Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's Sunday and a nice day for a ride in the truck.

We called the kids last night and asked them if they wanted to take a drive to the top of the mountain that is pictured here.

The elevation of Shasta Bally is 6,200 feet. Communication towers are located at the very apex of the mountain. And yes, there's a dirt road to the top that is straight up with only a few cut backs.

We've driven to the top once before. It takes a four wheel drive truck to do it. Boulders, rocks, gullies created by erosion down the middle and sides of the sandy road make for an interesting trip. The grade is so steep that it feels like the truck is going to tip over backwards.

It is soooo very fun.

On our first and last trip up Shasta Bally we reached the summit and felt a sense of achievement. It had been a tough drive up.

As we stepped out of the truck to enjoy the view at 6,200 feet the wife said:

Wifey: You have a flat tire.

Me: Get out of town! No way do I have a flat tire. How could that happen?

Wifey: You have a flat tire, passenger side, front wheel. Shit happens.

Me after coming around to look: Yow! A flat tire. How did that happen?

How it happened . . . there are several pieces of rebar sticking out of the ground at the summit. I managed to run over the one that was point in our direction. The passenger front tire hit it head on punching a major hole in the tire. There was no limping back down the hill on a halfway inflated tire. The tire was completely flat. There was no going anywhere on a tire like that.

AAA was definitely not going to drive up the mountain. I don't think they would have made it anyway. The truck was new and I had never had the opportunity to change a tire on it.

I went to the rear of the truck to lower the spare under the truck's bed. There was no bolt to unscrew to lower the tire. Shit. How do I get the spare down?

So here we are, the only people at the top of this mountain and no clue on how to change a dam tire!

Ah, ha! Light bulb goes on. Thank gawd for cell phones. I call the Ford dealership.

Me: Hello Gary? This is Bob. Do you remember me . . . I bought a truck from you last March.

Gary: Yeah, I remember. Hi Bob.

Me: You're not going to believe this. We're at the top of a 6,200 foot mountain with a flat tire and have no clue on how to lower the spare tire. I can't find any information on how to lower it in the owner's manual.

Gary: There's a long rod clamped in the engine compartment. Get the long rod, insert the end into the rear bumper and crank the spare down.

Me: That's all there is to it?

Gary: That's it, bud.

Me with a very red face and feeling less than macho: Thanks Gary.

I sold the Ford a while back and now I own a Dodge truck and have no clue on how to lower the spare. Deja Vu! But this time I will be watching for rebar sticking out of the ground.

Pictures and more on our climb up the mountain today will be posted tomorrow.

Hopefully there will not be pictures of Bob changing a tire on the truck.

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twilite said...

Hi Bob! I like the sight of snow-capped mountain...and trekking(?) on one! Enjoyed and somewhat envious -- you and family were out there!

Bob said...

Lea: It was a great drive up and back. Beautiful views.

Anonymous said...

I live in Pennsylvania and my sister lives in Redding. We talk on the phone alot and she tells me about her adventures in N. California. My sister and her husband had just taken a trip up Shasta Bally for the first time and I Google the locations as she's telling me a story so I can imagine better. Somehow I found your blog and really enjoyed the pictures and stories. Thanks for sharing your photos cause it helps me stay close to my sister and imagine what her life is like (no computer on their end.) Blessings, N Cotts, Pittsburgh, PA

Bob said...

Welcome, Anon from PA. I appreciate your comments and continued visits. Let's stay in touch.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States