2008

Soil-less Gardens
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE, NATURE STYLE

My husband and I travel for several weeks each year with our truck, fifth wheel RV and cat. If anything happens to the truck, fifth wheel, cat or us, we are a long way from home and must cope as best we can.

Last year, we were driving from Montana over the mountains into Idaho on I-90. Just as we descended from the highest pass, our truck engine started making a horrible, loud noise. My husband immediately pulled to the edge of the highway and turned off the truck. When he checked the engine, he wasn't sure what the problem was, but he knew it was serious.

We both had cell phones. I wanted to call AAA, but our cell phones did not work in the mountain pass. Trucks and cars sped by us but nobody stopped. We wondered how long we'd have to sit by the side of the highway before somebody would stop. There were no exits near us and nobody lived in the area. We were in an uninhabited mountain area.

I went inside the fifth wheel and immediately opened a soil-less garden coning. I stated the problem and said we first needed some way to contact AAA for a tow truck. Within minutes, a gal who lived in the area stopped and let us use her cell phone. (She said she would normally not have stopped but somehow felt she should help us.)

I called AAA in our home state (Oregon), explained the problem and said we needed a tow truck that could not only get our truck to the nearest town with a Ford dealer (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho), but tow our fifth wheel to a campground in that town since the repair would probably take several days. This requirement meant that our Oregon AAA had to contact the Washington/Idaho AAA that would be familiar with the tow companies in Idaho. They finally located a tow company about 50 miles in the opposite direction with the capability to tow our truck and fifth wheel into Coeur d'Alene.

After about an hour-and-a-half wait, the tow truck arrived. The driver put our large truck on the back of the tow truck and hooked up our fifth wheel to the back of the tow truck. He then took us about 50 miles to a campground we knew of in Coeur d'Alene, dropped off our fifth wheel at a space in the campground and took the truck to the nearest Ford dealer, where my husband got a rental car for the five days it took to repair the engine of our truck.

I continued to use the soil-less garden coning during those five days to help facilitate getting the parts needed from another state and getting the truck repaired in a timely manner. The part arrived about noon on Friday and our truck was finally ready within minutes of the shop's 5 o'clock closing.

The whole process was not without stress, but it was significantly aided and moved along by the soil-less garden processes. I would never travel again without my soil-less garden products.

— A.R., Portland, OR