This picturesque scene marks the beginning of white-knuckle driving season. I have a finished project to deliver tomorrow and the driveway is a real challenge when it is covered with snow. I made a delivery today, but only because I was able to use a friend’s four-wheel-drive pickup.
Later, I drove to the Post Office in our sure-footed Subaru, but I could picture myself skating all over in the two-wheel-drive Dodge Van. It is a powerful and stable vehicle, but when it breaks loose on a slippery road, the big fifteen-passenger van is positively scary. That great mass of moving metal and no traction!
I have a lot of hauling to do for the move to Floyd and a few inches of snow typically renders the van useless. Our move deadline is only two weeks away and the van must be useable, so I started thinking about snow tires. I need more traction for the van. This was at 3:30 pm today.
I have delayed solving this problem for at least a year and I am now up against the stops. The heavy mixture of snow and rain coming down steadily has finally jacked up my necessity level to the point where I feel compelled to do something about my van so it will be useful during the winter.
Fortunately, I have a friend, Gerry, who is a fount of information on all sorts of useful things. I called him as I negotiated slippery roads on my way back from the Post Office. Gerry steered me to a guy named Rodney who worked in Campbell’s, a local tire store I had never heard of before.
I immediately call the place and speak to Rodney, who is an alert and helpful guy. I describe my problem and he suggests an off-road tire called a Buckshot Mudder which he says has an aggressive tread pattern. It sounds good to me and I like the name and the price. I am still slippy-sliding around and it’s getting darker, so I order these off-road tires and a set of aftermarket wheels. Rodney said I could pick up the tires in less than an hour.
I make it home, fire up the Dodge B3500, cross my fingers and head out into the storm in search of new tires. After a bit of a struggle and another call to Gerry for directions, I find Campbell Tires and pull into the parking lot at 4:30 pm.
I walk into an office/showroom which is filled with unshaven guys with camo jackets and trucker hats. They are all waiting for service and they snicker to themselves as I walk up to the counter. I look around and count at least 8 guys waiting and see that only 45 minutes until closing time. The guy behind the counter doesn’t look very helpful either.
While I’m standing there trying to figure out what has gone wrong, a stocky dynamo of a guy comes bursting in from the shop area outside. He smiles and calls out, "I’ve got your tires already mounted! I’ll put them on next, after I take care of the purple pickup truck that’s ahead of you."
I smile and thank him and head for the door to put my van next in line. The office is strangely silent. I didn’t even bother to look at anyone. I could feel the confusion welling up as I left.
Ten minutes later, Rodney tapped on my window and I slid gratefully into the service bay. He replaced my rear tires with the Buckshot Mudders in less than ten minutes. As you can see, they have a seriously aggressive tread design.
As I left, he explained that the guys in the showroom don’t usually call ahead. They bring their trucks in and then they spend a good deal of time picking out tires in the showroom. Tire shopping is a big production for them and they bring friends along to assist in the process.
As I pulled out of the lot, I could see that he was right. The purple pickup that was ahead of me was still up on jacks, waiting for the owner to decide what tires to buy.
When I got home and charged into my backlog of tasks, I was reminded that there is a road less traveled. Buffy sleeps serenely on top of my desk, oblivious to the sound and fury of our preparations for the move to Floyd. This was shot earlier, but her position today is much the same.
I hope that you, too, can take time from your busy schedules to stretch out and enjoy a few peaceful moments