The shoe that stopped the runaway SUV

The shoe that stopped the runaway SUV

Without a doubt, one of my husband Todd’s least favorite things in life is shopping.  Every time I try to get him to go with me he breaks out in a sweat and mumbles something about “shopping being the death of him.”   During a quick shopping pit stop in Norway, he was very nearly correct.

As I mentioned in my post about Svalbard, Pam and I are not only great at outdoor, backcountry adventure, we are also pretty good at sniffing out a shopping opportunity no matter where we are.  One shopping obsession we share in common is the pursuit of perfect outdoor gear and outdoor clothing.  And so it was, while we were in Aurland, Norway this summer, that shopping very nearly did cause Todd’s demise.

We had been walking around Aurland, getting ready to head to Jotunnheimen National Park for camping and hiking.  The shopping in Aurland was really not of any note so we all got back in the car to head out of town.  I took my place in the driver’s seat.  As we were almost out of town I spotted a small, gear store plastered with banners advertising all of the gear brands we love. One last possible gear score!  We couldn’t pass it by.  I quickly changed lanes to pull over and park.  Pam and I hopped out of the car and high-tailed it into the store.

From here, I will let the words of my husband Todd paint the picture of what happened next.

Ok – so picture this, Pam, Greg, Lexi and I are in Norway driving from Aurland to Jotunheimen, we have plenty of gear for kayaking, several days of hiking etc…  The European rental cars are small. Even though they claim that our’s is an SUV it feels like a mini cooper with a slightly larger trunk.  The only way to fit everything is to have Greg and I sit in the back with two bags between us and a small daypack at each of our feet – pretty much like handcuffs at our feet.  

We stopped at a gear shop before we entered Jotunheimen National Park. Since it took a lot of wrangling to get out and get back in to my spot in the car I opted to wait in the car while the other 3 went in.  As they were walking away I realized the car had started to roll downhill – yep someone forgot to set the parking brake and I was now on course for the fjord about 100 yards downhill. This is where my problems began.  Since I’m by the window in the back seat, my only option was to bail out of the back door.  This is where my problems got worse…..  With the car gradually picking up speed, I opened the door and managed to get my left foot out.  Hopping on my left foot, I struggled to get the right foot out of the luggage trap in the foot well.  After a couple of seconds of foot wrangling,  I was able to wrestle free at the same moment the left rear wheel rolled over my foot, ripping my shoe off in the process.  Quickly recovering I was then able to jump in to the car, stop it and set the park brake. I then calmly retrieved my shoe 10 ft uphill, got back in the car and waited to see if Pam or Lexi would realize the car had moved about 25 feet downhill.  Oh and yes – “that” someone that forgot to set the park brake was Lexi ……  I don’t remember signing any life insurance papers before we left.  PS … when Pam and Lexi got back to the car, neither had any clue what had just transpired.  I had to share with them that their shopping nearly killed me.