About an hour and a half into the trip, I looked over at my husband and smiled. We had had a rough year and this was going to be a highlight for us. I squeezed his hand and leaned back as I watched the sun slowly coming up. It was going to be a gorgeous day. My sisters were in the front, one driving, one controlling the screwy heating in my parents' car. Suddenly, they both look at the gauges. I started blocking out everything that happened from this point. The next thing my sister said was, "Folks, we're having technical difficulties." I sat staring in disbelief and disappointment as we pulled off the road and the car died. Of course, the trip was ruined. There were no options. By the time my father would arrive to check the vehicle, it would be too late to get another vehicle and start again. There was nothing that could have predicted the car failure. It needed a fuel pump replacement and a $200 tow. The car wasn't old, it didn't have high mileage, it had just had an oil change and regular tune-ups. Nothing predicted it. Except me. A couple weeks earlier I had awoken from a dream where we all overslept on the day of the trip. I was so upset about the whole thing I told my sisters and said, "We can't oversleep!"
Despite all our meticulous planning, the trip had ended in failure. We all crammed into my Dad's truck, said good-bye to the car that failed us, and turned around. Looking back to the north, we had a clear shot of Mt. McKinley. The mountain that shrouds itself 90% of the year and hides its presence with storm clouds generated from the 20,320 foot peak was towering behind us, laughing.