First Bert, then Bert again, then Bert again, then the Enterprise Rent-a-Car, then Courtney’s truck, and now the Hueco Rock Ranch trailer. Seriously, if you know us and you own anything with wheels, stay the hell away.
With the wind howling, we decided to take a rest day and earn our keep by doing a dump run with Nikias, the manager of the Rock Ranch. We hitched up the trailer full of trash and drove an hour to the dump in Clint. Along the way we all silently wondered why they bothered to have a dump. The desert landscape seems to serve the same purpose for the people of El Paso County.
We get to the dump, back the trailer up to a seemingly arbitrary spot on, and unload about 700 pounds of trash. While shutting the back door of the trailer, we notice that the right wheel of the trailer has partially fallen off the axle and is badly slanted. Unsure of what to do, Nikias asks the nearest official-looking person. The conversation went as follows:
Nikias: Our trailer broke and we can’t tow it home. Can we just leave it here?
Dump employee: No, you can’t leave it here.
N: Well, we can’t move it.
DE and N: [silence]
N: We’re going to unhitch it and drive away, then.
What better place to dump a broken trailer than a dump? But in typical American fashion, the dump people were worried about being held responsible if the trailer was reported stolen. Eventually, a supervisor and a giant forklift arrive. The man tells us to try and get it down to the scales to weigh out. The forklift was in case the trailer lost the wheel completely. The video shows how close that is to happening.
Somehow, we made it down to the scales. We left the dump. We turned left, and the wheel stayed on. We turned right, and the wheel stayed on. And with all three of us holding our breaths, we miraculously made it all the way back to the ranch.
I backed the trailer into its spot, and when we got out, we saw that the wheel was about 90% of the way off the axle. Another mile and we’d have been putting a trench in the road.
Somebody please: stop us before we kill again!