When Linda and I left Nebraska, we were pushing hard to get to my mom's so we'd have a couple of days to spend with her. The weather was great and it was the last of Augusts' Blue Moon (two full moons that occur in the same month). We made really good time and as you may recall, we drove the longest on our first day...driving almost 12 hours. We had decided to take 80 the whole way across, regardless of the toll road so that we could make good time and not create a weird route going out around the toll roads. We were at the last toll plaza, coming out of Ohio and the outside lane wasn't open...which is usually used for tractor trailers and wide loads.
They had signs in the lanes that said to get close to the ticket machine so that you'd be able to reach and get your ticket. I was navigating to get "close" when I hear a really loud WHAM, which scared us both to death and I looked at Linda and asked her what that was. She said "you just knocked the mirror off on my side of the rig". Oh crap...Linda decides that she should go out and retrieve the mirror. The gate is up and I don't know if it will come down and we'll get stuck there plus I was worried about her out in the lane trying to mess around with the mirror. She was worried we'd drive over it and do more damage. She yells in that it's hanging by a wire and she can't get it. I tell her to get back in the rig and we'll pull off the road, away from the plaza and deal with it. We drive out of the toll plaza but the tractor trailers are whizzing by us and I can't get off the road (nor should I because it's not a real safe place to be). As we start to pick up speed, the mirror starts thumping on the side of the rig, which makes me really sick to hear. I pull off as soon as I find a quasi-safe place to do it and we go out to check out the damage. From the sound it made, when I hit the post, I expected to see a hole the size of a basketball in the side of the rig. Nope, a couple scratches and the mirror just hanging by the electrical wiring that heats the mirrors. When the mirror made contact with the post, it pushed the mirror off the side of the rig and all four screws were there although a couple of them were bent a little. As we would find out later, there is a clip down inside the mirror that hooks the wiring together and I could have reached down inside there and unhooked it but not knowing that and hearing the traffic whizzing by us, I grabbed a pair of wire cutters and snipped the wire. I got some duct tape and fastened the wire to the side of the rig so it wouldn't slide down inside of the hole. We put the mirror in the rig for safe keeping. Thank goodness we have the rear camera on the rig because it would have been really tricky to drive (and pass other vehicles) without it.
While we were up at my brothers, he was kind enough to help me reinstall the mirror. We were fighting drizzly weather for most of the day but had to get it done so we'd be ready to leave. Jim reconnected the wires and used the new screws I had bought to reattach it. It's back up almost as good as new. We have a crack in the back of the mirror but it's fully functional and I'm so glad it's back on to assist with passing and seeing traffic on my right side. Thanks Jim for your help !
That was the weekend for mirror repairs. About two months prior to that, our rear mirror in the Xterra just fell off one day. We were driving down the road and it just fell on the floor. While I was in town, buying the screws for the rig mirror, I bought a kit to put the car mirror back up. We're now looking forward to looking backwards ! Ain't it fun the things that wind up on our "to do" lists ? Just because we don't have a sticks and bricks house anymore, doesn't mean that we don't have maintenance things to do. It's always something !