Wednesday, Jan. 3rd 2024
We were all packed at 7:30AM and ready to go on a long day hike. We arrived at the car and were met with a good morning flat tire. Timing is everything. I got out the tools and began to loosen the bolt that lowers the spare tire bracket. Aye chihuahua, the bolt sheared in two and the rack holding the tire fell to the ground with a thud. At that moment I was thinking more than, “NO BUENO!” in my head. I set that precious moment aside and placed the jack under the car with much difficulty. As I began to pump the jack, the car kept slipping off the jack so I had to reposition it. Suddenly a new problem arose, the jack’s hydraulics quit working. Once again I was thinking more than, “NO BUENO!” in my head.
It was time to get help. I knocked on the door of the neighboring BnB and they came out to help. As luck would have it the guy grew up in the Los Angeles area and we had an immediate connection. We dug the jack out of his rental car but it was a scissor jack and it would not work on our van. Once again I was thinking more than, “NO BUENO!” in my head. Fortunately, the owner of the property was driving by and he had a hydraulic jack. Wham, bam...I changed the tire.
But the day was just getting started. There was no way to attach the spare tire back under the car. We could not drive with the bracket dragging on the ground. Without going into too many details, the owner, thankfully had a grinder and I was able to cut the remaining part of the closing mechanism off of the spare tire bracket. Then he helped me use some bailing wire to fasten the spare tire bracket to the undercarriage of the van. I was now tasked with finding a new part for the tire bracket or somehow fix the damaged one. So we set off driving. In my mind I was once again saying more than, “NO BUENO!”
Our first stop was to get the tire repaired. We went into a shop but they didn’t work on tires. I asked them if they could drill out the bolt that had snapped off. They gave it a valiant effort but, I could see in their minds, they were now saying more than, “NO BUENO!” That encouraged my mind to once again think more than, “NO BUENO!” They suggested a place where we might be able to get help. We left and headed in that direction but stopped into another shop on the way and got our tire fixed for $6. That was our first "BUENO!" for the day.
Back on road we drove to the place they had suggested. As we got out of the car a man walked by and handed me a business card while rattling off some words in Spanish. As he was walking away I yelled out, “Señor” and showed him my broken part. He motioned for us to follow him and the next thing you know another man has my part in his hand and we are standing in a small workshop next to a metal lathe. He tells us he can fix it and to come back in three hours. We left, went to a store to purchase a new car jack and ran some other errands. Upon our return we were met with a completely retooled part. He wanted $10 for the part and his labor but we thought it was worth $20. At first he said that was too much but we insisted. That was the second unbelievable "BUENO" of the day.
Upon returning to our Air BnB we slid off the road heading up an extremely and I mean extremely steep, narrow road. A car was coming down the hill as we were going up and I pulled off to let him pass. Suddenly there I was, once again, thinking more than “NO BUENO!” in my head. We start sliding backwards. I got things under control for a second and then we started sliding all over again. Sliding, turning, correcting...all 50 yards, in reverse, down a hill. Upon reaching the bottom both Sarah and I were now thinking more than, “NO BUENO!” in our heads. Cool heads and pounding hearts prevailed but we collected ourselves and climbed the hill with no incident.
Upon reaching our Air BnB we had one final task of the day and that was to see if our new part would actually work. I lifted the spare tire onto the rack under the car and threaded my new part into the hole hoping it was long enough to make the connection. I let out a significant sigh of disappointment. Sarah was standing nearby and I could almost hear her say in her head what I thought was a lot more that “NO BUENO!” But that quickly ended when I let her know that I was kidding. The part fit muy, muy, muy, "BUENO!" It is amazing how your day can start off with so many "NO BUENOS" but by evening become "MUY BUENO" if you just hang in there.
Keep on rolling,
Scott and Sarah