Sulphur Springs Valley area is the winter home of two groups of sandhill cranes. One spends the summer in northern Canada, Alaska even as far away as Siberia This group stops in Nebraska enroute to Sulphur Springs. The other spends the summer in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and small parts of northern Utah and Colorado, and stops in southern Colorado on its way south. They all come to Sulphur Springs because they need large areas of low water with little vegetation to roost (and it's plentiful here) , plus there is a lot of waste grain from nearby farm fields. I read that 40,499 sandhill cranes were counted in the Sulpher Springs Valley in 2010.
We stopped at three wild life viewing areas. When I got out of the car at the last one to take photos I heard a loud hissing sound coming from the back of the car. Then I saw a shiny piece of metal sticking out of our rear passenger-side tire.
Jim took a quick look and pulled the car to a nearby flat space. We’d never changed a flat on the Honda, so it took us a bit of time to find an attachment for the lug wrench that fits just one of the lug nuts -- an attachment that I didn’t even know existed (and I really have changed a flat tire before). But Jim got the flat off, put on the spare, and about ten miles away we both thought “gee, is there enough air in spare?” Fortunately, we were not too far from Benson, AZ, where Jim added 13 pounds of air at a Love's truck stop. So yes, the spare was more than a tad low. The next day we got the flat fixed here on the base, plus had them double check the tightness of the lug nuts. All is well.
|A photo taken at the third wildlife area (where we saw ducks, not cranes), about 30 seconds before I hear the tire leaking air.|
|Jim right after he changed the tire. It crossed my mind to take a photo while he was changing it, but it did not seem like a good idea at the time. (He said it would have been OK.)|
|To the left of a penny: the 3/4 of an inch long piece of metal that was in our tire. What and the heck is that?|