A challenging few days

Sal was scheduled for a complete knee replacement.  Post op, she has to rehab with physios for awhile (as long as six weeks) and commuting from OTG was out of the question.  So, a good friend loaned us his motorhome.  The idea was that we would reside in Campbell River while she healed.

She was scheduled in for the 7th.  On the fifth, we went to Vancouver.  Slept over in the moho and returned on the sixth.  In theory, a day to spare.

And…the best laid plans of mice and Murphy….  

Halfway home the moho started to shimmy and shake and make noises.  I pulled over, examined everything and carried on (it was NOT coming from the engine or the transmission).  But it got worse.  We were on the upper levels of the Island Highway.  It was getting on to dusk.  Sal was following in our ‘ol faithful Pathfinder.  “Hey, Sal,” I said over the walkie talkies we had brought with us, “pull up alongside and see if you can see anything.”  She did.  Reported nothing seen. I carried on.  The noise got worse.  “Hey, Sal?  You there?”

“No”, she replied.  The Pathfinder is crapping out.  “I can only go five miles per hour!”  I pulled over and waited.  She limped up.  It was raining.  It was cold.

I tried driving it and it worked fine.  I gave it back to her and said, “Let’s go.”

And so we went.  The noise got worse.  “Hey, Sal.  Better look again.  It’s getting ugly.”  “Can’t.  The  car is doing it again.”  I pulled over.  It was getting dark.  We were at a higher elevation.  The rain was starting to look like snow.  She limped up…….

We went through that exercise another time but, at a certain point, the moho was really acting up.  Shimmying.  Making a racket.  I could not proceed.  Sal was suffering more Pathfinder failure and took a few minutes to crawl up again.  While I was waiting, I looked really carefully….and then I saw it!

Big mohos (30’) have ‘dualies’ at the back.  Four wheels and tires on the rear axle.  The inside tire on the drivers side had split.  Very weird.  It split in half like a person would cut a bagel in half.  I had two halves of a tire on the inside.  The remaining tire was carrying the weight and it looked a bit taxed in so doing.  “What are we going to do?”

“Can’t fix this kinda thing myself.  Let’s phone the nearest tire store.  The nearest tire store was answered by a young ditz who said, “Well, we close in half an hour.  If you can get here, we can maybe look at it tomorrow……..?”

The second tire store was Fountain Tire in Comox.  Run by a guy called Craig.  “I’ll get a service truck out there as fast as I can.  Hobble to the rest area (one km up the highway) and it will make doing the job easier.”  So, we did.  “Hey, Craig.  If you sell batteries, please bring one.  I have a support vehicle that is also dying and I have diagnosed that it is acting like a dead battery.”

Corey came with the service trick and set to work replacing the inner tire.  I took the battery and swapped it in.  The car then ran like a racehorse.  Odd problem, tho.  I guessed that the alternator simply wasn’t charging.  That killed the battery and Sal was running without much spark…..OK, it was a lucky guess.  I admit it.

Corey was a tire genius.  He removed the bad tire and put on the new tire (and they are large, heavy tires) like it was child’s play.  Pretty neat.  By then it was snowing lightly.  It was dark.  It was cold.  We hadn’t eaten since breakfast (we left early – didn’t stop and don’t usually eat ferry food).  Things were looking bleak.

We all went back to Comox to settle up.

“Where y’all going and can you stay over while we fix the electrical problem?”

“Can’t.  Wife is scheduled for an operation at Campbell River Hospital tomorrow early.  Gotta get her there.”

“OK.  Take our courtesy car.  Leave the Pathfinder.  We’ll get on it right away.”

“No rush.  Once I get her to the hospital, all the time pressure is off.”

“Well, let me take some of the pressure off.  No charge for the service.  No charge for the tire (2nd hand) and no charge for the courtesy car.  Now get her on to the hospital!”

“Craig!  You can’t do that.  You have costs!”

“I can do that.  And I am.  Now go!”

We went.  Got to our parking spot at my friend’s place in CR and rolled into bed.  It was 10:00.  And bloody cold.  But we crashed into bed, got up, went to the hospital.  She was supposed to check in at 8:00 am.  She did.  She was ‘admitted’ at precisely 8:00 am.

Murphy is a bastard.  But angels can thwart him.  A big, hairy, tire shop guy had wings on his shoulders. Remember that: Fountain Tire in Courtenay/Comox.  And yes – Sal will put that on Facebook later, too.

Tomorrow – the operation went very well but…………………

 

4 thoughts on “A challenging few days

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