Jeff and I headed out on our two and half week voyage to visit family in Thunder Bay. Since this is our first big trip with Maggie, Glenn, AND Abby we decided that we would take things slow. The first day we planned for four hours to get us to North Bay.
We loaded up our gear and our dog with little fuss by 11:15 a.m. About an hour and bit after our loosely planned departure. An hour and half later we found a recreation centre in L’Amble that had a huge parking lot with no one around. We pulled in and barbecued hot dogs for lunch. Abby, of course, is still on a puppy diet so no hot doggie treat for her yet.
We packed up again and headed down the road towards Bancroft onto 28 then 118 which led us to an intersection at Tory Hill where we drove over some metal sitting on the road (because of oncoming traffic it was nearly impossible to avoid). It made a horrendous noise under the truck and Jeff also made a few horrendous noises. We turned the junction and Jeff pulled the truck and trailer over to the side of the road. Luckily there was a large driveway and side to pull on.
When he opened the door to get out we both could hear a loud air sucking noise. On inspection of the rear driver tire we found air escaping at a good rate.
Jeff wandered over to the house we had stopped in front of to see if anyone was around to ask for help and there was a man on his front porch. Jack (OddJobJack).
“Excuse me. Sorry to bother you,” Jeff said. “Do you happen to know if there is a garage close by as I seemed to have run over something and have hole in my tire.”
“There is one back up the highway about 20 miles,” said the man.
“I’m not sure I can make it that far as I can really hear air coming out,” said Jeff.
To which the man asked, “Oh. Do you have a full sized spare?” Of course we did, being a new truck an all. “I’ve got an impact wrench and some tools and can give you a hand to change it if you’d like?”
The two men came back to the truck and trailer. After some time contemplating how to get the spare out from its holding cell — apparently Ford wanted to make sure the spare stayed in place. These two men who have both changed tires in their day, gave up and moved onto plan B.
Plan B. involved the help of Jack’s lovely wife Allison. Allison lost her father of eighty-four years yesterday. She called around looking for a place to help fix our tire and offered up their back yard for Abby to relieve herself and to chill out. After a few calls Allison found a man in Gooderham, about ten minutes on 503 from our location, who would wait for us to arrive.
Jack helped Jeff put some air in the wounded tire. With the trailer unhitched, Abby and I jumped back in the truck so we could rush down the highway before we lost too much air. After a false stop in someone’s driveway, we found the little combo gas auto shop. An elderly man and his dog went to work patching the tire. It took less than ten minutes and during that time I was able to call Jeff’s mom and dad to let them know we were running late on our first day. I also gave the Franklin Motel and RV Park a call to make sure we didn’t miss our check in. $20 later and we were on the road again.
We made it back to Jack and Allison without incident and really we were warn out by that time. Although Abby had no problem sleeping. The men hooked the trailer back up to the truck and we thanked Jack and Allison for their kindness. It definitely made a stressful situation more bearable.
We pulled into our campsite shortly before nine. Set up shop, had some micro dinner, then settled into bed. Well, Jeff and I tried to settle. Abby had slept all day and had other plans.
Note: number of times Jeff hit his head — 3.