“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” ― Oscar Wilde
“Our breaks are flat,” said my boyfriend as we pulled into our campground at 11PM.
We had no cell service, and we were 4.5 hours away from Seattle in the most Northwest corner of the country.
“What does that mean?” I asked, though I already feared the answer.
“Our breaks. They’re not working.”
Every road trip has a lesson. And from every road trip, I learn.
And the kindness of all the people whose paths we have crossed has touched my heart in ways I never expected. This was one of those weekends.
I knew everything would be fine. I am forever an optimist. Why would I worry anyway? My car needed fixing, but it was still running. We were basically stranded, but we were still alive and healthy. The weather was stormy, but we came prepared to camp the weekend in rainy Neah Bay. And if we could not find a mechanic until Monday, all I had to do was call work to excuse my absence.
But I also knew that having the breaks in the car fail was serious business. And so I prayed for a miracle.
Have I ever mentioned that I believe in a higher power? I call it God. The Universe. The Stars. Life! So I prayed. I prayed so hard while looking into the dark clouds. And I watched as the sky slowly cleared, the stars sparkled out, and the moon’s glow washed over us…And I smiled.
But I woke up to a car with no breaks. Maybe asking for a miracle was too much.
We packed our camp and hoped to roll into town to find a mechanic. But on our way out of Hobuck Campground something made us stop at the office. Maybe the office guys would know whether a mechanic was available during the weekend?
We had no idea that a simple question would soon overwhelm us with the kindness and generosity from the two gentlemen at the office – Steve and Chris.
Both guys instantly started making phone calls to try to locate a mechanic. When that did not work, they called their own personal friends. At one point Steven even tried to transfer his own AAA free one-time tow service so that we could have the car towed 2 hours to Port Angeles and save ourselves a possible $500+ tow bill.
They did not have to do any of those things during their workday. But they did.
Unfortunately, no mechanics were available, and Steven was not able to transfer his AAA tow service. But they convinced us it was a terrible idea to drive anywhere.
Instead, Steve insisted that we stay in one of the campground’s cabin completely free of charge while they both continued to make phone calls.
They did not have to help two strangers deal with personal car issues. But they did.
Oh Steve, we were absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude. Having a warm place to stay for the time being may not have fixed my car, but it offered comfort. We no longer felt stranded.
Over the next several hours and through Sunday, we stayed in the cabin and enjoyed Hobuck Beach. Chris was able to locate two friends who normally worked on Navy planes, but whom offered to lend a hand: Brandon and his buddy – the handy men in town. They drove back and forth in search of the needed car piece, from Neah Bay to Forks to Port Angeles and back.
Chris later even offered his truck to us so that we could carry on with our plans to hike Cape Flattery and Shi Shi Beach. We did not take him up on the offer, but his gesture will stay in our hearts for a lifetime…
Though I was eagerly hoping that my car would miraculously fix itself overnight, Life needed to do things its own way, not mine. We were slapped with enormous generosity for absolutely no reason. And for that we will always be thankful.
By the time Sunday 4PM rolled around, our car was finally fixed. The total wallet damage was less than one hundred dollars. What?! Again, the generosity….
We left having made sure to leave behind a Thank You gift for each of those kindhearted men that lent us a hand. To have taken two stranded strangers under their wing was honestly heaven-sent and it inspired us to return the blessing through the years to come.
A stranger is only a stranger until you welcome them into your life. Be kind. Be generous. Be helpful <3
Neah Bay // Hobuck Beach Resort & Campground, WA
I met this little guy while waiting for Brandon to finish fixing the breaks at their shop. The nicest kitty, just like his owners!! His brother (not pictured) had two extra toes. And his feet were massive! They apparently had a rough night of hunting because they brought a few of their catch (moles!) into the office. Haha. Khaos and Tigger, if I remember correctly >.<
What a weekend. One I will remember for a long time…Thank you for reading through the end. I hope you, too, are inspired to spread kindness and generosity to strangers <3 Stay blessed!