Going back almost four weeks now, we seemed to have a plague of flat tires. It began on Friday. Gordon and Shelley had left early to visit another station about 60k past Mt. Coolon. At 8am, Shelley called to tell us that the tire had blown on the Prado and that when they went to put the spare on, that was flat too so they were stuck on the road. So, Rich and I threw the spare spare into the ute as well as a spare for the ute, just in case and set off towards Mt. Coolon. Meanwhile, Gordon had got a lift back into town with the flat tire and had pumped it up enough to get them on their way. He instructed us to keep coming as they could really still use a spare. After a 120k drive, we reached the farm they were at to drop off the spare tire. Just as we were leaving we noticed that we too had a severely flat tire. Luckily, the farm owner appeared with a dolly jack and some tools so we swapped the wheel for our spare and set off for home. We
made a conscious effort to take it steady and never went over 60k/hour all the way. We stopped at the only place in Mt. Coolon for some lunch – a frozen spicy mystery meat pie with chips and a beer – and continued our journey. We made it to about 20k away from home before there was a ‘BANG!’ and skidding and then we had a second obliterated tire. Unfortunately, due to the mornings’ previous events, this time we didn’t have a useable spare tire. With no phone signal and not much water we had nothing to do but sit in the shade and await rescue. Unfortunately again, being 1pm there was no shade so we sat in the dirt on the side of the gravel road for a good three hours before the sun cast enough of a shadow of the car for us to sit in. A further two hours and many bad moods later, Gordon and Shelley arrived to pick us up with a very welcome pack of cold beers. They took us home and Gordon and Rich went to rescue the ute in the morning.
Monday of the next week was town day! Shelley drove the Prado with Douglas and we all stopped in to Pan Handle Station for a cup of tea on the way. Over tea Jock and Jan told us what a terrible time they’d had the day before when they blew out a tire on the newly graded road. After an hour or so we all headed back to the car only to find the we had a completely flat tire. Again! After the trouble earlier in the week, Gordon and Rich had spent the weekend repairing and replacing tires. They had put the old ones in Shelley’s car so we could take them to town to be fixed. As a result, we had plenty of tires but none that were any good. We went back inside for another cup of tea while we waited for Gordon to drive down with a replacement then, about two hours later, all five of us headed into town in two vehicles. Rich and I had a lovely lunch at a place on the main street, got our shopping at the IGA and then we all set off home again. Shelley, Douglas and I arrived home first at about 6:30pm only to find that, once again, we had a flat tire. Apparently we hit a new record. Seven flats in one week at a minimum of two per day – that’s not bad odds.