Brrrrr…..we were up at 6:00 am this morning so that we’d have time to relax and welcome the day gradually…but WOWZA it was chilly in the house! We had about 55 in the house and 45 outside…you can bet I turned the fireplace on right away! I have to admit I welcome the chill…especially for sleeping.
We got the coach in order, pulled up the stabilizer jacks, brought in the slides, unhooked the power and headed over to Michael’s aunt & uncle’s home for breakfast. It’s under 3 miles so it’s a nice quick ride.
Aunt Frances had made her home-made biscuits (oh yum!), gravy, eggs and sausage. Everything was wonderful and it sure filled our tummies and prepared us for today’s journey.
We had another nice visit but before long it was time for us to get a move on. We headed back over to the park but got a phone call not long after leaving…I’d left my phone behind. We quickly went back, grabbed the phone and headed over to the park and hooked up and were on the road about 10:00 am.
We headed north on highway 19 about 40 miles or so and then picked up I-30. We were on I-30 for about 40 miles and we heard a loud POP, I immediately said, ‘We just had a blow out.’ to which Michael replied, ‘Mmmhmmm’. I’m so surprised at how calm we both were. Michael is an expert defensive driver so he easily pulled over onto the side of the road where we got out and inspected the damage.
The coach handled great…per Michael. If it hadn’t been for the very loud audible POP we wouldn’t have known anything happened.
The fender was blown to smithereens as was the tire. The belts had separated on the tire causing the tire to blow. We went back to the truck and called CoachNet, our roadside assistance company. We got a hold of a super nice guy who took our information and then called us back about 15 minutes later to let us know the company that was coming to help and the approximate amount of time (30-45 minutes) it would be before they arrived.
About 60 or 70 miles before the blowout we, unavoidably, ran over a 2×4 that was in the middle of highway 19 (a 2-lane road) and we kinda think that might have led to the problem. The tires are 3 years old, good tread and only have about 21,000 miles on them….plus they’re the good tires…Goodyear 614s.
The service guy arrived about 40 minutes later and had the tire off almost before we realized he was here. Michael had raised the coach up using the level-up so all the guy had to do was remove the tire from the axle, remove the spare from under the coach and place it on. It took him less than 15 minutes and he was on his way.
Michael pulled a few hundred feet ahead to the exit and removed the rest of the fender and a stabilizer bar that was hanging down between the tires. We were back in business less than an hour and 15 minutes after the incident happened.
We stopped at Lowes in Texarkana so that Michael could pick up some electrical stuff and so that we could grab something to eat.
Alice (Michael’s mom) lives down a tree-lined dirt road and the last time we were here (18 months or so ago) Michael had to sit on top of the coach while I drove (my first time EVER) slowly while he broke off low-lying branches so that we didn’t damage our roof. We had to do the same exact thing today! Thankfully, we made it in one piece.
We ended up getting to Mike’s mom’s in Glenwood Arkansas about 5:15 pm and after debating where to park we ended up parked in front of Mike’s oldest brother, Eddie’s, little ‘cottage’…so we’ll be close neighbors for a few days.
After getting level and putting out the slides Michael and Eddie got to work on installing a 50 amp outlet on a power pole next to the little ‘cottage’ so that we would have 50 amp service while we’re here. It took a little bit longer than he expected but they got ‘er done!
I had some chili in the freezer that I’d pulled out this morning to thaw. I warmed it up, made some macaroni, got some fixin’s (sour cream, Frito’s & shredded cheese) together and we all (Michael, me, Mike’s mom, Eddie, his wife Val & Michael’s niece, Allicia) sat down for a nice meal together.
After dinner ‘the boys’ went back outside to set up our satellite dish while we ‘girls’ did the dishes and sat down to visit. While we were visiting Michael’s youngest brother, John, stopped by with his son, Sammie. It was nice to see so much family in such a short amount of time.
I came home about 9:00 pm and Michael followed not too long after. We are here for 5 nights and then we’ll be heading to Little Rock so we can catch a flight to New York….grandbaby time!!!
Today’s Heartland Sightings:
Cyclone – 1
Gateway – 1