On the way home I was suffering. I was tired as heck, and Joan drove for a while but that didn't work, and then tried to take a little nap and that didn't work. Finally I'm trying to tough it out with some Diet Coke and lot of whining.
We've had an issue with slow leaks due to alloy wheels but before the trip Joan had the tires topped off. Midnight in the middle of rural New Hampshire, the tire pressure monitor says "Low Tire Pressure". It's raining and I don't want to stop to check because I'm sure it's just a little low and I won't even be able to see the difference, but as always I play it safe and pull into the first rest area.
Sure enough I've got a very low rear tire. This rest area was actually open and Joan asked the attendant how long for AAA to arrive and he says "Depending on where they are coming from, between 1 and 2 hours.
So let's change the tire, in a cold rain at midnight. I have to say the rest of the ride home, even at 50-55MPH on the little donut spare in the rain and after the exercise, I didn't get sleepy once!
It took 5 hours all in all to complete the 3 hour trip.
What's your story?
Those are the times that you walk in your house and say HOME SWEET HOME!!!!!
|Wow Ron....yikes! Thats pretty high on the "worst case" list!
Ok, well, my story (at least the one I want to share here) is NOT actually a flat tire story....I've got lots of those....but this one is much more dramatic!
We (My assistant Nathan and I) were on our way to Fairbanks for a mid-October art fair (Bad Girls of the North). The road to Fairbanks involves several mountain passes, and takes about 7-8 hours. We were driving a large truck with a campershell, filled with all the artwork and displays we needed for the show.
Well, at the VERY highest point, of one of the passes, aprox. halfway to FBX, (with no towns, or dwellings anywhere close) we suddenly hear this HORRENDOUS crunching, grinding noise, and our truck comes to a immediate, complete, STOP!
We were able to coast SLIGHTLY off to one side of the lane, but for the most part, we are in the middle of the road....and its starting to snow....and its already pretty icy....and cold.
It took about an half an hour for the 1st vehicle to come by for us to flag down. Thankfully, in Alaska no one EVER just drives past a stopped car in winter.. They used their cell phone to call us a tow truck, but the closest place was in Denali Nat. Park.....about a 3 hour drive away. What had happened (we found out later) was a blown engine....so we couldn't even keep the heater on. lucky for us we NEVER travel without coats, boots etc, as well as blankets, for emergencies. So we bundled up, and waited.
Thank god for flares, too, because we were right on a curve, the road was slick, and no one coming either direction could see us, till they came around the curve. It was 5 hours till the tow truck arrived! The ONE truck available was out on another call, and not able to come directly out.
Then, of course, there was the 4 hour drive crammed into the front seat of the tow truck with Nate and the driver, all the way to Fairbanks
Unfortunately, I have LOTS more of these kind of stories....we have a reputation for bizarre driving disasters
|Feb 7, 1985................ it was a dark and stormy night...............ice and snow to be exact. I'm in labor and the tire goes flat on a stretch of uninhabited road.
Made it to the hospital with the help of a good samaritan just in time for an uneventful delivery
|Yikes Ron, that would stink! I've only had 1 flat tire, but I was lucky enough to have a strapping young man stop to change it for me before I even got out of the vehicle. I know how to change it myself, but why would I deny him the pleasure of helping a damsel in distress?|
|1973. Just recently married. I had a Chevy 4wd 1/2 ton PU. We decided to go to Creede Colo. and take the jeep trail over the divide from Creede to Silverton. Very rugged terrain, with pet Weimaraner in the back. Big boulders, creeks, steep terrain, the whole bit. Trip was uneventful and beautiful.
Coming back someplace in the middle of nowhere in Colo. (I forgot since it was a long time ago,) we're coming down a 4 lane highway about 9pm and the truck comes to a screeching halt. By the time we were able to flag down a highway patrol and get a wrecker it's close to midnight. The patrol was nice enough to try to locate some place for us to stay while the truck is towed to a dealer's lot. Turns out to be a rooming house only room left is a single twin bed. The wife slept on the bed, I shared the floor with the roaches. Only bath was a shared one at the end of the hall. The dog spent the night in the truck in the dealer's lot.
Turned out a bolt in the clutch plate came loose and locked everything up. Had to wait for the dealer to get a new clutch and install it.
Ron, I still think your adventure trumps this.
|Driving all by myself, at 25 years old, moving from Edmonton Alberta to Toronto, Ontario. I was in a beat up Datsun. Just across the Manitoba -Ontario border I got a flat tire...The road is very long, very few cars, and I just got my licence a week ago so never changed a tire before. So of cource, it starts to rain..
I started to pull out all my packed stuff out of the trunk, to look for a tire. A vehicle pulled up behind me, and a gentleman gets out. It was a police car. He got out, "assessed the situation", changed my tire for me and off I went. I will always be grateful to that Dryden police officer.
|Worse time to get a flat tyer? (you guys spell funny )
On a lonely highway inbetween country towns at night time, kms from the closest next town. Great being females in the car, we could not get the bolt thingys off with the other thingy that levers them off to change the tyer.
Police car drove by on the lonely highway and stopped and changed the tyer for us, gotta luv being a damsel in distress and two strong policeman to change the tyer for us car full of girls.
|My Mom and I were coming back from a week in the Smokies when the tire fell off of our camper in the middle of Winston Salem, on Highway 40, at rush hour. I pulled onto an off ramp to get out of the worst of the traffic. A WS police officer stopped to see what was going on. He went back to try to find the wheel but someone had picked it up and kept going. It was so long a go but I know we had to buy a trailer tire so the spare must have been bad. We finally go a wheel and tire back on the camper and the police officer politely pointed out the license tag was expired. OOOOPPPPS. He was nice enough to not give me a ticket. He said we'd had enough trouble for one day. Every time I go through Winston I think about that day.|
|Glad you got home safely Ron!
Thankfully, I've never had a flat tire while driving but I have had my share of discovering them while I was parked someplace. Luckily my dad taught me to be such a good tom boy that I can change tires myself.
I did have my old car just shut down in the middle of a highway once (the brain died). This nice young man came strolling out of an adult bookstore and helped me push my car to safety.
|Oh this wasn't really dangerous, just really inconvenient and I felt like whining some.
My scariest time was when I had a "catastrophic" blowout of my right front wheel on my motorhome at highway speed.
THAT was scary, AND it came as I was in New York on my way home after aborting a trip to Alabama. I had spent days in Pennsylvania having my exhaust and airlines repaired after my exhaust burned through my airlines causing me to lose all suspension on my air-ride coach. I was on my way to Alabama to have some work performed on the coach.
Just as I was approaching a major bridge at 55 MPH, the 105 psi tire blew. The good Lord was watching over me, as I was able to direct the bus towards the breakdown lane and wound up disabled in the special area where oversize vehicles wait to be escorted across the bridge.
The highway guy broke the rules and allowed me to sit there instead of having me towed(!) and wait until a tire service could be contacted and a replacement tire found and brought out for curbside replacement. The service call was covered under my disablement/tow contract, but the used tire cost $150.
I suppose that was also like this event in that it didn't just happen at a convenient time... I was tired and REALLY wanted to just be HOME already.
I had a breakdown 98 miles south of Fairbanks that required towing of the motorhome, that was an all day affair as the tow truck was more than 3 hours away. That story is told here, scroll down to "Tuesday" and then down to the bottom for pics of the event
I wasn't put out as much by that because it is just all part of "the Adventure" and I wasn't tired and desperately in need of sleep.
|What IS it about the Parks Highway, anyway???
believe it or not, Ron, We broke down in our (actually a borrowed, hunk-a-junk) RV in almost the same location as you did! I think that stretch of the highway is CURSED....I really do! Did your RV tow cost a small kings ransom too?
In that same short stretch of road (between Denali Park and Nenana) we have had the RV breakdown, 2 (count em, 2) rollover accidents, and....oh yeah....the SAME RV breaking down on the way HOME!!!!!
At least you had the flagger to visit with, and your RV to hang out in....after our worst roll over, we had to wait for the tow truck and police at Skinny Dick's Halfway Inn ( for those of you not up on classic Alaskan bar sleeze....Skinny Dick's is a very famous and popular....ahhh...public house )
|Broken cars are the basis of the economy of many Alaskan towns. I suspect they do something to the road|
My scariest time was when I had a "catastrophic" blowout of my right front wheel on my motorhome at highway speed.
Yesterday morning in my driveway -flat as a pancake.
Was blessed that it was not on the highway. In that case, I would
rather have a small spare car in the truck.
Sorry about your weekend Ron, guess it must have been
the cosmic alignment. When the guy from AAA came (1 1/2 hours
later) he said he had never seen a morning with so many flat tires.
I told him I was blessed to be at home, happy he responded
to the highway call, nothing worse than being alone on
the interstate and waiting for roadside assistance.
Thanks to Sears for having Auto service on weekends.
|Going thru the drive thru at Mcdonalds...pull out...and have a flat tire...its august and hotter than heck...its a Saturday...lots of people around...start to pull the tire out, crank up the rear of my car...hoping someone, anyone would help....no one did...they came by and watched and offered advice, but no help.....
sometimes i hate being self sufficient
|Glad you all made it home safely. I had my first flat tire three months ago (not bad after 24 years of driving - yes, for all you folks out there doing the math, I am 40!), and was fortunate enough to have JUST PICKED UP MY FATHER! Yes, it was dark and cold - about 10 degrees without the wind chill, but my dad wouldn't let me help because he didn't want me to get dirty! Luckily the tire was good, even though it had been in my trunk for seven years, so my dad changed the tire, and off we went.
Laurie and Oscar
|I've rotated my own tires at home when they needed it but I've never once had to change a tire when I had an actual flat. I can do it, but I really don't want to get all dirty if I don't have to. I've always been lucky enough to show some leg and a touch of helplessness and let someone else pick up the slack. Every time I have offered the person money and not one person ever accepted it.
On a side note, the Mini didn't even come with a spare. It came with run flat tires and a phone number.
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