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The Blowout of Destiny on August 3rd – and it could have changed our lives forever, but miraculously, it only changed our tires.
And it sure didn’t make us want to do it again and again … but, I certainly can vouch that it was hot!
Over 100° for eight hours straight. Eight hours … and much of it with some up-hill action, sans A/C so the engine wouldn’t overheat.
And, even though it was our first blowout, we felt, deep down, it was inevitable. It had to happen sometime. We had even prepared – studied-up about what to do and how to react when the moment arrived. It wasn’t that our tires were old. Beauty’s trailer-daddy, Larry Cook set her up fine. But, we’re Newbies, and having recently experienced two separate encounters (one each) with a couple of ill-fated, curbs, the seeds were planted, the plot, in motion. So, after some professional advice from Vinnie at Vinnie’s Northbay Airstream Repair, we made plans to change and upgrade our tires in Sacramento a few weeks from now … then, Ka-BOOM!
Destiny. Why such a powerful word to describe this blowout?
Was it our speed? Only 25 miles per hour when the tire blew? Had we been towing at 55 mph, we probably would have caused massive damage to the wheel wells and the mechanics of the Airstream. As it happened, we only had minor cosmetic damage.
Or could it be that when forced to pull off Hwy 395 on a narrow, blind curve in a desolate area of the forbidding Mojave desert – a miraculous asphalt driveway appeared before us like a fortress to protect us from the threat of passing traffic?
Also, after being told by AAA to expect a two hour wait in over 100° heat…
… Jim took a a cold shower in the Airstream with fresh water he’d put in that morning. Nothing like a cool head to avert regrettable errors of judgement.
Or, perhaps it is a sign of destiny that AAA arrived 1 ½ hours earlier than projected because the mechanic was “in the area” having just finished a towing job?
And, when the AAA truck didn’t have a tire inflation device onboard to pump up the spare, we were prepared with our own brand new tire inflator. Equipment matters.
Then, by some fluke (after being told we might have to wait more than an hour) a California Highway Patrol officer in a fully-equipped and outfitted SUV arrived within minutes to close the road about ¼ mile downhill, so we could back out safely without getting creamed.
More rational minds might say it was simply luck when with only another 23 miles to the nearest tire shop and no second spare, we were able to make it to J.R Tire Shop without another blowout.
Then, within eye-shot of J.R’s is a terrific RV park…
… and we were able to get a space there for the night even though all the city’s campgrounds, RV Parks, motels, hotels, condos … are booked solid because, unbeknownst to us, we’d arrived during the biggest Mammoth Lakes event of the year!
Luck or Destiny? You decide. I have my own ideas. With Mammoth Lakes packed to the edges with tourism, what are the odds that Jim’s distinguished charms alone could secure us two more days the next morning, and then that afternoon another week extension? With that time-frame we should be able to wait for four new custom Tredit 16″ 16X6 6-5.5 wheels and four new Michelin LTX M/S2 LT222/75R16 E tires to arrive AND …we get to attend the 21st Annual Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza to boot.
Perhaps it was both – luck and destiny, as well as the Living In Beauty travel philosophy:
“Plan for the worst because it will probably happen
and don’t plan for the best, because it will happen.”
Now, off to the Brew Fest today and tomorrow.
More to come from Mammoth Lakes!