I know from experience that being a motorist stranded on the side of the road is never a good thing. However, over the past few months I have noticed that living in the Lower Valley, being stranded on the side of the road isn't as scary a situation as it could be.
I say this because over the course of the past few months I have had to park my car on the side of the road several times, walk out from it a few hundred feet and attempt to take some scenic pictures. Every time I have to do something like this I try to make it as obvious as possible that I am carrying a camera and am not a motorist in distress.
During two such photo-taking stops a fellow motorist has stopped within minutes of me having parked my car to ask if I need any assistance or a ride back to town.
I never knew people actually did this. It is great to know that if I am ever in need of help that people in the Lower Valley are kind enough to take time from their busy schedules to help out a fellow human being.
The last time I actually had car trouble that left me on the side of the road was several years ago, and luckily my husband was with me. The unfortunate thing is that it didn't happen in this area, instead it was in the maze of hills and valleys that make up Interstate 82 between Yakima and Ellensburg.
I will never forget sitting in the car, in the middle of nowhere, wondering how we were ever going to make it out of there. I also vividly remember the sound and feeling of cars and semi-trucks rushing past us at 70 miles per hour. Each vehicle that whizzed passed would shake the entire car.
I remember we were parked on the side of the road for a little while before the car roared back to life and we were able to hobble our way to Ellensburg. But once we arrived in Ellensburg the car gave out again. Once again, no one stopped to help. This time we called a tow truck and had the car taken to a local mechanic.
Needless to say, we don't have that car any longer.
But the important thing to me is that living in the Lower Valley, or even passing through the area, it is nice to know that people care enough to lend a helping hand. And to those two drivers who stopped to offer me a hand - thank you for restoring my faith in being a good neighbor.
. Elena Olmstead can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org