Monday, July 25, 2016
Beasts of Burden, Now Plural
Four days following our brake repair...
Another couple of work days behind, and only the open road before, we are hitched up and ready to roll. Goodbye Jacksonville and goodbye Florida. We've outstayed our welcome as we had no initial intention of spending our summer in the furthest south parts of our Continental U.S. Today is the day we finally leave after four hot months. The brakes still feel strong and we are excited about the journey ahead, so spirits are high among the troops.
We conduct our final walk around before departure, and there it is. A low trailer tire (one of our four), clearly not road worthy. After a long sigh, we pull her to the nearest gas station for air. Closer inspection reveals a screw fully embedded in the rubber. Our spare isn't holding air either, so its time for another trip to the repair shop. Our first two attempts to find a simple tire mechanic fall through as it seems most tire shops are not equipped for something so large. But a trucker tire shop is happy to help, and at less than 10 miles away we are pretty sure our freshly inflated radial with hold. It's E rated, which perhaps gives me some false sense of comfort.
After a few wrong turns we arrive safely. $15 for the tire patch (not a plug - the store owner doesn't approve of such methods), and $100 for a new spare and we are on our way north to the Deep South - Savannah and Charleston.
Throughout both the brake and tire issues, a couple of things remained evident:
(1) "BB", our Beast of Burden Excursion, has a (fraternal) twin. Together the truck and trailer will hence forth be known as the Beasts of Burden.
(2) It is so much easier to take these things in stride when there is no job I have to show up for every day. If we get set back a day or two, its usually not a problem at all. We build in buffer to our travels when heading into town for work, reducing the stress.
(3) God seems to have our backs. If the brakes went out on the highway instead of parked at the campground, we may have been in a seriously dangerous position. The same may have been true with a tire blow out at 60 mph. So we couldn't help but smile and say, "Thanks God for timing these maintenance issues as you did." What would usually end up as a point of frustration turned into an opportunity for praise.