11:04 a.m. — I had just texted Bob letting him know that our GPS said we were 1:08 away and that we were looking forward to joining him & his wife, Diane, for lunch at Castle Rock Lake where they have a lake house. We’ve seen pictures of their beautiful place and we’re really looking forward to spending our afternoon and evening with them at the lake. As the old adage goes, I spoke too soon….
11:08 a.m. — We’re rolling along on I-39 approaching Wisconsin Dells, when BAM! We both knew what it was and simultaneously dreaded what that meant. Yep – tire’s flat. There are dual tires on each side in the back – our flat is the drivers side rear outer tire. Fred gets out to check and he can see it’s losing air. I am not lying when I tell you that not even 30 minutes prior we saw a boat trailer jacked up along the side of the highway with one of the trailer wheels off, and I commented that somebody is having a bad day. Well, that is now us….
12:15 p.m. — Just got off the phone, first with AAA who confirmed for us that roadside assistance didn’t include our RV – we figured as much – then with State Farm who said we were covered for the roadside call. Fortunately our misfortune occurred less than a mile away from an exit ramp and we were able to make it off the interstate and into a BP station, so now we are waiting at the Poynette exit (#115) for the tow truck to come to either repair or replace our tire.
I’ll fast-forward the next couple of hours as they’re not so much fun, and they include the fact that we waited a long time for our tow truck. When they did arrive, we learned that State Farm had sent them to the wrong BP location which really made no sense because I told two different agents where we were (remember exit 115 – Poynette) and also gave them my permission to track exactly where we were using my cell phone as a tracking device – pretty cool technology, actually, but I guess unfortunately there was some user error in there. Anyway, there shouldn’t have been any confusion as to where we were but somehow there was which meant yet more delay for us. Oh well, at least we were safe. We’ve been saying all along that we know there will be “issues” and challenges along our journey – we just didn’t expect that our first one would be within the first month! [And lesson learned: if you have to break down, do it on a weekday – Saturdays are bad; Sundays are even worse, we were told.]
3:50 p.m. — I am sitting inside Charley once again. I’ve been here off and on over the last four hours. It’s hot outside, but at least there’s a cross-breeze coming through the RV. I can’t believe we ate at McDonalds, but there was nothing else around.
Jerry Blystone from Blystone Towing out of Portgage and his nephew, Aaron, have been here for an hour and a half taking care of us. We couldn’t have had a better experience with them, actually – very nice, capable guys. Jerry’s father started this business in 1950, then Jerry took it over, and now his son is involved – I like legacy businesses like this. They took off our old tire and replaced it with a new one – see photos, below. We watched and learned – not that we would ever be changing our own tire, but it’s good to know how much air pressure we should have, how the tire should be changed properly, etc.
Fred and I often comment that it’s wonderful to see someone who’s good at what they do, regardless of what that is. Well Jerry epitomized this observation. We learned a lot from him, and are better for our chance encounter, even if it did mean we missed our afternoon on the lake. Thank you Jerry!
Hover your pointer over the photo, then click on the arrows to scroll through photos from our flat tire adventure.