As I said yesterday, we had a wonderful trip to Oxford, MS. We had a great show, I got sick then got better and we taught two classes that went really well. Peggy got us all packed up and loaded the trailer. We had a wonderful last dinner with Patsy on Monday evening and got to bed early in preparation for our 12 hour drive home.
We got up early on Tuesday morning and were on the road by 6:05 am. The weather was better than we could have hoped for - breezy but mostly clear and sunny. We had overcast for part of the day but made really good time. The ugly weather lay ahead of us but we just kept driving toward home. We stopped for breakfast in Clinton, MS just west of Jackson.
There had been a barge accident on the Mississippi River at Vicksburg but it didn't impact the driving bridge, only the railroad bridge. We glided across the river into Louisiana. I have no memory of where we stopped for lunch although I remember the salad I ate.
Peggy did the vast majority of the driving. I was still feeling just a bit off and managed to drive for several hours during the middle of the day. We passed through Shreveport, LA and into Texas. We turned southwest onto Rt 79 and came through Carthage, Henderson and Jacksonville and into Palestine. We knew a cold front was barreling down toward us from the far north and that it would bring with it heavy rain and possible tornadoes. The high wind that had been predicted was already upon us. We were still making great time. It looked like we would make it to my house about 6 pm.
At Buffalo we turned left onto I 45 for the fairly short drive to Madisonville. There was a loud ka-thunk. The Jeep was still moving nicely so it wasn't a flat tire but we pulled off to check. We had lost a fender over the tire on the trailer. In the process, the tire was scored along the mid-line to a level just deeper than the base of the tread. Well, rats! We got back on the highway, driving slowly, and headed for a car dealership we knew was in Madisonville. It was just 5 pm and they were still open. They looked at our tire and said they didn't think we should try driving on it. They could not have been nicer and changed the tire for us for no charge. Whew! Problem averted. At least we could make it safely home and deal with the injured tire later.
We headed south on Highway 90 coming through Roans Prairie as it was getting dark. Just a couple miles past the crossroads, still 6 miles from Anderson, we heard another loud noise and this time the trailer really did have a flat tire. This isn't good. The wind was howling, it was getting darker and darker, we had one flat tire and one injured tire and we were still 60 miles from home. Two fat old ladies married to two fat old men and none of us should be changing a tire on the side of the road in the dark. And it would have take the guys hours to get to us. Enter AAA!!
It took Triple A an hour to reach us but the AAA guys arrived to save the day. They looked at our injured tire and said it would easily make the drive home. They changed it for us and in the conversation mentioned that since they had a big flatbed lift trailer, they could load our trailer and carry it home for us if we wanted. YES!!! How much would it cost? Turns out I'm a Premier Member of AAA. Who knew? So it cost us nothing. Somewhere in the middle of them loading our trailer on top of theirs, the front came crashing through. The howling wind turned frigid and the heavens opened with buckets of rain. No tornadoes, fortunately. It was such a relief to have capable and friendly help just when we needed it. They followed us all the way home and dropped our trailer behind the studio so we could unload it.
Now the question is (or are)... Do we want to upgrade to a double axle trailer so one flat tire will not leave us on the side of the road? Did the fact that the fender wasn't centered over the tire cause the trouble to begin with? Did we overload the trailer? Hmmmm. Don't know yet but we will be talking to the trailer people next week.