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Never a dull moment (Day 7)

I have always enjoyed the feeling of waking up in a new place. When you wake up in the same bed, in the same place, day after day, there is no sense of excitement. You’ll probably get up, make coffee, go to work, come home, make dinner, go to sleep, repeat. When I wake up somewhere unfamiliar, it generally means that I have no idea what the day is going to bring and that adventure, new experiences, and the unknown are just a few steps away!

I woke up around 8am this morning and spent an hour or so getting organized. Shenee got up a short while later after I bounced her around on the partially inflated air mattress. We said goodbye to Tyler and got in the car to drive back to Walmart to get the truck. We were on the road by 10am, and headed back the way we had just come. I was a bit apprehensive about driving through Pittsburgh with the house, but we took it slow, and meandered our way through.

After Pittsburgh, there were quite a few long hills that slowed us down to about 30 miles per hour. Of course what goes up must come down, and on the backside of the hills, I dropped into 4th gear to help slow the truck and avoid the need for brakes. We crossed into West Virginia, and then about 15 miles later into Ohio. The drive eventually flattened out a bit and was relatively uneventful until….. Construction!

As we entered a construction zone, I was in the middle lane. Now maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but I didn’t see any “Uneven Lane” signs or anything like that. The right lane had just gotten a fresh 1.5” thick coat of pavement which encroached on the middle lane by a few inches, making what was already a narrow construction zone lane even narrower. The trailer is 8.5’ wide, and with the new pavement making the lane even smaller, the middle lane couldn’t have been more than 9’ wide. That means I had 3” on either side of my trailer before going into the other lane. Not an easy feat at 50mph.

Within the first 50 feet of the new pavement, the right trailer tires hit the lip of the new pavement and dragged the trailer up and over into the right lane. Naturally, the trailer swayed back to its original position, and on the way down over the lip, picked up some more sway. At that point, I figured out that the lip was what had caused the issue, but it was too late. The trailer swayed back to the right, hit the lip again, got dragged up and over into the right lane again. At this point, I knew it was going to come right back down, just like the first time, but more aggressively this time. Lucky for me, a quick mirror checked revealed that the left lane was clear, and as the trailer come down over the lip, I jerked the steering wheel to the left to try and get the truck to match the sway of the trailer. After that quick left, a quick flick to the right, and we were centered in the left hand lane. I took a deep breath, centered the trailer between the left and middle lanes so no one could pass me, and continued the next two miles or so through the construction zone taking up both lanes. I didn’t care, I was not getting close to the lip of doom again. We made it through the construction zone, and I stopped at the next rest area to check on the trailer and change my pants.

Back underway, we chugged on to Indianapolis. Just as we were getting into outskirts of the city, which was our planned stop for the night, I heard a loud “BOOM”. Even though we were in a construction zone, with a very limited shoulder, I stopped as quickly as I safely could to take a look. A sidewall on one of the rear truck tires had blown out. Again. With the dually, there was still one good tire on that side, so I decided to drive, at about 30 mph, to a safer spot to put on the spare. I found a suitable spot about two miles down the road. It took about 20 minutes to take off the flat, undo the spare from the motorcycle trailer, put it on, and the get the tires back strapped back on the trailer. Unfortunately, we are starting to get good at this.

A quick search found us a Walmart about 10 miles away, so we beelined it there. We parked at 645pm, and I immediately started calling around to find a tire. The first two places were duds, but the third, which I got a hold of a few minutes before closing time, had something in stock. I told them I would be there first thing in the morning to get it.

Next up on the agenda, our evening entertainment, finding a brewery. It appears that our bad luck is being balanced with good luck, as there was a brewery within a 3 minute walk! We walked to the Sun King brewery, tried their beers, and on the bartender’s recommendation, checked out another brewery, Books and Brews, which was a 3 minute drive away. What a cool little spot!

Tomorrow, onward to Chicago!!!

Daily Stats:

Mileage: 380 miles

Travel Time: 8.75 hours

Fuel Cost: $92.00

Toll Cost: $0

Truck MPG: 7.2

Flat Tires: 1 rear truck tire @ $260

Pairs of pants soiled: 2

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