I didn't finish writing my Oregon story, but it ended with high drama and the generous deed of a very good samaritan. On Saturday morning I was driving to the Portland airport armed with a Starbuck's latte and plenty of gas. I was enjoying driving along the Wilson River HIghway on a misty day. I was thinking about my OCCBWW experiences when I encountered a small rock slide moving across the road. Disaster struck. A large rock dented the inside rim of my front tire and very quickly I had a flat tire. I pulled over to the side of the road, there may have been some colorful language involved, and evaluated the situation. Naturally I reached for my trusty cell phone only to discover that there was absolutely no cell reception in the area. This had been the case all week--driving around trying to get a working signal. It's unfortunate that I have come to depend on this technology so completely and yet there are so many times when it's not a reliable resource.
I locked the car, set the emergency blinkers and headed off in the hopes of finding a hospitable resident who would take pity on a stranded motorist and let me use their telelphone to call AAA. Knocking on the door of the first house I went to yielded nothing but a barking dog so I returned to the car and looked plantively at the cars zooming by and ignoring me. No luck.
I set off again, this time walking along the inside of the metal railing preventing cars from careening off the curve at this point in the road. At certain points I was hanging on to the railing myself as a slip of the foot would have meant sliding down into the Wilson River. I discovered another house, knocked on the door and found Scott and his family. I asked to use the phone but Scott said that AAA would take too long and he insisted that he drive me back to look at the situation. He grabbed a variety of jacks and we took off in his Action Painting Contractor's van.
To make a long story short (or at least shorter), Scott was not a deranged homicidal maniac who booby-traps the highway to procure victims. He was an incredibly nice guy who removed the very flat tire on my rented Taurus, put on the temporary spare and assured me that the tire would make it to the Portland Airport. (I made a mental note to finally learn how to change tires, but don't know if I will manage that or not...)
Scott refused my offer of cash to thank him for his trouble. We said good-bye and off I drove, easily making it to the airport in time for my flight to San Francisco. Of course, I didn't get his last name, address or any useful information to track him down. But ye olde Internet came to the rescue yesterday when I scrolled through the Tillamook Chamber of Commmerce roster and spotted his first name paired with an address on the Wilson River Highway. Yeah! I was so glad to find him. I knew he didn't want any cash from me so I am making a donation on his behalf to the Tillamook County Library. I think it is only fitting after my week at OCCBWW that I ask them to purchase a selection of children's books in honor of Scott, the good samaritan.