Our third day on the road started off magnificently. Having received some route tips from my cousin Lynsey’s boyfriend Don the night before, we set out for the hills towards Lake Tahoe in hopes of seeing the sights. As we climbed the switchbacks leading to snowcapped peaks, we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed. Even with slightly overcast weather, the country’s unofficial sixth Great Lake is something to behold.
The crystal blue waters and panoramic views were almost too much to take in from a single vista point, so we made multiple stops around the southeast rim of the lake to snap photos and explore the shoreline. I even managed to do a little off-roading in my wheelchair on one of the lesser precarious trails, which caught a British couple by surprise when they rounded a corner and came face to face with an extremely paralyzed backwoodsman-look-alike. After that it was a quick three-hour jaunt through more gorgeous hillsides as we made our way towards a small sliver of my history near Mammoth Mountain, where my family lived when I was just a baby.
We arrived in Bishop, California, a small town just south of Mammoth, just in time to grab some burgers and shakes with friends that have been in my family since before I was born. I relished the opportunity to hear stories about my folks from the old days; the trouble they caused and the fun that they had. We finished our meals, took some goofy pictures and were ready to retire back to the hotel to get another lengthy day of travel tomorrow. But again, it appears Life had other plans.
I pulled into the van like I have dozens of times already on this trip, and suddenly my drive controls stopped working altogether, the words “Right Motor Fault” flashing on its screen. We drove back to the hotel and Claire and Amanda were forced to push me and my 350 pound wheelchair back into our room so we could Google the error message and, sure enough, I have a blown motor on my wheelchair on day three of what is becoming a hell-arious trip down memory lane.
Looks like day four will involve a wheelchair parts scavenger hunt through Southern California. Paging Dr. Murphy… Dr. Murphy, line one.