We lived in a little town in Nevada at the time, one of those places that barely makes it on a map. A random exit in the middle of the desert and a twenty minute ride out into nothing before the first farmhouse pops up. So, there isn't much to do. We camped, hiked, played at the lake, and ended up looking for interesting ways to have fun.
When my brother's friends showed up and mentioned "rolling tires" I had no idea what they meant. I was in though. Better than hanging out at the house watching reruns.
We drove to one of the mesas overlooking the town.
We made our way to the top in an old beat up pickup truck. My brother's friends hopped out and pulled a used tire from the back.
"Okay...I get it. Rolling tires. Fun."
"It's more fun than it sounds."
Then the gas can appeared.
"You didn't think we just rolled the tires as is? That wouldn't be fun. Everything is better with fire."
I couldn't disagree. I mean we all remember my post about grease, right? I'm a bit of a pyro.
So this is how rolling tires works...hypothetically:
You take a tire to the edge of the mesa. You stand up the tire. You pour gasoline in the tire. You light the gasoline. You push flaming tire off the mesa and watch it bounce and roll down. Fun is had.
That was the plan. Things did not go according to plan.
We got the tire set up and filled with gas. My brother stepped forward to light it.
He struck the match on the first try.
He then dropped the match short of the target.
As he reached for another match to try again...fumes are flammable.
The person holding the tire upright dropped it, dumping the gas that sat inside. Flames spread all over the tire.
"Kick it off."
"AH! It's hot!"
Thud thud thud.
We threw rocks and kicked the tire until it fell off the edge. The flaming tire rolled and bounced along the mesa. It hopped a fence and jumped into a little sappling on the fringe of a farmer's field. It had just rained. We weren't too worried about starting fires.
At this point several cars started moving up the mesa. We saw their lights, assumed the police were on their way, jumped in the truck, and took off into the desert with the lights off. When the cars turned on a side road we went back. Very smart of us. We wanted one more chance to get it right.
Our second attempt went smoothly.
We looked over the edge to watch the full show this time.
The tire fell twenty or so feet before contacting the rolling surface of the mesa. When the tire hit, the gas inside bounced up into the flame above it...
My brother didn't have much of his eyebrows for a while. His friends were hypothetically right though, better than reruns.