe see them charging some nominal amount – say a dollar or two – to help pay for upkeep. It’s quite a tourist trap with shops and food and other amusements like mining and mini-golf so it isn’t like they’re not making any money anyway. But $9.00 for anyone over the age of 10? I don’t think so!!

It was a beautiful day, though, and we enjoyed driving around the mountains. Unfortunately the weekend came to an end and we had to come home. Even less fortunate, I have to clean the camper tomorrow. I doubt we’ll have it out again until the spring. Maybe if I save my money we can afford to go hiking by then.


  1. Kris on October 8, 2006 at 10:45 pm

    I agree, I cannot see paying that much to go in an walk around. I can see $5 but not $10. I had a similar thing happen to me the other day, I was going to take my kids to the petting zoo. I decided to look online to find out prices before i left. They want $19 to get in, $17 if you are under 13. I cannot justify that right now.

  2. terrillr on October 9, 2006 at 1:31 am

    As many trips as you have made in that van, I’m surprised you don’t have more miles… (my Jeep has you beat!)Paying that much money to hike, WOW!!! For that price, I would expect them to push me in a chair or something! I’m sure it was great to get away though, we’re leaving next Wed or Thurs for Little Rock, but will stop for a day or two on the way home.

  3. Jenster on October 9, 2006 at 9:34 am

    Kris – $17 to $19 for a petting zoo?? That’s highway robbery!Terri – Have fun in Little Rock. I know Mom & Dad are excited about seeing everybody, especially the baby. I can’t believe he’s a year old! Will you get my blog on mom & dad’s favorites? Also, are you going to start blogging? You’re certainly enough of a smart arse to make it fun! :o)Jen

  4. Bookwormom on October 9, 2006 at 12:24 pm

    Maybe the PA state parks are cheaper? If not actually free? Here in VA I’ve paid for state wide annual vehicle admissions (roughly $50 for all state parks). It has turned out to be a huge bargain. There’s rarely another fee & it has saved us huge amounts of $$. $9 per head is a rip off I agree.Hope your van is better soon. We don’t have car payments either & I hope to avoid them for some time to come.As to your upcoming surgery- best wishes hoarding fat cells for the reconstruction. I can’t think of anything clean enough to say about being er..imbalanced back to front, so I’ll be quiet on that topic. LOL

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