There's nothing quite like learning something new, the hard way.
On March 16th I made my way from Casper Wyoming to Gillette Wyoming to 1)get away from the cold. 2)to get away from the wind and 3) to gain some ground on our journey back home. I've been through Gillette Wyoming before so I knew that the Walmart there was good for overnight parking and so parked in the back of the lot near some grass so that lylah can use the restroom and only travel a short distance.
So we get things set up, have some dinner, work a little bit, and then head to bed per usual. Morning comes around and per routine, I put the keys in the ignition and turn it on and, with that Gimli sputtered to life and started to work his hardest to get warm. In the meantime, I grab Lylah and put her E- Collar on, and open the door on the driver's side. To get out I had to flip open the latch on the door and then give the door a little kick to pop it open to the outside. Of course, when I did this I must have, half awake mind you, somehow bumped the latch on my way out. In the cold, I made sure Lylah hurried to the grass and stood there while she paraded around for five minutes to pee. She's not a fan of small grassy areas and because of that, she takes her sweet time to do something that should take a few seconds.
With her bladder now empty I sleepily make my way back to the van and get to the door we came out of and give it a tug. Nothing.
The door doesn't budge. the handle moves but the door stays in place. Frowning I give it a good yank. Not even an inch of the door moves. Instantly panic sets in. No.****ing.way.
I go to the driver's door and give it a yank. Nothing. I make my way around to the back, then the passenger side, and come a complete circle to the driver's door. Meanwhile Lylah is practically dancing at my feet. She doesn't know what this change is but she is kind of excited about it. Meanwhile, I go into full panic. How the hell is it locked? I opened the one door to get out and I know it was unlocked....so...how..
Taking a few deep breaths and realizing my phone was also in the car and hearing the alarm go off I realize one of my nightmares is happening. I'm locked out of my vehicle, with Lylah by my side, and my phone is locked in the van...while it's running. Go figure.
Thinking about how I'm going to get into my van I make a rash decision. I decide I'm going to find a way in through the side window. Now, these windows are almost impossible to get into because of the latch and they only open up so far when the latch is undone but the thought was, if I can get the window open, rip a hole in the screen, and get a long enough stick then I can get to the power window.
So I get to work. Luckily I parked next to this area in Walmart that had these decorative rocks so I started off by collecting small, thin rocks and I propped the corner of the window with that. Then I reached my fingers into the latch to pop the latch and open it up. With the window popped open I then proceeded to take a stick and make a hole in the bug screen. Slowly working the stick around I got big enough to get my hand inside. From there I used rocks to try to prop open the side of the window that was opposite of the latch but not too much to crack the glass. Then I proceeded to take the stick and put it through the hole and wiggled my arm inside until I was almost to my elbow. With that, I could actually get the stick to the button. I could literally see the stick touching the square.
I swear you guys, I was on the verge of tears. It was touching it so why wasn't it doing anything? I tried time and time again to get the pressure right to roll down the window but nothing happened. The freaking van was on and the window would just WORK I could get inside and everything would be fine.
My thoughts were flying a hundred miles an hour and I was desperate for it to work. During this process, I even had one truck driver that stopped by. He told me that he had been watching me struggle and offered to call a locksmith or maybe he could use his crowbar. My face was on fire and I was so embarrassed. This guy had been watching me for almost an hour in between his deliveries and for some dumb reason, I turned him down. Maybe it was my pride or maybe it was that I could taste my hard work going down the drain if he called someone. I have no idea. But with reassurance, I told him I was fine and let him be on his way.
Let me say, I will never turn down help like that again. I should have taken it because for another 30- 45 minutes I tried everything I could (from breaking the window) to get into the van. I tried with every ounce of my being to will it to work. It just had to work one time, even a little bit to get the stick in the window to then roll it down all the way. Something, anything!
Sadly It was all for naught. In the end, I was able to track down a stranger. I stalked people and waved before finally just running up to this black ford and waving desperately for help. She rolled down the window and I told her the situation. She had this little dashound with her and while that dog barked madly at me she let me use her phone to call a locksmith. Luckily I got someone on the line and they headed over and were at my van in less than 10 minutes.
The guy was kind and I watched in fascination as he used this little pick gadget to work his magic and get my door unlocked. I paid the man and we were back in the van. I thanked the stranger over and over and she told me that everything was fine and asked if I needed to go get Gas since the van had been on for two hours at this point. Luckily it still had a quarter of a tank left so I told her I was ok. Then proceeded to go get coffee and food and calm myself down.
Lessons were learned this day.
Im not going to lie, im grateful for this one stranger helping me and I'm grateful that this was somewhere in civilization. This could have been a whole lot worse if we had gone to the dispersed site I looked at before settling into the Walmart lot.
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zip tie a spare key somewhere up under the van. I ALWAYS put the wind partway down when I get out of a running vehicle. Oh yea, the dog locked me out once. See "zip tied key up under the vehicle" for the win.
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