Well, Day Two of the Trip was interesting – to say the least. But we arrived safe and sound at our friends’ place.
We got up early yesterday and loaded the trailer and truck of our suitcases and so forth. I climbed in and started the car, and with Chelsea’s help from the outside, began to back up. I did really well for about 3 feet and then ran into the curb. No problem, I thought, and proceeded to carefully straighten the wheel and pull back into the parking place. Try number two. Same result. After about ten attempts I realized that I was not going to be able to get out of the parking lot. So I march back into the hotel to locate some kind, knowledgeable soul to back up the vehicle. Guy number one informs me he is a city boy and has no clue, but he’d be happy to stand outside and watch and provide helpful hints. I declined. The hotel clerk just shook his head no before I could even ask the question. The only other person was a lady who was riding a bike – but what the heck. I asked her too. She laughed and said she knew how in theory but had never done it. So I went back to the truck and sat down. Hum. We waited and soon two guys with bikes came out and loaded them into the back of a really big pick up truck. I jumped out and asked if either of them could get me out of my parking place and yippee! one could. He got in the truck and in just seconds had me ready to go. RELIEF!!!!
Now Oklahoma. I’ve driven through Oklahoma before and perhaps it was because I was in a car, or perhaps I just do not remember, but Oklahoma has horrid roads! Full of pot holes and uneven pavement. Bumpy is a gross understatement. And apparently I really made Lee Garmin (my GPS Australian man) really angry because he took me on all back roads, mostly two lane, and I swear they were the worst roads on the planet! Anyway we bumped along for hours and in McAlister I pulled in for gas. The trailer ended up on an incline so I put on the parking brake. I filled the car and paid for the gas. We used the facilities, and hit the road again.
Just after I got back on the road I noticed that the truck was really “jumpy”, but then figured that this stretch of road was just really, really bumpy. I’d gone about 3 miles when we noticed an awful burning smell. Really bad. I looked in the rear view mirrors (to change lanes) and smoke was pouring out of the two rear wheel wells!
I pull over and we get out of the car – and with shaking hands I call the auto club. They transfer me to a local branch who sends out a tow truck. The driver gets out and starts laughing! I wasn’t quiet believing this whole thing, and the laughter just added that extra touch of surreal. Anyway he came up to me and said not to worry, he thought he knew exactly what was wrong and if he was right I’d be on the road again without going for any repairs. Asked me if the emergency brake was on. Duh! Head slap and eye roll. Yes! I’d put it on at the gas station and hadn’t taken it off! We took it off, and he sent me on a test drive to a truck repair place 5 miles down the road. The truck drove great, no more smoke or jumpiness and the brakes (regular ones) worked fine. Back on the road.
The rest of the day, although long, was blissfully uneventful. We arrived at our friends place and are enjoying wonderful hospitality. Today is a rest day and we’re catching up on several years worth of “stuff”.
Yep, that was me smokin’ down highway US69!