Near the end of my trip, I went to Glacier National Park with a friend, and after a long day of horseback riding, we checked into a hotel in Whitefish. The following morning, we packed up my friend's Subaru and got ready to get on the road. As we were leaving the parking lot of the hotel, my friend accidentally drove over a curb, a bump up and then down, and we both laughed about that little oopsie.
After getting some gas, the car seemed to be riding funny, and I hopped out to take a walk around it. One of the back tires was settled too close to the ground: a flat.
"I'm sorry," my friend said.
"It's almost definitely my fault," I told her. "All you did was go over a curb. My mother told me once that I get more flat tires than anyone she's ever met, and it's been a while since my last one."
Oh, well. Flat tire. One badass self-sufficient Montana woman and one woman with long expertise in changing tires. No problem, right?
One of the many things I learned on this trip: certain Subarus are made with wheel locking mechanisms that you have to remove with a special key in order to change the tire. This is a handy security measure for someone, I presume, but I have no idea whom, because I've never known anyone whose tires have been stolen. For reasons that are in no way my friend's fault, she didn't have this all-important key, although we tore the car apart looking for it. The only place to get another key was a Subaru dealership, and the closest one was six hours away.
"I'll call my insurance," my friend said. "Why don't you walk over to the Safeway and ask for the number of a reliable towing company?"