Monday, August 11, 2008

Eventful Trip to Baton Rouge

The DCI championship was a wonderful experience. The ultimate winner moved up from third on Thursday to finish first on Saturday by 0.025 pts. Even though their marching was dirty is spots (marching technique was not clean) Phantom Regiment had wonderful visual show and a strong bold sound. I thought the Caveliers should have been first (they finished third) but Phantom's was stronger than the Blue Devils (finished second and last year's champions).

Sunday morning around 9:30 we picked-up Josh from the Crossmen’s housing site in Trafalgar IN. Around 8 we pulled into a campground just five minutes north of West Memphis. From there we were in striking distance of Baton Rouge, and we made it even with two mishaps.

The first mishap took place as we were just leaving Jackson MS at 12:45. Moving along at about 65 to 70 mph the RV started to shake. Less than a minute later, the inside rear tire on passenger’s side blew its tread. Fortunately, we were in a place to pull over. Though it was flatter as it was then carrying the full load, the outside tire was still in good shape. Just off an exit two miles away was a Pilot truck stop. They did not have the correct tire size but were able to call Goodyear truck tire dealer who had the tires. With instructions in hand we made the four file trip to the Goodyear dealer.

As it is best to replace both tires, that was the initial plan until they quoted me the price of each tire. The tires were just 30% higher than what I paid for my car tires so I had all four back tires replaced (the RV dealer near us charges almost 50% more). By 3:50 we were on the road again.

We are fortunate that the tire blew today rather than late Tuesday night in the middle of the night or Sunday when many shops are closed. We are also fortunate that we were just a few miles from several repair options.

The second mishap took place when we stopped at the first Louisiana rest stop. When Evie closed the passenger door, the mirror fell onto the pavement. The metal post broke due to metal fatigue. As these are highly specialized parts the part is not readily available. Fortunately we have several days to get it fixed. Even though it will mean drilling holes into the doors, installing semi-truck type mirrors is an option.

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