Join Date: Oct 2003
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O/T My Own version of Honeymoon in Vegas...
Hey do you guys want to hear a little story? My wife and I got married last June and went to Vegas for our honeymoon. The honeymoon in Vegas was absolutely AWESOME…. We will be going back definetly. Our trip out in Vegas went off without a hitch except for out little Jaunt to the Grand Canyon. I know its long but read on:
To get to the Grand Canyon, I felt I needed to rent a Jeep Wrangler - there is a 14 mile strip of unpaved road leading into the GC that we were going to have to take and I thought it would be good (fun) to have a Jeep to do that. At 10 am we picked up the Jeep from the rental agency. It had a big American flag on the sides of it and was called a patriot edition. We continued to the hoover dam and crossed it. As we went down into the valley with the dam, we heard creaking sounds (later found out shocks were going bad in the rear...) Once the traffic sped up and we were going 65 again(after the dam) there was a shaking in the jeep. Not that bad to be worried since the Jeep shook earlier. At approximately 12:00 pm the tread of the left front tire stripped off at 65 mph. We were approx 60 miles out of vegas 20 miles out of hoover dam. After pulling off to the side of the road I examined the tire more closely. It looked as though someone took a chisel to the front tire and stripped the tread off leaving the tire inflated but on the edge of blowing. I called the Rental agency to let them know what happened and they said put the spare on and come back. "We'll give you a different Jeep". I thought cool, that’s no problem - they couldn't have predicted the tread from coming off especially since it was probably due to the heat (110 degrees).
So I start preparing for the tire swap, I pull out the jack, go around back and pull the cover off the tire and go back to the front to examine the front tire again. While I was looking, a thought crossed my mind. I went back to the spare and squeezed, it compressed in my hand. The spare was completely flat with no air. Now I was peeved. I called the agency and expressed my frustration. They were all apologetic saying they were sending a guy out right away.
Lesson #1, always check over a rental car before renting it - including the spare. I never check that, since it’s their job to - but from now on I will.
Problem, we were 60 miles away, it takes an hour and a half to get where we were at because of security crossing the Hoover. On top of that, the 110 degree weather made it not-so-pleasant outside. The rental agency said to idle on the side of the road and run the A/C. I said ok but it's your rear when this sucker overheats. And we sat. Luckily, we thought ahead and brought about 6 bottles of water with us "just in case."
We called my mother to let her know where we were and what was going on. She was in vegas at the same time with some friends of hers. That was comforting because we knew they rented a car and as a worst case scenario they could come get us. We then called 911 to let them know we were here and if they could send a cop to check on us every so often. The nearest cop was 45 miles away so they were sending him but they thought our ride would get here before him.
Meanwhile, I had to pee.
Lesson #2 - never pee with the wind coming at you from the side. It goes on your leg.
In the mean time, no one stopped to check on us. No one was a good samaritan. In a way we didn't want anyone to because we have all seen the movies of the freaks stopping and kidnapping/robbing/killing people on the side of the road. About 1:00ish, the one and only good samaritan stopped to check on us. Sure enough, another Jeep owner. He was in a completely decked out lifted Wrangler with 31" tires, winch, brush guard... etc. Beautiful Jeep. My wife and I agreed that a Jeep owner would be about the only vehicle owner other than a Cop that we would have trusted. Turns out that’s the only vehicle owner that stopped. A cop stopped 15 minutes later, but that’s it for the whole wait.
At 2:00 we called the rental agency inquiring on the ride. They had no idea where it was and they had no way of contacting the ride – the ride had no cell phone. What kind of people who are truly concerned whether or not they find someone doesn't bring a Cell phone!? Frustrated, we waited another hour with several calls to rental agency and my mother to check in, in between.
At 3:00, the rental agency still didn't know where they're guy was. We could have driven to Vegas and back in the time we waited. We gave up and drove on the steel radial part of the tire to the nearest place 2 miles up the road. On one side of the road was a trailer park and a Café, the other side was a Lion Tamer. Yes, a lion tamer - don't ask, I don't know, we opted for the scary but less freaky café/trailer park.
Ok, I’ll stop here. Picture in your head someone who lives in the desert and has lived there all their lives. Kinda like Randy Quaid from Vegas Vacation? But a lot worse… OK I’ll continue.
There, a man who lived in the trailer park offered us air for 5 dollars. We backed the Jeep into his yard with TONS of junk in it. He had rotten teeth, they were all brown and gross.(his front two weren’t even real) and there were two other guys there. One was building a fence (which was a roof to a shed at some point in its life), the other walking around with a scorpion asking my wife to touch it to see if it was still alive.
He filled the air in the tire for us and THANK GOD it held the air. After that, I tried to get the Jeep up on the jack ... after the Jeeps jack seemed useless on the gravel I asked him if he had a Floor Jack. He brought out a floor jack –and a meat/hay cleaver. He told us of stories he had to defend himself with his meat cleaver. He hung onto that meat cleaver the whole time for some creepy reason. While I was changing the wheel, he pretended to cleave me in the back of the head when some of his neighbors drove by. I didn't see that, if I did I would have freaked. He also showed us his totems, those are little wooden signs he designed with pictures of fantasy creatures on them which he shot as practice - he got tired of shooting cans supposedly. He told us how he builds medieval weapons in is spare time is trained in tactical fighting. To be honest it looked like this guy couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag.
Yet in the end, he was a really nice person and was a lot of help. I ended up giving him 10 bucks for the air and use of his floor jack. Looks like you can't judge a book by its cover. It's just that the cover was scary as hell and some of the content freaked you out every so often
The tire ended up holding up just fine for the trip back to the rental agency. We told them to shove it up their you know what. When we got back they said their guy who is looking for us called 5 minutes ago and said he couldn’t find us. That was 5:30 pm. We would have been sitting on the side of the road for close to 6 hours… no thanks. We think they never sent anyone.
Lesson #3: Always rent from a national agency – none of this local rental agency crap.
So that’s the fun little story. I can laugh about it now... By the way, we ran the A/C on the Jeep for over 3 hours while we idled on the side of the road and the temperature gauge didn't move an inch. That alone helped save us!