It was pretty early, just past dawn. The wind was howling. My guess: 35 mph with gusts. Whitecaps everywhere. Sal was up already and getting on her wet gear. Loading on her pack. Carrying her totes. I got up, tended the fire, made tea and watched her as she motored by our house ten minutes later. She splashed, plunged, dipped and pitched to and fro in our small boat heading at half-speed through the crazy seas to the community dock and a day chock full o’ fun-with-quilting’.
“I imagined in advance what the seas would be like. I visualized coming into the dock with pounding waves and probably a strong current. I had it all planned out. And, it worked! I got there safely. Didn’t smash the boat! It was great!”
There was a tree down on the logging road but Sal was lucky, it was mostly rotten and split into several chunks when it hit the road.
“I wasn’t sure I could move the pieces but a little tugging and rolling and I was good to go.”
She got to the community centre and joined in the cutting and piecing frenzy that made up a quilting day. Great fun was had by all. Then she called me to tell me that she had picked up a few items from the grocery store and was headed back. It is always preferable to know when someone starts out and when they are expected back. You know, for ‘search-and-rescue’ ops?
She called me on the walkie-talkie from the community dock:
“The good news is that I am here and I’ll be leaving the dock in the next few minutes. See you in a bit. The seas are calmer. I shouldn’t be too long.”
“………………….aaaaaaaaand the bad news?”
“Coming back, I got two flat tires. Same time. Had to leave the truck half way and I thought I’d have to walk to the end of the road. But I got lucky – I jumped in front of a car going my way and made them stop for me. Got a ride most of the way.”
“TWO FLAT TIRES! WHO GETS TWO FLAT TIRES?”
“Not my fault, I am sure of it. One minute I was driving, the next minute I could feel a tire going soft so I pulled over and imagine my surprise to find TWO tires flat.”
“Oh, I can imagine your surprise alright. I can EASILY imagine your surprise because I, too, am very surprised. I bought a whole new set of heavy ply off road tires less than a year ago for this very reason. We have less than 5000 kms on them. What the hell?”
“I couldn’t use the spare tire because, well, you know….one spare for two flats isn’t going to do the job, is it?”
The next day, we borrowed a car. Brought some tools. Got to the car in the middle of the forest. It was raining, of course. We jacked up the car. Blocked it. Took off the two tires. Trekked into town and went to see the OK Tire guys.
“We checked your tires out. They’re toast. Sidewalll perforations. Both of them. Flukey. Yer gonna need two new tires. You’re lucky. Got ’em in stock. I’ll only charge ya cost.”
“You’re a sweetheart. But shouldn’t these tires NOT have had two side-wall failures? Shouldn’t you or Kumho cover this? And buy me lunch?”
“Hah hah. The manufacturers don’t cover that kind of damage anymore. ‘Bout ten years ago it stopped. Your bill’s at the front office. We’ll hafta do lunch some other time. Hah hah!”
We got back to the truck a few hours later. Got the tires on. Got home about dusk.
“Well, sweetie, I am sure glad that all’s well that ends well. And now I can get to quilting on Saturday. That’s good.”
In the middle of nowhere with BCAA miles away.
BCAA is a long, long way and the guy who WAS the other-island BCAA is now retired and getting on. He could only tow it anyway. Plus: there is no cell service on that side of the island. And those guys don’t carry tires with them, anyway. One flat, we could handle. Sal could, I hope. Two is pretty crippling and so that required extra blocks (jacks) and such. Plus a borrowed car.
Sal is pictured jacking up the front. I did most of it but wanted her to do a bit of all of it so that she knew the process. It was a refresher course, actually. She really DOES know the process but each car has different load points for the jack and this car has 13/16 lug nuts (21mm) so you hafta know which tool to use and that sort of thing. I really want her to be able to handle what she is very likely to encounter.
At the end of the day, I started looking for a small ‘ladies’ chainsaw for her. I dunno…..maybe…
When I was in high school I borrowed the family car and went out to the reservoir with a guy. We drove over a bridge and a nail or something punctured both tires. I can’t remember how we got both tires fixed, but I can still remember my dad’s reaction. I think he was more upset with me letting a guy drive his car and taking his daughter out to the remote spot in the country. – Margy
Every guy can relate to parking with a girl. Few can relate to TWO flats at the same time!
I drove up to Inuvik about 25 years ago. Just wanted to go on a road trip. I bought an extra spare so I had two.
I drove 8000kms in 2 weeks all over Hell’s half acre. I met people from the Lower 48 that had had FOUR flats in a month on the Alaska Highway, “I bought military grade tires for this trip! FOUR flats! Cost a fortune to fix! I’m NEVER visiting this God Forsaken Clip joint again!”, cursed one American Tourist…… He was seething after I mockingly told him my crappy Dunlop Radial “city tire” were doin just fine.
No flats the entire trip.
As a post script.
In all that driving on the gravel of the AK Hwy I didnt get ONE rock chip on my windshield. As soon as I got back to Van, my brother borrowed my truck to pick up some material in Richmond.
gets home an hour later…..HUGE stone chip right in front of the driver’s view……..
I’ll tell Sal you suggested she had two-flat karma. She’ll make a quilted effigy of you and start sticking pins in. You’ll suffer big time.
I wrote the mfg’er. They said, fill in these forms. I am ballistic.
Did she make that voodoo doll already?
I woke up with a sore lower back and a cramp in my lower calf…….!
Yeah, sorry. I saw it laying there. Back pins. Leg pins. Do you smell anything kinda stinky?
Never mind, I’ll go get it, pull out the pins, wash off the otter scat and you should be right as rain soon enough. Suggestion: send her Roger’s chocolates. Works for me (……mind you, I am still wearing my leg brace…….I should look around for MY doll…..sometimes she just throws it in a drawer and I feel dusty and claustrophobic til I go get it)