Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Trip - More Excitement

This excitement was worse, but today held its own surprise.

But first, some random thoughts and photos.

Thursday we stayed at an RV park in Dateland, Arizona ("Home of the World Famous Date Shakes"), which was surprisingly full for August. But the proprietor explained that this weekend was the start of dove hunting season. So our RV neighbors were men with guns. I talked to one of them, and he said there were hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting doves (mourning doves were what I saw) in the area. Happy hunting to him.

We got to see a light show that night, about 1/3 of the way around the horizon, as thunderstorms flashed and rain poured down somewhere near Yuma. Our proprieter said it was monsoon season, when they would get most of the year's rain. I was glad it was happening far away.

This afternoon when we stopped for gas somewhere in New Mexico, I spotted this Motel sign. The thing that caught my eye was the statement, "Day Sleepers Welcome!" It seemed to me they were saying, "Have your affair here!"but maybe my mind is in the gutter (or in the motel, as it were). Anyway, I took a picture.

And here, by popular request (and against my better judgment) is a photo of me behind the wheel today. On a bad hair day. See how I'm smiling? That's because it was before our excitement.

We were driving along in Texas, having just passed Van Horn, when BAM! Thunk. I said a bad word, pulled over, and put on the emergency flashers. In the right lane, not too far behind us, was a big strip of a tire lying in a "C" shape. And that meant we still had the car and the tow dolly, thank God!

We got out during a break in traffic and checked all 12 tires. The blowout was in the right rear inside dually tire. My mom called AAA, and we settled in to wait and let the post-adrenaline shakes calm down. I was watching in the rearview mirror, and I could see the approaching vehicles swerving to avoid the tire in the lane, but some of them were driving onto the shoulder and back. For the semis, this made the trailer sway, and I was afraid one of them would sway the wrong way at the wrong time and hit us. So I walked back down the highway, well onto the shoulder, waited for a huge break in traffic, and pulled the tire to the gravel.

When the AAA tow truck arrived, he took a look and told us that we needed a tire guy, not a tow, so he called a tire place in Van Horn to send someone to us and gave them the tire size we needed. But they only had one tire our size, so we couldn't get a spare. Then the AAA guy showed us how the outside dually tire was "fixin' to blow" also. It had cracks on the sidewall, including a deep one about a half-inch long at the base of the tread. He said there would be a tire shop up ahead in Pecos ("Home of the First Rodeo").

The tire guy came pretty quickly and was really nice. He jacked up the motorhome right there on the shoulder, with us in it having our afternoon yogurt and semis driving by making the motorhome sway. It made me nervous, but he got it done just fine and put the remains of our tire on the back of his truck.

We drove to Pecos (slower than the speed limit), but it was after closing time for the stores in town. And tomorrow being Sunday, the tire shop won't be open to sell us the tires we need. So we'll just have to drive all the way to Cisco on a couple cracked tires (the right front tire has cracks too) and wait until after Labor Day to finish getting things fixed up.

But to leave things on a happier note, these were the skies we had today:


Charlie said...

I think Pecos is the Bermuda Triangle of automobiles. I've broken down twice in Pecos, and neither time was it an inexpensive fix.

Glad to hear you're still enjoying your road trip. Great photos!

Bekah said...

I'm glad you had a popular request - because now I can put a face with a name! :)

I've always wondered (yet hoped to never find out) what that felt like to be in a vehicle when a tire blew. I'm glad you were okay and that the othero one that was "fixin to blow" - didn't!

CG said...

That sky picture is so pretty it looks like it could be fake. Oops! I just realized you don't know which sky(e) I'm talking about!

SkyePuppy said...


While we were driving, the clouds looked like they had been painted on the sky. They weren't moving, just hanging there looking like perfection.

The Skye isn't fake either...

Branddobbe said...

Something about Texas just refuses to let you leave.