Here are the details of the crazy start to this weekend. Ben and Steve drove up to the North Woods of Wisconsin on Friday, planning to camp that night and then fish all day Saturday. Well, Ben called me on Friday night and said they were way up there (4 1/2 hrs away) and the 1994 Nissan Altima had died.
We weren't really sure what the best plan would be. A policeman stopped to see what was wrong, and when they asked if there were any car repair shops that might be open, he said, "Not 'til Tuesday!" since it was Memorial Day weekend. That was not a good solution for us! Ben and Steve had planned on returning home on Saturday night.
Steve had AAA, so we hung up and they were going to call and arrange to have the car towed into town (the nearest town was Wausakee, WI). I went to our church's web site and looked up the nearest church building to where they were and called the hall phone at that church. The phone rang and rang and rang... and then a woman answered! I explained the situation and asked if she knew anyone who was a mechanic that they might possibly be able to get help from before the end of the weekend. She put a guy named Chris on the phone, who said he had a truck and trailer and would be happy to go pick up the guys and the car (they were an hour and a half away) and bring them back to his place. Chris sounded like he was pretty good with cars and had a car diagnostic computer. I couldn't believe he offered to do such a thing!
In the end, Ben and Steve stayed at a motel in Wausakee on Friday night, and in the morning tried to see if they could get a part from a nearby auto parts store on Saturday morning. The store didn't have what they thought they might need, so they called Chris and arranged to have him come pick them up.
That afternoon, Chris, who was maybe 30 years old, brought them back to the house, where he lived with his parents. He was divorced and had a cute 5-year-old girl who was anxious to show Ben and Steve her pony and horses. They lived very close to the Oneida Indian Reservation (they were Native American) and had a nice amount of land. They worked on the car for a few hours and even had their mechanic friend come over with the computer from the auto shop - this helped find the problem, which was a leak in the distributor. The family grilled up a big lunch and shared it with Ben and Steve, fixed the car, and sent them on their way. It was the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for them! (or me, for that matter)
There are so many things about this story that amaze me - apparently the church that I called housed a pretty small branch. That night there were 5 people at the church having game night - what are the odds that someone would be at the church on a Friday night?? And that they would be so willing to drive 3 hours round trip and spend their Saturday fixing a stranger's car. I was pretty touched with their kindness and care for Ben and Steve.
Ben arrived home on Saturday night around 9 p.m. - we are so thankful for Chris and his family! Ben was able to sneak in a little fishing early Saturday morning and managed to catch five fish in about an hour, which made him happy. :)