Tuesday, May 13, 2008


My work is rarely dull. It can get quiet and slow at times but thats exception than the rule.
Last week we were to spend one day in Tuba City then two days in Kayenta doing the low cost dog and cat wrassling.
They are both on the Navajo Nation and Kayenta is near Monument Valley. If you have ever seen a John Wayne western you will know where I mean.
The day in Tuba City started out less than optimal. The Navajo Nation does daylight savings but the rest of Arizona doesn't, so they are one hour ahead. Which means we had to leave Flagstaff at 5:30am to get there by 8am, and its only only one and a half hours away.
Least the sunrises over the desertlands are pretty.
Not one of the appointments showed up which caused a bit of kerfuffle. Do we stay, do we go...yada yada yada.
As it was, we got a lot of walkups which is generally the case in Tuba and ended up doing alright out of the day. While we were waiting for the last dog pickup, two of the techs took the jeep and headed for Kayenta, to get the key to the apartment where we where to be staying for two nights and meet us there.

This dog was all black with the most amazing ice blue eyes. Had to wait till she was zonked out to get a photo.

Its a 70 mile drive. I was driving the Mobile and 19 miles out of Kayenta it started to feel and bit odd. Its the Mobile so it always feels odd but this was a bit odder than usual in the handling of the beast. Flat tire did flash through my mind but it didn't seem that dramatic. About 5 seconds later it got a bit more dramatic with a BANG, and a BIFF and a lurch. Ok now we have a flat tire. Lucky we were on a straight flat road and the Mobile is so heavy that it just sat on the road and didn't go careening off, flip over and explode which I always thought it may if this ever happened.

Unmobile Mobile is sad.

I slowed it down and got it half off the road to a nice easy stop. Looking out the mirror I saw oily stuff pumping out of somewhere and suggested we get out and move away.

Once were tires

I grew up on American TV, everyone knows that even a fender bender is enough to cause vehicles to become firey balls of fire.

I brought my camera, thinking of the mighty vistas we may see. The fubared axle was kinda mighty in the right light.
It has 2 tires on each side at the back, and they were both gone. I went to see if I could find them. Couldn't spot them but did see the mark of their passing. Which is pretty impressive I think.

Tire marks

We called just about everyone in the known world and waited for the tow truck, while getting out the important stuff, computer, money, drugs...in case of firey explosion. It was getting dark and cold and we were informed that Skinwalkers roamed. I've read Tony Hillerman, I knew their caper.
The first tow truck was too small...even in my non tow truck professional eyes, it seemed obvious, but he did get it off the road into some dirt for us. We waited for a bigger one, and when he came he couldn't do it then and would come back in the morning. By now its past 9pm, so we strip it taking what would fit and what was expensive to replace, and left it to the wind.
Next morning it was unmolested and got loaded up and sent back to Flagstaff.

Loading her up

I have no idea of the cost involved in fixing it, so we are grounded for a while.
Which is sad, I really like working on the Mobile despite the long days and long drives. I getting to know the dirt parking lots of Northern Arizona very well, and would hate to forget them.