Melody and I are heading east to Spokane this morning to see not only her relatives and friends there, but to meet up with the Knopefls from IL, who are there this week too. We've been fortunate enough to have seen them all within the past couple years (Brian and Frances last year, Kevin, Joanna, Jenny, and Hans the year before) but don't want to miss an opportunity to see them again.
We've been fortunate to have never had car trouble while going cross-state, but the same couldn't be said for my family when we used to go on car trips when I was in Junior High. We had just gotten a Ford station wagon, and on one trip out we got a flat tire. Pull to the side, empty out the back enough to get to the spare, do the change, load back up, and head on our way. Get the bad tire replaced when we return, and then there should be no problem, right?
The next time we took a long trip, the same thing happened. Different tire, so go through the same routine. It happened a third time, so the trip after that we expected the fourth one to go. If I recall, however, it was one of the tires we had replaced! This was not a good sign. The other thing is we were lucky that we had only one tire go out on each trip, since we only had one spare.
Ends up that the station wagon was outfitted with Firestone 500 tires, but we weren't the only ones having problems with them, mostly with tread separation while driving at highway speeds. All of those tires were recalled, and replaced with the successor, the Firestone 7-2-1. We were glad that it wasn't just our bad luck, and had our tires swapped.
Being four times burned, eight times shy, we prepared for another flat on our next long trip. Fortunately, that didn't happen, and I don't recall problems with the newer tires. I have to say, though, that my dad sure got to the point where it took almost no time to change a tire!