Vacation 2014 Part 5: The End

IMG_20140703_081835783The morning broke bright and clear on what was to be our last day at camp. A situation at home required I end vacation early, foregoing the 4th of July with family.

We enlisted the entire group to help consume the #10 can of sausage gravy we brought for a biscuit-based breakfast.  I soon found out that after over 8,700 photos, my camera was now dead and would not power on. There’s nothing I could do (in the field, so to speak) to revive it, so I tried to carry on with my cellular phone. Please forgive the lack of quantity and quality from here on out.IMG_20140703_111247600_HDR

I spent most the morning packing, but took some time to join my uncle, watching my brother fly his R/C airplane. He took the opportunity to attach a camera, getting some rudimentary surveillance of our property.

20140703_144819We bid a touching farewell to our uncle, encouraging him to visit next year. With some more packing (blah, blah, blah) under my belt, we took some group photos before hitting the road by 3pm. My plan was to zip up to Redmond and coax an old friend into having dinner before finding a hotel somewhere on the way home. IMG_20140703_170341786

Alas, by 5pm I had a flat tire on the trailer, as it left the outer layer of rubber on the highway. Pulling into someone’s driveway, I quickly fished the spare out of my toolbox. I held it up for the curious spectator, who simply waved and went about their business. I easily retrieved the stock bottle jack and lug wrench from my F150, but couldn’t seem to find the long cranking handle. It wasn’t under the seat, or by the spare under the bed… I had used it before… was I going insane?

IMG_20140703_174250438Oh well, I’ll use the tip of the lug wrench! (That didn’t work too well.) I ended up using a 9mm wrench to fit inside the jack, with a small screwdriver to turn it, ever so slowly. After over an hour of messing with the darn thing, I was a little frustrated, and ready to get on with the trip.

I started to worry, though. This was an old, used trailer. Now that I’ve used 1 spare tire, there’s an equal chance that the other could fail too. It was July 3rd. Tomorrow NO tire shop will be open, and everyone would charge double to help me… As these thoughts were rattling around, I saw a small sign for a Bimart. Yes, I’ll just pull in a buy another spare!  – The reasoning being, that it’s half the price of getting help should I need it. Approaching the doors at 7:50 pm, I was grateful they were open until 8!IMG_20140703_202458469

Conscience soothed, we got gas and pressed on, now giving up hope of dinner with an old friend. My paranoia was rewarded as by 8:24pm the second tire had shed it’s rubber and was directing us to the shoulder once again…

IMG_20140703_204212458Luckily, it held air until I parked, saving me lots of time jacking it up 1/4 inch per turn. Plus, I already had a cranking system, so no time was wasted experimenting on a solution. With my son’s help, I had it changed in about 30 minutes! At the time, I didn’t feel quite so fortunate Winking smile Regardless, the $60 spare paid off in spades, and sent us on our way. I have since located the cranking lever under the hood of my pickup! (I feel just brilliant.)

Anyway, I was really in the mood for a hotel at this point. Beyond rest, it would provide us with much needed showers before returning my son to his mother. We passed up a couple for being too expensive, before we parked at a Super 8 around 10 PM. I lit the refrigerator and we hit the hay.

In the morning, I gave my son an hour of fun time. He elected to swim in the pool, but realized it wasn’t much fun by himself, so he requested the remaining 45 minutes be spent visiting the Petersen Rock Gardens nearby. After backtracking 12 miles, they were closed, so we drove the rest of the way home. Anti-climactic? Yes, but that’s also what really happened!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy what little other pictures there are. I must apologize for the lack of posts recently, as my attentions have been elsewhere. More of that to come…

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