Monday, June 14, 2010

What a day

We left the Fye residence at 12:35pm, taking the route north and east towards Bend, hopefully making it to Ontario, Oregon, which is next to the Oregon-Idaho border.  The trip leading up to Diamond Lake, along the Umpqua River, was beautiful.  Winding roads, gorgeous river, and lots of trees.  After that we hit Oregon's high plains and the scenery became quite a bit more drab.  Scrub, volcanic rocky terrain, and gentle rolling hills.  We did see a gray coyote cross the road in front of us, quickly disappearing in the scrub.

Leaving Roseburg and into Glide area.
Along the Umpqua River.
At 3:30pm we filled up in LaPine with 157.1 miles behind us.  Brian's gas mileage about 15mpg.  He's running rich but the engine is running strong and no issues with the spool differential.

After 130 miles I developed a bumping sensation at the rear of my car.  I first thought it was the transition circuit of my carbs but I couldn't stop the bumping by varying my engine speed.  So over the two-way radio I asked Brian to check the rear of my car as I passed him to see if I had  flat tire...nope...but "your left rear tire is bouncing up and down!"  Oh great.  After a few miles it was getting worse, so much so that the engine that I'm transporting began to bounce inside my car.  We slowed our pace down to 45mph and finally found a historical marker to pull over.  We need a large enough area so Brian can turn his car due to the spooled differential -- it's a locked differential so it doesn't allow the rear wheels to rotate independently of each other like normal cars, however, it's great for drag racing.  I checked the constant-velocity joints...all bolts there, good...wheel lug nuts still tight, good...castle nuts still locked in place, good...rolled the car back and checked the rims for missing wheel weights, none missing but, what's this?  Some cracking and bulging in the tire!  Holy cow, the tire was coming apart!!

While we were quickly checking out the car the resident mosquitoes had rung the dinner bell and it turns out WE were the main course!  So working rapidly while being attacked by half a million blood-suckers we moved the front left tire to the rear left, took out the spare tire which had half of the tire separated (explanation in a minute) and put it in the front left since it was in slightly better shape than the bad rear one.  The bad rear one then went into the front trunk where the spare goes.  I was now able to drive at 60mph with some vibration but it was tolerable and it would get us to Burns for a fuel stop.

Right side, how a tire should look...and how the left side looked!
Photo opportunity at a rest stop after putting on the spare tire.

Me praying to the car gods (actually me taking a picture of the bad tire).  Photo by Brian.
Okay, why my "spare" was bad:  Back home I was getting a vibration from my right rear tire.  It was separating so I put a new one in its place and put the bad tire in the trunk as a spare, hoping to replace it at a later date.  Which never happened.  My bad.  So I had two separated tires, two aged and worn tires, and one good one.  Eesh.

So in Burns, at 163.9 miles, we fuel up.  Good news, they have 91 octane gas with ZERO ethanol in it!

So we are now at a DaysInn motel and I have this neat splay of tire belts and rubber bursting from my tire.  It looks like it was shot from the inside except there's no hole.  Les Schwab is a block away and they open at 8am so guess how Toby is going to support the local economy?  Yeah.  At least it wasn't a mechanical failure and it was something beyond my control.

There was a Les Schwab Tire Center there but it was 7:30pm and they were closed.  We had day light and I felt confident we could make it to Ontario to crash at a friend's place.  It was two hours away and they have a Les Schwab.  We begin driving to Ontario.  I notice my front end is starting to bounce more and more no matter what speed I go.  I call up Brian on the two-way and tell him we need to go back.  We sort of find a drive way, turn on our hazard flashers and limp back to town, 10 miles away, at 45mph.

We had dinner at a local restaurant with Brian having a hamburger and I a glorious BBQ beef sandwich with a glass of water and two beers.  We then walked back to the motel (most of the mosquitoes had gone to bed by now), pulled a bench out into the parking lot next to his car and decompressed with a cigar under a starry sky.  I would just love to post pictures of some of the sights -- and offending tires -- but dumbdumb (me) forgot to bring the USB cable to download my camera's pictures to my laptop.  Hopefully there's a computer shop around here where I can buy one.  Good night!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds a bit like my first Invasion trip to Parma. Left on 4 different recapped tires. Woke up one morning to a flat. Fortunately my spare was another decent recap. Made it to Parma, but went first thing in the morning to Les Schwab for 4 new 165R15s. The Lead Sled project is still rolling around on those. Have a safe trip. See you on Thursday.


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