Well, perhaps we won't be getting too cozy here in the parking lot at the Flying J. Our new mechanic friend also has 12 children (11 girls and one boy) and is taking an interest in helping us out with our brakes and loose belts.
While that is going on, I tried calling the tire shop, which is well past closed, and a sympathetic man answered the phone! I told him our story and he took my number and said he'd call me back. So, he called, and has our tire, and is offering to throw it in the back of his pickup and drive it out to us, since we are right here at a shop already, to spare us the charge for a service call!
So there is the possibility we could make it further tonight. Will keep you posted!