They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
True, but blog posts are supposed to be concise…. So, here’s the story, in 500 words or less:
On the way to Minnesota for vacation last month my “check tire pressure” light turned on. I got off at the next exit, checked my tire pressure, aired up the tires for good measure and proceeded to drive the ~700 miles to my destination. We continued to monitor the tire pressure, but everything looked fine, so we didn’t worry about it much. I had my brakes replaced a few days before and figured the light was just a malfunction and carried on with vacation.
By the time we were ready to head back home I had all but forgotten about my tire issue. We got on the road and prepared for the 12-hour trek. About an hour into our journey, we stopped to re-fuel on healthy stuff like powdered donuts and chocolate milk.
I got behind the wheel, Ryan climbed in the back seat with his pillow and blanked and Jo assumed donut duty in the passenger seat. A couple miles after our first pit stop, I heard a noise.
Ryan: What was that?
Me: I dunno
Ryan: I think it might be your muffler or something.
Me: Oh, I doubt it. I’m sure there’s just something in the trunk. Do you think I should pull over?
Me (rolling down the window and sticking my head out): Maybe there’s a helicopter* flying over or something.
Ryan: No, you need to pull over… NOW!
I pulled over and Ryan got out of the car to check things out. Sure enough, I had a flat tire. And over 600 miles to drive. CRAP!
We had to unload ALL of our stuff on the side of the road so that we could get out the jack and the spare tire (ironically called… a donut! )– All of our luggage and vacation supplies for THREE people plus some random stuff, including my boyfriend’s “artwork” that’s been riding around in my trunk for months.
While Ryan was working on changing the tire, lots of nice Minnesotans stopped to ask us if we needed help. “No,” we’d say. “We’ve got it.”
We asked one woman if there was a tire shop in Grand Rapids or if we’d need to go further down the road. She told us that there were two in town, so we started re-packing our gear back in the trunk.
Just as we were getting ready to leave, the nice woman came back (she had been going the opposite direction). She said she knew a guy who would help us out. We followed her to the tire shop where we had to unload all of our stuff yet again, where they quickly changed the tire and sent us on our merry way.
An hour later and only $35 poorer, we were back on the road. A big shout out to my brother for not only knowing how to change a flat but also for asking them to put on a used tire.
* We couldn’t stop laughing about this afterwards. There aren’t any airports, air bases, or anything else in that part of Minnesota to make me think there was a helicopter flying overhead. So naturally that was the first thing I thought of. Naturally.