Thursday, April 18, 2013

US Hwy 20 -- Detour: South Pass -- Continental Divide -- Wyoming

I finally got out of Rock Springs this morning! It was still cold (about 20 degrees) but the sky was blue and the winds were calm. After five days of road closures in the area, the Wyoming highway website listed my route as generally good, with just a few slick areas to watch out for. So, I packed up my rig and hit the road, enjoying some nice Wyoming scenery as I drove north.

Heading up the west side of South Pass, I heard a noise that didn't sound good, followed soon after by a moderate, whirring vibration. I knew it was trouble when I looked in my rear view mirror and saw bits of rubber spraying out the side of my camper.

You guessed it, what every trailer hauler dreams of: A blown out tire! In this case, I had pulled barely off a narrow, two lane highway, with trucks blowing by at 65mph. I was at 7,000 feet, in 15 degrees of cold with 20-30 mph winds. Lovely!

All you can do is take it one step at a time, and within an hour I'd mounted the spare and was on my way again.

I was rewarded with pretty views going up to the pass, and stunning snowscapes on my way down.

I pulled into the town of Lander mid-afternoon, only about 50 miles from being back on track. I found a tire store where helpful folks replaced my tire, remounted it and checked the others for condition, pressure and lug torque. There's a little bit of damage to the wheel fender -- and some black marks to clean -- but no damage to the hub, axle, brakes or underbody. I consider myself lucky!

The road east to Casper is still pretty iffy, plus I'm tired from the drive and ordeal. So, I decided to stop here in Lander for the night, and am giving myself a break at my old home away from home: The Holiday Inn Express! There's more to that story... Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

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