Last weekend my wife, a fellow guitar player and I were driving north to Thief River Falls, Minnesota, to play a gig and do a radio interview. Somewhere between Detroit Lakes and Thief River Falls we were going around a curve and heard a sound like we were hitting the rumble strip. I pulled over immediately and sure enough, the front passenger side tire was flat. We unloaded the gear from the back of the car and got the jack and the spare out and after a couple of tries we managed to get the thing changed and the car reloaded. The spare looked like it was a little low so I decided to stop at the next filling station and check the pressure.
The next filling station was just a few miles down the road and when we got there we had a little trouble locating the air hose, but after driving around the building a few times we spotted the nozzle hanging off the wall in the back.
It was a fancy nozzle with a clip on tip and a large, easy to read pressure gauge. I clipped it onto the tire and sure enough, it read 40 psi and the tire needs 60.
I pressed the lever to let some air into the tire and it made the satisfying ssssssshhhh sound of air being exchanged. I let off the lever and what the heck? Now the tire read 30 psi. I gave it another squeeze and then it read 28 psi.
Things were definitely going in the wrong direction.
So I went in and asked the cashier if their air compressor was switched on. she assured me it was and said maybe I was just having trouble clipping the thing onto my tire. I said all things were possible and that I would give it one more try.
I stopped at 25 psi thinking I might just have enough in the tire to get to another filling station if we couldn't figure this out.
Returning to the interior of the station I again asked if there might be a problem with their compressor. She assured me it was working fine but agreed to go back and take a look. I followed her into the back room and sure enough, there was 110 psi in their air tank so things looked bad for me.
It was then that I noticed that the hose that was hooked up to the compressor was yellow. I said aloud "wasn't the hose outside colored red?" The cashier said she wasn't sure but by this time I was. I reached behind the compressor and, what do you know? There was a red hose hanging off the wall behind it.
I said "let's try this one" and she agreed and began struggling with the other one, trying to unscrew it from the compressor. After watching her for a few seconds I offered to do it and popped the yellow hose off and had the red one on in a jiffy.
We were back on the road in a few minutes with full tires and yet another interesting experience to tell about.
The gig was great and the interview went well so all-in-all I think it was a good trip!