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Response to Fate & Gremlins
Written By: OC Fotoguy
*Click images below to view larger versions.
Response to Fate & Gremlins
Response to Fate & Gremlins
Response to Fate & Gremlins
Response to Fate & Gremlins
Response to Fate & Gremlins
Response to Fate & Gremlins
Response to Fate & Gremlins
Response to Fate & Gremlins

    Like any interchange on most interstates all the fast food, chain restaurants and gas dealers were there.  I steered into an old shopping center parking lot behind BKing watching the curb at the entrance on the far side and bang.  I hit the break and came to a halt, and got out of the truck to see what had happened.  I’d gone over the curb at the entrance.  The curb was more of a low wall than a curb.  The driver’s side was much closer than the far side curb, which was still several yards away.  I got back in the truck and steered right, so the rear tire didn’t hit it, and didn’t think much about it as I got on US95 and sped south for the next 7-8 hours.  The truck ran fine, so why worry.
    The next day I noticed a definite vibration especially at a speed more than 55 mph, so I held the speed down. I thought maybe I’d knocked the front end out of line, and I’d need to get that fixed before I went west from Florida at the end of February.  I knew that I wouldn’t be doing any interstate driving going to Big Cypress or down in the Keys, so the vibration wasn’t a priority item, but one that needed to be fixed.  I followed the dirt roads from my campsite through the jungle to US 41.  Those roads are where I see most of my sightings.  As I came out of Big Cypress and off the unpaved roads I immediately felt the vibration.  I thought, was it just me since I’d not driven for nearly two weeks as I enjoyed the wilds.  I realized the vibration was getting progressively worse.  I drove to the spot on Turner River where I launch my kayak, so I can paddle through the mangrove tunnels amongst the jungle with the alligators, snakes, turtles, rare birds, and more.  I had a glorious time.  Afterwards I secured the kayak on the back of the camper and headed for Everglades City, a good meal and where I park overnight.  The vibration let me know it needed to be taken care of as soon as possible.  I made the turn onto the road to EverGlades City and drove about a mile.  I realized the vibration was very similar to last March when the tire tread separated on both back tires and they needed replaced.
    Then OMG, there was a loud banging, like the axle had broken or at least a tie rod had fractured from the front driver’s side of the truck.  I steered off the road and got out to examine what had happened.  Luckily I wasn’t on an interstate amongst 70mph traffic!  I saw a lump of black stuff behind the truck as I swung out.  Fearing the worst I looked at the tire.  It had shed it’s tread and it was wadded up between the wheel and the fender.  It was almost sunset and mosquito attack time in the everglades.  I looked at the tire.  I decided to put the spare on, but the truck was on a slant.  I checked the off road area to assure that it would support the weight of the truck and my camper.  It was firm.  I knew I could change a tire, if I could get the lug nuts loose.  I didn’t like pulling completely off the road, knowing how easy it is to get stuck in a wet land area, which I was in.  I could see an area that was a paved pull off spot about 100 yards away.  I pulled a bunch of the tread away and thought if I backed up it may free the rest.  I did that and the rest of the tread came loose.  Now I had a bald tire, but probably drivable for the short distance to where I park for the night.  I drove slowly and made it with no farther problem.
    I examined the wheel, surrounding area, and underside of the truck.  I couldn’t see any eminent problem, although there was a bundle of wires that dangled near the wheel.  The tread as it came dislodged had torn the “cardboard” underside of the wheel covering away.  That was the wad of dark stuff I saw behind the truck when I got out.  I’ll retrieve and examine that tomorrow.  Hopefully I won’t find pieces of the truck that’s needed for it to function right.
    Once I got in my overnight spot I sat in my nest (slide-in camper on a pickup truck) and relaxed for a while.  I decided that I’d put the spare on tomorrow and then replace the tire as soon as I got to MegaMart in Homestead, and continue my quest of Adventure.  I’ve known for a long time that good and bad things will happen and I have little or no control over them.  The test of my continuing is if I can respond, solve, and put up with fate and whatever the gremlins throw at me.  From here it looks like this’ll just be a small inconvenience.  There’s been no injury, the damage is minimal, and it can be fixed or replacement will be the solution.
    On the down slide and loving it.  Ask me about a free photo.
Bob R  o.c.FotoGuy
more photos @ picasaweb.google.com/o.c.fotoguy2009
& facebook.com/OCfotoguy
PHOTOSAsYouWantThem.biz
articles @ Coconuttimes.com
 
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