Friday, March 8, 2013

Heading North, Disaster Avoided, March 7

In the morning, the sun was shining brightly with scattered clouds.  At the complementary breakfast, I meet a Cherokee Indian medicine man (shaman) from Oklahoma, who claimed there were Ospreys nearby in Dover.  I doubted that he meant right now, but the park, Silver Lake Park, was only one half mile from where I stayed the night.  A few Ospreys have been reported already in Delaware.  I stopped by this park, but found only, Mallards, Canada Geese, Ring-billed Gulls and a large flock of Fish Crows, but no Osprey. 

I headed north through Delaware, across the Delaware Memorial Bridge and north through New Jersey to try for a Thick-billed Murre reported on Staten Island as recently as February 28.  As I was headed north on Route 440, I hit a pothole that I did not see.  My tire sensor indicated that there was low pressure.  I stopped and checked and then drove very slowly into Perth Amboy.  Pulled over and changed the front right tire to the temporary spare.  I asked a man with a thick eastern European accent, who lived in the house in front of which I parked, where there was a place to get my tire checked.  He told me, but it was difficult to understand and remember his directions.  Another man got in his SUV a short distance behind my parked car, so I asked him the same question.  He was Hispanic but gave me excellent directions to a tire shop, which he guaranteed could fix my tire.  He even offered to lead me there, but I had to lower my car, and put the tire in my trunk before I could leave.  I found the tire shop.  Within about 1.5 hours, they showed me that the wall of my tire was broken and bulging, requiring a replacement.  They could not find the exact make of the tire available, but it could be ordered.  My car is a new Dodge Dart.  I called a Chrysler toll free number and they gave me the name address and phone number of a local Chrysler dealer.  The man in charge called them to see if they had the exact tire.  However, they did not and needed to order one.  The skilled men at the tire shop, found a replacement tire, and suggested that I move a back tire to the front right and put the new one on the back to maintain stability and balance of tire wear.  I could order a new tire when I get back home and get it installed at sometime in the future.  This is a new car with about 8000 miles.  Because there is not very much wear on the tires, this should be a good solution.  The good men of Rodriguez Tire Service LLD (no affiliation) had me on the road again with some light available.  The price was very fair and reasonable.  I told the manager that his neighbors in Perth Amboy told me that his store could fix me up, and had a lot of trust in his company.  He thanked me and wished me well.

I arrived at the Lemon Creek Marina at Lemon Creek Park with enough light to scan the marina and the bay.  I did not find the Thick-billed Murre, but will stop by tomorrow on my way to try for the Gyrfalcon, which is not too far east of Lemon Creek.  The storm was not too bad.  It started raining as I got close to northern New Jersey and started to snow as I headed to a motel for the night.           

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