Heroes Exist: To the Stranger Who Rescued My Family in Idaho Mountains
This story is a thank you note to a man who might never read this, a kind person who rescued my family in the Idaho mountains. Hopefully this post also inspires others to remember to be kind to those in need, help when you can, and also be willing to accept help when you need it.
Why Did My Family Need to be Rescued?
Over the weekend we went to Jackson Hole for a lacrosse tournament. It was a fun, whirlwind weekend. When we left town to head home everything seemed fine, but about an hour into our drive our SUV died. The transmission wouldn't engage and we were on the side of a mountain with no cell service and miles away from a city.
Here's Where the Miracle Started
As soon as I pulled to the side of the road and popped the hood a car came around the corner and pulled over right in front of us. I checked for any obvious signs of an issue in the engine bay as a Hispanic man got out of the car and approached me with an offer of help. I'm pretty stubborn when it comes to fixing broken things but I knew that here on the side of a mountain with my family I had to accept help from a stranger. The man cleared out the seats in his car and drove us all back to Jackson Hole so we could get a rental car and call insurance for a tow truck. The guy didn't ask for any money in return for his help, he actually offered to give us food and initially denied me giving him money. I didn't get his full name and only know that he lives in Marsing, ID.
I thought for sure that we would be stuck on that mountainside for a long time before we could get any help, but in less than five minutes we were rescued and piled in a car headed back to safety..
The Miracle of Kindness Continues
The man dropped us off at the hotel we had been staying at, the Mountain Modern Motel, and we went inside to ask the young man at the hotel desk if he knew if the bus went to the airport so we could pick up the rental van. This was a Sunday afternoon which was making our situation even worse as many businesses and services were closed. There wasn't a bus to the airport, so young man then offered to take his work break and drive me the 15 minutes away. He also initially declined any money compensation.
Both of these men helped my family only because it was the right thing to do. It was something nice that they wanted to do, not for praise or money, just to be kind. My wife was crazy stressed, the kids were worried and not sure what was going on, and these guys made our day better and bearable.
But Wait, There's More:
That could be the end of the story, but our SUV was still on the side of a mountain. My wife called a mechanic in Jackson Hole and explained our situation. The mechanic listened and then suggested to my wife that, while he could fix the vehicle, we would save money if we had the vehicle taken to Idaho Falls and fixed there. He could have easily told her to have the tow truck bring our car to him and he'd fix it at his higher price due to location in Wyoming. Another man who did the kind thing and helped my family in an otherwise terrible and stressful situation.
If you know the Hispanic man from Marsing, ID with four daughters, two at home and two older, driving a black Kia Forte - or if you see the hip young man with black rim glasses and gauge earnings at the Mountain Modern Motel in Jackson: let them know they made a stressful and scary situation a much more pleasant experience because they chose to be kind.