|Elliot picked up riding very quickly|
|Jonah loves riding too|
|Yay! Lara is on! Hanging onto dear life to Jonah|
|Vic managed to convince Oma to get on|
|And Lara is on by herself!|
|Jonah wanted another go|
|Giving Lady a hug goodbye|
|One last photo with Gary|
We left the ranch with much sadness and went on our way to Sheridan with instructions on a shortcut. We were excited as this would cut our journey short by over an hour which would give us some last minute tax free shopping time at Billings on the way. But it was not to be.
Just before White Sulphur Springs, the left rear tyre went flat. It was a challenge just getting the spare tyre and jack out of the car! By this time, an hour had already passed. This was when we met our first good samaritan for the day. He stopped and changed the tyre for us, with his partner and dog waiting patiently in the car. We tried to find a garage to get the tyre fixed but being a Sunday, all the shops in the small towns along the way were all closed. This also meant that we were unable to find lunch.
We had just reached the Interstate 90 when the right rear tyre went flat too. What?!?!?!? Panic set in somewhat. We were on a busy freeway in the country's 3rd largest state with a total population of only 1 million. What if we got stuck here? What were we going to feed the children? Would we have to cancel our hotel reservation in Sheridan? We had to get our car towed to the nearest big town with shops that were open which happened to be Bozeman. This meant travelling away from our destination by 27 miles. The tow truck could only fit 4 passengers in the back. Eeeek! What to do with the rest of the family?!?!?! The tow truck company mentioned that they could send another vehicle over to ferry the other passengers at a fee. Phew. Problem one solved.
We were taken to the Walmart where they insisted on changing all four tyres for $700! Or they could give us 2 to replace at our leisure. Overhearing this, the tow truck driver (good samaritan number two) whipped out his yellow pages and, before Malcolm returned to give us the bad news, had negotiated a better deal for 2 tyres at the only other tyre centre in Bozeman open on a Sunday afternoon. He then towed the car there for no additional fee. Ten minutes later he returned with Jonah's carseat which we had left in the back. This was despite him being late for his grandchild's birthday party. Onya Jim! Problem two solved.
Meanwhile, the rest of the family stayed behind in Walmart. Opa and Oma were in heaven. They happily browsed for insoles, vitamins and fruit. I, on the other hand, picked up some nit shampoo (yes, Lara has nits. Unbelievable...) and purex 3-1 laundry sheets. Problem three (shopping time) solved. There happened to be a McDonalds within the store. The hungry horde were fed both lunch and dinner combined. Problem four solved.
By 5:30pm, we were ready to drive for Sheridan. Problem five (accomodation) solved. We have also managed to fix our mobile phone problem with AT&T. Another problem solved! We were on a roll.
This left only problem six...getting the rest of the way to Sheridan sometime before midnight. zzzzzz
|A very flat left rear tyre|
|Luggage plus a wheel. Not bad!|
|Yay! Our tow truck is here|
|The flat right rear tyre!|
|Getting the Chevy onto the truck|
|Riding in Jim's truck|
|At Walmart Bozeman, where the tyres didn't get fixed|