Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fort Stuckton

If you travel through West Texas, 350 miles West of Austin be sure you:
1 have good tires
2 A good spare
3 It's not after two o'clock on a Saturday

The XO and I headed for the bunker this week end just to drop off a few things and generally check up on the place. I still am not able to work so we were just going to do an up-and-back. No need for the bug out bag, right? Bad idea.
About five years ago we were making the same trip and 6 miles West of Fort Stockton we had a flat. Right front, tread separation, donut spare and about forty thousand miles on the set. But it was Saturday morning so we just drove slowly back to town and bought a complete set of tries.
Fast forward five years to almost the exact spot. Blam! Same tire. I lean my crutches against the open trunk lid and unload the "stuff". A really nice guy from San Angelo (Thanks Mr. Wincowski) appeared out of nowhere and helped me (he did most of the work). When I dropped the jack the car just kept going down. Flat Spare. Soo.. I tried to limp, very slowly back to town. After crossing the median and crossing four lanes (80+ speed limit) of traffic I SLOWLY headed back. Half way I came upon a trooper making a two car stop and he didn't have the time or inclination to help me so I eased around him and kept on truckin'. Note, he did catch up with me just as I pulled into the Shell station, blinked his lights and continued on. I pulled up to the air pump, close enough to read the Out of Order sign on it. Drat.. I went inside with my fingers crossed that the pump was only unable to accept quarters, not so but the attendant told me that there was a free hose back at the diesel pumps. I pumped the spare up to where I could read the side of the tire that said 60lbs so I changed position, protecting my important parts and pumped her up. Now to find a tire.
Not a chance. Now I know why Fort Stockton has so many motels. Now the lack of bag comes out to bite us. Not even a tooth brush. So we spend some quality time and wait for the tire store to open Monday morning. Golly at 8AM there were six of us intrepid travelers waiting for the tire guy. One over-priced replacement later we are on our way. Everything else went smoothly and we are back in Austin .

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Another Trip

Just now getting around to posting this. The XO and I flew into Chicago and drove to Northeastern Iowa to see my brother and his extended family. Don't know why he wants to live in Iowa I guess it's his problem. I lived there about fifty years ago too but I escaped. Strange, nothing has changed. I'm used to living in dynamic places that grow and change with thousands of families moving in every month. Even now with the stagnant economy the city of Austin is growing like a weed.
I was on crutches and my brother was pushing a walker, we looked like characters out of a horror movie. His kids and grandkids are scattered all over town so we gathered up those that were available and had a dinner shown in the pictures above. The XO is the top picture and brother Lyle is down to the right. Daughter Diana and granddaughter to the left. Bob, his son and Jim, Dianas husband are down right.