Family vacations are always something to write about with this family. I don’t know why, but they never seem to go off without a hitch. There are hitches. Many hitches.
We left Dallas happily enough. We were leaving the 100 degree temps to go to the mountains where the temps don’t get above 80, what’s not to like?
Our plan was to get from Dallas to Amarillo on the first day, we were not leaving Dallas till 1pm, but it’s only a 6 hour drive so that should work.
We met up with Dave's brother Dan outside Ft. Worth. We were off! Two giant trucks pulling two giant RV’s heading for the mountains. Life was grand, the skies were blue, and all was well with the world…until the first blow out.
We suddenly hear Dan hollering over the walkie. “Pull over…something…tire…bad…” it was hard to hear.
So over we pulled.
We got it taken care of and only lost about a half hour of travel time, there was much laughter about how this seems to happen on every trip, but still spirits were up, we were heading to the mountains after-all!
We hopped back in the car and headed out again. We’d gone about 4 hours so far but we were in the middle of W Texas and it all starts to look the same out the window after a while.
Within about 10 minutes…
This one was trickier. The blow out was more severe, causing some damage to the underside of the camper, and our spare was already in use. We were pleased to find that Dan’s RV spare fit our RV, so after much taking off and putting on of tires in the HEAT of W Texas, we were on the road again. We were somewhat less jovial now. It was readily apparent to Dave and I that we needed to replace all the tires. We’d had one blowout on a previous trip and Dan mentioned that usually when one goes they all go. We decided not to replace them all though because they were not that old and seemed to have much tread left on them. It was a strategic and informed decision. And also the wrong one.
We began making phone calls to find a tire place in Amarillo that would still be open when we got there. We also began praying that no more tires would go out on either camper seeing as we had no more spares and were here in the middle of Nowhere Texas...
…for the next several hours.
The last few hours to Amarillo was a bit more somber. It would be really bad if another tire went. We were praying against that. Finally, about 2 hours later than we expected, we pulled in to the RV park. We were unable to find a tire place open at 9pm, but we were told if we got there when the place opened, they’d help up first.
I started my first official day of vacation getting up at 7am, sans coffee, to take our house-on-wheels to the shop. This did not bode well.
We got to the tire place, unhooked our house and left it there. We drove around Amarillo at 7 am aimless for a while. Well, not really aimless. Dave was looking for a car wash and I was looking for any place that sold coffee. We found the car wash and then, mercifully, Dave took me through the drive through at Whataburger for coffee. I think, maybe, possibly, my attitude may have been suffering.
We headed back to the tire place to find our house had been repaired. We tried not to think about the fact that we could have had our friendly neighborhood mechanic and friend, Carlin, replace them for half the price if we’d done it before we left. As we all know, hindsight is 20/20.
After we got the wheels on our house-on-wheels back on we called Dan to tell them we were ready to go. I tried really hard not to think about the fact that they had been enjoying a nice leisurely morning, undoubtedly with lots of coffee, while we ran around Amarillo.
We met up with Dan and family, at the Cadillac Ranch, just down the road from the RV park we’d stayed at.
We did our first official act of tourism that day.
The rest of the drive to CO went off without a hitch. Gunnar even got to drive the rig for a while into barren flats of W Texas.
Sadly that was not the end of the catastrophes for us…
Go Here for Part 2...