....I muttered as I collected myself from just hitting a rock on the highway at 65-70 mph and hear the flat on the front right tire. Now, 24 hours later, it at least makes a semi-entertaining blog post.
I was on my way to choir practice (our last tuneup before the big day on Sunday). To get to the church, I jump on the highway, go up one exit, and go over to the church. All of 7-8 minutes and 4.64 miles according to yahoo maps. I just got on the highway, passed one car and was making my way back over to the right lane.
Just at that exact location on the highway as I'm changing lanes the right side of my car hit what appeared to me to be a big rock--I'm guessing a little smaller than a bowling ball? That I bump over. I first think uh oh hope I didn't hurt anything, but then felt the car pulling and could feel it bumping up and down like a flat. So, I pull off to the side of the highway.
It's dark, it's a light drizzle, and....I don't have my cellphone. As I was leaving, I figured I didn't need it since I was just going 5 miles up the road and I was annoyed that everybody at our practice on Sunday was getting text updates of the Steelers game (Can't they wait until they get home or on the radio on the drive home??!?!).
So, I thought for a few seconds to just run home (less than 2 miles if I cut over the hill and back through some neighborhoods and I had my track stuff on from practice still). But then, I realized that the car would still be there.
Next, I begin to change the tire. I pull out the trunk items and take out the spare, jack, and wrench. I had the car jacked up just high enough to begin work on taking off the tire when a car pulls up behind me and stops. It turned out to be a state trooper--how lucky was I. I don't know if somebody called seeing my car on the side of the road or if the trooper was just patrolling the area, but I sure was thankful to only be out there without communication for only 10-15 minutes!
He comes over with his flashlight and observed that my rear right tire was ALSO flat. I said, "Are you serious?" because I was so focused on the front that I didn't even look back at the rear. He phoned a towing service and the car was taken on a flat bed up to a tire place up in town. The guy from the towing place was really helpful and even dropped me off at home after we dropped off the car (about a mile away). My great co-worker B was nice enough to come up and pick me up this morning (25 minutes total backtracking) and take me home. Thanks a bunch! He mentioned to me last night that I was fortunate to not lose control of the car and crash. When he puts it that way, I guess I should feel more blessed than angered at the damage & cost (...keep reading...) for the wheels.
So, I spoke to the VERY friendly and helpful people at Highland Tire (voted 1993 -2007 Valley News Dispatch Readers Poll: "BEST PLACE TO BUY TIRES" and now I know why) and he helped me figure out the damage and cost. It turned out that BOTH the front AND rear wheel rims were dented due to the rock....bummer. But at least he had the parts in stock, so it could be repaired within a few hours.
When Beth talked to the service rep later in the day, he said that he has observed a handful of similar incidents and said that it could be due to something about a seam in the highway expanding and loosening parts of the highway (thus the rock). He suggested we contact PennDOT to see if there's anything that they can do to help (because total bill = almost $400...ugh!!!).
So, that was my exciting evening yesterday. I'm hoping for an uneventful weekend coming up. It's been a crazy couple of weeks--grandma in the hospital for back surgery a month ago (and back in now for a follow-up surgery due to "leakage"), a couple of incidents of behavior of students at school, getting a speeding ticket in WV on the way back up from NC at Thanksgiving, being really stuffy/sick for over a week, and now this. I'm ready for an uneventful week...other than celebrating the great events of Christmas and having a chance to sing and celebrate Jesus' birth!
By the way, little news on the Pirates this offseason, but the Owners' meetings were in Las Vegas this week and they made a couple of moves. I'll get around to mentioning that this weekend.
Have a great weekend, all!