Yesterday I had the opportunity to take E460 (once E253) to Salem for the wedding of a firefighter. This turned out to be somewhat of an adventure.

The trip down was uneventful, we got to Salem and found the downtown station easily enough. The guys there were really cool about allowing me to wash E460 so she'd be at her best. While I was doing this June felt the need for a restroom which they obliged. Unfortunately she got locked in there and they had to disassemble the lock to get her out :-).

We then found a place called "The Word of Mouth Bistro" which had terrific food. We took a walk while waiting for our time to join the nuptial fun and determined that Oregon has the ugliest capital in the nation (of those we knew) but has some great trees around the area including a giant sequoia.

About 30 minutes late we got the call to show up at the wedding site, we met the wedding coordinator and parked the engine as required. When they got done getting married we enjoyed the look of surprise and stood back while the photographer and videographer(s) did their thing. Once all the pictures were taken we loaded them up, hauled them to the reception, used the facilities and hit the road. Yeah, that's all they wanted, a ride from the wedding to the reception. However this seemed to mean a lot to the groom so it was all worth it.

The trip back home seemed to be going well, we listened to music, chatted, and generally enjoyed the nice weather until the 185th exit off of Hwy 26. Sadly E460's left front tire decided to go boom. I'd never had a blowout before, let alone a blowout in a truck. Things were happening in slow motion, the rig decided to start heading into the passing lane, I re-lived all my emergency driving classes, several profanities were uttered. Before anything could go seriously wrong I took control of the engine and coaxed/wrestled her to a stop on the right shoulder.

It turns out that we don't carry a baby-spare on engines. Sigh. I called my chief and asked him what he recommended I do. As one might expect of a chief, he took charge. About 1.5 hours later he and Bill showed up in the utility with a couple of jacks, tools, and a spare wheel. We mounted it up in under an hour, and got back on the road for home. After a while we noticed the smell of hot rubber and pulled over (paranoia runs deep with this boy). It turns out that the new tire was much warmer than the other five. We let things cool off a while and with several stops to cool off/check things out we finally made it home. The chief & Bill came out to rescue us on a Saturday evening, just because that's the sort of people they are. Even with almost five years as a volunteer fire-fighter, I still find it incredible that people would do this.