It's inevitable. Every year in February, potholes start popping up on Maine roads and it seems like it keeps getting worse every year.

Just what causes a pothole? According to Wikipedia, "Water first weakens the underlying soil; traffic then fatigues and breaks the poorly supported asphalt surface in the affected area. Continued traffic action ejects both asphalt and the underlying soil material to create a hole in the pavement."

The worst part about potholes is they tend to lurk on the right side of the road, just about where your right wheel travels. If you're driving in the dark, you might never see them coming. That's exactly what happened to me.

We were driving home to Portland on Route 35 in Naples when suddenly, BAM!!! The right tire hits hard. I thought everything was okay for a bit, but after a minute or so the low tire pressure light came on. Not what I wanted to see.

Luckily we were close to the Big Apple in Naples so I pulled in hoping I could just put some air in the tire. Yeah that wasn't happening. It was going flat. So I grabbed the jack out of the trunk, jacked the car up while down in the dirt and snow in the parking lot, and took off all the lug nuts. I gave the tire a pull and it wouldn't budge. I even tried kicking the tire hoping to free it and still nothing.

We called my girlfriend's brother who is a retired race car driver and he came down, took a blow torch to it and gave it a few taps with the hammer and off it came. I put the donut on and away we went.

The next day I took it to the dealership and $375 later I had a new tire. Great. I wish I cold bill the town, but that's not how it works. If you hit a pothole that has not been reported to the town or state, you are responsible for any damage. However, if it has been reported, the town or state has 24 hours since the report to fix it or anyone else who receives damage can pass the bill off to them. That unfortunately isn't going to help me especially since I couldn't tell you exactly where the pothole was that I hit.

So take it easy on the roads and be on the lookout for those potholes before you end up costing yourself more money than you have to spend.