Thursday, June 22, 2006

Non Jeep Adventure

A rescue mission - but where's Mom?

Yesterday I got a call from my mom saying they had car trouble on their way home from Mississippi. They were stalled in sight of the rockets in Huntsville, Al.

I suggested that we could solicit the help from some rocket scientists I know but Dad said he would just wait.

The trailer was already hooked to the Suburban so I was off after gathering up some tools. One thing I did not think to bring was a winch.

Once I found them and managed to find a place to turn around, I pulled the Suburban and trailer in front of them and backed into place on the shoulder. Dad had told me the alternator had failed so I expected a dead battery. I had brought along my tractor battery for this problem.

We hooked up the jumper cables and the starter just clicked. I thought that maybe the dead battery was sapping the voltage so I went to disconnect the dead battery from the circuit. When I did, the battery terminal fell off in my hands. Well with the dead and damaged battery out of the circuit , it should start now. But no go.

So, next I loaded the ramps back on the trailer and backed the Suburban to within reach of the jumper cables. Lucky there was a very wide shoulder here.

Still no go on the jump start. I then realized that these were not my good jumper cables but some my son had bought one day in an emergency. They were stored where I normally keep my good cables so I suspect that my good cables are in his Jeep now.

So the next step was to remove the battery from the Suburban and place it in the Silverado. These are those silly side terminal batteries in case you are wondering why we did not just put in the tractor battery.

Now the pickup started. I had hoped that the alternator was OK but I guess the damaged battery did it in. Dad backed the truck up and started up the trailer ramps only to discover that the truck running boards would not fit between the trailer fenders.

So it was back off the trailer to remove the running boards. My Summit Racing pit mat was great for laying in the red clay while we snatched off the running boards on the side of the interstate.

One more try to load and it fit fine. Got it strapped down, swapped the battery back to the Suburban and we headed home.

Just north of Huntsville, we stopped at a truck stop for fuel and air for the trailer tires. As I was collecting my tire gage, mom asked me if I wanted a drink. The 97 degree day had made me thirsty so I asked her to get me a bottle of water.

Dad and I spent some time checking all the tires and tie downs. As I climbed in the truck I heard dad talking to mom and I carefully pulled the truck and trailer out into the busy highway traffic. As I did, I looked back to get my water bottle, I noticed that mom was missing!

I asked Dad "where's mom?" He said "I was just talking to her." I said "I know, but where is she?" We then realized that she had been left behind.

As I tried to move to the left lane to turn around on this divided four lane road there was a constant stream of traffic as far as I could see behind me. I had to drive very slowly down the right lane for about a mile before I got a break to move left and find a crossover.

By the time we got back to pick up her up, she was very hot from standing out in front of the truck stop thinking we had abandoned her.

From now on, we will take roll call after each stop to make sure no one is left behind. I am sure mom will find this event as funny as the rest of us in a few days. Check for any new "Left Behind" recipes on her blog - meals with a message



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