About Us

The Open Road Project exists to spread kindness and meet the needs of strangers. We travel in a 1979 GMC Vanguard named Lily. These are our stories.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Greg & Cindy

With a successful mountain climb under our belt, we marched confidently back down the mountain, ready to hop into our beloved Lily and head to Pittsburgh. As we came down the road, we saw her gleaming in the afternoon sunshine and our spirits were lifted even higher. Life was good.

Looking back, we should have been expecting what happened next. After all of our packs were put away, the key made its way into the ignition. Now, we'll have you know that turning the key on our 1979 beauty is always an adventure in and of itself. Sometimes, Lily fires up instantly. Other times, she needs a few extra pumps of gas. Sometimes, the battery is dead, and you get nothin'.

This time however, was unlike any other. And not in a good way.

While Lily was turning over just fine, it seemed as though she wasn't getting any fuel to complement the sparks and create combustion. So after numerous futile attempts to start her up, we realized that we were going to have to do some trouble shooting. What else is new?

Just then, something magical happened; a jeep rolled up. Wouldn't you know it! It was Greg Bennett, the man on whose farm we had trespassed to climb the Knob. The kindness we were shown over the next 24 hours was the highlight of the trip, and yet another lesson was learned that we can all apply to our lives.

For the rest of the afternoon, Greg could be caught getting down to the nitty gritty with the engine, trying to figure out what was going wrong. Busting out his 150,000 BTU space heater to try and thaw out our potentially frozen fuel lines was one of the many tactics used to try and get us going.

Heatin'  things up!
As the sun continued to set, we realized that we would not be spending the night in Pittsburgh, as we had previously planned. Greg brought his heater home, and said that he would call a few folks who would be able to get us off the mountain in the morning. We figured we may as well pass the time by keeping warm wrapped up in blankets playing cards. After a few rounds of euchre, we saw the lights of Greg's truck approaching.

While we figured he was just coming to give us some more information on the day to come, he was actually coming back to invite us to stay the night at his place! We would have been more than fine to spend the night in the RV, especially as we recalled our frigid tent experience from the night before, but these are the types of offers that The Open Road Project just cannot refuse. 

Jamie and Dylan hopped into the cab of Greg's truck, while Jordan and I got to lay in the back and take in the starriest sky I have ever seen. When we arrived at the beautiful farm house, we quickly learned that Greg had build the place himself. We heated up some soup and Cindy, Greg's wife, provided the crackers and drinks. We chatted about our adventures, and continued to be thankful for the Bennetts' hospitality.

As we rested our heads on warm pillows that evening, we took in the day. Between summitting the Spruce Knob, tearing down camp, hiking down the mountain, finding Lily once again kaput and being taken in by complete strangers, we had once again experienced another unexpected adventure. These, in our mind, are the best kind.

Home is where you park it,
The Boys

Post by Jeremy Enns

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