Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Flats

Well, my flat tire woes aren't over yet. Not only did Faith get a flat in the Buick last week, but I got three flats in two days this week.

It all started when I was trying to decide whether to take Argyle Canyon or Gate Canyon back to Vernal from Harmon Canyon. When I thought about taking Argyle Canyon, I got a sick feeling so I decided to take Gate Canyon. It's a good thing I listened to that sick feeling the Spirit was giving me because I got a flat in Gate Canyon. Gate Canyon has a wider and busier road than Argyle Canyon. Not only did I have room to pull over, but I was able to flag down someone to lend a hand when I had trouble. Once I got the lug nuts off, which was a feat in itself because I had to stand on the lug wrench and bounce to loosen the lug nuts (remember I'm not a featherweight so they were really torqued on), the wheel wouldn't budge. I kicked it and banged on the tire with my rock hammer and nothing happened. Anyway, I flagged down an oil field service guy in a pickup and he had a huge rubber mallet. He wailed on the wheel with that thing for about a minute before it started to budge. If I had taken Argyle Canyon, I most likely would have been out of luck in the roadside assistance department. So he helped me finish changing the tire and I was on my way.

Ever since my flat experiences in Wyoming, I've kept two spare tires in my truck just in case so the next day, I decided that I would be safe with just one spare because I didn't have time to get the first flat fixed before I had to return to the field. Turns out the hole in that one was too big to be fixed anyway. So I head out to do some surveys with a co-worker and when we get back into the truck at around 2pm, I notice that my spare (the one I put on the day before) was totally flat. The sidewall had cracked and let all the air out so I knew that one was a goner too. No problem, I still had one more spare left. So I got that sucker on in record time and we were off. We had one more well pad to survey and then we headed back to Vernal. Again, we had to make a choice. We could have taken Seep Ridge or Glen Bench. We decided to take Seep Ridge because we were closer to pavement that way and had no spares. So as we're driving down Seep Ridge (on pavement) we heard a series of three terrible noises. After each one, we get out and check what's going on.

Terrible Noise #1: The tread on one of my tires begins to split and tear off. We resume course and drive a little slower.

Terrible Noise #2: All of the tread on said tire is stripped off and we're driving on baldness. Since we have no spare, we just slow down and keep on truckin'.

Terrible Noise #3: Amazingly enough, the tread isn't the only thing that wants to come off the tire, a large piece of sidewall decides it would like to stay behind. We keep on keepin' on.

I guess I should clarify. Technically this third tire wasn't a strictly flat per sé, but it was destroyed seeing as how there was zero tread remaining. By God's good grace, we arrive safely in Vernal and go directly to Big-O where they proceed to try and rip me off. (The Vernal Big-O isn't as nice or as competent as the Spanish Fork Big-O.) I had three ruined tires and three good ones. I bought one new one to get me home. My tires need to be balanced and rotated and I need to "borrow" a couple more spares from my Dad and my alignment is out of whack, but I made it home without a spare. I've got 5 more old tires to ruin before I'll feel justified in buying a complete new set. At this rate I should be the proud owner of a new set of tires some time next week.

I believe in a thing called love,


Friday, July 25, 2008

Time Warp Mirror

On Tuesday, I was driving through a narrow canyon to get to a survey location when I looked into some kind of time warp mirror. I was coming around a bend when I saw a 4Runner just like mine except it was clean and the body was in very good condition. I stared at it as we passed and wished mine looked a little more like that. As we neared each other, I looked at the driver. He could have been an older version of myself with graying hair and a mustache. I'm glad I'm not that old yet. I thought, "Wow that must have been some strange time warp mirror because I saw my truck from 15 years ago and myself from 30 years in the future. Weird."

Oh lately it's so quiet,


Saturday, July 19, 2008


I recently got four flat tires on my 4Runner in the past two weeks. First there was a nail in one tire and I got that fixed. Then about a week later, I found that I had two flats at the same time after driving on poorly maintained dirt/gravel roads for an hour. One was a mystery as to what made it go flat, but the tire was destroyed anyway so I guess it doesn't matter. The other had a nail in it an was down to about 10 psi. So I got those fixed (a story worthy of it's own post). Then a few days later as I was driving home, I heard a terrible clanking noise directly beneath me followed by the dreaded thumping noise made by a flat tire. I pulled over and started checking my tires out but they all looked fine. I heard a loud hissing noise coming from somewhere and finally I noticed a nut sticking out of my right rear tire. Well, it wasn't just a nut. It was this.
One, two, seven, eight, ten,


Thursday, July 17, 2008


I saw this petroglyph when I was doing some work on the Ute Indian Reservation.
This isn't where the music's at,


Sunday, July 13, 2008


This past week I got to monitor construction in Wyoming. You know how the Utah rectangle has a big chunk taken out of it in the north east corner of the state? Well, that's the part of Wyoming I was in. Anyway, I found two baby birds in the road as it was being built. I moved them out of the way of construction, but still felt bad because I knew they were probably going to die and there wasn't much I could do for them. As the day continued, I noticed a very large herd of cattle approaching. It came in two waves. A couple of cows from the first wave are in the foreground and the bulk of the second wave is in the background.This herd had at least four bulls which made me nervous especially when one stared at me for a solid minute. But they moved on... right across the well pad under construction. You can't really tell, but the bulldozer and scraper are still in motion. They didn't really slow down at all for the cows... or the bulls and calves for that matter. To sum up, here's a shot of my manly vehicle with a bull to the left of it. Can't you just see the testosterone oozing out of your computer screen?
My mama said thick or thin,


Friday, July 04, 2008

I'm glad I bought a Toyota

I recently saw these videos on YouTube describing a vehicle similar to the ones my father and I recently purchased. I would embed them, but it's been disabled for these videos. These are the links. All together, they are about 20 minutes long so keep that in mind if you're going to watch them. It's pretty amazing what they do to this vehicle and how it stands up to some pretty serious punishment.

Top Gear: Killing a Toyota Part 1

Top Gear: Killing a Toyota Part 2 (a)

Top Gear: Killing a Toyota Part 2 (b)

The preacher said richer or poorer,