Ahhh, and the trip ends. But, unfortunately not without incident. The Volvo had a new axel replaced a week ago and on the drive home, just outside Pasco, Washington (about 200 miles from Gig Harbor) the axel broke again. Not the mechanics fault it turns out but a manufactures defective part.
We were getting off an exit at Zillah, Washington to go check out an old gas station when it broke, making the absolute worst sounds of metal grinding you've ever heard. The good news was that we were off the freeway and on the shoulder just past the exit and stop sign. The bad news was there was nothing here. No gas station, no mini mart, no shade. And it was 94 degrees. And AAA said they could get us a tow in about two or three hours. Then they called us back an hour and half later to say the first tow truck broke down so they're sending another one and it may be another couple of hours. Did I say it was hot and there was no shade? Oh, and while we were sitting there the left rear tire went flat.
Tow truck showed up, hooked up the Volvo and we climbed in for the long (3 1/2 hour) ride back to Gig Harbor. Fortunately the tow truck was like the Cadillac of tow trucks with A/C, huge cab and plenty of room to stretch out for everyone. Even the little Dude.