(45) 4th of July Celebrations were a blowout… and so was a certain Goodyear Marathon tire.

Posted by on July 6, 2011

Just thought I’d chime in here with an update.  Had a blast this weekend camping at Grandpa Lahrman’s estate with the Trailmanor.  Headed up Saturday about noon and set up camp just a stone’s throw from the pond.  Some prime real estate for the upcoming weekend activities.  Sunday was the annual 4th of July party, celebrated a day early this year as the holiday fell on a Monday and not all of us are employed by the government.  Had an amazing smorgasbord of food after a unified singing of “Proud To Be An American” led by my sister Allison.  Grandpa had 4 kayaks and a paddle-boat for all to use on the pond.  The kids had fun swinging off the dock into the pond with the rope swings, and I got a good bit of fishing in.  Later in the evening I set off some fireworks from ‘Daffodil Dam’ by the pond while s’mores were being made on the beach fire pit.   Finished off the night with some guitar playing and conversation on the back porch.

Monday we headed down to Plainfield for another 4th of July party at Rachel’s dads.  Bill grilled burgers and brats, and had a nice selection of side items and desserts.  Had fun outside with a variety of games after the yard dried up a bit from earlier rain.  Then had a group sit down at the big table and played a card game called Nerts, followed by some Mad Gab.  We partied until about 8pm and then headed back home to the camper in Lafayette and watched the New York fireworks on TV with Grandpa.

Tuesday morning we packed up and set off for our next stop, Great Lakes Naval Training Center.  We gassed up just before hitting I65 and headed north.  About a half mile before the Merrilville exit we had a tire blowout, and I steered the rig off to the shoulder.  We jumped out and found that the passenger side tire on the Trailmanor had delaminated and shredded.
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Just after I got the jacks down and the wheel off the ground, an Indiana State Trooper pulled up behind us and offered some help.  He said he’d back his car up a bit and leave the lights on to get cars to switch over to the other lane.  This was a great help because there was a lot of traffic, including semis that were blasting by us at 70+ mph sending gusts of wind that shook the camper a bit.  It took about 15 minutes to get the spare tire on, and we thanked the Trooper and headed up the road and got off the Merrilville exit to try and get a replacement tire.  We had no luck at National Tire & Battery, Sears, Firestone, Pete’s RV, or one other tire place that Pete’s RV recommended.  But alas, Pete’s RV had one more suggestion and it was a success.  We were able to get a new tire mounted and balanced after 2 hours of searching at Gaiser Tire in Schererville.  It was a bargain to at $85 with a military discount, and we were back in gear to continue our vacation.
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We made it through Chicago with only maybe 20 minutes worth of stop-and-go traffic.  Rachel snapped a photo of the Chicago Skyline
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And just about an hour and a half later we were set up and enjoying one hell of a view from our Trailmanor!
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Might I also note that Pop Weaver’s stove-top poppers are absolutely delicious and are a good candidate for all RV pantries.
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Well that concludes our activities thus far, and I’m sure we’ll have more stories to tell soon.   Kept this one short on words, but can’t spend too much time typing when I’ve got the sun, a beach, and Lake Michigan calling me outside.  Until next time…

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