The Tire Fiasco
I suppose it was inevitable. With all of the driving we’ve been doing, we were bound to experience a real deal flat. Not the kind where we limp our way over to the tire repair store but the kind that delays us a day from getting to our next campground.
The tire fiasco started with a gasp. We were all packed and ready to hitch up when my mom’s gasp made me turn quickly to see that the truck had a flat. We sort of stared at each other in the hopes that it would magically pop back to normal and we could get on our way. Instead, I went back inside the RV, opened up the slides and sat with Phoebe while my mom called everybody in the area to see who could help us.
To add insult to injury, it was a Sunday so nothing was open. Additionally, it was Canada Day the next day so it looked as if we were going to have to wait until Tuesday for any hope of getting back on the road. Thanks to our emergency road side assistance, they sent over a tire guy to put on the spare. He came over pretty quickly and pulled his truck right up behind ours. He left it running while he assessed our truck and the flat.
Our spare is under the truck (yes - under) and with a special tool you can find under my seat that extends out into a tent pole like apparatus, the spare can be lowered down to use. While the guy was maneuvering the tool to release the spare, we heard his truck spit and sputter until it just shut off. He scrambled out from underneath and muttered something about driving here on gas fumes. He quickly got back to work but with raised eyebrows, we wondered how this was all going to turn out.
Once the spare was free, he brought out his jack and other tools to put it on. Before he got too deep into his work, my mom came out and offered him bug spray. He shook his head no but then quickly changed his mind. With her hand hovering over his face to protect him from the fumes, she covered his arms and neck with spray. He shot a small smile her way and looked grateful.
Since my mom was in the vicinity, he requested her help with the jack. As he hoisted the spare onto the frame, my mom was to throw herself onto the jack so that the truck was raised enough off the ground to put the tire on. Phoebe and I clutched each other as this happened. I wasn’t entirely shocked that my mom was able to maneuver the jack but more surprised that he asked her to assist him. I suppose after their bond over the bug spray, anything was possible.
After a lot of grunting, sweat and tears (just kidding about the tears) the spare was on and the tire guy cleaned up and was ready to head off. We thanked him and he hopped in his truck - started it and then nothing. Started it again and still…nothing. We peered out the RV window at what was unfolding. The man shuffled around trying to fix the problem on his own but made a few phone calls and soon, gas was delivered. He took the can and tipped it into his tank. It seemed as if some was going into the tank but a trickle was also flowing down onto him. The guy who delivered the gas pointed this out and a steady stream of profanity came pouring out of our small but mighty tire guy. Most of it was pretty muffled but we tried to keep from giggling as he became more and more enraged. The gas helper disappeared and our tire guy tried to start his truck again but with no luck. My mom, always the helper and caretaker, decided it might be nice to bring him out a glass of water and a granola bar. As she approached the truck, it lurched forward and started down the hill. The truck then roared to life but was put into park so that the man could gulp down half of the water and snatch the granola bar before going on his way. He thanked my mom and then stepped on it before anything else could delay him further.
My mom discovered a tire store that was open the next day (thankfully!) and after it was repaired, we hitched up and headed to ALASKA!