Good news. I wasn’t arrested. In fact, after 15-minutes in the police cruiser, I was only given a warning: “Failure to stay in lane.”
I was in western Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, in a freakin’ Winnebago – you do the math. He should have seen the semi’s on the interstate! On the upside, we gave a bored highway patrolman something to do on a slow Friday afternoon in Stephens County. Still, we should have recognized the traffic stop as just the beginning…
Thankfully, our surprise visit with Dionne’s sister and her family went perfectly. Her husband was the only who knew we were coming, so it was exciting to sneak into the house. The kids were stoked because the “RB” was back, and all weekend we got a chance to celebrate Mom’s years of hard-work, earning a bachelor’s degree while raising three kids and a husband.
Then it was time to head home. We loaded-up, headed-out, filled the tank, and pointed “The Investment” northeast up I-44, not a care in the world. The wife had chocolate, the dog was content and I had coffee; 8-hours of cruise control and some wind-wake wrestling thanks to passing semi’s, and we’d be back home in time for supper and the recliner.
“Do you hear that?” I asked, turning down the radio, 40-miles east of Oklahoma City. The hair on my neck stood straight. ‘Twas a distantly familiar sound, heard around the same time last year between Little Rock and Texarkana.
“Crap. We’re about to blow a…” THUD! FLAPPITY FLAPPITY FLAP FLAP…The shredded tire pummeled the wheel-well as I eased the Winnebago into the all-too-familiar breakdown lane. And there we sat…both staring straight ahead…broken down…again.
Last time this happened, the spare was so rotted, we had to buy tires over the phone. The only problem was, very few vehicles today use 16.5-inch rims. So we had to buy two larger tires, put those on the front, move one of the front tires to the blown right-side inner dual, then mount the other front tire as a spare.
Which was good news, really…because THIS time, we actually had a usable spare tire! Or did we? How long do you think it took us to change that tire? A better riddle: How many different roadside assistance crews does it take to change the left side inner dually tire on a busy turnpike? And did you know it’s actually possible to destroy a tire iron just trying to loosen the nut on a spare?
The conclusion of “A Familiar Journey” tomorrow.
In the meantime, type Winnebago into the “Search by Keyword” section of this page. Familiarize yourself with this vehicle’s legacy under our ownership. Trust me, you’ll enjoy a few laughs…at our expense – and most likely decide against ever purchasing a pre-owned RV for your family.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein.