January 27, Reno NV

Today was supposed to be an easy day. We planned on a drive into Reno expecting to arrive there around 2pm, do some shopping and then stay in our normal Reno stopping point at the casino.

When we had arrived back to the campground yesterday Ron took a close look at the tires as we had worked them hard the previous two days. Our tires had about 30,000 miles on them and were starting to approach the end of their service life. But despite the tough workout from Titus Canyon and the drive to the Race Track they looked ok, the air levels were good and there were no signs of cuts or punctures.

When we got up it had stopped raining, but the valley was fogged in. It had rained steadily most of the night and it was amazing to see how quickly the plants around the camp ground were greening up.

From Death Valley to Reno the first 180 miles is thru the desert and there are only three towns with any services spread out about every 60 to 100 miles. We had been cruising for about 130 miles averaging about 60 mph when as we were leaving Hawthorne Nevada the front right tire blew and proceeded to shred itself. Ron wrestled the truck to a very narrow soft shoulder right at the edge of the town.

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While it was a problem to lose a tire like that it could have been much worst. First we were actually in one of only three towns along the route. Second we were only going about 40 mph when the tire blew, for long stretches we were traveling at 70 mph and it could have been much worst to lose the tire at that speed. Ron got out to take a look at things, we were on a narrow shoulder on a fairly busy stretch of highway, while we were clear of the travel lane it was only by inches. The shoulder was extremely soft and Ron was concerned about the stability of the jack in the soft sand. At that point he decided that since we had AAA coverage he would call them to assist us.

Ron had just pulled out the card and was in the process of calling AAA when a young man walked up from behind us. He asked Ron if he was calling AAA and when Ron confirmed he was, he laughed and said he was AAA in Hawthorne. How is that for service? He said he heard the tire go and looked out of his window and saw us on the shoulder. So our streak of extraordinary luck continued. He had us on our way in less than a half hour.

So our easy travel day had a complication. After calling around we found a set of tires we had been thinking about as an upgrade at Reno Vulcanizing Works (had to get that name into the story) which is the oldest Good Year Tire Dealer in the world. And after a more exciting day than we had planned we were on our way to the casino for the night.


ducksksr@gmail.com travelin tiger 2013