Dirtbag Day 04

Austin Haedicke bio photo By Austin Haedicke

It is one of those days when you hate the world. I want to destroy something beautiful. The day started grand: a routine work meeting in the mid-day then I was off to the crag. After some trying and heady moderates i was satisfied with the afternoon. I still needed to save some daylight to hike out and set up camp. As I approached the parking lot I thought my car looked a bit lopsided. As I got closer I knew what had happened. I spoke aloud with irony and sarcasm: Well, i didn't park in a hole so this can only mean one thing. (flat tire).

It turned out a very good thing that I had saved both plenty of strength and daylight to change the tire. What would have normally been one of those ```well that sucks`` everyday inconveniences of life was a bit more extreme since everything I own was in the trunk on top of my spare tire. So, there in the dirt and gravel and mud I sprawled out all my worldly possessions and got to work. After descending the mountain – no small task on a spare tire mind you – I found that I had missed the closing time of every tire shop in town by about 20 minutes. Wonderful… Even better, none of them opened before 9:00 a.m. Again, normally this wouldn’t be a problem except that I’m trying to hold down a job while dirtbagging and had a noon appointment two hours away the next morning and in need of a shower beforehand.

I found out that a Walmart tire center about an hour away opened an hour earlier. In case you didn’t know; spare tires are made to get you to a service center or somewhere where a tow truck can reach you. They’re not meant for a full on replacement for road trips and / or highway speeds. I decided to chance it. Alas, the low tire pressure light came on. Again, this would normally only have been a minor inconvenience; I’d actually kind of expect it from a 10+ year old spare tire. But – there is, of course, a “but” – I was out of cash and whilst riding a spare tire hard in no condition to be stingy about which gas station I stopped at for air. We all know that gas station ATMs have wonderful transaction fees, so all in all I paid $3.50 for about 20 seconds of air.

Fortunately this story ends well as I spent the night in the Walmart parking lot (this is going to happen quite often if you’re a dirtbag) and pulled in to the tire center at 8:00 a.m. sharp. Tire replaced (for less than I expected actually) and car repacked in under an hour and I casually arrived at my appointment on time.

Carry on my wayward son....