Alaska RV Camping Travelog – Day 29
Hey Buddy…Can You Spare A Socket?
Early start today and we stopped for breakfast overlooking the Liard River. This is more of the same beautiful country we have truly fallen in love with! Canada has got some of the most spectacular scenery no matter what part of it you travel through.
We are still working on that big Cinnamon roll from the Braeburn Lodge, it’s huge! We’re into it for the 2nd day now! We do see one buffalo along the road today and I see two more black bears. They show up nicely against the green forest backdrop!
We pass a large caravan of motor homes and 5th wheels at the Liard Hotsprings. They are identified by a sticker they all display on their coach. We wonder how much fun it would be to travel in a big group like that, I don’t think we would like it. We like to keep to our own agenda which is usually….NONE!
Up and around some steep switchbacks we go, and start down the other side of the hill, things are going along just fine and then…
We’ve blown the outside left rear dual tire! Now there are a LOT of worse places this could have happened, but also a LOT of better places too! This road is a good example of narrow, winding. and steep! Brian is driving and I try to “spot” him far enough out of the road to not be a hazard without ending up over the edge of a small drop off, or onto any of the large rocks along the edge. Of course we don’t have a way to bust the lug nuts off to remove the bad tire and replace it with our spare….at least we do have a spare!
Mom hops out and is trying to flag down some help while Brian and I try to determine (with the help of the Milepost Magazine) whether it would be closer to try and get help from where we came from at Watson Lake, or if there’s something else up ahead of us on this road.
A guy in a blue Chevy Impala with Michigan plates stops to hear our tale of woe. Brian offers to pay him for a ride 7 miles back to the pay phone but the good Samaritan won’t have any part of that! He says he’ll drive back himself and find a tire guy for us! He’s also remarks that he’s on vacation and he doesn’t mind helping us out! Sure are some good people along the Alaska Highway!
When the Impala returns there’s a newer Nissan Pathfinder with him. So we meet “Gary” and he gets out and surveys the situation to determine what‘s needed. He doesn’t have any tools with him so needs to go back to his shop for a different size socket. Also he doesn’t have any jacks to raise up Gozer far enough, so Brian tells him we can handle that part. Since only the outside dual blew, we can drive the inner tire up on some leveling blocks and use the jacks to get it up far enough to bust the tire off. After this little project, it’s time for some lunch!
Gary returns, and still doesn’t have the correct size socket! He and his wife have just taken over the Liard Hotsprings Resort, so it isn’t far for him to head back for some more tools. He‘s a really nice guy, and we hope we can come up with enough Canadian money to pay him for his trouble. We’ve been trying to spend it all, so we don’t have any of it to go back to the US with.
Gary comes back and this time he brings help….. In the form of his two young sons! Still, things go well for him and the tire is off and the spare replaced within about 30 minutes! We are so grateful! Brian asks him how much we owe, and he says, “Nothing, I’m just doing this as a favor”. Brian says “how about $200”? To which he says that’s way too much, but he still doesn’t give us a figure. Brian hands him the $200, the last of our Canadian money, and that’s that! We figure it took him 3 trips to the motor home, it’s Sunday, and we’re desperate! It was absolutely worth that to us!!!
Gary suggested we stop at the next tire shop and just make sure the lug nuts are tightened down, and we will surely do that! Thanks to Gary and www.liardhotsprings.ca !!!
We continue on down the road towards Ft. Nelson and there is an unbelievable number of stone sheep all along the highway! They seem to be interesting in foraging on something along the sides of the road, but we’re not seeing what is could be. We thought possibly salt? There are many, many herds of them and the babies are too cute!
We also noticed smoke from a large forest fire to the south of us, and the clouds of smoke looked like a mushroom cloud above us.
We fill up with fuel at Ft. Nelson and Brian chats with a nice young man who has a lot to tell him about the industry in this northern BC. We also inquire about a tire shop. We pull into the truck bay behind the tire shop and we’ll spend the night here. They open at 7:30 and we‘ll be ready!
Miles on Gozer 78980 Miles today 298
Road Notes: Except for the flat tire, roads are in good shape with a few gravel sections. Also some narrow, winding curves. Watch for sheep on road!
Tomorrow – Final Days
Yesterday – Breakdown!