We left around 9:00 on I-75, leaving from our campground which was south of Atlanta. We have 260 miles to go today and traffic was heavy. There were still lots of utility trucks traveling north.
In our campground last night, there were quite a few campers from Florida and Georgia who were there after evacuating from places along the East Coast. I talked to two ladies who were from Port Orange and Titusville. They were headed back home today. It was already 85 degrees when we left and going to be a hot one today. We haven't traveled through this part of Georgia in awhile. In this area of the interstate, it was 10 lanes wide. (We usually try to avoid Atlanta when we travel north.)
Around 10:15, just a few miles south of Macon, we blew a tire on the trailer. Luckily, it was on the inside (the side away from the traffic) and in the shade. We were able to stop on the shoulder along the side of the road fairly quickly. It was the leading tire that had the blowout and took out some of the skirting.
Bob worked hard to change the tire as quickly as he could. He wanted me to sit inside the truck and away from the traffic. I helped where I could.
It was darn scary with all the traffic going by. The semis were the worst because they came so close and really moved the truck around as they passed. We were 1 mile from the next exit where there was a Pilot Truck Stop with tire service. I checked in our Next Exit book to find that out. Bob had me call 911 just to let them know where we were, in case something happened to us. We thought they might send out a Road Ranger or a sheriff, but instead they took our number in case they had to call us back. Unfortunately, Bob had strained his back yesterday, so having to change the tire didn't help, but he did a great job. He did have a hard time getting all the lug nuts loose, but he had it changed in 45 minutes.
We drove one mile to the Pilot Truck Stop after we called them to ask if they could check Bob's installation and tighten the lug nuts. They did tighten them all up and we were good to go.
Now we needed to find a tire store to get a new tire. I googled the internet to find a Goodyear Tire Store nearby. We called them and they didn't have our tire in stock. We googled and found Tires Plus just 10 miles down the interstate in the town of Perry and called them. She told us she had just sold her last two tires in our size yesterday, but suggested Wholesale Tire right across the street from them. We called them and they had our size tire in stock and said to come right in. They would take care of us! We drove slowly to get there and found it easily with their directions.
They were waiting for us and had the new tire mounted and installed in 30 minutes. Unfortunately, one of the lug nut bolts was stripped and they couldn't get that lug nut back on. That was worrisome! The manager knew we were only going home near Tampa, so he suggested we stop every 50 or 60 miles to check the tire. He also said he thought that the tread separated from the carcass of the tire. Bob thought it looked like we hit something and had a catastrophic blowout. I'll let you decide.
The whole ordeal set us back 2 hours and then we were on the road again. We were SO grateful that they were able to take care of us so quickly!! The rest of the drive was a little nerve-wracking for me, wondering whether it would happen to another tire. We did stop twice to check the tires–once at a Rest Area and another time when we got gas. Everything looked fine. At 3:00 we crossed the state line into Florida. Whoo-hoo!
We drove another 30 miles to Lake City where our campground for tonight was located.
We arrived at Casey Jones RV Park at 4:00. We were exactly 2 hours behind our original arrival time, due to our tire fiasco.
It was a long day and we were glad to get out of the car, especially Auggie. We had seen so many utility trucks, trucks carrying generators, and first-responder trucks carrying inflatable boats heading north. I would imagine they were heading to Savannah and then following the storm-damaged areas north up the coast. We feel for all those people and consider ourselves lucky to have missed Dorian's wrath on our side of Florida. We were also lucky to have missed the wind and rain as we traveled south away from the Outer Banks as Dorian moved up the coast. Tonight, we will enjoy our last dinner at the campsite and be home tomorrow.