Thursday, March 22, 2007


One September morning gathered the dogs, the wife and a nice picnic basket full of food and set out to climb to the top of this mountain in the truck.

If you click on the photo you'll see communication antennae on the very top of the mountain. There's a very steep access road that provides access to the equipment.

The grade had to be well over 25%. As we climbed the mountain the nose of the truck seemed to be pointing straight up. It was all dirt, lots of rocks and huge ruts most of the 7 mile drive to the top.

Once there I let the dogs out. Jilli immediately begins rolling in a four inch layer of fine dirt covering the parking area. She's filthy.

Me as I step out of the truck: Wow, look at the view. And look at this dog. What was once a light colored dog has become dirt brown.

She: You're not going to believe this.

Me: Shoot.

She: The truck has a flat tire.

Sure enough as we reached the top there was a piece of re bar sticking out of the ground and we had run smack dab over the top of it. You wouldn't think a piece of re bar could puncture a tire but it did.

Here we are, top of the mountain, there's four inches of fine dirt to wallow around in during the process to get one wheel off and the spare on. Of all the places to have a flat tire.

The truck was fairly new at the time. I'd not changed a tire in years but was confident I could do the job. It wasn't like AAA could come and change it for me.

Me: I can't lower the spare tire from underneath the truck. There's no nut or anything that will allow me to take it off of the mounting bracket.

The owner's manual was useless. There was nothing to show how to get the spare off of the truck. We're stuck.

Ah ha, cell phone. Call the dealership. Thank goodness that we brought a cell phone along.

Me: Hi Gary, this is Bob. You'll never guess where we are.

Long story short, I found that there's a long rod stored in the engine compartment. To lower the spare you take the rod, insert it into a hole that's through the rear bumper, turn the rod to lower the spare.

Did I ever feel stupid. Truck owners should be macho. Calling for directions on how to change a tire is not macho.

After I changed the tire I was sweaty, (it was 90 something degrees) as filthy as Jilli and in no mood for a leisurely picnic lunch on the mountain.

Once the winter snow is off of the mountain I'm in the mood to 4X4 to the top of the mountain again with one eye on the road and one eye watching out for re bar.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States