Before we left home hubby did some research and decided that our best route from Sandpoint, ID to Butte, MT was to take Highway 200 into Missoula and then join up with I-90. Highway 200, a two-lane highway, follows a valley along the river and rail tracks and has light traffic and pretty scenery. Taking this route allowed us to avoid a high pass west of Missoula on I-90.
As we entered Montana the road continued to provide little traffic and great scenery. The only other concern we had with taking this route was forest fires, but other than a deserted fire camp we didn’t see any signs of fire so that was good.
But all that good stuff came to an abrupt stop two miles east of Missoula 😦 All of the sudden I heard hubby say some not so nice words and then he quickly pulled over to the side of I-90, all we could see was smoke billowing out the rear drivers side of Maxx.
On closer inspection hubby found that a bearing had let go on the rear driver side tire and shot the tire out damaging Maxx as it went. Once that happen a frame piece dropped down on the front tire destroying it.
A Good Samaritan picked up our tire and brake drum assembly, he then continued to drive along I-90 until he found us … we couldn’t be more grateful! Other than missing it’s center cap the tire is fine which is awesome because it was a brand new tire that had just been replaced last week!
Fortunately we travel with safety triangles and safety vests so we don the vests and put out the triangles. I called Good Sam Roadside Assistance while hubby tried to wave traffic over; we definitely were not in a good location.
Good Sam said they would get someone out to help us but in the meantime told us to call highway patrol which hubby did.
Now I wish it was easy after that but it took highway patrol an hour and a half, and two phone calls, to show up but they did finally send Fish and Game out (they arrived about ten minutes before Highway Patrol). It was great to finally have some flashing lights and people were moving over, but once Highway Patrol arrived they said we were fine without them! We were inside the white line (by a fraction) and we had our safety triangles up so we had done everything right. We were told to stay on the other side of the guardrail until the tow truck came and we would be fine!
Good Sam also called around that time and said someone should be out soon to help us. Two hours after our initial call for help Timberline Truck and Trailer showed up and we honestly can’t say enough about how great RW was! He took a look at the damage and said we would need a tow truck so he could get Maxx into his shop and put in a new rear axel. Forty-five minutes later Iron Horse towing arrived with a flat deck truck to tow both the truck and Maxx to the shop. Again we can’t say enough about the tow truck operator either. It took the two guys and hubby to get Maxx fixed up enough to drive him on to the flat deck and that all happened with traffic flying by at 70 to 80 miles an hour! I was doing my best to try and get traffic to move into the other lane but it was scary, I sure feel for tow truck drivers and emergency vehicles …. FOR HEAVEN SAKES PEOPLE SLOW DOWN AND PULL OVER!
Finally we were all loaded and headed back to Timberline were they had told us we could spend the night and they would fix Maxx in the morning.
While I felt Good Sam Roadside Assistance took a long time getting help to us, they honestly could not have sent better help and Iron Horse towing said they had received the $600.00 payment for towing before he even got back to the shop with Maxx!
Hopefully everything goes smoothly today and we are back on the road soon.
Just because I can’t bear to end this blog on a crappy note I will leave you with a picture of the pretty wildflowers along the side of the road where we broke down.
And that promise I made to stop drinking, yup that went out the window again last night, I definitely deserved the glass of wine I had before bed!
Until next time …