Our friends Bruce and Marl Campbell left early to go home and we did a little
sightseeing and shopping in the Park area. We intended to look for a picnic spot and were still in the Park when we had a
blowout. It was the explosive type of blowout: loud noise, rim grinding on the pavement, and about 50 feet between where we
came to a stop and where our tire had blown off. Several people offered assistance but one couple, Charles and Kathy Goodell of
South Dakota, had been on a bus and saw the tire go flying. They were dropped off minutes later, got in their pickup truck, and came back to
give us a hand. They parked behind us to warn upcoming traffic, provided wooden blocks to give
us a level surface for the jack, and even pulled out an air compressor to make
sure we had enough air in the spare. They might have stopped even if we had been in our Dodge pickup but they were
very interested in our story and were glad to help us get back on the road. Thanks so much to them for their kindness.
We sent an email to Bruce to see if he knew anyone along our intended path who
might have a spare wheel or if he had one that he could put on a bus to us. We are planning to drive the Denali Highway tomorrow, a gravel road (also
designed by Bruce in the 50's) and we were concerned that the damaged rim had
left us without a useable spare. While we were waiting to hear from him, Ben sat to work organizing the parts and
tools into a more organized and accessible layout. Tucker Stoepler, the third generation owner of the Carlo Creek Lodge, stopped by
to take a closer look at our Model T. He had been here in 2001 when we stayed here and had been very welcoming. When he found out about the rim, he offered to try to fix it for us. He apparently does most of the maintenance around the lodge and thought he
could weld and polish the flattened edges enough to make it useable again. We
had nothing to lose so he and Ben took the rim to Tucker's shop and, within an
hour, came out with a finely welded rim. He is an excellent welder, self-taught because, as he says, "something always
needs repairing." He was very excited about our "Drive It Home" plans and we hope to give him a
ride tomorrow before we head out. We were very impressed by both his skill and his "let's do it" attitude.
By the time Ben got back to our cabin, Bruce had located two tires, two rims,
and an innertube and a truck going north that he could put them on. So if all goes well, we will have several spares when we leave here tomorrow. How did Bruce accomplish that in such a short time? He "knows people." From the first time we met him back in 2001, he has been there when we've needed
help in Alaska and we are grateful.