Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Kindness of Strangers

We met some really nice people today.  Quite by accident, but luckily for us, when things went wrong we were in the right place.  We blew a tire on I 90 this afternoon on the Minnesota Wisconsin border, and left some debris behind.  No body was hurt and we were back on our way within just a few hours thanks to the kindness of some wonderful strangers.

The defecation hit the ocillation around 1 p.m. about 5 miles from La Crosse Wisconsin.  Now, I've had flat tires in cars plenty of times before, even blown out tires on the freeway, but was not quite prepared for the sound an exploding rv tire makes when it goes.  It's loud, and unfortunately did some damage to the rv when it went.  The passenger side inside rear tire blew, then proceeded to knock a pretty good size hole in the underside of the rv right above the tire.  The rv cabin where we were sitting filled with dust and bits of insulation as it blew through the vents of the furnace and generator.

One call to AAA and they were able to figure out exactly where we were and send out a tow truck, which we thankfully ended up not needing.  Joe, from Ed's Towing and Repair, showed up and was able to get the blown tire off and the spare on so we could drive into La Crosse.  He then called ahead and found us a garage with the right size tires and had us follow him right in.  Dale Molnar, the manager of GCR Tire Center in La Crosse had us in and out with 4 new rear tires in just over an hour.  A mechanic in his garage gave us a great tip on an ice cream shop we could walk to and Dale made popcorn for the boys when we got back and still had a bit of a wait for them to finish up.

Since I'm a "glass half full" kind of person, I think we've been pretty lucky.  We've driven through parts of the country where we didn't pass a gas station or even another car for 100 miles or more.  Had this happened there, we might have had a very different day.  The tire most likely took out the furnace when it blew, but that didn't work anyway.  Had it been the tire on the other side of the rv it likely would have taken out a holding tank and the house electrical system.  It did slice the electical wire connecting the sensor in the gas tank to the guage on the dashboard, so now we have to be careful and fill up every 150 miles or so until we can get that fixed, but it could have been a whole lot worse.

We crossed back over the Mississippi River today, so I guess we are officially "back east," and we'll be home in 11 days.  We're spending a couple days in Wisconsin Dells before heading to Oshkosh.  After that it's back to Ohio and on to Pennsylvania to visit some family, a jaunt to Gettysburg to meet up with the boy scouts then home.  It's been a great ride!

Finally, one more great sign, from downtown La Crosse as we walked to the ice cream parlor.  This one made my day,!


1 comment:

  1. I'll look forward to seeing the ice cream, but until then, I'll content myself that you're all safe and unharmed. That must have been really scary. Next summer, I hope you'll drive the southern route, visiting DC and Williamsburg, the Appalachians, me, New Orleans, etc. :-)