How did I do? Well, (obviously) I'm here at work, so perhaps 'acceptable' or 'sufficient'. But far from optimal.
My first mistake was not pulling over right after the giant stone destroyed my tire. I'd never killed a tire before, so I wasn't sure if that was really what happened. I went another 1000 ft to the exit ramp, which ended at a stop light. And stopped. When that light turned green, and I had a very difficult time getting started, my fears were confirmed. I managed to get the car over to the shoulder.
For a while, I did nothing. When that failed to work, I got out and looked at the tire, which was obviously flat. Then I looked back at the highway, and saw someone *else* pulled over. This stone was a menace! I didn't notice if anyone else lost a tire to it for my remaining time on the side of the road.
Called home a couple of times; no good. I'm still not thinking clearly. What should I be doing? There's a wawa/gas station not too far away, should I go over there? I look over at that other guy again. What's he doing? Probably changing the tire... I should change the tire. How do I change the tire? Do I have a spare tire?
Fortune finally smiled on me, as I had the user manual in the car. Yes, of course I have a spare tire; it's under the floor of the trunk. Okay, I'm not pulled over nearly far enough to work on the driver's side tire--drive the car some more (just a little). From there, it was following simple instructions for 15 minutes, a brief moment of panic before I realized I didn't have the car jacked up high enough to put the spare on, and more instruction following.
Put the old tire away, clean up, turn the key. Moment of truth. Slowly--easily--drive back onto the road. Looks like it still works. Limp to work, just a couple minutes away.
So, here I am. Spent about five minutes washing my hands, and cursing my luck because just *yesterday* I got my car back from the garage, four new cv-boots installed. Then I decided to quit being so pessimistic. Without the new cv-boots, hitting that stone could have knocked the axle right out.
I know I'll be needing at least a new tire, but I wonder how much more of the suspension is going to need work now...
I came in no less than an hour late. Exciting morning.