On day three I thought my luck was changing. I actually found an auto repair shop that also sold tires and it was open early on the Sunday before Memorial Day. It took the owner a while to find another tire the correct size, but he eventually did ($170) and I was back on the road. Unbeknownst to me however was that in my haste to get back on the road, I didn't secure my drag tires onto the trailer properly. You guessed it; later that day as I'm driving down I-40, a pretty girl pulls next to me to let me know one of the tires had fallen off my trailer. I pulled over and found one of the drag tires missing and the other about ready let go. As I'm securing the remaining tire, another driver stops to let me know he saw my drag tire on the road and tried to describe to me where it was. So I turned around and drove back a few miles and after searching for about 30 minutes, I found it, strapped it down and resumed my journey.
Day four would be a little less eventful, and I was able to make up for some lost time. I was traveling East on I-40 when I come up on a major back up because of an accident. I used my GPS to find me a route around it because traffic was stopped and I made into Memphis pretty late. I couldn't find a place to park the trailer, so I dropped it off at the Coast Guard base for the night. It was then that I noticed somewhere along the way one of the trailer lights had been damaged. It was late so I would have to get a new one in the morning.
Day five, the homestretch, and I get an early start to make sure I get to my destination today. I leave before any of the parts stores are open, so I stop after a few hours and find one so I can fix my trailer light. Little did I know that someone like myself, who was obviously just passing through, would be such an attraction for the locals. And I'm not talking about the welcome wagon here. As I exit the parts store the first time to make sure I had the part, I found a few of the locals 'admiring' my 1996 Impala SS with the 18-inch Budnik wheels sitting on the trailer. I tried to act normal as I checked the part and went back into the store to pay for it. When I exit the store the second time, I did so with my cell phone in hand and 911 already dialed; all I had to do is press send and hope someone responded. But wouldn't ya know it; a Deputy Sheriff had pulled into the parking lot. He asks, "Are you passing through?" I said, "Definitely." We spoke briefly and he said, "I'll stay here while you get that light fixed." After I finished he said, "Follow me and I'll show you quickest way out of town." I thanked him and got my first Police escort; he even turned on his emergency lights. I finally made it to my brother's house late that evening. Sorry to say I didn't get a ticket, but I think I matched your trip on the PITA meter.
Just wanted to tell you I not only enjoy all of the technical articles in the mag but also enjoy the Shop Talk column each month! I could feel your pain when I read about the problems you encountered towing the trailer to the 24 Hours LeMons.