The backyard where we are housesitting near, Stamullen, Ireland.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Stamullen, Ireland.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Back to the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Austin, Texas

Yes, parked up at a Sears store mall right beside the I-35 in Austin, Texas. This is not an ideal overnight spot! How did we arrive here? Well here's the story...

We had a peaceful night at the county park at Lake Limestone. Got up early, and I changed Sherman's oil while Ruth tidied up the dishes and got Sherman ready for today's drive.

Sunrise at Lake Limestone

You could tell it was going to be a hot one. By the time we left at around 9:30am, it was already feeling muggy.

The drive was uneventful. We stopped and used the internet at lunch and I found a place just outside of Austin that was willing to do a wheel alignment on Sherman. We'll back up a little and tell you the background on that. In the spring of 2009 we had new front tires and springs and ball joints and a wheel alignment done in Texas, after leaving Mexico. I said to Ruth at the time that the alignment just didn't feel right, although I put it down to just being different than what it was.

So we've only done about 20,000 miles since then, and both the tires and the suspension work should last quite a bit longer than that.

The front tires had been wearing badly on the inside, and I had to do a lot of correcting while doing corners on the highway. I knew it wasn't right, and I wanted it fixed before entering Mexico again.

So we got to this one place and they were really friendly and helpful. Brought Sherman in and had a look, said  the suspension didn't seem bad, except one ball joint was a little worn. But, they said they couldn't do an alignment because the wheels are inset too much and they didn't have the proper adapter.

Okay. So they suggested I go to a truck alignment and spring shop in Austin. It was after 4:00pm and in the middle of rush hour when we got there. The guy takes one look at it, says no problem they can do the alignment, but he wants the new tires on there first. He sends us down the the tire shop. We get there, and they say they can do it, but by the time the tires get there it will be after 5:00pm and they close at 5:00pm. Says we are welcome to park on their lot, but warns that it's not a nice neighbourhood! Suggests we go to the Sears store beside the Interstate.

Okay, so not an ideal spot but that's what we do, with the arrangement that we'll be back when they open at 7:00am Thursday morning.

We got parked up at Sears. They also have a huge H.E.B. grocery store, and a big pet store. Oh, and did I mention it was BAKING hot, especially sitting on the black parking lot pavement. Oh well.

We picked up a few items, including a big back of Whiskey's favorite dog food. There was also a big liquor store and we bought a big jug of rum, and a big jug of very rare scotch! This 1.75 litre jug was $13.95! I think I got a great deal for such rare spirits!

We didn't feel like cooking and there was an asian food place nearby that sold takeout. So we spoiled ourselves for $17.86! It was actually pretty good, and enough that we had some left over for lunch tomorrow.

Not a great sleep beside the Interstate, but not bad either. Got up at 6:00am this morning and drove over to the tire shop. They took us in right away at 7:00am and Sherman had new front boots by 8:00am. $414 including tax, installation, and balancing.

Then, it was off to the alignment shop. And we'll leave you there until tomorrow's post that will be up first thing in the morning!

Yesterday's drive, 141 miles (226 kms)


  1. Mucho back and forth but so necessary at this stage of things. Hope it all went perfectly! Rare Scotch eh, all for $13.95! Hmmmm......

  2. Well you know. You were understandably not all that happy with the miserable weather back in Nova Scotia. So now you got your heat. Probably best to just enjoy the heat.
    Isn't sorting out RV tires such fun? When we had our motor home, one place could balance the tires, but couldn't do the alignment. Never mind that the first place I went to, after having made an appointment for a Monday morning, told me that the alignment guy called in sick that day. "Then why did I give you my phone number, if you don't know how to use a phone?"
    Didn't go back there, obviously.
    Thankfully it was all close to home, but annoying just the same.

  3. Hope the alignment goes well, glad you got the leaking tire off and a new one on. I was a little worried you might have a flat in a bad place. Supper looks great, Be safe out there.. Sam & Donna. PS, That cheap rum tastes just as good as the expensive Canadian stuff.

  4. my son lives just south of Austin in Buda in an apartment complex, if you need another night stay I will get in touch with him and see if it is okay to stay in the complex's lot...

  5. Hope all all goes well with the alignment. When we go to Texas, HEB is our first choice.

  6. Not a bad price on two new tires installed and balanced, get a bit done at a time.

  7. Contessa...Yes, lots of back and forth but things are getting done. Very rare indeed, can't find it in Canada especially at that price!

    Bob...We weren't really complaining just stating a fact. We love the hot weather and will take it over the cold any day, it just would have been nicer if we were able to park up somewhere with a little bit of shade. Yep, it would be nice to have that phone call if they couldn't take you, not fun wasting time and money.

    Sam and Donna...No worries, we would have been fine, Kevin keeps his eyes on the tires pretty closely. He really likes Sherman's new shoes though! The rum tastes better than in Canada because it is so cheap.

    heyduke50...Thanks for the offer but as you can see we did get out of Austin before the end of the day. It is nice to know you were thinking about us.

    Chuck and Anneke...HEB is a great store, lots of product. My gluten free stuff was more expensive there than Walmart but they had a lot more variety.

    George and Suzie...The price was pretty reasonable and they needed to be done.

    Kevin, Ruth and Whiskey

  8. At $13.95, Very Rare may mean it wasn't done cooking.

  9. The Good Luck Duck...It probably hadn't but Kevin said it tasted fine and the price was right. Definitely not a Glenlivet!

    Kevin, Ruth and Whiskey


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