We left College Station at 1800 CDT, in a Budget 16' Rental, towing my '95 Dodge Dakota 4X4 followed by my daughter and her fiance in her 08 Ford Escape. The GPS went a little nuts and sent the "Back" Back way. And about 15 miles north of El Campo the truck "lurched" and my daughter called me, telling me my Dakota was doing something weird. We pulled into a Love's Truckstop, where I found that one of the bumper mounting bolts head, had sheared off. Evidently it happened over the 4 sets of railroad tracks we had gone over in town. Only the safety chain kept it from pulling the bumper of my Dakota completely off. I hooked one of my kevlar tow straps into the frame cut and then wrapped it around the bumper, then the tow bar, back to the frame rail, then the tow bar, then the bumper, then the frame rail. You get the picture. I figured a 15,000 lbs Kevlar Tow Strap, wrapped over 8 times around and through the whole shebang should hold it together. To keep the OTHER side from shearing their heads off, I wrapped a 3,000 lbs tie down strap from the frame, to the bumper and then the tow bar. Just like I had with the Kevlar Tow Strap on the other side. With that taken care of, we topped off the tanks and got on Hwy 59 South headed for Corpus Christi.
19 miles north of Victoria, the Budget truck suddenly veered into the left lane. Something was going on. Right away my daughter was calling my son Malachi who was riding with me to tell me the Dakota's tires suddenly started smoking. Thank the Creator there was no one in the left lane when the truck veered over, but I got it back over on to the right shoulder, where I found that the left front tire of the Dakota was SHREDDED. I also found that the other bolts on the bumper had sheared off. Only the Tow Strap, the Tie Down Strap and safety chains had kept the Dakota from taking off on it's own and possibly killing someone.
What had happened, when the tire blew it turned the wheels of the Dakota HARD RIGHT. Causing the rental truck to veer left. That had me stumped for a second, since the tires, all of them were brand new, put on last summer and less than 600 miles on them, since I don't drive the Dakota much. I think from the time I put the tires on it last year until I drove up to my daughter's in College Station, I had put maybe 160 miles on the Dakota. Most of that was the drive back from having the tires put on the truck down in Corpus Christi, and that was about 67 or 70 miles one way, since it was actually almost all the way to Robbstown.
Welp, I had a good spare, we just had to move all of the stuff in the back seat of the Dakota to get the tire tools and the jack. Somewhere in moving all that stuff. My brand new reading glasses fell out of the truck. and no one saw them.
We got the tire changed, the tools and the jack put back in, and my daughter and her fiance switched around, so I would drive my Dakota, she would drive the rental truck and he would drive her Escape.
Back on the road, but we kept the speed down to 60, since I wasn't real sure about the drivers front tire, you can see a flat spot on it where it got dragged as the wheels were hard over. I didn't want to over do the tire and have ANOTHER blowout.
Well we FINALLY got home at 0220. That was when I found out my reading glasses were M.I.A. I also found out that my Ex who I asked to keep my cats and my dogs had LET MY CATS OUT! My cats are INDOOR cats, NOT Outdoor cats. And my pure white cat Ghost is IN HEAT!!!!! I DO NOT NEED kittens!!!!!
So I rousted the boys out to FIND MY CATS!!!!!
Finally, at 0340, Sprog #6 brought my cat Ghost and Sprog #2 brought Hawk in to my bedroom. Both were HIGHLY FREAKED OUT!!!! and are just rubbing up against me as I type.
Layla Dog, who is actually Sprog #2's dog, but who claims me, is ALSO rubbing up against me like the cats are. Normally when I travel I take Layla with me, but since I was in the Dakota instead of the Suburban and I had Sprogs #3,5 and 7 with me, there just wasn't enough room to take her. And she did NOT like that one bit. According to Sprog #2 and Sprog #6 AND my Ex, she spent the entire time I was gone HOWLING and whimpering.
And I have over 100+ e-mails and notices of various YouTube uploads I have to sort through.
I'll do it later.
I'm going to take my pain meds and get some sleep. It's now 0403 and I have to get up 4.5 hours to unload the truck.