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Dunkinsville, OH
Miles Today: 123.6
Total Miles: 6115.2
Days on the Road: 122
Bumper Sticker O' the Week

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Power to the Peebles, Part 2
N 38°51.354 W 83°28.282
Sunday, June 1, 2003 - Day 122

« part 1

Clearly stuck, and with no cell phone service, it was time to knock on some doors. We walked past one yard with 4 barking dogs (though, truth be told, the biggest one was about 20 lbs), and knocked on the door of the double-wide up the hill. A nice young woman in a tie-dyed t-shirt answered the door, and our spirits were slightly buoyed. As Anthony used the phone to call Better World, Liz took a seat on the couch.

A few minutes later the man of the house, Jimmy (names changed to protect the helpful), showed up to make sure things were okay. Introductions and explanations were made as we sat and waited for the auto club to call us back. Jimmy turned to Liz and said, "Young lady, you're not sitting on my pistol there, are you?" Liz wasn't sure she had heard correctly, so he clarified, "I usually keep a .44 Magnum by that sofa cushion and I wanted to make sure you weren't sitting on it." Needless to say, Liz stood up and checked for any exit wounds, thankfully finding none. We must admit the exchange made us a little nervous.

After about an hour of waiting, spent admiring Jenny's Princess Di commerative plate collection and watching "Cheaters", the auto club called back to tell us they were having trouble finding a truck within 100 miles of us. Rather than wait several hours, we decided to give it another shot with Jimmy's help. We'd get a propane torch and heat those nuts up till they slipped off those studs like butter off corn.

First, though, we made a stop across the street, in the corner of a big field, where some of Jimmy and Jenny's friends were sitting around a big bonfire, camping out for the weekend. After a few minutes, we went back over to the Badunkadunk and went to work. By the end of the evening, all of Jimmy's friends had been called into the project, but it was no use. No matter how many beers and joints were put to the task, those bolts were stuck. We finally called for a tow truck from an hour away, which took about 3 hours to arrive, and then the driver helpfully handed us his fancy tools, telling us to do all the things we had already done, while he watched. The charge for this completely worthless assistance? $65. It's lucky for him that Jimmy and his friends didn't witness Anthony paying this extortion; when they later found out, a posse was nearly formed to track the guy down.

Our only option at this point was to spend the night, so we chilled with everyone by the intensely hot bonfire for a few hours and then went to sleep in the driveway, clutching our can of bear spray in fear of the local crystal-meth junkies we'd been warned about. Morning arrived with an 18mm socket and a 4-pound beater (we don't call them hammers anymore), and the nuts were off.

The upshot of the story is that we really couldn't have broken down in a more perfect place. Okay, right in front of a Sears AutoCenter might have been better, but wouldn't have been nearly as interesting. Jimmy and his friends, all iron workers and boilermakers, were incredibly helpful and friendly; they even let Anthony shoot the 150lb crossbow a few times.

There's much more to thie story, it can't possibly all fit here. As we drove away we kept looking at each other and laughing, trying to sort out the avalanche of experiences we'd just had and trying to decide what to title the book.

The Offending "Mechanic"

Whatcha got there? Volkswagen?

It all works out in the end
more photos in the archives »

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