So it’s that glorious time of year in Vermont when the over night temperatures dip toward freezing and the still warm ponds and lakes give off an ethereal cloak of misty fog to great sunrise. Saturday night’s forecast looked promising for such an event, so when the alarm went off at 5 AM yesterday I hit the ground running. Well maybe not running because anyone that knows me knows that I’m definitely not a morning person. But with a sufficient infusion of high-test coffee coursing through my sluggish bloodstream I manage to get out the door and on the road.
With only about 5 miles left to go and only one minor event bringing me to the brink of road rage (who drives 30 in a 50 mph zone at 5:30 AM and then doesn’t let you pass anyway?), I turn off the paved road and head basically into the middle of nowhere. So far, so good. About a mile from my intended destination I start hearing some crazy noises from the rear end of my car. Nothing too alarming mind you, and like most Vermonters who are usually only days away from their next car repair I’m fairly accustom to strange automotive noises so this was par for the course.
But about 1/2 mile later it gets much worse, in fact it soon dawns on me (pun fully intended) that I probably have a flat tire. “Oh yeah, that tire looked a little low the other day… So glad I never checked it.” Decision time. Option 1: stop the car, confirm suspicion, change tire, probably miss sunrise. Option 2: accept the fact that the tire is probably nearly flat, keep driving and hope it doesn’t do any more damage. I am on a dirt road after all, how bad could it get?
Yep you guessed it, I go with Option 2. There’s nowhere to pull over anyway… With a ¼ mile left to go I start to regret my decision, as it’s now apparent that the tire is completely flat and probably starting to tear apart, which means I’m no doubt driving on the rim. I tell myself, “There’s no going back now, turn up the radio and soldier on. You’re a professional photographer after all!”
Just about the point that I really start to question my horrible judgment and can barely quell the regret, not to mention the heinous noise coming from underneath the car I arrive at my beloved little pond in the woods. I get out, walk behind the car and confirm that indeed I have complete destroyed the tire and likely the rim. But, I made it in time for sunrise; I’ll have to deal with this later…
Technical Details: Canon 5DII, 160mm, f14 @ 1/80 sec., ISO 100, 1 ruined tire, 1 rim, likely one bent brake rotor (forgot to mention that jacks aren’t all that stable on soft dirt and rotors don’t like it when the car falls over, but that’s another post)