It is not often that I return home and find a rig like this parked in friont of my house.
Because you are astute readers, you know that is not the sight I saw when I returned home from Manzanillo yesterday. The terrain does not scream Melaque.
But the rig was there. Just not in front of the house. It had already been detatched and parked in my garage when I made my tardy appearance.
I am obviously getting ahead of myself with my story. Let's back up a bit.
Let me introduce the guest members of the cast in our continuing situation comedy -- Laura; her huband, Josh; their eight-year-old son, Jeremiah; and their two dogs, Culprit and Eddie.
I have known Laura since she was born. Her parents and I were friends in the Air Force when we were all stationed in England. For various reasons, she became something of a surrogate daughter to me. When I heard that Josh and she had quit their jobs and sold their house in Portland to look for a new life, I invited them to stay at the house with no name on their journey.
And it has been quite a journey for them. Josh and Laura ride on the BMW motorcycle with Jeremiah in the side car and the dogs in the towed trailer. They have already covered thousands of miles -- many of them from Phoenix to my house.
I knew they were arriving from Puerto Vallarta around noon yesterday . That was something of a timing problem because I had a dental appointment in Manzanillo in the morning. With Darrel and Christy at the house, I had no concern. The fort was manned. And I knew I would return soon.
And all was going well. I was out of the dentist chair in time to grab a couple of items at Walmart and La Comer, and was on my way home well in time to meet my honored guests.
Of course, that is when the sabots get tossed into the machinery. Or, as I like to say, the clogs get tossed into the cogs.
I was within 15 miles of home when it happened. I had just passed two cars and was in the process of passing a very slow dump truck when it decided to dump one of its rocks right in the path of my car.
It was not a giant rock. With a bit of effort I could have lifted it, but I knew it was not a stranger to danger as far as the Escape was concerned.
I had a split second decision to make. Because of its size, I knew the rock would probably make only one bounce. I guessed it would head left. It didn't. It bounced right into my swerve.
I hit it with the inside of my front left tire and knew either the tire was dead or the undercarriage was damaged -- or both. The impact was hard enough that I momentarily thought we might roll. When I pulled over, I discovered the tire was flat.
No problem. I have changed tires before. But I was wrong. There was a problem. Even though three of the nuts came off easily, the wrench would not fit over the other two.
To cut a very long story short, I started to walk to Cihuatlán to see if I could find a tire repairman who would return to where I had left my car. Due to the kindness of an army sergeant and a helpful electrician on his way to another job, I found a repair shop.
With the tire off of the car, the damage was obvious. The inner rim of the wheel had been peeled back about the length of my hand. Juan (the tire repairman) and I shuttled between his shop and a welder. With the wheel welded into the semblance of a circle, the only step was to put the tire back on.
And here is what it looked like:
Obviously, I cannot drive around like that.
I need to return to Manzanillo on Monday for scheduled maintenance on the car. While it is being serviced, I will walk further into town and order two new tires. Even though the damaged one is only a year old, that hernia will do none of us any good.
Until then, I am not going to drive out of town until Monday. I can shuttle my guests hither and yon without too much haste.
Who knows? Maybe Josh will let me drive the motorcycle.