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Friday, March 20, 2015

High Tailing It Home (4 states in a day)

Now that the Tracker is done and tested... we are able to pull up stakes and head on home.  Steve is tentatively due back to work by March 23, but if his boss Linda is reading this, she can be aware that perhaps he just might not come back at all!!!!!


(just kidding)


We said our "see ya laters" to Hazel and the park staff as we pulled out of Pancho Villa State Park, NM which has been our home for the last 22 days.....   it was really time to get a move on before we had moss growing on our tires, and weeds around our rig!

We hit the road on Thursday morning about 8:30 am after dumping our tanks and stowing our gear to get "road worthy".  

We decided to put the Tracker's transmission shifter into N and the transaxle into N and tow the Tracker that way.  The manual says to put the transmission shifter into 2nd and the transaxle into N... which is what we HAD been doing.  But that big BUMP we figured is what knocked the transaxle into gear, thus ruining the engine. Art Miller who repaired the engine said he would do N and N.

We may reconsider after a bit more research, as we read that some Tracker owners put their transmission into 4th and the transaxle into N.  We want to know how well that works.  Soooo if any of you Tracker owners with a manual transmission and 4 wheel drive and lock out hubs....   PLEASE offer your opinions????  

(2 wheel drive Trackers have a different set of rules and so do Trackers with automatic hubs)

We wandered our way north and east.  We were just a jump, hop and skip ahead of a nasty thunderstorm, and watched the weather tracking online closely as we traveled.

(we turned to the right just after this pic was taken) 


We pulled off the highway at Tucumcari, NM and saw a GODFATHER'S PIZZA!!!!  Man oh man it's my second favorite most pizza in the world!  (the first being Riverside Pizza from Iron River, MI)  I didn't feel like cooking after travelling 436 miles.  I called on our cell phone from the parking lot to see how long it would be to wait.  Only 15 minutes!   I ordered up their special... TWO medium pizzas for $18.99... one the Classic Combo and one just cheese and pepperoni.  Ohhhh that tantalizing smell wafting out from the boxes as I carried them back to the rig.  Steve said WAIT till we got up to the campground.  ARGGGHHHH

We got to Ute Lake State Park in the northeastern area of New Mexico. There are four portions to the park, each with multiple campgrounds situated around the reservoir of damming the Canadian River.  We pulled into the nearest one by the town of Logan near the dam to check it out.    All nice smooth level pull-through sites and free WIFI!  There were only about four RVs in the park, with about 30 empty spaces.  We picked a site right next to the WIFI tower, and dug into our pizza.  YUMMMMMM!!! It was worth the wait.


The rain caught up with us and started pouring down.  Now we had to choose, take the dogs out in the rain and get them all wet? Or see if it would stop.  Nope... no stopping.  So Steve took out the doggers on leashes and they both started dancing around in pain!!!!  Why???  GOAT HEAD BURRS!!!

They are tiny things that are rock hard and do not crush or pull off easily.  The nasty barbs are finer than a needle and grab hold something terrible.  They get in between the dogs toes and can give a bad infection if not pulled off right away.

Those awful burrs were ALL OVER the ground in the grassy areas.  He pulled off as many as he could from their tender feet, and made them go on the gravel instead of the grass. Dang.... here they were so excited about seeing REAL GRASS to go potty on.


NOTE... 
THAT IS NOT A "FAVORITE PARK"
FOR DOG OWNERS.....

The rain came down harder and harder, since Steve was already wet, he opted to go back up to the office to deposit our campsite pay envelope that we had obtained as we came in the gate. He unhooked the Tracker to drive in the pouring rain, and we were now set for the night.

It was pretty comfy cozy inside with the rain coming down and the dogs dried off.  We got in a nice movie on the tv and curled up together.  Ahhhhhh  after a long day of driving, it was just the perfect way to end the day.


We were awake before dawn, and started to put things into road worthiness... the dogs did a quick dance outside among the goathead burrs and did their thing.  Poor dogs were really looking forward  to using some grass for their bathroom.  Oh well, as we moved on through the day into Texas, Oklahoma and finally Kansas, we will find them some Real Grass.


We hit the road by 7 a.m. and traveled north and east, making good time.  We did go over a big bump in a small town, and immediately pulled over and checked the shifter levers on the Tracker!!!  Call us "gun shy" but after blowing our travelling budget on repairs, we are being more careful than ever.

We fueled up at $2.62 a gallon diesel, not too bad.  The cheapest price so far this trip was 2.42 in Missouri on our way down.  Our mileage varies depending on wind conditions.  We most often travel between 55 and 60 mph due to towing the Tracker. Our onboard Silverleaf computer in the dash records all our fuel usage and mileage, and says on our whole trip we have averaged 8 mpg.

My Happy Motorhoming Man

We drove on through Texas and Oklahoma.  
We finally found some GREEN GRASS for the dogs in Kansas....
ahhhhh they so appreciated it! 



We decided to try to make a good long day of travel today... so we are now about 500 miles northeast of where we stayed at Ute Lake.  We hope to be in northern Kansas by nightfall.  It's 7pm as I write this and we are crossing many many many acres of burned prairie land!  I guess it's done on purpose, as there are even road signs saying "range burn in progress, pull to side of road in case of smoke"

Oh my... it went on for miles and miles and miles! Many many thousands of acres of rangeland was being burned.  I can not imagine that being such a good thing, but naturalists will tell you that burning is Mother Nature's way of pruning back and letting new seeds grow.    It just looks so devastating and destructive to me.  Sigh.




We are driving on until we get tired or 8 p.m. whichever comes first.... so I will hit send now and publish this while riding down the road.

Aint' technology great?  Thanks Verizon!

p.s. we pulled over in Topeka, KS for the night... we travelled 538 miles today.

Tomorrow on to Bethel MO to visit ROSIE!


16 comments:

  1. If you were to drive that road again in a couple of weeks it would be surprisingly green!

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    1. Yup, the other side of the road looks like it has been done and growing green already... It just looks so devastating!!!

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  2. We stayed in Albuquerque, N.M. and Weatherford, OK. the last two nights and nothing but red mud and those darn goat head burrs were everywhere. I didn't know what they were till I read your blog, but Yuma had a tough time tip toeing around.

    I am so glad to be in Missouri tonight. Yuma has never seen so much grass and he loves it. No stickers anywhere either.

    I thought I put in a long day at 500 miles. You guys go on like the energizer bunny. Have a safe journey.

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  3. 538 miles = sore tush! Those goathead stickers plagued us when we entered New Mexico.

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  4. Sure glad your dogs found some grass, and some without grass burrs or what ever those things were in the picture that you posted. Our long haired dogs got into a bunch of burrs once and that was a real mess. One had to be shaved.

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  5. You guys have "cowboy disease" driving that far! In the jeep we do neutral and neutral.

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  6. You must have gone up the turnpike through the Flint Hills! That burning is an actual tourist attraction...sad but true. Today was one of the nicest days, meaning no wind, that we've had in several so I'm sure they were taking great advantage of it! We live at the south end of the hills and on days when the burning gets good and the air is heavy there are sometimes ozone alerts from the smoke. Not good for some folks! Safe travels the rest of the way!

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  7. In CA they used to burn the rice fields at the end of the season, but the pollution was outrageous and now they do something different with what's left in the rice paddies. I think they use it for some kind of fertilizer, but I'm not sure. I sure wouldn't want to live where they are burning prairie, no matter what the good reason for doing it.

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  8. Nice that you are on the road again, not so nice that you have to be on your way back home. Glad that everything seems to be good with the Tracker.

    Whiskey hated those goat head burrs too and so do my bike tires!

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  9. I'm not a big fan of "controlled" burns. I've seen far to many of the become out of control burns. Once, one caused a massive traffic accident on I-75 with fatalities. I always worry about the wildlife that is not able to move, like baby birds, rabbits, etc...

    We have had issues with the driveshaft disconnect we installed to tow our truck, and now we're extremely paranoid about every little thing. Safe travels home. I hope there is no snow awaiting you and there is a lot of soft grass for the puppies.

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  10. Karen, we too travel with our dogs... 5 of them! 3 are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, so those burrs in their long hair are terrible! We've come across those as well as all kinds of other "stickers" in our travels. No fun. Glad all is well. I had to chuckle at your picture of Steve at the wheel, I always take a picture of my husband like that on every journey in the motorhome... it's funny to see such a similar picture with the background of the bus being so much the same. Continued safe travels!

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  11. I'm so glad to hear that you are having a more uneventful trip on the way back to WI! That pizza looks good!

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  12. Wow, really long day. Those burrs are no fun.

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  13. We've towed a tracker (manual transmission, 4-wheel drive and manual locking hubs) using 4th and N for many years and have not had any trouble.

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  14. You all really covered some ground! I gre up in NM and know those goatheads

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