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Travel Log - Idaho
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Idaho: June 19

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! 
 

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Seno's view of desolate but wonderful Idaho's Highway 20. Road angel crew: (L to R) Nelda and Joe Collins of Anderson MO and Tina and Bradley Lowe of Gore, OK devote precious travel time to getting Alyce and Seno back on the road.
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Bradley filing the inside of the wheel so that is will finally mount properly on the car.
Road angles warmed up during rescue efforts.
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More duct tape, add bungee cords, she just may make it. A quick stop at Craters of the Moon National Monument, certainly one of America's more unusual geological wonders.
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The Queen-of-Not-Very-Much evidently presides here in her "court." Craig tightens the tire hub, checks the air (he looks like he has doubts about this car) in Carey Idaho at the Texaco station.
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Russ Connors, runner and Rebecca Hawkey, hiker say, "Go for it!"
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