Day 10: December 28, 2009
Retired Again
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In spite of a little mangling on my part, you can tell that the Microtel is proud to be in Texas.

With one way streets and a shortage af route markers, I'm not entirely sure that I was actually on Sixty-Two when I got within a block of the border crossing but I think I was. I decided to attempt that last half mile of US-62 and this is where I ended up.

Knowing that Smitty's opened at 10:30 got me to thinking and I decided to waste a little time (see previous panel) and have an early lunch. I was there about 10:45. The sausage is quite good but I think the brisket may be the best I've had. A draft beer would have been good but I opted for iced tea due to the early hour.

The menu at Smitty's had information about local things to do that included some Spanish missions. It was something of a retro-menu with the directions given using US-80 which was truncated at Dallas in 1991. Not knowing what the routing had been, I couldn't sort out the directions but, when I saw a sign to the second of the missions mentioned on the menu, I made the turn. This is Socorro Mission La Purisima. An adobe church was built here in 1691. The current brick structure was completed in 1840.

When I parked at the mission, the front tires remained partially turned and I spotted a nail embedded in the left one as I walked by. I tugged at it then went on to the church. When I returned, I tugged at it some more, and, yeah, I pried at it with a key and, yeah, it popped out and, yeah, so did all the air and, yeah, I should have known better. Calls to AAA and to Chevrolet Roadside assistance got me the numbers of several locations that handled Goodyear. This Discount Tire store was just about six miles away and I reached it on the run-flat. The first I'd ever actually driven on a completely "flat" tire.

The tire was (surprise!) not reparable and a direct replacement was not available. Getting one by Wednesday was a possibility but Thursday was more likely. Alternate run-flats (Michelin) and non-run-flat Goodyears were available. Mismatched tires on an axle are not a good idea and non-run-flats are a risk since there's no spare. All choices were expensive. The options involved time, brand, and risk. In the end I went for the brand change and Bob, his buddy Luis, and his other buddy Luis got me back on the road with only a couple hours downtime.

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