Hiking, backpacking, and camping throughout Southern California and beyond

Adventures in Palmdale

It was a nice sunny day Southern California when I started my saga to an appointment in Palmdale on Saturday. I had installed a fresh foursome of tires Friday night and was ready for anything. While going up over the Cajon pass, I noticed that the snow level was lower than normal, and the temperature sank down to 31 degrees. Since it was almost 1pm in the afternoon, this looked to be the high of the day. After turning on a road to get me to Palmdale for an appointment, I was cruising along when I felt the unmistakable drag and rumble of a flat tire. Cursing the manufacturer of my new tires I pulled over to the side of the road onto the dirt and surveyed the damage. Shivering in the 32 degree weather, I saw that the passenger rear tire was completely flat.

I loosened the lug nuts a little and started jacking up the car. The car was raising slightly, but then shifting in the dirt a little bit. I continued to crank until I realized that the crank was pointing straight down into the dirt. I could no longer lower or raise the jack. Great. After getting some burrs in my knees and the palm of my hands, I noticed that, instead of raising my car, the foot of the jack was sliding in the dirt and pushing itself further towards the center of my car, rather than holding itself in place.

Realizing that I was in a tight spot, I phoned AAA and gave them my longitude and latitude from my GPS, since I was where streets had no name. It worked. In about an hour, my trusty new friend in a tow truck showed up. He proceeded to park facing traffic and pulled out his jack while being completely exposed to oncoming traffic. I scooted myself more onto the shoulder so that his soon-to-be catapulted corpse wouldn't take me along with it when a driver might not have noticed his bright orange jacket and clipped him.

Luckily, he made it OK and changed my tire without further ado. We noticed that the entire inside sidewall was torn away. We also noticed that an arrowhead of undoubtedly ancient origin had mystically pierced my ~120-mile-old tire right between the tread. Or, I guess, a contractor's truck could have spewed out some tile remnants.

Either way, it appeared that my awesome deal on these tires was to be mitigated by a freakish accident. Additional Tragedy: The tires I had just replaced had road hazard insurance on them through Discount Tires. I had a full sized spare so I continued on without further incident.

On the way home, I noticed that the temp had dropped even further. It was cold. Saturday the 13th indeed.

Breakfast with friends

Jackson, Wyoming: A winter wonderland of wildlife - 2007

Jackson, Wyoming: A winter wonderland of wildlife - 2007