Saturday, October 23, 2010

Backaches, Blow-outs, and Bloggers! Oh My!

Hello my loverlies! It's me with a report of my road trip so far. As you can tell by the title, it's been interesting.

We pulled out of Utica, IL with Jim's back in some kind of a spasm. So bouncing around in the truck all day didn't make it feel any better. Remember we talked about the shutting down of rest areas due to lack of money? So far we've only seen one!

We made it to Iowa with no problems.

We stayed in a small campground in Keokuk. I have a friend, Kathy, who lives in that town. I haven't seen her in about five years. Actually we met when we both lived in Virginia over 23 years ago! My how time flies!

So Kathy and I went out for the evening; Jim decided to stay home and rest because his back was really  hurting him. No problem! It gave Kathy and me time to catch up on the gossip and reminisce about old times. We decided to run up to the gambling boat to donate some money! I actually came out $20 ahead. That's unusual! We came back to my place and played a mean game of "Bananagrams". Did you ever play that? It's like playing Scrabble, but you make individual crosswords. It's a lot of fun!

Wednesday morning we packed up and headed out to our next destination just outside of Kansas City, MO. We weren't too long on the road when we heard that old familiar "POW!" sound. Yep. A blow-out. Let's call this BLOW-OUT #1, shall we?

Jim and I both said some choice words like, "fiddlesticks" and "darn-it!" before jumping out of the truck. Maybe "jumping" is too strong of a word for Jim. Let's just say he moved slowly while groaning as he got out of the truck. Poor guy. But he got the tire changed pretty fast and we were on our way.

I didn't have my camera ready to take a picture of the Missouri sign. So here's one from the internet, courtesy of

I did see this one funny billboard sign. (One of my favorite songs, by the way. I just can't help but stand up and shake my booty!)

We initially planned to stay just one night at the campground, but due to the blow-out, we needed to pick up a new tire, so we booked two nights. The next day Jim found a Good Year dealer and bought a replacement tire to the tune of around $370! He debated about picking up another tire because one of the tires was looking suspicious, but opted not to because of the price.

Friday morning we felt confident with a new tire, Jim was walking somewhat erect, and we only were going a little over 200 miles. Life was good!

We got on the interstate tooling along at 55 mph (speed limit was 65-70 - but Jim wanted to conserve gas on our gas gobbler!!) We heard a weird sound. Jim asked, "What was that?"

"I don't know!" I replied, looking at the sideview  mirror, not seeing anything at first. Then, yep, I saw a tire flopping. SON OF A BISCUIT!!!

"It's a tire!" I yelled!

Jim pulled over to the side of the road. As Yogi Bera said, "It's deja vu all over again!"

Now it was the middle tire - the one that Jim thought he should replace because it was bulging. Arrgh!

You know when you see people who's car is broken down on the side of the road, and the law states that you should change lanes if at all possible? PLEASE DO SO. Let me tell you, it's quite scary when the traffic, especially trucks, are zooming by, even in the left lane, let alone in the right lane. Our trailer was rocking back and forth like you wouldn't believe.

Notice the blue arrow pointing to the small circle? It is this.

If I wasn't so tired, I'd laugh. Yeah, it's a small hole. Say what? How does the spare tire come out of there you ask? I'll tell you. You use this stupid crank.

This stupid crank that has two slots on either side. You open up that cover, stick this crank in, and hopefully connect with a small bar that fits into the slot. You can have good eye/hand coordination, but IT DOESN'T MATTER because it's pitch dark in this hole unless the sun is on that side of the trailer and at the right height in the sky to shine DIRECTLY in said hole. THIS CRANK (two thumbs pointing to me) doesn't like working with THAT CRANK. I think there could have been a much better way to lower the spare tire, like, I don't know, hydraulics? But I'm trying to be a good little wife and help my husband, who usually stands at 6'2" tall, but with this second blow-out he's bent over now at 5'8". One more blow-out and it will look like I'm traveling with one of the midgets from The Wizard of Oz. (Good thing our next stop is Liberal, KS where the Wizard of Oz Museum is located! Maybe we'll get a discount!)

But, I digress. So while I'm waiting for midget man to get the tire off, which he's having a heck of a time, I'm standing on the side of the road praying that nobody is sleeping at the wheel and will suddenly veer off the road and kill us. I'm wondering if I have the adrenaline in me to yank my 250+ lb husband by his ankles out of the way of a wayward truck barreling down on us. To get my mind of of that, I see some roadside daises to cheer me up.

I also found this stone shaped like the continent of Africa.

You know that I'm into rocks, right? I'm forever looking for heart shaped rocks or stones. As a matter of fact, this is what I found at my campsite in Keokuk.

Here's the one from Park City, KS

We saw some lovely fall colors on the road.

We arrived at the campground in Park City, KS, where, again, we initially planned to stay one night, but changed to two nights due to a tire issue.

I started setting things up on the inside, while Jim started on the outside. He sets up the satellite dish at every location.

I know what you're thinking.

You're thinking, "Seriously, do you REALLY need TV every night?"

Why, yes, yes I do.

So Jim is outside, his two hands on either side of the honking big satellite dish, praying to the satellite god to please, please, PLEASE give him a signal.

And me? I open the bathroom door and find this mess.

That is a half a roll of toilet paper, UNROLLED. That is my "library", a.k.a. magazines for browsing while sitting on the throne, tossed around like nobody's business, and the garbage can sitting precariously on it's edge. That was some wild ride we had!

But nothing was going to dampen my spirits, even though it was raining, too, because I made plans to meet up with a fellow blogger, Teresa, from The Middle Side Of Life

We had a delightful evening and chatted up like old friends. It's nice to finally put a voice to a face! And what a caring wife Teresa is to Ron! Ron is a funny and gentle man. I'm glad we had a chance to meet.

When we came home, I gave Jim some pain medication, and we both crawled in bed at 8:00 pm and watched programs that I had stored on the DVR (since Jim never did get a satellite signal). It started to rain really hard, but I paid no mind because we were snug as a bug in a rug.

Or so I thought.

Then I thought, "What is that SOUND?"

I couldn't quite place it. It almost sounded like water was leaking into the trailer. I checked the kitchen. All was well.

I checked the shower. Nothing there.

I opened up the bathroom.

EEK! Someone, by the name of JIM, left the vent wide open, and all that hard rain? Came right in. The floor was sopping wet. That sound? Was water dripping from the vent onto the plastic garbage bag in the garbage can.

Again I said those choice words like "fiddlesticks", etc.

Today, Saturday, it is so windy that our trailer is rocking like a freakin' Disney ride, and I'm not even belted in.

We haven't been doing ANY sightseeing, being as we're too busy buying tires and all.

Plus Jim's back is behaving badly.

Sunday night we'll be around Liberal, KS. Monday night Tucumcari, NM, and Tuesday, Albuquerque, NM. I'm hoping to visit Becky, from Becky's Blog while we're in Albuquerque.

Hope you are all having a great weekend!


Anonymous said...

blowouts, bad backs and big sure do spin a interesting tale my friend. ;)

hope his back gets better soon.

Anonymous said...

I suffer from back pain, I feel for your hubs:)

as far as all the rest goes, well my friend you sure dont do anything boring do ya ;) lol

Missy said...

You are living my husband's dream!
Prayers for a better back and no flats!

Brian Miller said...

i like big butts and i can not lie...oh sorry i was just singing as i was had quite the adventure...two blow outs and nearly a flooded bathroom...hope the back is feeling better...

Ami said...

Big Butts bathrooms blow outs bananagrams heart shaped rocks....

which one is different?


I have a heart shaped rock on my back porch. I found it on our last outing. I love them too.

I do not love blow outs and big butts although I own one of those two things and it's not the blow out....

Bonnie said...

let's hope you have now put all the misfortunes 'behind' you! unbelievable!!!

misslynda said...

Pat - - - Even though I laugh when I read what you write, I feel like I am super tired because I went through it all with you. The good news is you both are okay after the blow-outs and being parked on the side of the interstate. Question - - - do you remember any other trips that were like this - - - or worse? Seems like you had a rough day going north last year - - - snowy mountain roads. Thanks for still having energy to tell us about your adventures.

Eva Gallant said...

Wow! You're having quite a time. I hope things get better, including your hubby's back! Nobody needs 2 flat tires on the same trip!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh my gosh Pat. I laughed (been there) but hope for you guys' sake that you have nothing quite so interesting to post about tomorrow. Yikes!!

Your rock collection makes me think of the "Long Long Long Trailer" movie. (LOL)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh yes and PS, I see that you share my habit of taking pictures of funny signs (my current post).

Bossy Betty said...

No more blowouts! Say hello to Kansas for me!

That corgi :) said...

one day you guys will laugh about this trip, but sadly I don't think it will be tomorrow

what a wild adventure! one can only hope the rest of the trip goes somewhat smoothly


Nancy said...

Never a dull moment with you two. Somehow new tires never factor into my budget - they are always a surprise, no matter how many times I've been reminded that it's time. What really annoys me, however, is my husband suggesting we may need snow tires on my new car. What? These tires are new - what do you mean I might have to have another kind to get over the mountain pass we often have to navigate? I think if you buy a car with AWD - it should have have them already.

You do know you are living my dream life, right?

Valerie said...

Reading your posts is like taking a whiff of laughing gas. Fiddlesticks... must remember that one next time I face a calamity. Gosh, Pat, that was some trip you had... as you so correctly labelled the post 'being on the road is not all that it's cracked up to me' Must remember that, too, if ever we get the urge to wander!

Ruth said...

Um. I thought I wanted to do what you and Jim are doing one day.

On second thought . . .

Tell me it's all worth it. OK? You do see some amazing things . . .

Gail said...

Brings to mind the old saying, if the van's a rockin', don't come knockin'...and I don't think they were talking about the wind.

Today is going to be perfect. It is so wonderful Jim seems to be able to fix every problem...good man you got there!

becky said...

Hello Pat!
How long will you be in ABQ? Of course I'd love to meet you, too!
Sorry to hear about your blowouts... I'm having a flashback to when I first found your blog & you guys were somewhere up in WA, was it Yakima when you were having blowouts? That would freak me out trying to change a tire on a busy highway! Sorry about Jim's back, too. That's gotta be tough sitting for so long in the Driver's seat. What a sweet guy, though... hooking up the satellite after all the driving & the backache! I've never been thru Tucumcari- post pics!

f8hasit said...

I just love reading your blog...did you know that? I laugh about the misfortune (sorry..yes, I did chuckle) of the tires, KNOWING what was coming next when you said you didn't buy the second one and giggle with the accompanying photographs of everything along your way.

Thank you for sharing your trials and tribulations with us. I love it.

And if you ever get to Ohio...please let me know!!!!!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

We have had lots of tire problems driving in this year, more than I have seen in the six years we have been here......... Strange .......

I am jealous that you are getting to visit with bloggers!

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

Oh my! I'm sorry that the rain got in - on top of everything else! It was great to visit with you. Ron slept most of yesterday so I guess our evening out took a toll on his energy. I certainly hope you have better tire and weather luck for the remainder of your journey. I don't think that Dororthy's House (in Liberal) is open on Sunday, though so you might have to miss it on this trip through.

Take care!

SquirrelQueen said...

Goodness, why is it when one tire goes it seems to set off a chain reaction and the others feel the need to blow too?

You got me thinking about all the traveling we have done in our RV. We have also done the bathroom vent in a rainstorm and had to change a tire alongside an interstate. But my all time favorite was standing outside the RV and suddenly noticing it was rolling backwards toward a large ravine. I have never seen my husband move so fast before or since but he made it and got the brakes set.


Love this blog. Very funny. I'm sure it wasn't fun while it was happening but so pleased you thought to write about it.

I think what you are doing is courageous and sounds like a blast.

Blessings on the rest of your trip or are you doing this the rest of your life???