“The way I figure it when it all falls apart we’ll be the last ones on the road.”
So sayeth the tow truck driver who saved my ass this weekend. A good friend and I were on a road trip to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park for some hiking/camping and to do some white water kayaking on the Nantahala River when the flat tire pictured above happened and almost completely ruined the entire endeavor. Instead we only lost a day and, while the camping and hiking parts of the trip never materialized, I at least got to freeze my ass off racing down an angry overflowing river for my first white water experience.
In all honesty we were lucky as hell. If the tire would have blown at highway speeds our trip might have ended prematurely for an entirely different reason and there may have been no more trips in the near future or ever for either of us. My small bladder saved the day instead of ruined it for once as I had to piss at a very fortuitous time. Neither of us noticed anything amiss until I walked out of the gas station and noticed the totally flat left rear tire. Not sure if you can make it out in the picture but the tire was essentially totally bald. It had worn right down to the steel belting. My friend recounted that she thought she may have ran over something on the highway on her way to pick me up but noticed nothing out of the ordinary when she inspected the tires at a stop later along the way.
In another bit of good fortune my friend was current on her AAA membership and was able to call for a tow truck without charge. A tow however was not going to do us much good without a place to tow it too. She had no spare so we needed to find an open tire store and soon or we would be stuck in Corbin, KY (dead center in the middle of nowhere, USA) until the next day at the earliest. It was 7pm and after a bit of asking and calling around we found out the closest, and only, tire store that was open this 4th of July weekend was the Wal-mart in town. Luckily it was only one exit up the street, unluckily they closed at 8pm and our tow truck was not due until 7:22pm according to AAA dispatch.
Long story short (when have I ever said that or done that, first time for everything I guess) he made it, we made it, and the day was saved. Along with the nugget of wisdom from our tow truck driver I started this post with I shall leave you with one more. Probably somebody else said it first but coming from him and at that exact moment, especially after his first quip got me in a Road Warrior mood, it was really awesome. Enjoy.
“Sometimes I think I see a way out, but I’m not sure if that light at the end of the tunnel is really a way out or an oncoming train.”