Flat, but not out

small creek and tree

The price of this shot was a flat tire so far back in the boondocks, you go toward town to squirrel hunt. Turns out, it was worth the price.

Sooner or later, it was bound to happen, and sure enough, the laws of probability prevailed. Application of these laws was manifested in deflation of the right rear tire of my venerable and otherwise faithful pickup. The cell phone said “no-service.” The GPS said “boondocks.” The map agreed. All that being so, the prevailing attitude had to be ” … this is no time to panic.

We were after winter pictures. What we found can be seen on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com. See a cool low water bridge, a cool creek and a country road. Click here to go there.

flat tire in the boondocks

Oops. This is no time to panic.

I had stopped to stretch my legs a quarter mile or so before deciding to leave the “improved” road. During this brief sojourn, I heard the tell-tale, siren song of rushing water. My heart thus quickened I got underway, forded a small creek and then made the fateful off-road turn. I found an appropriate place to stop, exited the truck and went to reconnoiter what I would shoot. When I returned to the truck, the right rear tire was as flat as a pancake. Since there was plenty of daylight left, I decided to get the shot first and then fix the flat.

flat tire in Arkansas boondocks

Under the best of circumstances, in these conditions, a good ol'-boy should be able to change a tire in thirty minutes or less. Given my advanced years, I added an hour, maybe a bit more to that estimate. I was about right in that guess. Here I had successfully dismounted the spare, after some bizarre body contortions.

The first and foremost thing is to snake slither and crawl under the back of the truck bed to see if the spare is inflated. Yeah Buddy! It was. Then the fun starts. The jack and lug wrench are under the back seat of the truck, so first you remove three or four years of accumulated back seat stuff plus all the photo gear you believe you must have, but never use. That done, I find the jack and accessories are in unused condition, ready for a baptism of fire. So far, so good.

Then jack up the truck from the back. This requires one to get into the snake slithering position again to slide the jack under the rear axle of the truck. Slithering done, after a few minutes the truck was lifted a few inches. Thus configured, it is time to break the lug nuts loose.

fixing a flat in the boondocks

The lug nuts were last applied at the friendly local tire shop with an air impact wrench at what I figured to be approximately 10,000 foot pounds of torque.

Breaking the lug nuts loose with your hands and arms only was not in the realm of possibility unless your name was Gargantua. I finally managed to break all of the infernal things loose by standing on the wrench and applying my 235 pound bulk to the tool with a vigorous downward stomp.

Next, the spare must be dismounted. It is attached to the underside of the truck’s back side small pulley and cable assembly which holds it in place. The spare must be released by inserting a small rod through the rear bumper to access the pulley and unwind the cable which lowers the spare.

I’m thinking that design engineers consulted the devil himself when they came up with this system. To lower the spare, it helps is if one has the arms of an octopus and the agility of a monkey. Though not so imbued, I managed to get the thing dismounted. But not before getting into the snake slithering position again. At last, it is time to put the spare on the truck.

mounting a spare tire in the boondocks

It's all over now but the grunting and groaning. There was plenty of both.

One discovers when attempting to mount this spare tire to the waiting hub, that the combined weight of the LT265/75R16 tire and wheel  is approximately the same weight as the door to the gold vault at Fort Knox. I can’t explain how I got it mounted without incurring bodily damage repairable only by extensive surgery, but I did. Thank the Almighty for small favors.

flat fixed in boondocks

It was like a chicken laying a square egg. It felt so good when it was over.

Having a flat in the middle of nowhere is way on the far side from the best of all possible worlds. And not being exactly a spring chicken anymore, I can say that I approached the necessary job with some trepidation. However upon successfully completing the task, it felt pretty dadgum good. Gives one pause to think. A little adversity overwhelmed is a good thing. Nevertheless, I have high hopes that this is my dose of reality for at least the next few months. Yeah, right. Fat chance.

But wait, there’s more. See our collection of high resolution versions of this week’s pictures here.

Thanks for dropping by

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind


One Response

  1. Wow what a very talented photographer you are.. my favorite was the 56 Chevy…. Thats the year I was born. hehe God bless you. I’m so thankful I checked out this site, awesome stuff.

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