Again we started out the day with intentions to head eastwards for our friends in Ceres New York. However, our start was later than expected, and by the time we were hooked up, ready to depart, it was well mid-morning. All hitched up, goodbyes completed and ready to go, but with one small glitch … we discovered a flat tire on the middle right axle tire (we have a tri-axle = 6 tires on the Airstream).
I personally was happy to have discovered this here rather than travelling at top speed down the freeway.To be within reach of the Airstream Service Center with mechanics available to fix it then and there was a welcome relief. You could say that it was actually our lucky day! First flat tire in our 7 months on the road. And go figure, when the trailer was hoisted with the 5 tonne jack and I was checking for the location of the puncture with my eagle eyes, I discovered not 1 but 2 nails to have lodged themselves in to two separate tires. But as good fortune would have it, only one tire was leaking air. The rear axle tire somehow had been spared :). It was a sight to behold witnessing our trailer pitched to one side (for 2 hours!) with the full brunt of its 10000 pounds on the 3 left tires and front jack, throughout the plug and patch tire repair process. Whilst we were in repair mode, we had Ken our mechanic replace 4 Olympic rivets on the upper right skin that were on our to-do list. He was very thorough and informative (educating us in the process) for the duration of the time-consuming tasks. I was quite impressed to discover that Ken had been employed by Airstream for 48 years. That’s an incredible feat, in this day and age … literally, married to his work for almost half a century.
Mid-afternoon, once again, we were ready to depart. Rich approached us with the idea of joining him and Eleanor at their friend’s Lou and Larry’s LaGrange Ohio (Cleveland being the closest city). I was excited at the prospect … our very first caravan with another Airstream and travelling on-the-road courtesy parking for the night (courtesy parking is when strangers/new friends offer us a place to park for the evening, with possible hookup of electricity and water). With walkie talkie in hand, we spent the next 4 hours intermittently chatting on the radios whilst enjoying the gorgeous weather and Ohio countryside views.