Friday, April 22
“May I help you, ma’am?”
“Yes, thank you. I want tires for my travel trailer. 15-inch, 225s, Load D range.”
The man behind the counter clicks his keyboard and studies the computer monitor.
“We don’t have any Load Ds in stock, but we do have Es.”
“Es will be fine,” I reply. “What kind and how much are they?”
He tells me they’re Vanguards and what they cost.
(Taken from the final invoice: $79.95 per tire, $25.00 to mount and balance them, $5.90 tire disposal fee, shop supplies $1.75, sales tax $15.40; Total: $207.95).
He continues, “There will be a 2-hour wait though. Eight people are in front of you. Maybe you’d rather go home and come back tomorrow.”
“No, I’m traveling through with my travel trailer. There’s no home to go to. I don’t mind waiting. Really. To come back tomorrow adds the price of an RV park onto the price of the tires. I’ll wait.”
I’m ready to plop into one of the waiting room chairs.
Before I can do that, the counter man surprises me with another suggestion.
“How about this? You have the trailer with you, right? That’s it out there? You drop the trailer and leave it with us. Then you’re free to go about your business for a couple hours.”
“That’s a great idea,” I reply. “Only one thing though. I’m getting over a bug and don’t have much strength. Normally I do my own hitching and unhitching. I don’t think I can handle it today.”
“No problem!” he immediately responds. “We’ll take care of all that. Just pull the trailer around to the end of the building and someone will come out and unhitch it for you.”
~ ~ ~
Wal-Mart is right around the corner from Big O Tires.
The crew and I walk around a grassy area next to Wally’s parking lot. I let them wander around at a leisurely pace and they’re loving the chance to do so on this beautiful day. After they have a drink, I pop them into the Perfect Tow Vehicle and go inside the store.
We don’t really need groceries. However, I want to stock a few supplies, including inexpensive chicken breasts for the crew, because we’re moving to a location where there aren’t big stores. Also I may need to recuperate for a while at our next camp.
~ ~ ~
While I’m inside the building paying for the tires, a forklift takes the BLT to a parking space out of the way of where work is done. (I’m glad I didn’t see that maneuver!) I come out and move the PTV, backing her up for hitching.
A man trots out to help.
I make an exception to my rule of rejecting help with hitching, simply because I don’t have the energy to be jumping in and out of the PTV to do it myself.
The man directs my backing and then hollers with hands up, “Good!”
I get out and watch as he lifts the tongue of the BLT and hefts it a few inches to place it on the hitch ball. I thank him and set about completing the hitch — putting a lock on the coupler, plugging in the power cord and the solar cord, and attaching the chains, the brake cable, and the anti-sway bar.
I fire up the PTV and attempt to pull out.
No go. What? The emergency brake isn’t on. Maybe they put chocks at the wheels . . . .
I get out and look. Nothing is hindering the wheels, except the gravel is loose and deep.
I try again. More resistance. This is very weird.
This time I walk all around the Best Little Trailer.
And I find the problem. The bumper is caught on a 4-foot pole about 3 inches in diameter. In my effort to pull away, the bumper bent the pole into a 60-degree angle.
I motion to one of the guys to come over and look. I state that I did not at any time back up the trailer. The guy says he placed the trailer beside the pole with the forklift, not behind it.
“Maybe it rolled back when it was hitched up,” he speculates.
He grabs the pole, which isn’t very sturdy anyway, and pulls it out and around, freeing up the bumper. No damage to the BLT other than some blue paint on the tail light cover!
Before leaving Silver City I stop for propane at a gas station ($20.02 for 6.2 gal. including $1.48 tax).
We have about an hour’s drive to our next camp at Bighorn Campground, Glenwood, New Mexico.
The two-lane road rolls over small hills that look much like the one in the photo above. Very little traffic. The Mogollon Mountains are to the east of us. Easy driving. Mostly a straight path until the last one-third when the road becomes curvy and takes us past interesting rock that reminds me of Utah.
I don’t take much notice due to my depleted energy, which means I have nothing to forget about Glenwood! Ha!
I pick a level site next to a cottonwood tree.
Gee, I’m glad we have those new tires.
As I drift off to sleep, it suddenly comes to me how the BLT’s bumper became hooked around that pole. When the man moved the tongue of the BLT to place the coupler on the PTV’s hitch ball, the BLT pivoted. That pivot moved the bumper behind the pole. I was standing right there and didn’t notice.
Yep, that’s what happened. Nobody’s fault. Just one of those things . . . .
More about our new, free camp in the next post!
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Golden Retriever Etched Wine Glass
Fitbit Charge Wireless Activity Wristband
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KitchenAid 5-Qt. Artisan Design Series with Glass Bowl