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OTRWJ - Day 1The problem.
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OTRWJ - Day 1The cause.
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OTRWJ - Day 2I Dream of Weenie lunch break.
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OTRWJ - Day 3The arch.
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OTRWJ - Day 3Busch stadium, Mr. Wainwright's "other home"
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OTRWJ - Day 4Bo Diddley signature at the Fox.
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OTRWJ - Day 4Liberace's signature at the Fox
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OTRWJ - Day 4Red Skelton drawing at the Fox.
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OTRWJ - Day 4Stained glass ceiling in ladies' room at the Fox.
Today is the first day of a coast to coast, seven week trip that's been in the making all winter.
My husband, Larry, and I are good in the car together and we love the West, hiking, different food, weird road signs... So we are quite excited to get going.
Of course, no seven week road trip should happen without some planning.
Our last road trip was to Austin and back with great stops along the Gulf Coast. After 2 weeks, we were on I-10 only 200 miles from SSI when we heard a "funny" sound from the tires. Larry got out to inspect (husbands do that!): nothing. We resumed cruising at 75mph and, again: funny sound. This time the "inspection" showed a thin strip of rubber pulling away from the tire and flapping against the wheel well. Look left; look right: no signs of civilization. So husband decides to cut off the offending little piece of rubber . . . with fingernail clippers from his Dopp kit (the only remotely useful tool we had)! But clearly a more thorough diagnosis was required. So we limped to the closest town: Chattahoochee,FL.
We found a rather scary looking tire store on Main Street with a proprietor who looked perplexedly at our Mercedes and slowly shook his head: "No sir. I can't help you. But go see Bobby back by the Dollar General. "
Bobby and friends, complete with tattoos and ponytails, took one look at the Mercedes, gave big grins and said "YES!! We can sure help you".
Fast forward about an hour, putting on the spare, much talk about locking lug nuts (???), how another tire was ready to go, calling the closest Mercedes dealer in Tallahassee and confirming tire inventory, Bobby helped us pack all the luggage back in the car and said, "that'll be five bucks." Wow!
Off to Tallahassee we went on our max 45 mph spare. As Larry and I killed a couple more hours in an Applebee's waiting for the dealership to put on FOUR special low profile tires (Ca Ching!), he confessed: yes. He knew the tires were about due up but was thinking about trading in the car and didn't want to buy new tires for someone else and he figured we'd be fine. Right. He was only off by 200 miles.
So NOW. Preparations for road trip 2013.
Last week on Frederica, noticing the car gauge says the tires need air, I turn to husband and gently inquire: "does the car need servicing?" "No, it's fine. Oh, wait. It says 'service due 30 days'. Boy, time sure does fly. " So, ONE day before our coast to coast trip, he goes to Jax for car service. Whew. We're good to go now.
At 8 this AM, we hit the road, excitedly anticipating the many adventures ahead of us. Little did we know our first one would be in 5 hours.
After an ok lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Newberry, SC, we head back to the interstate. "What is that noise," I say softly. #%^**%#, he says. Out he gets to inspect.....is this sounding familiar yet??....you can HEAR the air rushing out of the tire!!!!!
We manage to limp to a very close Walmart watching the tire pressure gauge on the dash go rapidly from 35 to 20 to 16 to 8.....
Seems we had picked up more than some fajitas at lunch. The service man, shaking his head, pulled a large screw driver out of the tire. But good news: tire could be repaired. Only 30 minutes and $10 later, we are again Westward Ho.
We are now in NC, enjoying the mountains, and will still make TN in time for the early bird special with Larry's elderly aunt and uncle.