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Mangroves of Mexico

Changed 3 tires day 1

A sign of things to come?

I am never one to complain a lot about our situation, but I must admit, I was maybe a bit worried about the other members of the crew. I knew they weren't complaining but I wondered what they were thinking when on the first day out of Dallas we had changed 3 tires! The whole start of the trip was actually quite a rush!

I had been running around town all week trying to get things organized with Jonas who had flown in a few days prior to our departure. We had gone to the Mexican consulate 3 times already with no luck of getting a hold of the people we needed and I had bought a tripod that was not in stock, so it was being shipped in. Thus, the first day, we had to tie up these loose ends.

Daniel arrived around 9am and we were off. I got my tripod, and then we stopped by my father’s office to see if his friend could help us fix the air-conditioning he had promised would work. It actually didn't work, and he couldn’t figure out why not. That, we realized was the least of our worries. The friend asked if we had a tire jack. We did not. Fortunately, we acquired a car jack from the back of someone’s truck. Thank goodness we did that, because about 45 minutes later BAMM ..

I was driving just on the outskirts of Dallas when it sounded like we ran over a huge object in the road. The van swerved a bit, but I kept control of the car. We quickly pulled off the road and into an abandoned gas station. We looked at the damage. The paneling on the driver’s side had been ripped off as the tred on our front tire separated from the core. We were able to put on the spare tire, but then realized that the spare was in worse condition. After changing that we drove to a tire dealer and bought 2 used tires to put on the van. We were back on the road again within 2 hours.

Now the plan was to get to Austin by about noon. We didn’t leave on time, and we weren’t having the best of luck so we were a bit behind schedule. In fact, at about 9pm when we had our second incident we were beginning to wonder how we were ever going to make the entire 7,000 mile trip through Mexico.

This time Jonas was driving, and thankfully, he too could pull over before the tire flatted. This time it was the back tire. Unfortunately our jack was too small to lift the car up as high as we needed. So we walked around until Jonas found a mailbox. He pulled it up and brought it back to give us 6 more inches of height. I know, I know, that’s all we could find! But, the owner of the mailbox came over and found what we did. He ended up helping us, but we had to put the mailbox back where we found it.

At around 1am we finally arrived in Austin, about 12 hours behind our original schedule. Would this be the trend for the rest of the trip? Well, yes and no I suppose. It didn’t help that after picking up Hazen and Joseph, (who hadn’t encountered our problems with the tires), we got our third flat, after just entering Mexico. So, all in all, we ended up changing 5 tires by the time we got 200 miles into Mexico. After that, we didn’t have to worry about it anymore. Thank goodness.


Find out more:

Rob Nelson

Jonas Stenstrom

Hazen Audel

Daniel Burson

Clay Trauernicht

Joseph Coleman