Friday, June 25, 2010

The Great Adventure Continues

Today has been as much of an adventure as yesterday. Neither of us slept well last night. David said that he heard trains all night long and his head spun with the day's events. I just couldn't get comfortable in the bed. But, we arose early with my 7:00 AM phone alarm - to be greeted with the sounds of birds outside. We quickly dressed and headed back to Walmart for tires. David got in the car with a cup of coffee and I had a yogurt in hand. We made our morning prayers for safe travel, open eyes and ears, and a thank you for all the blessings of yesterday. We arrived at the Walmart around 7:30. The same young man from the night before was there and he greeted us with a smile. (His name is Andrew, by the way. 

St. Anthony is still working to find the trailer keys. I checked both the automotive area and customer service with no "luck". David checked the area around where the trailer had been parked last night - to no avail. Again, thank God for that spare set of keys David had tucked away for emergencies!

At 8:30 AM we left Walmart in search of a wheel rim and after a couple of stops at RV places, we were directed to Discount Tire. There, we bought the wheel rim and they put our spare on it for free. NICE! Finally, we were able to head out on Highway 84 at 9:30 AM. Woohoo!

As we headed toward Clovis, we said a couple more prayers for good measure and thanked God that all had gone so smoothly. This is not like David to pray anything but formal prayers so I was surprised and pleased too. We drove a few miles when David mentioned that he was feeling a cross wind. I could feel the gentle sway of the trailer as we moved on down the road. Thank goodness for the sway bar that keeps the sway under control. Then, about 10 miles out, we started hearing an unusual thumping sound. We both thought that it sounded like the car engine and the shaking of the Suburban became palpable. My stomach sank.

"I think you should pull over," I said

"What now!" David exclaimed. "It can't be the engine. The dashboard lights aren't on." There was not only frustration in his voice, but also a little panic.

As he concentrated on controlling the car and slowing down, I looked into the right side mirror and could see smoke coming from the rear wheel well. "We're blowing a tire, David!" I exclaimed. It's on my side. I can see it in the mirror."

The bumping of the car sounded and felt like a freight train screeching to a halt. We both heaved sighs of relief as the car jolted with the trailer to a stop. I looked at the clock. It was 10:50 AM.

Within seconds, we were both out of the car. The air was filled with the acrid smoke of burning rubber and heat radiated from the wheel well. I stared in disbelief at the smoking tire. The sun brightly reflected off the shiny silver insides of the wheel rim. David looked at the blown tire and then at me and exclaimed, "I don't believe this!" Then he looked at the sky and helplessly said, "Lord, I don't need this!"

But immediately after that, we went into problem-solving mode. David opened the back of the Suburban and reached for the jack, left there from yesterday. I grabbed an umbrella from the back as well - to provide a little shade as the sun was already getting hot. I opened it and turned to find David lying on the ground looking for a place to set the jack. He reached up and burned his hand on the hot muffler, but he got up and started loosening the lug nuts. I got ice for his hand, but he refused it. He was determined to get the flat changed quickly.

Soon, two elderly (but very fit) men on bicycles rolled up beside us and asked David if he needed help. My very independent husband said yes! Hurray! I offered each of them a bottle of cold water from the ice chest and provided shade the best I could with the umbrella. After helping us to change the tire, David shook their hands and I gave them each a hug. The two men headed back toward Lubbock on their bikes and we soon passed them as we headed back to the Walmart for more tires - this time for the Suburban. Again, God had provided a couple of "angels" to help us.

"We're back!" I called to the automotive employees with a grin. "I bet you didn't expect to see us again!" They looked at us in total surprise as David came toward them with the blown tire in his grasp. He was actually laughing. Since the tires all had over 40,000 miles on them, we decided to replace them all. Sounds crazy after buying 4 new trailer tires,  I know, but four car tires, burn medicine and two McDonald's burgers later, we again headed West. It was now 12:45 PM.

Needless to say, we made new arrangements for a place to stay the night as we knew we would not make it to Priest Gulch in SW Colorado. Thank God for the cell phone! We listened to Jeff Cavin's "The Great Adventure" most of the afternoon. I guess it sort of sums up this trip so far - The Great Adventure. Anyway, I am lovin' using my laptop with the power converter in the car so I can watch the DVDs. We finally arrived at the KOA just outside of Santa Fe at 5:30 PM mountain time. It is deliciously cool here following a short afternoon rain storm. A gentle breeze is blowing the Juniper trees outside the trailer window. The smell of rain and campfire smoke hangs in the air.

David ate a Michaelangelo's dinner that I heated in the microwave and he headed for the shower. He just came back smelling awfully good and he looks very relaxed after another crazy day on the road. It's my turn for the shower and then we will settle in for the night. We have much to be thankful for. We could have been in the middle of nowhere when we had that flat. And anything could have happened when that tire blew!

Let's see! This is getting to be a very expensive vacation and it's only day two. We now have a $1,000.00 credit card bill (Thank God for savings!) along with eight new tires and a huge case of "Jesus, we trust in you!" I might add that we also prayed the Prayer to St. Michael for good measure. Who knows what tomorrow will bring!!!

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