Leaving the hotel I had the
sound track of two clanging fenders now in stereo. The duct tape
was holding them so that if the last two welds broke, they wouldn't fly
off and hit something, like another car. At 60 mph that wouldn't
be a pretty sight, would it? Everything seemed fairly secure so I
gassed up and we were on our way south and west towards Idaho Falls.
Made the turn there and was on Highway 20 to 66 miles of nothing.
No Dairy Queen, no farm houses, no weigh stations, no signs of habitation
whatsoever. But lots of sage and hills and mountains in the distance.
Entertaining views but no other cars, trucks and nothing along side the
road but a few signs. There wasn't even LITTER. I arrived in
the town of Arco, "the first city to be lit by atomic power", and filled
up the gas and when leaving waved to the 3 motorcycles that pulled into
the Texaco station.
I'm flying over the smooth
road and enjoying the peace and quiet of more uninhabited land (as far
as you can see in all directions) when I get a whiff of a familiar odor--burning
rubber. When you drive an open car you get lots of road smells but
then I thought, there's no body out here but me and Seno. Hmmmmm.
There really wasn't much of an area to pull over but I found a little patch
of gravel and came to a stop, got out and checked that right rear fender.
ARGH! The metal holding
the fender had sunk its teeth into the tire and as the tire spun down the
road, the metal put a 1 1/2" wide groove into the rubber. It was
already so deep that one more mile and the tire would have blown to pieces.
My thought was to do everything I could to get the fender OFF the car and
try to ease back to Arco on the now sticky and hot and grooved tire.
I was in the process of whaloping the fender when those same motorcycle
folk stopped. Bradley Lowe from Gore, Oklahoma in snazzy black and
yellow leathers "got" the situation immediately and then offered to change
the tire. You sure? I asked because these aren't regular tires.
He and Joe Collins of Anderson, Missouri had their hands full trying to
do just that. The red paint in the spare tire's wheel prevented getting
the spare on and poor Bradley had to scratch out the spines with a screw
driver. Long story shorter--Tina had clean up material for me and
Nelda demonstrated her very cool goggles. The four of them are headed
to the Oregon coast.
The melted, damaged tire went
where the spare was and then we all tackled the problem of what to do with
the dangling fenders so it wouldn't happen again. More duct tape
and now bungee cords. The offensive right fender we pulled up and
anchored in the seat, the left one hooked to the seat belt clip.
My Idaho Angels: Joe, Bradley, Nelda and Tina. My undying gratitude.
"God sent us here to help you." That's a direct quote, because they
hadn't intended to take Highway 20.
As I pulled away from the Rescue
Spot the fenders were quiet, not a hint of a rattle and I watched the 2
motorcycles and Joe's trike disappear into the distance. They had
appeared out of thin air.
I made it to the Visitor's
Center for the Craters of the Moon National Park. Wanted to see it
because it was a prominent "character" in a wonderful film called "Pontiac
Moon." Rent it. See it. Enjoy.
I have pulled long duty today
getting thru Idaho. Met two amazing people at a gas station in Shoshone.
He had a Maine T-shirt on and I was wearing my Ogunquit Maine shirt.
Turns out he's run the Boston marathon 13 times and did the Dublin (Ireland)
marathon in 2 hours and 57 minutes. She hasn't been just sittin'
around either--she has hiked all 48 peaks above 4,000 feet in New Hampshire.
Didn't know New Hampshire HAD that many peaks and I was just there a few
weeks ago, remember? They've both got nearly 15 years on me!
Russ Connors and Rebecca Hawkes were inspirational material for this roadster
potato, for sure!
I've made it all the way to
Nampa, Idaho where I have turned myself over to the caring company of Elsa
and the hostel here, far from the highway and all so snuggy that I don't
even have to hide Seno under his car cover for the night. All I can
say about today is: WHEW!