Saturday, April 3, 2010

Myrtle Beach to Columbia, SC

We woke up at the Wallmart in a nice neighbourhood to start our second day of travels.

This is the front view at the Flying J without the truck hitched up...never thought I would see that!
This is the motel with the drive up window that we parked in front of to wait for the help from the CAA. It was noon, hot and a little remote ...

The Story Goes...
Chapter 1 saw Richard and I heading to Birmingham, AL from Perdido Key, FL in early March and then east to take a coastal route home originally. That changed and we enjoyed a restful time in Myrtle Beach for three weeks. The rain in the east meant we moved west again for the trip back. April fool's day we set out, bound for home again. With Airebella readied for the trip, the pets all safely placed for travel, we only got an hour along Route 501 towards I 95 (and then I 20 W) when a pick-up truck driver pulled up next to us and at 60 mph going down the highway he gave us the bad news that we had a flat, middle left tire on Airstream. Too bad!
We pulled over, assessed the damage to the tire and tried to figure out exactly how we would describe where we were when we called for help. Note to self, do that before you dial the number.... Well let me sing the praises of the CAA who answered our call right away and came out within 30 minutes to put on the spare...We also tried Good Sam because we have their "Platinum" service and I was put on hold for 15 minutes...soooo the Platinum is really Tin!!! We were pulled over just east of Florence by a Motel drive through window...I know how that sounds and it was really a little weird but the lady running the motel said it was okay for us to park there. I expect she wasn't hopeful for customers, at least not this early in the day.

Once we were on the road again we needed to get a new spare and ended up doing that from the Flying J in Columbia, South Carolina. Okay, I have sung the praises of Flying J before and they are a port in the storm for sure. But the fact is, this one said they had tire service but the best you could get was a little air for a good tire. Then, they sent Richard to a dump of a tire shop that would have charged him $180 US to drive the half mile over to see us at the Flying J.
Richard had to unhitch, leave me in the Airstream with the pets and the weirdos wandering around while he set out. He eventually found a Wallmart (!!!) that had exactly the right tire, with the heavy rating for RV's and would replace it for us...i.e. put it on the rim....imagine that! Wallmart over a truck stop to fix an RV tire...well now I have heard everything...

So, as to my plight at the Flying J while there alone, it was at least 90 F, there was a guy wandering around that looked like Brad Pitt and he did a pass of the Airstream muttering " that's a sweet ride..." and " cool ". All I could think about was the movie Brad Pitt did in his early days called "Kalifornia" where he was a deranged killer on the road with three other losers, killing people at gas stops and hotels etc along the way. Okay, so I made sure the door to the Airstream was locked but that reduced the interior airflow so I used the fans running on battery to cool the place down when it got too hot. Later, this fellow approached Richard and while he didn't see the Brad Pitt resemblance, he did get an uneasy feeling about the surroundings.
Then, there was a fellow who was shouting at no-one in particular and running all around the parking lot sharing obscenities and chastising anyone he saw for imaginary infractions...nice...hmmm where could Richard be all this time???

Okay as for Richard, he was using the GPS to get to the Wallmart and darn if that little wonder of technology didn't take him to a closed down Wallmart in a really bad looking part of town...glad he had the maneuverability of the truck without the trailer!
We ended up moving at ten pm after a long and interesting day to the Wallmart for the night when Richard got back from his successful expedition to get a new spare. We had a restful night amongst 7 or 8 other rigs. The funny thing is, when I was doing the light check from the outside of the trailer as we hitched up at the Flying J, the "Brad Pitt" guy came out of an RV from, I am pretty sure it couldn't have been the real Brad...he has an Airstream 345 Motorhome. :-)

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