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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rig Washing, Card Making and Snappy Dandy Sunset

Our poor motorhome still has a layer of Wisconsin Road Salt on it!  The snow at Elephant Butte last week wasn't enough to rinse it off.  There hasn't been much of any rain either.  

Steve asked the host if he could discretely wash the motorhome, one section at a time, without calling a lot of attention to the fact that he is doing it.  She said sure, just don't appear to be "wasting" water.

My "Clandestine Undercover Rig Washer" got out his handy-dandy scrubbing brush with a long telescoping handle.  He only uses a bit of car washing soap in a bucket of water and that is it.  The brush is very soft and doesn't scratch the finish on our rig.  There isn't any wax on our motorhome, just a very thick clear coat and Mercedes paint.  No waxing needed.  So he did a good scrub a dub dub and quick rinse with the hose on each section before moving on to the next section.

Soon our Safari was gleaming with cleanliness, 
and reflecting the desert landscape in the shiny sides of his hard work.  
What a guy! 

While he was busy doing this thing, I was inside doing a few loads of laundry to catch up.  Our onboard washer/dryer unit spins better when crammed full to the hilt than if we only do small loads. With small loads it goes off balance too easily.  So I wait until we have enough to get a bunch done at once.  I can cram in 15-20 t-shirts and it makes one load.

The desert air dries things so quickly that it isn't worth it running the dryer (except for our unmentionables) ...  We hang a lot of our t-shirts on hangers in our closet anyhow, because we are limited on drawer space. This way of doing laundry by hanging them up on hangers when wet, by the time they are dry, we just have to take them down and put them in the closet.  I use clothespins to keep the hangers separated on the lines to make spaces in between and keep them from sliding all to the center.  There.. Pfundtner Laundry Service is complete!

We made a late breakfast after our tasks were done... sometimes it's nice to only have two meals a day, a late breakfast and then an early dinner.  It feels better and we can enjoy the day without having to stop and make lunch! 

After a walk around the campground, I headed over at 1 p.m. to the main park exhibit building.  A craft project was being offered by Josephine, a volunteer with the park system. She was showing us how to make these neat southwestern note cards!   Here are her samples to show us what we will accomplish and give us some ideas. 

She first showed us how to rip apart pieces of paper into chunks and add some water in a blender!  You make up a "slurry" of fibery mush and push it down against a screen that is held in place by an embroidery hoop.  Pushing down with a sponge works well to get a lot of the moisture out.  This circular piece of rough paper was to be the sun (or moon) on our cards. 

Josephine had some extra circular pieces already made up for us, so we didn't have to wait for our slurry to dry.  Although, in this arid land of New Mexico, it probably wouldn't have taken too long to dry.

Next, we were to rip pieces of colored papers and tissues to make our layers of the mountains for the foreground.  We had a lot of colors to choose from and by ripping with our fingers, we could make interesting terrain to each layer.  Fellow RVer Gloria from Colorado is proudly posing with her card. She even added tiny birds to her scenery!!   We used glue sticks to fasten down each layer.

 And voila!  HERE is my finished card!!!! 
Josephine found an envelope for me, 
but now I am thinking that 
it's too pretty to mail!  

Maybe I should frame it and keep it in our motorhome? 

I came back to the motorhome to find that all my laundry was dry and put away for me. Awwwww, what a guy!  I found him out standing on this mound of gravel, with binoculars in hand, scanning the desert terrain.  I think he was helping out our poor stressed Homeland Security Agents with some border patrols duties.  They have had it rough the last few days, not knowing if they are even getting a paycheck or not.  So nice of Steve to help them out, eh? 

I decided that it was time for our afternoon siesta.  There is something so peaceful to snooze in the afternoon with your sweetie, and of course with two furball dogs in between us on the king sized bed.  

When we woke up, the winds were starting to kick up. We were warned they would be starting this afternoon and lasting a few days.  Steve cooked some brats on the grill on the leeward side of the motorhome while I finished the rest of the dinner inside. 

We thought we would be trapped inside for the evening with a dust storm or whatever. But as the sun was setting, the winds died down and we had a nice relaxing evening out on our patio....  

Check out these Sunset Doggies!!!!

 I love the golden glow of the sunlight as it is setting.  
It makes things look so vivid and surreal at times.

Today we had some new RVers pull into the campsite next to us. They are from Northern Wisconsin, up near Bayfield.  They know the U.P. of Michigan quite well and knew a lot of the same places we knew.  We didn't start a campfire, because we were unsure of the winds kicking up again. Randy and Linda shared stories with us, and we shared a bottle of wine, as the sun set....

 I don't think we can ever get too many sunset photos, do you? 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Crossed the Border into Mexico for Dental Work

Traveling without a toad vehicle will be a little inconvenient, like Kevin and Ruth remarked on our last blog post.... they do it all the time.   Travelwithkevinandruth Blog    We have only towed a vehicle behind our motorhome for the last 5 or so years. Before that we had a Honda Helix scooter up on a rack for a few years too. Before that, we used to make due, and did sightseeing and get needed things while en-route and stay put at our destinations at the end of the day.

But today is different, we want to go down into Mexico for some dental work, and we are not up to either option of

1.driving our motorhome INTO Mexico for the day.


2. driving our motorhome up to the border and leaving it (along with our dogs inside) in a public parking lot while we walked across into Palomas.

Soooo our third and final option is to leave the motorhome in the nice secure spot in the state park next door to the camp host lady.... and leave our dogs inside with either heat or air conditioning as they need.

We gathered the local public transportation bus info from the host lady, Wendy.  The bus runs down from Deming, through Columbus, and then down to the border three times a day during the week, and only once on the weekends.  For a whole $1 each, we can ride to the border, walk across, come back and wait for the bus at a designated place to take it back to the campground.

And that is just what we did!  We had to get up at 6:30 a.m. to get the dogs out and about for their doggie duties, and then perk a pot of coffee and get ready to walk to the corner of the park by 7:50.a.m.  We were there 10 minutes early, just in case!  The bus service provides transport to people from the United States who go down to the border who need to work by 8 a.m. in Palomas!  Imagine that, Americans going down to work in the shops, stores, dental and optical offices in Mexico.

We had three different recommendations to go to the Fierro Dental Clinic, 2 blocks down on the left. http://www.fierrodentalclinic.com/  We found it right away, and we were the second people to come there, a single man was ahead of us. The place was neat and clean like any dental clinic in the US and smelled freshly mopped and had a pleasant disinfectant smell.  Steve filled out some paperwork and was escorted to a chair right away.   NO waiting.  There are 11 dentists who work in the clinic and many support staff ready to answer any questions in either Spanish or English.

There are eight procedure areas, and a nice big waiting area with a movie playing on a tv, stacks of old magazines, and a pleasant receptionist who spoke perfect English.  A cleaning lady was still finishing up some doors and glass around the entrance and chatted with me a bit while I waited for Steve.

Steve had one tooth that has been bothering him for almost 2 months now.  At first he thought perhaps it was just sinuses causing the trouble.  But now the sinuses have cleared up out in the southwestern climate, and the tooth is still troubling him.  He also has a few soft spots that were turning to decay all on the top molar teeth in the back.  They did find the troublesome tooth was decaying underneath a previous filling.  The filling was drilled out and along with the other four, they completed five natural colored fillings in one hour!  You can't even tell there are fillings in the teeth!

A smiling Steveio came out of the procedure area with a still numb face, no pain, and we were very pleased with the bill.  Fillings in molars at our Wisconsin dentist are in the $300 range....depending on size.  Our dental insurance doesn't cover fillings or extractions.  Soooo $1,500.00 worth of dental work was done in just over one hour.  And our bill you ask?  $250.00  yup....    roughly 85%  less than getting it done in the United States.  We had the option to pay cash or credit card.  We did cash so our credit card was not needed.

After we were done, we stopped by an optical shop to see about an extra pair of eyeglasses for Steve ... he has progressive bifocals and was quoted $140 a pair with exam, lens, frames etc. all one package.  We will think about it and go back if he wants another pair.  His last pair was in the $400 range....  so we might go back.

Once we were done there, we HAD to go wander through a famous place The Pink Store .

Yes, it's pink. and it's a store full of wonderful items for sale at reasonable prices. They hand select their wares from certain artists and each artist is depicted on the signs of the creative objects.  They also have nice silver jewelry and bottles of liquor to bring back to the U.S.

I didn't take any interior photos to be polite, but they do have a photo gallery on their web page.  http://www.thepinkstoremexico.com/PhotoGallery.html

We chose some touristy items as gifts and might go back for a certain pottery piece that I admired.  We also were offered a free margarita, but it was only 10 a.m. and a bit early for us. LOL   We were going to eat there, but they were just setting up tables and getting things in order for the tourist trade of lunches and dinners for the day.  They did offer a breakfast burrito, but we declined and decided to walk about town a bit more.  

We did buy some clear vanilla
and some lovely painted clay tiles 
to make into coasters for out on our front porch.
 (I will glue blue felt to the bottoms when we get home) 

We wandered through the small dusty border town.  The side streets looked a little rough, so we avoided them and stuck to the main roads in town. There weren't many people around at 10 a.m.

We had a choice of two bus return times, one at 11:15 and the other at 3:30.  We didn't want to leave the dogs that long, so we opted to skip lunch at The Pink Store and head back to our campground in the United States on the 11:15 bus.

We headed to customs... and THIS time I was very very careful to NOT take ANY Pictures!!!!  Read about my last experience in Mexico when I accidentally took a video scan of a federale border guard and almost got thrown in jail! blog post of Mexican visit in 2011 

At this border crossing, we were the ONLY ones in the line to go back into the US.  A quick glance at our passports and they asked us what we were bringing back.  They didn't even look in our bags, and through the gate we went.

We waited at the little bus stop and "people watched" folks coming and going.  We were guessing at their lives and what they were up to. Being silly, of course.  We have such wild imaginations, we could write a book, I tell ya! We sure do look like TOURISTAS, don't we?

The winds were kicking up and it was chilly here, not getting above 55.  The weatherman says tonight will be down to below 30 again around here, oh my!  But Saturday and Sunday will be up in the mid to high 70's, so we will take that!

The same bus driver picked us up who had dropped us off earlier that morning.  He asked us what we did and what we bought and how our dental work went etc. Nice chatty guy, and only three other people were on the bus for the trip going back.

He dropped us off at the south end of the campground to save us the half mile walk back from the corner at the highway.  The only problem, the campground is fenced in!!! We had to walk along the edges of the fences until we found a spot we could carefully get over the sharp rows of barbed wire fencing at a corner brace.  I think next time we will just walk in from the gate like everyone else.  LOL

We came on back to the motorhome to find all was fine and dandy.  I think the dogs slept all the while we were gone. We close all the windows and blinds, and turn the tv on loud to drown out any outside noises that might make them bark.

Steve's mouth is now unfrozen and we ate a little lunch and we both hit the bed for a nice afternoon siesta!

Side note-  our campground has lovely cactus gardens, and some sweet blooms here and there too.  Our campground host, Wendy has been clearing dead cacti from the manicured areas and showing us the different types around the park.

And here is some history about the park we are staying in:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Heading for the Border

We said our goodbyes and thankyou's to Harold at Emergency Truck Services again for doing such a great job, plus letting us stay in his parking-lot for two nights while our replacement brake lines were being fabricated.  What a guy!

Steve looked a bit closer at the Tracker and he started it up and drove it up behind the motorhome to hook it back up. It's a clunking which means probably the bearing and push rod.  He MIGHT be able to drop the oil pan, change out the bearing and push rod, and it might be good to go!   But this is something he can not attempt to do in a campsite, so we will tow it home and he will do it there. Unless he finds someone local that can do it around here in a short time span.  We don't want someone to tear it all apart and wait three weeks for parts etc. So fixing it at home makes sense.

Some folks suggested leaving it somewhere and picking it up on our way back.. good idea, but are not coming back the same way. We are just about at the end of our westward trek and will probably be swinging north and then east.

In the meantime, we can get by without a toad vehicle to run around. We have done it before. It just takes more careful planning in between stops to get what we need while we are going on to the next place.  It's kinda hard to take a 40 ft motorhome to run into town to get a few groceries,  LOL ....

We may have a friend from Canada joining us after the weekend and if we really need something, he could be persuaded to take us, he said: "for the right friends".  I guess we qualify?

We drove 70 miles on down towards Deming, NM and as we got into town, we stopped at Griffith's Propane for a fill up.  We did 29.3 gallons at 2.69 a gallon for $79.11 plus tax.  Not too bad considering the little private RV park near Caballo Lake wanted 3.99 a gallon!  ouch.

We slid right through Deming and found our way 30 more miles down on Hwy 11 to the small border town of Columbus, NM.  We are in Pancho Villa State Park, which was about 1/3 full. It was about time to dump our tanks, so we did that right upon entering the park.  NICE dumpstation with a big wide double basin area accessible from either side.  High Cliff needs one like that, Linda!

We have a nice corner site down on the far end, with water and 30 amp electric for $14 a night.  We paid for one night, but we are going to pay up through the rest of the weekend as we like this place.

We walked around the little museum and visitor center to learn more about this area.  Columbus was the site of the ONLY time a foreign country ever invaded the United States on our own soil... Pancho Villa came across the border and attacked the Fort here in Columbus... 8 of our soldiers and 10 civilians died, and many of the soldiers were hurt.  Then General Pershing led a retaliatory mission down into Mexico to go after Pancho Villa.  Although we tried, nobody ever caught Pancho Villa. 

These cacti were growing around the customs buildings.  I think it's time to either cut a hole in the roof, or let the saguaro have it's way????  Although they are slow growing, I can not imagine the building outlasting the cactus?   

We walked around the sleepy little town of Columbus, and got some information about the bus schedule going down into Palomas Mexico tomorrow.  Since we don't have the Tracker running, we really didn't care to walk the 3 miles down to the border to walk across, especially if we are hauling back some shopping stuff.  We are told the bus runs three times a day from here down to there and we can flag it down at the corner of the State Park and the highway to get a ride!  

We are going to cross over the border and have recommendations for a good dentist for Steve to have a tooth checked out at.  We had previously done a lot of extensive dental work at a dentist over in Los Algadones, near Yuma.  We would go back to him in a second if we were closer to his location.  But we got three people recommending the dental office of Fierro Dental Clinic.  We are going to have them look at Steve's tooth and see what we should do.  It's been bugging him for a few weeks now and he was hoping it was just sinuses.  But now with the dry desert air, the sinuses are clear (NO snoring!)  and the tooth is still tender and hurts when he bites hard. It might be cracked. Time to go in....

I want to do a little shopping and we will stop for lunch at the Pink Store of course, which is world famous for it's food, art and pottery items.  We will see what we will see I suppose.....  and yes, we have our passports and we have done this before.  The nice host lady next to us will be keeping an eye on our dogs and our rig while we are gone.

We went into a cute little museum in town sponsored by the Columbus Historical Society.  I finally found some postcards to fill out for the grandtots.  So far, in all of our travels, I have not found any stores that sell post cards!   Can you imagine that?  I suppose in our days of emails and texts and tweets, the good old fashioned post card is getting out of vogue?

Steveio hanging out by the luggage and steamer trunks,
waiting for a train on the tracks at the depot?

We walked back to the campground and wandered among the cactus gardens and shrubbery.  This is a very clean and well-maintained park.  Oh , and birds... LOTS of birds all over!  Nesting right near us in a tall pine is a Great Horned Owl!  The hosts said our site is the "Keeper of the Owl" and we are in charge.  LOL 

A guy came by to set up a camera on a tripod to snap pics of the owls, and asked if he could encroach on our site a bit to snap some shots.  Of course! We watched for a while with our binoculars, and we will take some pics tomorrow when we have time. 

Steve poured us a few beverages and we needed some lawn chair setting time. It's been a hectic few days, and I think sitting and relaxing in this park for a while is just the ticket. 

The doggers agree....

We are about as far south as we can get, with seeing all of those horrible storms to the north.  It's going to go below freezing tonight, even here, just 3 miles from the Mexican border!  The area we were in last night 100 miles to the north is all rain and winds and snow and freezing sleet tonight!  Glad we were able to move south when we did today.  Whew.... on the local news it sure doesn't look too pretty up there.  Or, for the rest of the country either! 

I am glad we were able to escape, even if it is for only 5-6 weeks this winter.  Yes, we have had our repairs and troubles, but with a 19 year old motorhome, what can we expect?  We just have to roll with the punches and try to cope as best we can.  After all, we DO get to enjoy this setting instead of the ice and snow and cold of Wisconsin? 

The sun was setting right out across from our campsite... 
I could not decide which of two pics to post.....

So I posted them both! 

Adios, Amigos! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Brake Line Is Replaced and we are Towing our Sassy Tracker HOME!

Steve has decided to tow the Tracker around for the rest of our vacation and bring it back to Wisconsin with us.  Once there, we will look around for an engine and take care of it there. Whew!  (that was the option I was hoping he would take) 

He has figured the transmission and trans axle are okay, just the engine has blown a bearing.  It was like we were trying to "pull start" our manual shifting car for about a mile or so and that did the job on it.  So here is our Tracker with it's broken little heart..... 

Also, in hindsight (which is ALWAYS 20/20!)  we know we both checked the shift lever configuration set up before we left, and it was exactly as the owner's manual states, the gear in 2nd and the transaxle in N.  But thinking back to the three big speedbumps at the park as we exited, the second one is a doozy....  even Merikay and Craig commented on it being a big one.  Well, perhaps that big BUMP over it was enough to push the transaxle shift into gear and cause the trouble.  We said we heard a big THUD....  hmmmmm  oh well, we know we ruined it and we know we have to fix it.  Sigh. 

Back to the motorhome repair.. that is more important at this date and time!

Our rusted leaking brake line was temporarily patched by Steve yesterday to get us down here to: Emergency Truck Repair in Caballo Lake, NM.    It's a one man business by the name of Harold, who has a LOT of the local business going in and out of here.  We were so lucky he was able to make us up a new brake line.  Plus, he is also a native Michigander guy!!!!

He has a hurt shoulder and can't do the installation work himself, but he can at least fabricate the part for us. See, the problem is that the brake lines are a flexible type, 36 inches long, and need to be specially fabricated brake lines for a long-defunct chassis company on our 19 year old motorhome!   (Magnum chassis manufactured by Safari when it was out in Oregon)  And he did it!  Great guy!!!!   

Here is a pic of the extra one for the passenger side:

We got the new brake line fabricated from Harold this morning, and Steve set to removing the old rusted fittings from the old line and installing the new line in it's place. 

In the meantime, Harold had to lock up shop and leave for a doc appt.  We were out in the parking lot working on it with our front end up on blocks and the front hydraulic leveler for added stability. Steve used all his own tools too, so Harold could lock up his shop and go.   

So once we were done testing the new line, we didn't know how much to pay.. or WHO to pay because there wasn't anyone around!   

Harold thought he would only be gone 1 or 2 hours. He said that when he came back he would make up a duplicate line for our passenger side for Steve to change out later on.  It was 5:30 before Harold got back to the shop. 

There.. Harold is back, the new line is in, the duplicate line is made and we are good to go for under $100.00  WHEEEEEE  Thank you Travel Gods for putting Steve in the right spot to meet with the right guy who can make up these special brake lines!!!!

He and Steve confabulated a while over the Tracker Situation... and he came up with some alternatives to check first before tossing in the towel on it.  So we will see.....  as for now, it will be towed home to Wisconsin. 

Plus, Harold said since it's dark now, we can spend another night in his lot if we want.  There is a good western on tv and I just finished making supper.  We leave in the morning for Deming, NM. 

Another day in the adventure of our vacation! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Good News or The Bad News????

First we can start with all the good stuff, okay????

Today marks 2 weeks since we have been on the road.  It's been a crazy adventure, for sure.

We had a delightful visit with with Merikay and Craig.  When the weather cleared some, we took a drive around the area and looked at the park and the dam and all that other fun stuff....  It was cool, but at least the sun was shining.  Some of the snow was melting.  Not all.

I worked on a meal of chicken alfredo lasagna and also traditional lasagna for supper. Merikay baked up a loaf of basil bread! I set my festive table with my southwestern dishes and pretty tablecloth from Mexico (remember those Goofy Mary?)  It was another great night of conversation, RVing stories, and fun things to see down the road.

The dogs kinda hung out under the front dash in their little doggie hideout area,
and when company went home, they came out to claim their space on the loveseat!
They are really adjusting well to this RV lifestyle.

We woke up to sunshine and warming and melting all that danged snow.  My lawn chair was finally dry enough to sit in!  Sitting and soaking it was very pleasant... ahhhhhhh

Merikay and Craig were busy getting loaded up and hooked up and ready to roll.  They wanted to reach Tucson, AZ before the end of the day, so getting on the road by 10 am was their schedule.

Heartfelt hugs and "See Ya Laters" we called out as they rolled on west....

Now it was time for Steveio to get to work!  He got down and dirty to figure out the busted brake line, and take measurements and get a good idea of what parts he would need to fabricate a new line. 

With all of his notes in hand, we trooped on into town.  He dropped me at Walmart for a grocery stock up session, while he hit the autoparts store with his list of items.  Sadly. they didn't have what he needed!  

Now here it where it turns into the GOOD NEWS!!!

The guy standing in line behind him says: "Hey, I own a truck repair shop down the highway and I can custom make that brake line for you, just bring the old one on over and we can set you up!"  Wowzer!!!! After some discussion, he said it would be better if we could drive the rig right over to his shop, and he can examine it first before fabricating the new line. He even offered to let us stay in his lot overnight if we got over there too late in the day to get started on the job!


What are the odds that Steve would be standing next to one of the only truck repair places in 50 miles around who can custom make brake lines and has all the lines, fittings and tools to bend them!

We rushed back to the campground and Steve donned his overalls.  (yes, he takes them along on the road just in case!)   He was able to temporarily patch in a piece of line with some compression fittings to get us limped down the highway 25 miles to the truck place.  We also have our Pac Brake engine exhaust brake to help stop us, but best to patch this line in the meantime and we have brakes enough to get down there.  So here is my Mr. FixIt Guy laying on an old Thanksgiving table cloth as he works on patching the line.

He was done and out and bled the lines while I pumped from inside. Everything held and we were good to go.

And this is where we hit the BAD NEWS!!!  

Are you sure you want to keep reading this?  I am typing it out in words to be cathartic and still sniffling and weeping as I type.  Bear with me....

We always do our hookup job on the Tracker to tow behind the motorhome on a towbar setup. Steve has 4 jobs on the outside of the Tracker hooking it up, and I have four jobs on the inside ....  We never talk to anyone while doing it so we don't get distracted.

He does
1. bars,
2. locks,
3. safety cables and
4. wire harness hookups.

I do
1. key in ignition and move the wheel back and forth,
2. emergency brake off,
3. shifter in 2nd gear and
4. transaxle in NEUTRAL...

and I am SURE I had it in neutral!!!!!

Then we swap and he checks my stuff and I check his stuff....  perfect.
It has NEVER failed us before.   And he swears he checked it all was fine.

Well.... we drove out of the campground and up to the main gate. I always watch the Tracker in our backup camera and make sure the wheels turn the first few corners and watch for the steering wheel to return top dead center.  Fine. Good to Go.

We stopped at the main gate to obtain a credit slip from the gals that we can use at the next park.  We had already paid for the night at this one and since we were leaving to get the repairs done at 3 pm and didn't think we would be back.  So as we pulled up to the main gate, we heard a loud THUNK sound behind us. We were on a steep angle to park while I got out to go into the office. Hmmmmmm I told Steve I would walk around the Tracker before going into the building, all appeared fine. He said maybe it was just a rock.   I went in and came back out, and we were on our way.

UNTIL......  about one mile further, heading down the road towards the interstate we heard a horrible CHATTER CHATTER CHATTER.... and tugging on our back end .... oh no.....

(we just destroyed the engine in our Tracker!) 

Yes... I said that.

You heard me. 

We just 

Evidently the transaxle jumped into 4 wheel drive gear or perhaps on the backwards angle we stopped at the main gate, it somehow got into gear.  And we destroyed it.  Trash.

I am sick over it.  I feel so bad.  It's my job to put that transaxle into N... and I have done it hundreds of times now.  And Steve double checked it.  But I still feel so bad.

(also Steve said it was my final stomp on the brake pedal as I drove the motorhome onto the leveling blocks the other day that blew the brake line!  He didn't mean it and was teasing, but I take things like that to heart!)

So I cried.  And cried.   Not sure what we are going  to do yet.  It's trashed.  It's only a $2,000 beater vehicle, but it was such a good little billy goat of a vehicle.  We have already invested in the expensive base plate for a Tracker so we might as well remove that and everything of our own inside of it.  Perhaps tomorrow Steve can place an ad on Craigslist and sell it to someone who wants to toss a new engine in it?   The title is up in our safe in Wisconsin, so we would have to mail that later.

He is looking on Craigslist right now for perhaps buying another one the same, so we can just swap the baseplate over and we can keep on towing.  Or we can travel without a toad vehicle and just see sights from the motorhome as we go along. It doesn't make sense to tow this one around a thousand miles and then back home another 1,500 miles.  Or does it?

You know, if we do get another Tracker, from now on I am going to double triple and quadruple check that transaxle shifter!!!!!

On a positive note, we arrived safe and sound at Harold's truck repair place.  Called Emergency Truck Repair right off the highway at Caballo Lake, NM.  It's comforting to see that he is working on all the local folks vehicles, the county ambulance, and even the Derry Arrey Fire and Rescue vehicle.  If the locals trust him with their things, we should be in for a good experience.

Harold came out and checked the line on our rig, and yes, he said that he can easily make that line.  Steve suggested that perhaps he should make up the other front brake line and also one of our rears.  We had already done one on a trip to Florida, so now we will be good to go if Harold can make them.   The only problem is Harold can't do the labor himself to install them, he hurt his shoulder really bad... Harold thinks he tore his rotator cuff.  His doc appt is tomorrow afternoon.  So he said to Steve: "If I make the parts in the morning, can you do your own labor??"   YESSSS !!!!  That will save us in labor costs, and Steve is more than adequate at handling the installation of the new lines.  We even have along a power bleeding tool device that runs off our air compressor. Whew.... that is a good thing!  Silver Lining, perhaps?

So tonight we are comfortably resting in the fenced in secure lot of the Emergency Truck Repair Service of Caballo Lake, NM.  I am still sniffing.  But it will get better.  I hope.

And I ate two big slices of Merikay's basil bread that she baked as my "comfort food" with our leftover lasagna tonight.  Even the dogs got to lick the plates clean!

Tomorrow will be a better day. 

It has to. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

SNOW????? Geesh! And RV Friends Merikay and Craig

Our wonderful RV pals Merikay and Craig pulled in about 1 pm on Sunday.  We were debating if we should pull up stakes and move off the point and go up into the electric campsites next to them. Or should we stay down on the point as they were game to try boondocking for a few days?  Well, we went up to the sites when we found two nice pull-throughs next to each other. For only $14 a night with 50amp electric, water and free WiFi, we can't complain.

Steve was busy dumping our holding tanks while Merikay and Craig got settled in their campsite.  They have a 2007 Alfa See Ya motorhome and pull a Jeep.  Their blog is: http://merika-merika.blogspot.com/  We pulled our rig into the site next to them and got all set up.

We are pretty glad we did-- more about that later!

Steve also noticed a big oily spot under our rig just after we leveled off in our campsite.  Rut Roh!  Breakdown again!   Brake fluid line seems to have broken leading up to a front wheel.  Good thing we are near a large enough town to get parts.  Steve blamed me because I was driving the motorhome up on blocks to level it and he said I stomped on the brake pedal too hard!  Well, better that it breaks here in a park rather than in the middle of some mountain descent, right????

We sat out in our lawn chairs in T shirts and capris and relaxed and enjoyed the lovely warm weather.  (remember that part!)

Merikay and Craig said they had some good Wisconsin Bratwurst to treat us for dinner, and we brought over some tater salad and pasta salad.  It was good to sit and compare stories and travels and RV stuff since we saw them last summer.

We did the obligatory photos across the table of each other.... 

and they took one of us.... getting pretty shined up here I think?

OH we did follow up the meal with a wonderful Key Lime Pie! 

Four bottles of wine later, it was  time to toddle on home to our own motorhome.... let out our doggers and hit the sack.

About 2 am I heard this familiar sound on the roof... hmmm it wasn't rain. Nope.  It was sleeting ice particles pinging down.  Then it was silent.  You KNOW what that means??? Yup, the temps dropped and the rain changed over to SNOW!  The weathermen never mentioned this, it was only supposed to drop down to 40 overnight.  When I looked at 7 am it was 24 degrees!

This is what we woke up to:

Remember those lawn chairs???  My lawn chairs have NEVER had snow on them!  We always put them away before rain or bad weather.  Guess it might have had something to do with those four bottles of wine, eh?

I made up a breakfast bake pan to bring over for our morning gab session.  Here is the recipe....  (click on photo to enlarge if you need to)

We hung out till about noon in their rig, waiting for the snow to melt.  The weathermen promised 55 today, but it never got that high.  Even now at 4 pm, it's only 40 degrees and the snow is starting to finally melt.

I whipped up a pan of chicken alfredo lasagna and another pan of regular italian lasagna for dinner tonight and will be popping them in the oven as soon as I am done typing this.

It was a good choice to move up to the campground after all.  Kinda nice to be up on the electric sites for these cold brrrrr days!