On our way back to the main road, we stopped for ice cream in the sleepy little town of Fayetteville, West Virginia. On the way back to the car, we noticed the front driver’s side tire was low. Like, really low. We programmed our GPS and found a gas station – it turns out I had a nail in my tire. Not good. Luckily, there was a Wal-Mart just a few stoplights ahead. We pulled into the service center and the country dude said they’d have it patched within the hour. Perfect!
Alice and I grabbed sweet tea and sauntered through a clothing store until I got the call: “Uh, Mrs General? That nail hit sidewall of the tire. Can’t patch that.” Crap. So I bough a new tire. Yee haw. 15 minutes later they call back and say that my other front tire is looking pretty bad and may blow. Replaced that one too. I had a 7 hour trip home, I didn’t want to take the chance of having a problem.
Just like an incredibly slow NASCAR race, I took 2 tires and got back on the road.
Now to get to Sandstone Falls, one could take the interstates (looooong)….or the backroads through the park (shortcut!). There was one road marked quite clearly on the map we got at the visitor’s center; as someone who grew up in rural Illinois, backroads do not deter me.
The road went from blacktop, to gravel, to pitch, to dirt. All while going up a mountain.
Just like these people about to hit the rapids, our rapid decline was just starting….