In September, 2003, we went on a camping trip with Grandma and Grandpa C. We borrowed Mark's 4-Runner for the trip. Grandma and Grandpa brought their motor home, and towed their Jeep Liberty behind the motor home.
What started out to be a fun extended weekend camping trip actually turned out to be more of an adventure than we had bargained for.
I brought a keyboard for my palm pilot along on the trip. Most of the the story that follows was actually written while we were still on the trip, via palm pilot entries:
It is now Thursday Morning, Sept 11th. I am sitting in the Goodyear tire shop in
It all started yesterday morning. We got up, and had breakfast. It had rained the night before. Also, no one slept particularly well being the first night out in strange surroundings. It rained during the night, and we were concerned that the Goblins at
So we got our things ready and headed out for the 4-wheel trail. The first thing we discovered was that because of the rains, we had the beneficial effect of no dust on the trails! That was a real plus.
We drove past two buttes named Big Table Top, and Little Table Top. Just after those, we came into
We stopped there, and
Next we hopped back in the vehicles, and went to the trail head for horseshoe canyon. We viewed where the trail goes down into the canyon where there are some giant Indian Art rock panels. The trail is 6.5 miles round trip, and we weren't planning on doing the hike. It would be nice to do someday when we all have our "hiking legs."
Next we headed down the road toward the Hans Flat ranger station. The roads were a little "wash-boardy", but not too bad. We finally made it to the Ranger station, but discovered that it was just the launching point to get into the Maze district of Canyonlands. It would take about another 4 hours round-trip to go to the view points -- time we didn't really have today. So we turned around and headed back toward the Robbers Roost area, We found some deep gorges where Butch Cassidy and his gang used to hang out. You could see how they could find places to hide down there. It would be fun to go explore the area more in-depth, but again, time restrictions came into play.
We found that we were near a remote air strip, out in the middle of the Deseret, the only problem was, there were two or three airstrips on the map, and we weren't really sure which one of them we were at. (Mark's GPS unit would have come in handy). We reconnoitered as best we could, and chose a road to go on. Just Is I was pulling out to leave after our orienteering meeting, dad started honking his horn -- we had a flat tire.
Soooo, we had to figure out where all of the tire changing tools in Marks 4-runner are located. I tried to call Mark on the cell phone, but we found that there was no cell phone service at Robbers Roost (nor
We finally got the tire changed, and then took off on the road that we thought would take us back toward the way we came, and on back to
We decided to backtrack the way we came in, until we got back to the last known point on the trail, and then continued back toward
We decided that we needed to get our tire fixed. So we moved the kids into mom and dad’s jeep, and they headed back to the Goblin Valley Campground. We then had to decide to go to either Hanksville, or to
Dawn Ann and I headed for Hanksville in the 4Runner. Hanksville was only about 25 miles away, compared with nearly 50 miles to
So we headed to the nearest convenience store/gas station (there were 3 of those in town) and filled up the gas tank, and started putting air in the spare tire. I got it up to snuff, and then decided to check each of the other tires. By the time I got around to the rear left tire, I discovered that it, too, was quite low. I filled it up with air, and then finished checking/filling the other tires.
We decided that having a hand tire pump would be beneficial, -- especially if we had a slow leak in another tire. So we checked the convenience store we were then at, and found that they didn’t have anything like that.
Then we went across the street and checked for a tire pump in one of the other convenience stores -- and again no luck. By the time we came back to the 4Runner, I checked the left rear tire again, and found that it had lost 5 lbs of pressure in about 10 minutes! Then I put my one good ear down next to the tire, and I could hear a definite hissing noise. This was no slow leak folks! I began to think that we might be spending the night in the local Bates Motel! We weren’t going anywhere until we could get a tire fixed!
Rumor had it that one of the local motel operators had a shop in his personal garage, and that he could fix tires. Only problem was, he was on vacation and would be out of town for another week. As lovely as downtown Hanksville is, we didn’t want to stay there quite that long! We went back to the first convenience store and asked if there was any way we could get word to mom and dad that we were probably stuck in Hanksville for the night, and that we would need them to come and rescue us in the morning. (Remember, no cell phone service for about the next 75 miles, until you get to
After we had completely struck out, on all accounts, the clerk at our favorite convenience store had a sudden stroke of inspiration: “Why not try one of these here tire plugs!” We looked at this package, which costs about $2.95. It contains a rasp, a “needle” and some sticky rubber patches, and some rubber cement. We realized that we had little choice but try to repair the tire ourselves, so we bought the repair kit.
We had earlier bought two 1-litre bottles of water, to drink. Now we started pouring Dasani Water over the tire to discover where the leak was. We found it, and Dawn Ann Poked the rasp in the tire, and reamed out the hole. Then we put some rubber cement on the patch, and stuck it into the hole. After two tries, we got it to work. We gave the glue a few minutes to dry, and then tried to re-inflate the tire. It was a no go. The tire had lost its seal around the rim, and would not take air.
We then pulled out tire that we had flattened earlier in the day, from the back of the 4Runner to work it. We now knew more of what we were doing with the patch kit. We poured the bottled water over this tire and found the leak. Then we got it patched. Fortunately, this tire took air.
So then we got out the jack and removed the asphyxiated tire from the truck, mounted the tire that we had just patched the would hold air. During all this crawling around on the ground, there was a friendly neighborhood gale wind, about 40 mph or so, blowing dirt and sand everywhere while we were working.
We got the tire mounted and fully inflated, and it looked like it was going to hold. We went into the convenience store and washed up. (You probably know how dirty tires can be – and hence us. After washing up and finding some yummy convenience store food to munch on during our trip back to
We once again had a word of prayer, and prayed that mom and dad would not be too worried. That was the only way we could get any messages through. Then we headed off to the camp site. We made it back with no trouble. We got back to the motor home at about . Mom told us that she was going to wait for about one more hour, and then they were going to come looking for us. We had a bite of Spaghetti dinner that was left over from their dinner earlier and crashed in bed. We slept very well in the tent that night (from sheer exhaustion: Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual.)
The next morning, I got up and checked on our self-patched tire – it still looked great!
I headed for green river to get both flat tires fixed, and Dawn Ann and the kids stayed at
That, my friends, is how I got to be in the tire store on September 11th. I had brought the little keyboard to my PDA with me, and set it up on one of the empty desks at the tire store office to write this little account of our adventures.
We came to find out that the tire that wouldn’t take air last night, had a bulge in it when it was inflated. It was very unsafe, and would have undoubtedly blown-out on us had we tried to use it. Needless to say, blow-outs can be quite dangerous. We felt like the Lord was watching out for us when the tire wouldn’t take air.
The tire that we patched worked out great. The tire shop guy said that he couldn’t pull our plug out by hand. He had to get some tools to take it out, and then put in a permanent patch.
I was able to call Mark from
Looking back, we decided that it was a good thing we decided to go to Hanksville, instead of
After the tires were fixed, I headed back to
Later that day, Dawn Ann,
We decided not to take the 4Runner on any more 4
We had originally planned to go to Moab for a couple of days at the end of this trip, but decided that under the circumstances, that we would just finish our trip at Goblin Valley, and head back home a day early. We still felt like we were able to have all the adventure (and then some) that we were hoping for.
Well that’s the story of our trip. I call the theme of the trip “Too (Two) Tired Day” for the day that we were too tired, and had Two Flat Tires.
It was a lot of fun. We decided that we may want to make