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Friday, February 12, 2010

Anyone know a good mechanic?

Today has been one of those adventures we’d rather do without.

We wanted to reschedule our Grand Canyon train ride for tomorrow since that would be our only chance. But when we called, the hotel was already full, so we agreed to do the RV park instead. Kind of inconvenient to take the RV up there and back, but it was better than not getting to go at all.

Yesterday we worked to get most of the RV packed and ready to go. This afternoon I took the kids to the zoo (had a great time!) while Jeremy finished work and got the last few things together. We figured we only had a little over two hours to Williams, so shortly after 3 I left the zoo for the (supposedly) 20 minute drive home and we’d be up to our campground by dinnertime. Right?

First, there was a ton of traffic so I didn’t get back to the RV park until 4. It only took us about 10 minutes to get the truck hitched and the last few things tossed in the back of the truck since Jeremy had everything ready. We were trying out our fancy new tire pressure monitoring system, since that should help us prevent blowouts by letting us know if the pressure or temperature starts to change.

Shortly down the road, we saw somebody else’s tire blow out right in front of us. We had just been talking about our new gizmo and were hopeful it would help us avoid the same fate.

A few minutes further down the road, our new system started to beep. We pulled off and checked, and sure enough, the pressure was low. We thought it a bit coincidental that this happened the day we got the monitor, so we put the spare monitor on and hoped it was a fluke.

Not too much farther into the trip, the alarm went off again. This time we had double reasons to stop since as we got off the highway, we noticed a strong burning smell and smoke coming from the wheels. We pulled into a truck stop and checked under the hood. All the fluids seemed to be fine, so we were hopeful that the brakes were just a little overheated from coming down the mountain. We filled up the tire again as best we could (it was for cars, so couldn’t get the pressure up high enough) and went on our way again.

We stopped several more times to fill up the tire, each time in progressively colder weather as we went further north and higher in elevation. Ian was amazed that he got into the truck wearing a t-shirt in 75 degree weather and when we stopped, there was snow on the ground. Eventually we took off the tire monitor and that seemed to alleviate the problem, so apparently there’s something awry with the valve stem. We’re hoping to get that looked at tomorrow while we ride the train.

It’s 9:05 and we should be pulling in to the RV park in just a few minutes. I hope we’ve worked the bugs out now and the rest of our travel goes more smoothly to Illinois.


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