Saturday, April 17, 2010

Whew! We made it!

We arrived in Snoqualmie, Washington on Thursday afternoon. Although we had less than 250 miles to drive that morning, it was a long day.

Everything started out fine enough. We saw plenty of orchards.

We were in wine country and saw vineyards, too.

Of course, I had to put a funny sign in here. Nothing like old fruit.

We passed some freshly shorn sheep. They look a little cold, don't they? If you enlarge the photo, it looks like the one sheep is complaining to the other one.

Then we passed miles and miles of these strange looking things.

Do you know what they are? We found out later from our son that they are for growing hops. Yep. It turns out that Yakima, Washington is the largest hop producer in the U.S. In fact, the United States is the SECOND largest producer of hops - Germany is first. Gosh the things you learn from me! Here is a picture from Wikipedia that shows the hops growing up the wires. The poles are supporting the wires.

We were driving west on 90 on the Snoqualmie Pass when IT happened.

We both heard a loud noise.

"What was that?" I asked.

Jim looked in his side mirror. "Blow out!" He quickly, but carefully pulled over to the side of the road.

We both got out and looked at the damage. It was not good folks. It wasn't just a blown tire.

Pink arrow - This is all dented up. The pink line is where is should be. This is the bottom of our slide out.

Blue arrow - This piece broke off. I picked it up off the road.

Green arrow - There is a crack in this area. Needs replacing

Where's the tread?

It was scary standing on the side of the road while Jim changed the tire. Although we were a good 8 feet from the moving traffic, when the semis came charging by at 65-70 mph, our whole trailer shook, as did I.

Jim got the spare tire put on, but it was only at 60 psi instead of the 90 that it required, so we had to drive slow for cautionary measures. We finally found a gas station a few miles up the road. After several attempts with the air pump, Jim discovered that it wasn't working properly. He finally asked the guy if he could just plug in our air compressor to fill up the tire. The guy agreed. So while Jim was running around doing this, I sat in the truck looking at the scenery.

Here's a ski lift right to the left of the gas station.

Finally we were on our way.

You can tell we are in Washington by the abundance of fir trees.

And finally, the road into our campground.

We've been very lucky on our travels over these five years. We've had a few flat tires on the trailer, but never a blow out. At least it didn't cause us to get in an accident. Things can be fixed.

Coincidentally, we replaced all our trailer tires two years ago while we were out here in the Seattle area. So Jim called up the the place and they gave us a new tire; we just had to pay the difference in price of a new one. We are awaiting a call from an insurance adjuster to look at our trailer; we won't get anything fixed till we get to Illinois.


Steven Anthony said...

OMG, I am glad you guys didnt get hurt. wow that had to be scary...

the pics as always are beautiful....Im sorry you had the "blow out" but your asttitude is great;)

happy, safe travels my friend

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I'm so glad you are safe; and you have the right attitude for sure. Things can be fixed. Still -- maybe you felt a little like partaking in the product made from those hops by the time your day was over?

Brian Miller said...

wonderful pics...been a few years since i was in WA. glad you made it through that blow out with only minimal damage...have fun!

Lindy MacDuff said...

Wow! So glad you two are safe and the damage wasn't any worse.

Lovely scenery. That's one part of the country I've yet to visit.

I like your 'old fruit' sign. Did you try any aplets or cotlets?

Your campground entry looks nice with that creek flowing alongside the road.

Enjoy yourselves. Hope you have a nice relaxing while before you have to get out on the road again.

Gail said...

Glad this did not happen on one of those stand on your head while driving down the mountain roads.

Jim, you are my hero, for handling that big baby well and getting it off the road safely...and for changing the tire.

Pat, I'm not leaving you out, you are my hero too for taking such great pictures.

Snowflake said...

Glad to hear you have arrived safe and sound!!! And too bad about the blowout, but thankfully you were able to stop and hopefully the damage is minimal. We stopped for fuel south of Salt Lake City today and Senor Ping noticed the steel belts were showing through on one of the tires on the RV. Lucky for us we were next to a tire shop and in 15 minutes we had 2 new tires. Am I ever happy we took the time to stop and have it looked after and didn't have your problems!! Enjoy your visit and I look forward to reading more about your adventures!!!

A New England Life said...

Fruit and antiques, a winning combination! lol!

Sheep shearing is definitely not an art form! And who knew about the hops? Not me.

Man, that's a blow out alright! I wouldn't like all those big trucks blowing by either. Scary stuff!

Always an adventure, Pat ; )

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

your pictures are always so pretty. loved the snow.

too bad that your tire blowout caused trailer damage - but very thankful you all weren't hurt. it is scary standing on the side of the road when a semi goes by. {shudders}

how long will you be there?

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Glad you are safe and sound Pat. Have a good visit with your relatives.

Rae said...

Very very scary having a blowout like that. I would have been reciting prayers. I am glad to know you are safe. Such are the perils of road travel though. I worry with every unusual noise I hear that something is ready to blow or pop. Good thing Jim had steady nerves and knew how to handle things.

Bossy Betty said...

Great to hear from you! Sorry to hear about your tire! Yikes!

Betty said...

So glad you two are safe and the damage was not any worse.
I love these photos!:) So beautiful!
Safe travels, my friend!
Betty xx

Ji said...

what lovely photos,
I liked the field with fruit trees,
you are smart in shooting flat tires as well..

fabulous post!
Happy Sunday!

SquirrelQueen said...

Glad to hear you are both alright, blowouts can be scary. But to me changing a tire along side an interstate is even scarier.

When you see the pears, apples & wine together on one sign you are definitely in WA. The hops poles I recognized as there are lots of them on this side of the country.

becky said...

that fruit stand in yakima has the biggest & best fuji apples i've ever tasted!