Right now, I’m sitting in the Comfort Suites in Blythe, CA. About 3:45 yesterday we were about 5 miles past Chiriaco Summit when we got a flat tire. The car was too low for us to get the spare out and we called AAA.
We realized that we probably should have jacked the car to get the spare, but as it turned out the AAA guy had a hard time jacking our car, so I don’t feel bad about that at all. I did have to completely rearrange our car so that the punctured tire could fit in the back, and had the foresight to think of doing that while there was still daylight. The guy was impressed that I knew where my jack and tools were, and that I had actually read the manual to see where/how I was supposed to store the other tire. He said that most people panic too much to even think of those things.
It took about two hours for us to get back on the road. Two hours where the Oldest Kidlet worried that we would be stuck at the side of the road forever. And where his brother didn’t seem to care at all, just as long as their Nooks had a charge (my MIL bought them each Nooks. My brother-in-law gave us a card to load them up with apps and the kids have been playing games for most of the last 24 hours).
And eventually we wound up here to spend the night while we searched for a new tire.
Nobody in town has the exact tire size we need, but we found one that’s slightly larger, but should be able to get us to Arizona.
By the way, if you ever have to stop over in Blythe and don’t mind spending more than you would at the Motel 6, the Comfort Suites is pretty ncie. The rooms are suites (obviously) and come with so many built in outlets it isn’t even funny. Our gadget loving family had more than enough places to recharge. And they have free wifi. The room also has a microwave, fridge, and coffeemaker. It certainly made this stressful night a little easier.
Though admittedly, I didn’t sleep all that well. I’m sure I’ll sleep more soundly once we’re at my grandma’s house.
Left: The flat tire, Center: The prison that’s near a rest stop (seriously!), Right: The Kidlets messing around at Denny’s in Blythe.
All of this made me realize that we do need to have an emergency bag in the car. While we did have some water and snacks, there were a couple things we didn’t have that we realized could have been helpful.
Have enough water for your family for an extended period of time. Pack some snacks in there- fruit snacks, energy bars, crackers. Trash bags, a folding small shovel, and toilet paper. Some cash, just in case you have to pay for a tire or a tow and they can’t take your credit card. And regular emergency kit stuff- some bandaids, baby wipes, neosporin, tylenol.
And be prepared to answer 5 million questions from your children about why you can’t just keep driving on the spare tire.