Got up around 6 am, made some coffee and got on the road. Every time I make the drive from Tarpon Springs area to I-10 by Tallahassee, it just seems to take longer and longer each time. We normally try to stop for gas at Pilot / Flying J truck stops because they typically have RV pumps, a 3 cent discount, and good coffee. By 11:30 we were pulling out of the Flying J just west of Tallahassee, and by 1 pm it was again 12 noon because of the time change. An hour later I was pulling into a rest area a little over half way to Pensacola for a wee bit of rest. 90 minutes later we hit the road again after I did a check around the motorhome and the car. I even kicked all the tires….all was fine.
So now it is 2:30 and I am pulling out headed for Pensacola…..by 3:00 we were sitting along side the road with a shredded driver’s side front tire on the HHR. There I was driving along minding my own business….then a motorcycle passing motions to me that something is wrong. I look in the back-up camera and out the driver’s mirror just in time to see a small chunk of tire fly out onto the road. I slow down wondering what tire it might be because I don’t feel a thing on the steering wheel.
I tell Marcia that we lost a tire, and I think she started looking for a full tire, rim and all, rolling along the road. I stop, get out and do a walk around and see the shredded, and I mean shredded tire…..very little left. My first thought, “Could they put another tire on that rim or were we in for a long day?”
I un-hooked it, drove it along the grass to just in front of the motorhome where the left front tire was just on the pavement giving lots of room to work. I have to unload the GoGo, the ladder, and other items from the car, and finally get to the tire. (See below for funny story…) All this time Marcia is wondering why we are not calling AAA, but something tells me that it is best just to put on the donut tire a head for a Walmart. Thank goodness that I have an electric tire pump because the donut needed air too.
Marcia drive the car, following me in the motorhome to a Walmart 10 miles away in Crestview, Florida. At first I did not know if they had an auto section, but I was directed to the far back of the store. I walk into a fairly hard scene.
Three people did not come to work today, well two because one had been fired earlier in the week but nobody covered the shift. It had been a long hard day for them, it was just after 4, and they had put up a sign saying they were closing at 5 due to technical difficulties.
There was one customer there who was beyond upset…they had hurt is van when they jacked it up. His mother died early last month, her ashes, dad’s ashes, and all they owned was packed in the van….he blew a tire (probably due to the heavy load) and now they hurt his van.
With us, however, everything went smooth. The guy looked at the rim and said it would be no problem. Then they had to locate a tire, which they did. Then they had to locate a sensor valve stem that the HHR automatically has , which he did. Told me that part would run $49….I said no problem.
Ninety minute later we were ready to go. And because I had road hazard coverage, the total for the bill for this tire, which replaced a tire we bought last May in Sacramento, was…….$10 plus change. The guy said it even covered the valve stem, which surprised both of us. We were back on the road before 6 pm.
Tonight we are at the Mississippi / Louisiana boarder at a rest area near a NASA Infinity museum, lab, or whatever it is. Tomorrow we will easily make the outskirts of San Antonio, unless there is another blow out, and we have breakfast scheduled with my oldest brother Jim and his wife Carol at a Cracker Barrel that has RV parking for Saturday morning.
Back in 2011, the year Marcia and I married, I was to have my first Colonoscopy. On the way up to Little Rock, after all that prep time, we blew a tire in the HHR, which we only had for a few months at that point. I KNEW that we did not have a spare, called AAA who towed us to Little Rock, and I canceled the appointment with a sad, sad heart (and butt, if you know what sitting on the John all night is like.) A few weeks later we are up in the Kansas City area where mom and dad lived at the time….and dad went with me over to a junk yard to get a spare tire. The guy finds one, and as watch him get it I am like, “OH NO…..I DID NOT KNOW THAT PART OPENED UP TOO….I’LL BET YOU ANYTHING THAT I HAVE A TIRE THERE AFTER ALL!!!!” And yes, there was a tire under a plastic piece, which is under another plastic piece which I guess forms the trunk. To me, it was like a hidden compartment. Of course, Dad had to be with me, and he never let me forget it. Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention on April 1st that it was Dad’s birthday…..no joke….Happy Birthday Dad....now that I took that story away from you.