Spokane: A flat tire!

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Actually, the tire was mangled beyond hope.

When I woke up this morning at a rest stop just west of Spokane, WA, I found my rear door won’t open! So, I went in search of coffee at a Chevron station just down the freeway.

When I arrived in the gas station’s snow-covered parking lot, I heard a squishy sound from the back—it was a mangled rear passenger tire! With the back door sealed, there’s no access to the jack, the tire iron or the spare.

That means a new tire from Les Schwab, about $80. Geico road service picks up the cost of the tow from Sprague to Spokane. The tire blew because the steel belts separated, disintegrating the tire from the inside.

This is hardly something I could have foreseen—most likely set in stone long before I even bought the Sienna.

Could it be a Gremlin?

I don’t know why these things happen at the worst times. I’m really broke until my SS check comes on Wednesday (spent the last of my cash on more propane cylinders for heat—very addicting!) so, it was a real possibility that I could be staying in the tire store parking lot until then!

I asked some friends to make me a short-term loan to change that scenario and to get back on the road. Johnny told me he can do it so, I decided on the “tow-me-to-the-tire-store” plan to get that new tire.

Thank you, Johnny.

And the door?

Still don’t know what to do about that stuck door! Maybe it will return to normal the same way it stopped working—all by itself! Yeah, right.

A non-functional rear door isn’t a deal breaker (i.e. it won’t be ending my trip) but, it will make life a little more difficult not having easy access to coffee, cooking and other car necessities stored in the very back.

I suppose, if I cannot solve this little issue, that with a little reorganizing, I could continue my trek almost normally; I am thinking about finding a body shop next week to see if they could get it open and ensure it stays open and working like it should.

As Star Trek’s Mr. Spock says, “there are always options”—and I’m down with that—armed with a new tire and searching for a solution to regain access to the cooking capabilities I have become accustomed to.

Happy trails my friends!

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