So, Dave and I took the Cessna-182 from UM Flyers to Tobermory for Memorial Day weekend. Due to the weather, we might have a short long weekend, we might have to come back on Sunday instead of Monday, but I was excited to fly instead of drive. Holiday weekends involve long, long, long waits at the Blue Water Bridge border crossing. And flying takes 1/3 of the time as driving. And the views are spectacular, absolutely spectacular. We flew from Ann Arbor, crossing into Canada at Port Huron/Sarnia. It’s always choppy until we cross the border: somewhat nausea-inducing. Dave thinks maybe it’s all the parking lots and building roofs, absorbing and releasing heat, causing thermals.
Then, when we crossed the border into Canada and the skies opened up, and Lake Huron was calm and beautiful, and the turbulence ended. Sigh lovely.
I was feeling like a queen, having left work a bit early to get on a plane to go to my favorite place in the world.
Then, we arrived in Tobermory. The local mechanic had fixed the car (alternator froze, taking the serpentine belt with it), and left it at the airport for us. Dave drove it onto the pavement where we parked the plane, and when I walked around the Jeep, I saw the back passenger-side tire was completely flat. Hmmmmmm. Weird. Well, we had a spare. I worked on getting the old tire off while Dave unpacked and tied down the plane. I got exactly one lug nut to move. Fail.
Dave’s greater confidence in kicking the tire iron got the others off, we got the spare on, and then drove off. I admired the head of the screw that had pierced the old tire, and I had an urge to pull it out, but didn’t have any tool that would do it, so I just tossed it into the back. The spare was looking a little less than full, so we pulled into the first (only) gas station and tried to fill it. No dice, they had some kind of air compressor thing, but it didn’t seem to work.
We got almost to the cabin (we were in the Meadow) and Dave pulled over. Our spare tire was by now completely flat and we were riding on the rim. The tire was pulling itself off the rim. Ummmm. What do to? We had no additional spares. There are no local auto parts stores, CAA is at least an hour away, and we were blocking the (little traveled) road.
We remembered my aunt and uncle’s minivan has an air compressor in the back. If they were already at the cabin, maybe I could walk there and drive it back. I started walking, while Dave took the second flat tire off the car. As I walked down the road, I got nervous thinking of Dave under the car, lying in the one-lane road. So, I circled back to see if there was some kind of warning I could put in the road ahead of the immobile Jeep so that he wouldn’t get crushed by an oncoming car.
When I got near, I asked “so, are you OK if someone comes?” and he said “someone is coming”. And then my aunt and uncle, with the air compressor, pulled up.
They were able to get the tire with the screw in it up to pressure, so we switched it back onto the Jeep. We drove it to the cabin and the tire still is full enough a day later. We still have 2 tires that are busticated, one moreso than the other. Oddly enough, the one with the screw in it appears better than the spare.
So, we made it to the cabin, we have access to another car, and we sure are feeling lucky. I have no idea what we would have done if Pat and Bob hadn’t showed up right at the right moment. Happy coincidence!
My next step will be to research air compressors that might run off of the car battery/cigarette lighter.