So, in my previous post, I mentioned going on a 40-year wilderness trek in search of Moses, and that we might need search & rescue.
I was not being serious. But I think I was the one who jinxed us. Sorry guys!
Here then, split into a few posts for easier reading, is the blow-by-blowout account of our trip, written pretty much as it happened:
So our trip to Monahans started off as expected; we headed out at about 8:45, the kids were reviewing for the competition, adults reading or chatting, and our intrepid bus driver (Chad) was, well, intrepidly driving. We stopped off in Seminole for a break, then continued on.
Just a few miles outside of Andrews (at around 10 AM), we heard a bang!, which we wrote off as being a rock. Ha! If only. Barely a mile later, the bus took on a very alarming shimmy, so Chad got us off the road and stopped as quickly as he could (and safely, it should be pointed out). He & the other men up front hopped off in short order to investigate, rapidly followed by me, and pretty much all the boys on the bus.
Our front tire was gone. Except it wasn’t, because it had wrapped itself around—okay, I’m not into cars. It was wrapped around whatever that metal thing is. And said metal thing was bent. So, the men swung into action getting the bus jacked up, investigating, realising we didn’t have a spare tire, taking the bent metal thing off, and all the other stuff men do on occasions like this. The kids, meanwhile, thought this was the best event ever and were running around, playing with sticks, kicking up dirt, collecting bits of tire, and otherwise making their mothers crazy.
It was up to me to phone the other bus and get them to come back, because they had been far enough in front to not notice that we had stopped (the other two vehicles in the caravan did stop). Actually, it wasn’t entirely up to me, because about three people tried to get the other driver via calls & text, but since the other driver was, you know, driving, he didn’t notice. I tried a different tact, though: I called his wife. She got them turned around and headed back our way.
We loaded up all the kids on the other bus, all women from our bus (minus me!) in the Surburban, and waved good-bye. (I also sent my camera on with a girl who promised to take very good care of it. Who knows what kind of pictures we will get!) Meanwhile, another couple took off in their pickup to get the bent thing fixed, and another tire, and whatever. I’m really not a car person, so I don’t know what they were doing.
While they were gone, we stood around getting sunburnt and talking about sports. And discussing how “get the spare tire from the trailer” ought to be on the pre-trip checklist for church trips.
Tire came back, was reattached to the bus, and off we went. We’re on our way to a dealership in Odessa that has a wheel of some sort (ours, it turns out, is now cracked). It is 1 PM, and the competiton should be starting in Monahans right now.