My car died erev Shabbos in Yosemite

God decided that my car would die on top of Glacier Point road in Yosemite. I was able to coast down the hill in neutral while listening to Mike’s Song (Phish) and wondering how in earth I would get to have a Shabbos if I was stranded in Yosemite without cell reception.

At the bottom of the hill at the intersection I spotted a payphone — serious hashgacha pratis, my friends. I was in full blown gam zu altova mode, which may have been spurred on by the 36 mile solo hike I just completed in one of the least visited portions of the park. I consulted with the Lord in the woods and decided that everything was all part of the master plan and indeed it was.

I called AAA from the payphone and waited for about an hour for the tow truck to arrive. I must have looked like an oddity to many of the tourists driving by in rental cars – my feet were blackened from the dust of my hike (24 miles of which were done in sandals) and I was sporting a yarmulke and tzitzis – I should mention that last Wednesday in a spur of the moment 90 degree heat wave decision I went to the first barber shop and told them to take it all off (my hair is now at #6 length) and I was sitting on the hood of my car reading Bill Bryson’s account of Australia.

I wondered if my donation campaign had worked — I will write more about it in the future. I am pleased to announce that over a dozen people donated money – not much – but plenty for me. I looked at my watch, it was erev Shabbos and I wondered what I would do. The closest Jewish presence was Chabad of Fresno which over 100 miles away and the dispatcher told me there was a bus to Merced at 4pm.

I then tried to explain to the tow drivers and garage employees why I couldn’t pick up my stuff for the next day or so. My car had 2 bikes and a lot of backpacking gear inside of it, not to mention the roof racks which I would have to remove before sending it to the junkyard. They told me I could keep it in the yard a couple of days and then I started to dread a lonely shabbos without food, or a shabbos siddur (I had my weekday siddur) locked in a hotel room in Merced.

Once again God hooked me up. I took the bus to Merced and it came 20 minutes early. I hopped over to one of the cab drivers and asked for a ride to Fresno, 50 miles south of there. I got to Chabad in a nick of time — about 10 minutes to shkiya and I had spent less then my hotel room would have cost for two nights. $140 was the most expensive cab ride I ever took, but well worth it if you have ever spent a shabbos alone in a hotel room – it can drive you nuts.

I am writing from Fresno. Now I have to take a train back to the Bay area, get to work tomorrow and then get my buddy to drive me in his truck back to Yosemite to pick up my stuff. Then after all is said and done I have to buy a new car — for which unfortunately I only have half the money. God always comes through for a reason – it all worked out so far in such amazing ways.

Thank you all for the donations and I hope to thank each of you personally when I can get to my own computer in a few days.

I do not expect to blogging much during this “crisis” with no car, I have no internet – since I have to drive to get internet access and pretty much do everything I need to do, so hopefully one of you big donors will come through and hook a brotha up.