Travel Journal – Christmas

Hello All,

“The holiday season is coming to a close. (Though it seems we are always celebrating something) This has been a very long break, and I use ‘long’ in the sense that it seemed very long driving 3700 miles. Although I could go into extreme detail about every rest stop we took I’ll spare you all but the summary: “We were tired.”

The one section I will elaborate on is perhaps the most interesting part of our trip. We set off from my girlfriend house, near Orlando, Florida, and we took 75 north till we hit interstate 10. About 6 hours into our trip we stopped to stretch our legs and pick up some light refreshment. Fortunately, this is where trouble struck. I say fortunately because of all the places to break down, a restaurant with bathrooms and free wifi is high on the list.

So, we are in the middle of nowhere (Jct 331 S and I10) and as we turn out of the restaurant, I hear a snap. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to drive up onto the curb. Puzzled, I attempted to reverse back into the parking lot of a nearby Sonic. Nothing. The engine worked fine, but we weren’t even going anywhere slowly.

One of the Sonic employees came out to help us push the car into one of the parking spaces. And after 10 minutes of some difficulty we got the car back into the parking lot. Both of us hurriedly called our parents. After ruling out a dealership or mechanic in the area, my dad volunteered to drive the 12 hours from Texas to get us and the car. So we waited.

Around 1 am, after the sonic had been plunged into darkness and all that remained was the faint buzz of oldies on the sonic radio station, my dad pulled in with the car dolly in the bed of the pickup. I was a little puzzled at first, but I later found that it lacked lights so it couldn’t be pulled.

Around 2am we got the car strapped into the dolly and we were on our way in (relatively) high spirits. Then trouble began.

We stopped at a gas station to fill up the air on one of the back tires when we noticed something wrong with the car: We’d been so worried that it would fall off the back we didn’t consider it rolling over the front. And so, my car sprawled over the dolly, tires occasionally touching the ground. What to do? Well, It’s on there right? Take the front tires off.

And so we did.

Around 3am, we set off again, though in slightly lesser spirits and the near 24 hours without sleep weighing on both dad and I. (My girlfriend had fallen asleep in the back seat of the pickup) About 20 minutes later, we feel a *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* from a perfectly smooth road. Looking back we see the car on the dolly, but sparks were shooting from some unknown place. Pulling over, we found the tire on the dolly had blown.

Using our sleep deprivation to our advantage, we decided to drive faster to see is we couldn’t “get the tire off the ground” using the height of the truck and and the other wheel. This was not, however, viable for long. We were soon forced to pull into a drainage ditch beside the road once the trailer began producing sparks.

Taking off the mangled tire, we were forced to dig up pieces of the culvert in order to prop up the wheel, which we removed after some effort, and to prop up the hitch. A few minutes after we left my father asked me if I’d gotten my papers from the car: I had not. So we drove backwards for a few miles and got the papers. Shortly after leaving a cop flashed his lights, and so we again drove backwards down the road. Through periodic spouts of chewing tobacco, the cop went through telling us the land was an air force base and that we’d better have the car moved by tomorrow.

At 4 am there was little hope of a tire store being open so we slept at a rest area till we were awakened at 7am by an ambulance and several police blazing by. After driving to a tire store in town we got the car dolly a new wheel and went back to recover the car, replacing the tire.

After going back to the tire place, we got the front tires reattached to my car and got the store to fix the short shafts. And we were back on the road.

Some people have asked after the events and so I believe I’ve given a full account.”


1 Comment

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One response to “Travel Journal – Christmas

  1. Edward Cheever

    Wow, that sounds like quite the experience. O.o I can’t imagine how frustrating that must have been.

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